The Town Council is just one part of local government in Berkshire, but is the part closest to the people and represents residents at a local community level.
We try to work in partnership with West Berkshire Council and our District Councillors, although we always maintain our independence from them and ‘fight our corner’ if there are differences in our views and decisions. West Berkshire Council is responsible mainly for strategic services such as highways, education, planning, environmental health and refuse collection.
In Hungerford, our powers and duties cover many of the things that people might take for granted – things such as the care and maintenance of many of our public areas, sport and recreation sites, rights of way and cemeteries, and in putting up the official Christmas decorations in the town. Importantly, Hungerford Town Council can set the precept, which is the Council’s demand for an amount to be included in your council tax each year to manage facilities and services for local people.
One of our most important roles though is to try to represent the views and concerns of all local residents on issues that might impact on the community, such as planning applications.
Town Council meetings are held in public – usually on the first Monday evening of each month. We are led by our Mayor and supported by the Town Clerk, whose role is to administer the Council's business and to ensure that our business is conducted within the law. The Clerk is often the first point of contact for the Council.
Councillors are elected for
four years and in this time should be taking action on many things that
affect the town and the community such as:
- advising on land which is suitable for industrial or residential development;
- campaigning for better road safety and reducing the fear of crime;
- providing representation at local planning enquiries;
- raising concerns about rural transport services;
- providing a liaison between other local authorities or official bodies.
should also be expected of us as your Council are constructive agendas,
encouragement of open debate, and constant efforts to find new ways of
getting people involved.
Your councillors are a group
of volunteers who work together to make decisions and produce plans for
the greater community benefit. We are keen to listen to the views of
others, getting broad agreement on the best way forward and being
jointly responsible. We also wish to channel our enthusiasm, skills and
knowledge for the benefit of the whole community of Hungerford.
We have standards to comply with, such as:
- holding our meetings in public and publishing the agendas for those meetings;
- having rules about our business and personal conduct;
- looking to the future and having effective forward planning proposals;
- working with other groups in the town.