INTRODUCTION TO THE TOWN COUNCIL
Forum Town Council is the parish authority for the town of Blandford
Forum and has an estimated population
hectares in area and has approximately 4,657 dwellings
(The Dorset Data Book 2010, Dorset County Council).
It is the
fourth tier of government after parliament, the county council and the
district council and its legal powers are granted to it and regulated by
various government acts.
Blandford Forum Town Council is
the first council in North Dorset, and the fifth in Dorset, to be awarded
with Quality Council
Council supplements the provision of local government services in
Blandford Forum and provides a range of social and recreational
facilities, while promoting and representing the town with other
national and statutory bodies.
example, the Town Council acts as a consultee and lobbying force with
both the County and District Councils and regional and national
government putting forward the wishes and needs of the local community.
Dorset County Council, which covers the whole of the county except
Bournemouth and Poole and whose main responsibilities include education,
social services, highways, strategic planning and
libraries, consults with the Town Council on such subjects as the County
Structure Plan, the Local Transport Plan and the Mineral and Waste Local
Plan. The District Council, which is mainly responsible for development
control, environmental health, refuse collection, economic development,
tourism and major recreational facilities such as the Blandford Leisure
Centre, also consults with the Town Council on such matters as the
District Wide Local Plan, planning applications within Blandford Forum,
the economic development strategy, etc.
is divided into 5 wards; Blandford Damory Down, Blandford Old Town,
Blandford Langton St Leonards, Blandford Hilltop and Blandford Station. Three
Councillors will be elected to represent each ward with the exception of
Blandford Old Town which will be represented by four Councillors.
Click here for a list of the wards and the roads
which they cover.
Year runs from May to April with the election of the Mayor, Chairman of
Council and the Deputy Mayor and Vice-Chairman taking place at the
Annual Council Meeting in May. These roles and those of the Chairmen
of Committees are filled by Councillors who have been nominated and
voted for by their Councillor colleagues. Town Councillors are
voluntary although they can choose to receive the allowance that is now
available to them to cover Council-related costs such as stationery,
telephone bills, travel, etc.
The Town Council’s overall precept for the year
2012/13 is set at £565,489 which is a total of £150.34 per Band D
property, a total increase of 0%.
Strategic Plan 2007 – 2011
- The Town Council approved a Strategic Plan to
cover the period 2007 – 2011 at the Town Council meeting held on 10
September 2007. This was the culmination of an exercise undertaken by a
small working group of elected Members and Officers during the summer
months. The Strategic Plan is intended for the residents of Blandford
Forum, partner organisations, Town Council elected Members and staff.
The aim of the Strategic Plan, supporting Action Plan and Gantt Chart
are; to establish BFTC’s overall vision, priorities and how these will
be delivered, to give clear direction for resource planning and budget
setting decisions, and to guide our dealings with the community and
partner organisations. The Town Council hopes that you will find it
informative and should you have any queries regarding the Strategic Plan
please do not hesitate to contact the Town Council using the details
& Committees - The
Council operates on a Committee system according to the
remits of the Committees and where
necessary the Committees make recommendations to full Council. The
Recreation & Amenities Committee (R&A) and the Town & General Purposes
Committee (T&GP) meet every other month. The Town Council
and the Town Council Planning Committee meet monthly. In addition there is a Finance
& Staffing Committee which meets on a quarterly basis. Councillors can
express a preference for a particular Committee but are voted onto
Committees at the Annual Council Meeting along with the election of the
Chairmen of Committees. Vice-Chairmen are elected at the first Committee
meeting in the new civic year.
matters are brought before Committees and Council by means of the Agenda
which is issued a minimum of three clear working days before a meeting
and is posted on the various public notice boards around the town and on
the website. The agendas are set a week before each meeting by the
Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council or Committees in liaison with the
Town Clerk. At full Council meetings the Committees’ minutes are
received and any Committee resolutions involving major changes to
Council policies are voted upon.
and public are welcome to attend all Council meetings and the public may
put questions or make statements on any matter in the public period at
the commencement of each meeting.
minimum commitment expected of Councillors is that they will attend full
Town Council and Planning meetings together with either R&A or T&GP
Committees. There are generally no meetings held
during August and Councillors with holiday commitments at other times
are asked to notify the Town Clerk.
usually take place on a Monday evening at 7.00 pm in the Community Room,
Town Clerk's Office, Church Lane where there is access for the
disabled. Town Councillors receive their agendas and papers via the
post unless an electronic version is requested.
of Meetings 2011/12
DO COUNCIL AND COMMITTEE MEETINGS OPERATE?
following items appear on all agendas and in addition each Town
Council/Committee agenda will detail the specific business relevant to
Session (15 minutes)
Declarations of Interest
of minutes from the last meeting
Clerk’s Report & Correspondence
Council agenda also covers recommendations from the Committees, reports
from the County Councillor, the District Councillors and representatives
to Community and Local Organisations plus any other Council business not
covered by the Committees.
agendas are set by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Council or the
Committees in liaison with the Town Clerk, any Councillor can request
any item to be put on the agenda providing it is relevant to the
Council. This can be done informally either through the Town Clerk or
Chairman or formally by means of a motion. Each agenda item is discussed
and voted upon by the Councillors.
