The Council

Who are we?

A Town or Parish Council is the tier of local Government which is closest to the community it serves. It acts as a point of contact for people to address local issues or seek representation to the higher tier councils (such as South Somerset District Council and Somerset County Council) or other authorities. The Parish or Town Council has responsibility for some local amenities and services, as well as acting as a consultee in local planning applications. A Parish or Town Council aspires to be close and accessible to the local community.

The day to day work of the Council is operated by the Clerk’s office. Decisions and policies are made by elected Councillors, who meet once a month as a full Council, and regularly as Committees. The Committees have various areas of delegated responsibility and decision making powers. To see the areas of responsibility of the Council and its Committees please visit our Policies and Procedures page.

What do we do?

The Council and Committee meetings are where the business of the Council is transacted. The Clerk prepares Agendas and Reports for the Councillors to discuss and make decisions on by voting. The results of the meetings, known as Minutes, are also published in the public domain. The Clerk then carries out the Council’s decisions and begins preparing the Agendas for the next meetings, to include any items that the Council need to make decisions on or discuss. These documents are published on the Town Council notice board and on the Minutes and Agendas page of this website.

The Council has responsibilities which it must discharge for the benefits of the local community such as

  • Liaising with the District and County Councils on various issues
  • Managing Somerton Cemetery
  • Bus Shelter maintenance
  • Car Parks in Somerton
  • Providing and maintaining amenities such as play areas
  • Representing the Town in the planning process

Other responsibilities are held by South Somerset District Council and Somerset County Council. These are separate bodies, with their own policies and procedures in place.

The Council Objectives 2017/2018:

Town Council

  • Update the Community Plan
  • Half Moon Car Park refurbishment
  • Cemetery Works
  • Electronic media, including Electronic notice board
  • Recruitment of new Councillors

Administration

  • Disaster recovery plan / Operating Manual for the office .
  • Debtors Control
  • Electronic media, including Electronic notice board
  • Recruitment of new Councillors
  • Online banking
  • Creation of a Three and Ten Year financial plan

 Access and Highways

  • Completion of STC Car Park Strategy,
  • Half Moon Car Park¬† resurfaced with extra bays included.
  • Priority System by the Railway Bridge, Behind Berry
  • In-depth survey to be completed for possible On-Way-System for West Street
  • Pavement works Market Square

Land and Properties

  • Cemetery New Road / Burial Area
  • Edgar Hall Bar Improvements
  • Grounds maintenance contract specification

Promotion and Communication

  • Electronic notice board
  • Developing digital media strategy
  • Community Tree Planting
  • Encouraging more visitors to Somerton
  • Health Transport links

How does it all work?

The Council is funded by the Precept; which is a proportion of the Council Tax paid by the local community. It also receives monies from any business it transacts, for example hire of community halls, Cemetery fees, leases for buildings, etc.

Full Council: Meet once a month

Accessibility and Highways Committee: Meet every other month

Land and Property Committee: Meet every other month

Planning Committee: Meet twice a month as required

Team and Advisory Group: NOT a decision making committee, this group meets once a month and prepares recommendations to take to Full Council.