Day to Day Operations

The Town Clerk has overall responsibility for all areas of responsibility 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 for meetings and correspondence 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 a 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 taking over of the maintenance of a number areas of amenity and recreational land around the town on a cost recovery basis, as the first stage in the transfer process 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 for the FY 2007-2008. 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 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. A copy of the structure identifying the job content for each post is attached.

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. A three year 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.

In addition to this recently acquired workload the Town Council also maintains the Cemetery, Garden of Remembrance, Hardings Lane Recreation Field, St Mary’s Churchyard Wesley Gardens and recreational and planted area at Saxongate, for a developer on a cost recovery basis, as the first stage in the transfer process with a commuted sum.

The Town Council maintains and carries out daily visual and weekly recorded inspections of the main play area at Hardings Lane and a further six local play areas around the town. Three of these are town council owned and the others are carried out on a cost recovery basis as the first stage in the transfer process, two from the District Council and one directly from a developer with a commuted sum. Another four local play areas are in the process of being transferred from developers with commuted sums.

The Town Council has formulated a Land Acceptance strategy in conjunction with Community Partnership for all public land due for transfer to the town, both from developers with commuted sums, and the District Council. On going maintenance costs have been calculated and responsibility for future management agreed, with recreational land and play areas transferring directly to the Town Council, for maintenance by its own workforce, and the larger areas of river corridor land being transferred into a Land Bank Trust, for Management a Board of Trustees appointed by the Community Partnership.