Overview of “Day to Day” Operations
The Town Clerk has overall responsibility for all areas relating to the day to day operations of Gillingham Town Council. The Town Clerk, as the Proper Financial Officer, retains personnel responsibility for all financial matters including payments, payroll, and the production of quarterly financial statements and annual accounts. Administrative duties including the preparation of agendas, minutes and reports for meetings are delegated to the Office Manager. An Administrative Assistant acts as the Receptionist and Mayors Secretary and also provides administrative support.
To meet the demands of an increasing workload, due to the transfer of the responsibility for street cleaning, and the management of the public conveniences, from North Dorset District Council, combined with the transfer of a number of areas of amenity and recreational land around the Town, from the District Council, a restructuring of the Town Councils workforce was carried out during March 2007. The purpose of this restructuring was to ensure that all members of staff had a manageable workload, in balance with the hours they were contracted to work, and at the same time keeping the annual running costs under control without exceeding the budgeted amount for staff wages and salaries. The restructuring resulted in the separation of the administrative and operational roles, formerly the delegated responsibility of the General Manager. This was achieved by the promotion of the head of the outside ground staff team to the position of Works Manager, with the former General Manager taking on the role of Office Manager.
At the same time the Town Council entered into discussions with its surrounding parishes, and Stalbridge Town Council, with a view to providing local service delivery on a cost recovery basis. An agreement was reached with Stalbridge Town Council for the provision of a daily street cleaning, and litter clearance, service combined with the daily cleaning of the public conveniences. Other Service Level Agreements currently in place include street cleaning, litter clearance and quarterly play area inspections, for Marnhull Parish Council and grass cutting for Motcombe Parish Council.
The Town Council maintains the Cemetery, Garden of Remembrance, Hardings Lane Recreation Ground, St Mary’s Churchyard and Wesley Gardens. All of the areas of open spaces, recreational land and play areas owned and maintained by the Town Council are listed under ‘Areas of Responsibility’.
In 2009 the Town Council produced a Land Acceptance strategy for all public land due for transfer to the town, both from developers with commuted sums, and from the District Council. On going maintenance costs were calculated for recreational land and play areas, for maintenance by its own workforce. Management plans were produced for the larger areas of open spaces land, for maintenance by either the Dorset Countryside Rangers or a local contractor appointed by the Town Council following a tendering process.