Local (community, neighbourhood, parish, village and town) councils are statutory bodies and are the first tier of local government in England. They serve electorates ranging from small rural communities, towns and small cities; all are independently elected and raise a precept – a form of council tax – from the local community. Together, they can be identified as among the nation’s most influential grouping of grassroots opinion-formers.
There are 9,000 local councils in England. Over 16 million people live in communities served by local councils, around 25% of the population. There are 80,000 councillors who serve these councils, making a difference in their communities. £1 billion is invested in these communities every year.
Local councils work towards improving community well being and providing better services at a local level. Activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community; delivering services to meet local needs; striving to improve quality of life and community well being.
Through an extensive range of discretionary powers local councils provide and maintain a variety of important and visible local services. These existing powers were recently strengthened by powers contained in the Localism Act including the extension of the General power of competence to eligible local councils.
Thatcham Town Council
Thatcham Town Council comprises of 18 Councillors representing 4 Wards (contact details can be found on the Councillors’ page). Councillors are elected every 4 years, the last elections having been in May 2015. The Council is served by a Town Clerk, the senior officer of the Town Council, and 11 other staff, mainly based at the Council Offices in Brownsfield Road.
The Town Council is chaired by the Town Mayor who is elected each year at the Annual Meeting in May. All Town Councillors meet at Full Council meetings to ratify the decisions made by the Town Council’s delegated committees.
All 18 Councillors provide their services on a voluntary basis and do not receive any salary, although they do receive a small annual allowance and are entitled to claim for travelling expenses where their duties require travel. The Mayor receives a small allowance to assist with Mayoral duties.
The Annual Meeting
As well as electing the Town Mayor at the Annual Meeting in May, Town Councillors are voted in to serve on a number of committees and Sub-Committees. Working Parties are formed by Committees as necessary to make recommendations in relation to matters of local relevance and importance.
Management and Funding
The day to day management of the services delivered by the Town Council is the responsibility of the Town Clerk who works closely with Councillors to deliver the decisions made at the various committees. The work of the Town Council is funded through a precept on Council Tax payers within the Thatcham Parish area and from income raised through the Council’s services: hall and room hire, allotments, cemetery, football pitches, market pitches etc.
A budget for the forthcoming financial year (1st April to 31st March) is set in January when projects are identified for the coming year.
The Town Council manages a budget of £1.4m (2017-18); £717,000 of which is raised through a precept (Council Tax).
Members of the public are welcome to attend the majority of Council meetings; the agendas for these meetings are available from the meetings page (usually from the week prior to a meeting) or on request to the Council Offices. The schedule of meetings can also be found on the notice boards around the Town. Meetings are held at 6.30pm in the Council Chamber in Brownsfield Road.
Relationships with Other Bodies
The Town Council works closely with a number of agencies and community organisations.
Councillor representatives are appointed yearly to act as liaison with various outside bodies. A full list of Town Council representation on “outside bodies” can be found below.
To find your Councillor or Nearest amenities, please use the form above.
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