Town Council's Role
What is a Town Council?
A Town Council is a statutory body and is the most important local level of government. A Town Council is a single corporate body and the decisions it takes are the responsibility of the Town Council as a whole. It has an important role in promoting the town, representing its interests, serving the whole community and supporting the work of different groups in the community. It is responsible for the services it provides and for achieving the best value for the spending of public money.
Town Council's Role
Town Councils have a number of formal powers. Many provide allotments, look after playing fields, green spaces, provide public seats, grit bins and waste bins.
Wincanton is served by three tiers of local government, Somerset County Council, South Somerset District Council and Wincanton Town Council each with different responsibilities (powers and duties). This is changing because of the Government's Localism Policy, which encourages Councils to provide more services.
Money to fund the Town Council is raised through the Council Tax. This funding is called a Precept. Each year Wincanton Town Council set a budget and decide how much the Council will need to continue providing services and consider whether to expand what we provide including our support for the community. This informs what level of Precept we set. You will find this information on your Council Tax Bill.
The budget is managed by the Council, supported by the Town Clerk who is the Responsible Financial Officer.
Our funds are the smallest part of the Council Tax and we get no general Government grant so we have every incentive to keep expenditure low and be economical. The accounts are strictly and independently audited every year.
Wincanton Town Council Responsibilities:
Wincanton Town Council offers a range of services and works in partnership with other councils and organisations in the town.
- Managing the Town Hall - home to Wincanton Town Council and a 'one-stop' community centre - offering help and information on a range of local services. Ever wondered who is responsible for what, and not known who to contact with a problem or issue? We will try our best to help you or point you in the right direction and if we don't know the answer we will put you in touch with someone who does! The Local Tourist Information Centre (set up in April 2003) is based at the Town Hall, and has generated a large number of enquiries relating to tourism in the area. Pop in and have a look at the large range of leaflets. We sell tickets for local events in Wincanton and further afield such as Yeovilton Air Day, Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show, tickets for Berry's Coach service to London.
- Owns, manages and administrates burials at the burial ground situated at top of Cale Park Recreation Ground (formerly Rickhayes Recreation Ground), and the maintenance of the closed churchyard at St Peter & St Paul's Church.
- Cemetery Fees and Cemetery Regulations
- The David Sharp Centre located at the far end of Cale Park is owned by Wincanton Town Council and leased as a Cafe.
- Administration of the allotment gardens situated at Moor Lane (plots of varying sizes).
- Owns and manages three recreation grounds (Cale Park Recreation Ground, Penn View Recreation Ground, Coneygore) , a skatepark and Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). At Cale Park Recreation Ground you will find a childrens' play area. There is also a cricket pitch which is leased to Wincanton Cricket Club. The Scouts have their own building at the top end of the recreation ground. The skatepark and multi use games area are located left of the play area (access either from Southgate Road or through the play area at Cale Park). Penn View Recreation Ground is located at Penn View (Bayford Hill) has a fenced off childrens play area including a toddler area. Coneygore is situated at the back of Carrington Way and is a wildlife area. If you wish to hold an event at Cale Park Recreation Ground, Penn View Recreation Ground or Carrington Way Picnic Area please contact Wincanton Town Council or complete
- Owns and manages the Public Conveniences at Churchfields and the toilet at Cale Park Recreation Ground.
- Making comments on all planning applications in the parish - South Somerset District Council then makes the final decision, where they should take into account the views from Wincanton Town Council. Copies of planning applications relating to Wincanton area are available for inspection at the Town Hall.
- Pursues action from both the District and County Council on a range of issues of concern such as litter, yellow lines, speeding traffic, highway improvements and maintenance, hedges and trees, footpaths and rights of way.
- Provision of street furniture - public seats, waste bins, dog waste bins and grit bins.
- Council information to local community via Wincanton Town Council website and Town Council noticeboard.
Wincanton Town Council is always keen to ensure that its priorities and initiatives reflect the wishes of the electorate - all meetings are open to the public and councillors may be contacted if you have any ideas for Wincanton or an issue which we can help with, or you can call in at The Town Hall with your suggestions.