weston-super-mare - why a town council

Report
Weston-super-Mare
Town Council
Malcolm L Nicholson
LL.B, DMS, AILCM
Town Clerk
Two Hundred Years of Growth
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“A Victorian New Town”
1811 - 163 inhabitants
1831 - 1,310
1871 - 10,470
1921 - 31,643
2014 - 80,000
Future Growth?
1974 - 2000
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1974 – Weston Borough Council abolished
Town’s property passes to District Council
Beach lawns, beach, parks, toilets, car parks,
theatres, Town Hall, Museum, Tropicana, etc
Increasing Central Government control of services
1996 Avon abolished, North Somerset created
1996 – 2000 Public campaign for a parish council
31 councillors, 28 permanent staff plus casual,
seasonal and volunteer workers
Why a local council?
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Things which local communities want
Eg. parks, play areas, allotments, museums,
flowers, bus shelters, cemeteries, etc
Democratically elected body -v- unelected
– Kidderminster A&E
Compared to Area Committees – outside capping
Permanent, can raise tax, grants, loans
Less control from Central Government
Local voice on Planning, Licensing, Waste, etc
Budgets and Council Tax
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North Somerset Council
£140,000,000
Weston Town Council
£1,374,117
Total band D Council Tax £1,400
Parish and Town Councils – nil to £199
Weston Town Council band D
£ 57
Small is Beautiful - Efficiencies of local provision
Volunteers
No capping (yet?)
Capping unlikely below £140?
Achievements since 2000
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Youth cafe/services via YMCA
Blakehay Theatre
Water Adventure Play Park
Milton Road Cemetery
Love Weston - Tourism Promotion
Weston (former North Somerset) Museum
Flower Beds and Public Toilets
Play areas, bus shelters, allotments, parks etc.
Giving Weston a representative voice
Opportunities
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Localism Act - Devolvement of local services
General Power of Competence - to do “anything”
Effect of unitary authorities instead of 2 tier
Effect of Central Government cuts – principal
councils focus on core business
Local Management of Facilities
Fundraising – tax, grants, loans, sponsorship
New Town Councils – Salisbury, Shrewsbury,
Bridgwater, Morecambe... Bath?
Weston-super-Mare
Town Council
Any questions?

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