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Town Council

Council FAQ

This section has Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the duties and responsibilities of the Town Council.

What is a parish?
What is a Town Council?
What duties and responsibilities do town councils have?
How much money does the council get?
What does Saxmundham Town Council do?
What else does the Council do?

What is a parish?
A parish is either an Ecclesiastical Parish centred on the Anglican church or a Civil Parish. Saxmundham is a Civil Parish and has a Town Council to run its affairs according to its legal duties and responsibilities. Saxmundham has over 2,750 electors in a total population of over 4000.

What is a Town Council?
A town council is a small local authority and its councillors are elected every four years. Each year the councillors choose a chairman from amongst their number. There are 11 councillors on the Town Council. Saxmundham does not have a mayor, the leader of the Saxmundham Town Council is called a 'Chairman'. The councillors are all unpaid volunteers who operate on a non-party political basis. The council employs a Town Clerk to carry out administrative duties and provide a contact person for the public. It also employs a Clerical Assistant on a part time basis.

What duties and responsibilities do town councils have?
Town councils have a number of formal duties, defined by various acts of parliament including the Local Government Act (1972) and various Public Health acts. In practice, the Town council looks after many things in Saxmundham that improve the facilities and environment for its residents and businesses.

How much money does the council get?
Saxmundham Town Council gets no grants from central government but it does get a small part of the Council Tax that you pay to the district council. For the financial year 2014-2015 the council received 117,030.00 The accounts are strictly audited every year.

What does Saxmundham Town Council do?
The council has a wide range of duties and responsibilities, many of them regarding the general upkeep of the town's amenities and the representation of the town and its residents at higher levels of local government. We look after the Memorial Field on Rendham Road, and the Chantry Road Play Area. We have a footpaths officer who walks the footpaths in the town every year to keep an eye on rights of way and refer any problems to Suffolk County Council. We provide public seats. We are trustees of the Market Hall, which is available for public meetings, functions, and is available for hire. The Seaman Avenue Playground is upmost in our minds at present as it needs a complete makeover but new fencing for Chantry Road will be in place before Christmas. The Town council also has several sub-committees that look after various aspects of the town.

The Town council supports a wide range of local organisations with small annual grants and our councillors represent the Town Council on the following bodies:

• CATS (Coastal Accessible Transport Services)
• Saxmundham in Bloom
• Saxmundham Business Association (BOS)
• Saxmundham Charities
• East Suffolk Travellers Association (ESTA)
• CYDS (local youth group)
• Saxmundham & District Community Interest Company
• Suffolk Association of Local Councils
• Crime Reduction Partnership
• Sizewell A and B Stakeholder Group

Citizens Advice Bureau

 

What else does the Council do?
The council represents the town and the views of its residents to the Suffolk Coastal District Council, Suffolk County Council and other official bodies to do with transport, planning and housing. The council is entitled to be consulted on planning applications and are often consulted on such things as schools and roads.

Please contact the Town Clerk for further information about the Town Council. Or read more about the council.

 
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© Saxmundham Town Council, 2015.