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.
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.
In 2015 Gillingham Town Council adopted a Tree Conditioning Survey and Risk Management Plan which is continually monitored. A sponsorship scheme which included flower planters strategically placed in prominent areas around the town, with two featured flower beds was launched. The Gillingham Town Council Horticultural staff provide and plant up all areas.
In 2017 Gillingham Town Council took over maintenance of all large open space areas in Gillingham and is working in partnership with Dorset Wildlife Trust to ensure the sites include a high standard of maintenance and biodiversity to continue to achieve Green Flag Status. In June Gillingham Town Council declared itself a Pollinator Friendly Town and has adopted a Pollinator Action Plan.
A DCC Agency Agreement has been signed by the Town Council so it can sub-contract certain highway maintenance tasks that will no longer be carried out by DCC Highways on a regular basis. These works have been agreed by DCC and cover specific areas, especially gully emptying in areas that are prone to flooding and are not on the main gritting route, which is still maintained by DCC Highways.