Approach and Principles
To achieve this, the Town Council has five guiding principles :-
– Communicate and Consult – Provide Civic Leadership and Civic Pride – Enhance Local Facilities – Provide Necessary Services – Foster Community Development
The structure of the Council is :-
– The Town Mayor – The Town Councillors, supported by the Town Clerk and staff.
Communicate and Consult
The Town Council will regularly produce details of Town Council initiatives and provide local organisations with the opportunity to publicise their activities. The Town Council will provide a public session at each Town Council meeting for public question and comment. Also at every Town Council meeting, the Town Mayor will provide a resume of his/her mayoral engagements since the previous meeting. The Town Council will always consult affected residents before embarking on projects likely to have an impact on specific locations. The Town Council will provide, at its yearly Town Meeting, an annual report covering its activities during the previous twelve months and its plans for the coming twelve months. In addition, when adopting its annual budget, the Town Council will provide a statement detailing its proposed expenditure for the coming financial year.
Civic Pride and Leadership
The Town Council will provide civic leadership by representing the community at ceremonial and civic events and by co-ordinating community events and celebrations. The Town Council will elect a Town Mayor and a Deputy Town Mayor at its Annual Meeting. The Town Mayor will represent the Town Council, and, by extension, the town of Faringdon at ceremonial and civic events. The position of Town Mayor is ceremonial and non-political and confers no additional advantage on the post-holder, other than the honour of representing Faringdon. The Town Mayor will also act as Chair to the meetings of the Town Council. In all events, the Deputy Town Mayor may carry out the duties of the Town Mayor in his/her absence. Through the various other town voluntary groups, and in co-operation with other local agencies, the Town Council will take the lead role in community development throughout the town. The Town Mayor will host a) an annual reception, b) an annual Civic Service (to be held in rotation at the various churches in the town), and c) will support a local charity, or charities, during his/her year of service.
Local Facilities and Services
The Town Council will provide facilities and services for local residents and visitors to the town. In order to achieve this, it will assess local needs and also respond to residents’ requests. The Town Council will provide new facilities, such as playgrounds, and will also improve and modernise existing facilities where necessary. The Town Council will work together with other responsible agencies in providing local facilities and will also encourage other organisations to take a pro-active role in providing the services required by residents and visitors.
The Town Council will take the lead role in community development. It will support and encourage the establishment of new clubs, particularly for youth groups and the elderly, such as playgroups, neighbourhood watches and adult literacy schemes. The Town Council will strive to include the socially isolated and the vulnerable within these community projects. The Town Council, through its grants programme and through providing information of other sources of financial assistance, will encourage both new and existing community groups to expand and provide additional services where appropriate.
Town Councillors will :- · Consult, enable and empower constituents and encourage their participation in community life; · Network with local groups and represent the community/Town Council on outside bodies; · Represent local people’s views about council’s policies, services and the needs of the town; · Develop the basis for local community plans; · Work in partnership with other agencies, e.g. local police, health service, local businesses, other local Councils, the Countryside Agency and the South East England Development Agency.
We’re the smallest unit of local government and that means we’re closest to the people we serve. We can address issues of local concern and speak up for the wishes of the local residents.
We don’t have a large bureaucratic or departmentalised structure so we can be responsive and flexible to meet our citizens’ needs by directing our resources where most needed.
We have a wide overview of the needs of the Town and because all of our councillors live in the town or immediate area they can concentrate their work on the town area and pursue town-based initiatives.
… and our weaknesses
We’re the smallest unit of local government and that means we don’t have large resources. Unlike the larger District and County Councils we receive no funding from Central Government or Business Rates, so the net cost of our services is funded entirely from the Council Taxpayers of the town area.
We don’t have a high public profile. The public is often unaware of the role of the Town Council in relation to the District and County Councils.
With a total staff of less than 6 employees (full time equivalent) there are limits to what we can undertake. We need to ensure that we do not commit ourselves to activities beyond our expertise or financial resources.
Suggestions? Complaints? If you want to contact Faringdon Town Council for any reason, you can do so via telephone 01367-240281 or by visiting the Town Clerk’s office at the Corn Exchange any week day Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.