Councils in unity to share experiences of unitary
Weymouth Town Council recently hosted a study visit from Corby Town Council, Northampton Town Council and Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils, with the support of the Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils.
The two-day meeting in Weymouth focused on the needs of bigger councils and the challenges of running a newly set up council. The sessions included meetings with staff, discussing organisational structures, apolitical working, staffing, and budgets, and the lessons Weymouth learned about setting up a council now it’s almost five. They also attended last week’s meeting of Full Council.
Cllr David Gray, from Weymouth Town Council, praised the event. He said: “The opportunity to share experiences and solutions with other larger councils has been invaluable. We have learned a lot from our visitors, and I thank them for travelling all the way to see us. I particularly enjoyed discussing the budget challenges of larger councils.”
Cllr Jane Birch, Leader of Northampton Town Council, said: “We are very grateful to Weymouth Town Council for hosting us and being so generous in sharing their knowledge and experience. It has been so useful and empowering. I think the conversations will continue with our colleagues in Corby, as we are facing many similar challenges.”
Cllr Mark Pengelly, Leader of Corby Town Council, added: “It was very good use of time, and the range of discussions were impressive. We talked about all manner of issues from both an officer and a councillor perspective. It is important that we look for good practice in town councils and see how we can bring what we find to our locality. I was really interested about income generation and getting planning money into the council!”
The councils hope to meet again in the future to share further learning and build links. All organisations who attended encourage others to share their knowledge, skills and experience to build links to develop both individual Councils and our sector as a whole.
Notes to Editors
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Pictured in the photo above from left to right is:
Cllr David Gray – WTC
Cllr Jane Birch – NTC
Danny Moody – Chief Executive – NCALC
Cllr Luke Wakeling – WTC
Stuart Carter – Clerk – NTC
Felicity Ryan – Clerk, CTC
Cllr Mark Pengelly – CTC
Cllr Martyn Reuby – CTC
Charmaine Denny – Assistant Clerk – WTC
Jane Biscombe – Clerk – WTC
Ian Milne – Deputy Clerk – WTC
Neil Wedge – Chief Executive – DAPTC