Minutes, which are not a verbatim account of the meeting, detail the
decisions reached and are a record of the voting. The Minutes are
usually available four working days following the meeting and are
forwarded to Councillors and local media organisations by post and are
also available to members of the public via the Town Council’s Website,
from the Town Clerk’s office or the library.
decision has been passed by Council and a course of action identified,
the work is organised and carried out by the Council’s staff under the
control of the Town Clerk.
REPRESENTATION TO COMMUNITY AND LOCAL ORGANISATIONS
Forum Town Council appoints Councillors to act as
representatives to organisations and groups.
within the town. Councillors' involvement as representatives in
the local community develops the Council's greater
understanding of the role of these organisations and groups.
Representatives are nominated either at the request of a particular
organisation/group or, if core funding has been granted, at the request
of the Town Council.
of office for representatives is normally for a period of one year
commencing from the Annual Council Meeting in May. Town Council
representatives are expected to regularly attend meetings of the
organisation they represent and take an active part in its operations.
Annual reports are submitted by each representative to the Annual
Council Meeting in May.
of Working Groups is also voted on at the Annual Council Meeting or at
the Council/Committee Meetings as appropriate. In addition a number of
Working Groups meet as and when required to discuss particular issues
and report back to full Council or Committees as appropriate.
of the Corn Exchange, Market Place
Notice Board on the
Tabernacle Toilet Block
Shop, Junction of Heddington Drive and Jubilee Way
Way (opposite Stanton Close)
Road (next to the bus
Langton Car Park, Long Stay
Marsh & Ham Toilet Block,
The Shambles, Corn Exchange
Tesco Store (Blandford St
Badgers Cross (x 2)
Blandford Cemetery (x 5)
Outside the Corn Exchange (x 2)
Eagle House Gardens (outside
Holland Way (near the phone
box, ‘Jubilee’ bench)
Larksmead Play Area (x 2)
Methodist Church (x 2)
Bottom of Sheep Market Hill
(originally donated by Steam Fair, replaced by Town Council in July 2010)
Skate Park (x 5)
St Leonards Avenue/Percy
Gardens x 1
Park Road Recreation Ground (x
Park Road Play Area (x 2)
Tabernacle Tree (x 2)
Woodhouse Gardens (x 13)
Installed October 2010
Angus Close/Hunt Road
Elizabeth Road/King’s Road
Queen’s Road/St Leonards Avenue
St Leonards Avenue/Bayfran Way
Woodhouse Gardens/Post Office
Badbury Drive/Mortain Close
Eastleaze Road/rear of No.62
To be installed October
Westbury Way (Top of)
Overton Walk/Hilcot Way
Cadley Close/Froxfield Road
Philip Road/Andrew Close
Barnes Close/Elizabeth Road
Langton Road/Meadow View
Council's executive officer is the Town Clerk who leads a team of
11 full-time and 3 part-time staff plus the honorary roles of Mace
Bearer and Town Crier (click
to view organisational structure).
Grounds & Property Manager leads a team of 4 groundsmen and 3
caretakers/grounds assistants and the office staff provide the
financial, administrative, Committee and full Council support services
plus the public reception, venues booking service and the administrative
support for the mayoral role and civic events.
HOW IS THE
TOWN COUNCIL FUNDED?
Council Tax paid by Blandford Forum households includes the spending
requirements of Dorset County Council, North Dorset District Council,
Dorset Police and Blandford Forum Town Council. The District Council is
responsible for collecting the Council Tax. Many people do not realise
that the Town Council does not receive any revenue support from central
government, unlike the County and District Councils, neither does it
receive any funding from local businesses and retailers via their
payment of the non-domestic rate.
the Town Council calculates the money it needs to raise to provide its
services. Then we deduct income which we expect to receive from fees
and charges such as the hire of sports facilities, lettings of the
various halls, etc, to leave the amount we require to spend on the
services and any capital projects which are planned for the year ahead.
This sum, called the precept, is the amount we levy on the district
Council and which is collected by them as a proportion of the total
Council Tax paid by Blandford’s households.
Town Council’s overall precept for the year 2012/13 is set at £565,489
which is a total of £150.34 per Band D property, a total increase of
Click here for the Town Council's Complaints