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Your Town Council
 
Burnham on Sea and Highbridge Town Council is the fourth tier of government after parliament, the county council and the district council. Its legal powers are granted to it and regulated by various government acts.

The Town Council supplements the provision of local government services in Sedgemoor, while promoting and representing the town with other national and statutory bodies.

For example the Town Council acts as a consultee and lobbying force with both the county and district councils, and both regional and national government, putting forward the wishes and needs of the local community. Somerset County Council, , (whose main responsibilities include education, social services, highways, fire and rescue, strategic planning and libraries), consult with the Town Council on such subjects as the County Structure Plan, the Local Transport Plan etc.. and Sedgemoor District Council (which is mainly responsible for development control, environmental health, refuse collection, economic development, tourism and major recreational facilities also consults with the Town Council on such matters as the District Wide Local Plan, planning applications within Burnham and Highbridge, and the economic development strategy. (See also the useful links page for details of Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Councils responsibilities)

HOW DOES YOUR TOWN COUNCIL OPERATE?

The Town Council has 18 Town Councillors elected for a term of four years. The Civic Year runs from May to April with the election of the Mayor, the Chairman of Council and his/her Deputy and Vice Chairman taking place at the Annual Statutory meeting in May. The roles of Mayor and Chairman of Council are usually taken by the same councillor and likewise for the Deputy Mayor and Vice Chairman. These roles and those of Chairman of Committees are filled by councillors who have been nominated and voted for by their councillor colleagues..

The Council operates on a committee system covering Policy and Finance, Planning, Town Improvements, Property and the Burnham Joint Burial Committee. The full Council meets on the first Monday of every month unless otherwise advertised.

This committee system enables members to consider more complex issues in some detail at committee level, and to make a recommendation to the full Council as to what the Town Councils response should be. Such recommendations are approved (or otherwise) by all members voting at the full Council meeting.
Subject matters are brought before the relevant committee or full 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 notice boards around the town (see below) and on this website.

Also please follow the links at the bottom of the page to view our Publication Scheme, Annual Report and Accounts and Newsletters.

NOTICE BOARD LOCATIONS

The Old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road Burnham on Sea
The Princess, Princess Street Burnham on Sea.
The Community Centre, Market Street Highbridge.

HOW IS THE TOWN COUNCIL FUNDED?

The Council Tax paid by Burnham and Highbridge residents, includes the spending requirements of Somerset County Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Avon and Somerset Police Authority and this Town Council.

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.

Each year the Town Council calculates the money it needs to raise to provide its 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 they collect as a proportion of the total council tax paid by Burnham and Highbridge households.

WHEN AND WHERE DOES THE COUNCIL MEET?

Meetings are usually held on the first Monday of the Month at 7.00 pm in the old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road where access for the disabled and a hearing loop are available. The Press and Public are welcome to attend all Council meetings and the Public may put questions or make statements on any matter in the public session at the commencement of each meeting. This is normally restricted to 15 minutes in total, with a maximum of three minutes per speaker. Anyone who wishes to speak should give the Town Clerk written notice by 12 noon on the Friday preceding the meeting.

Check out the date of the next Town Council meeting by looking at the agenda section of this site. Meetings are normally held at 7pm in the Old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road, Burnham on Sea. 

HOW DO THE COUNCIL MEETINGS OPERATE?

The full Town Council of all 18 councillors meets to consider the items detailed on the agenda. The Town Council has no authority to make a decision on any item that has not been properly and publicly advertised as being displayed via the agenda.
TOWN TWINNINGWe are twinned with Louvigne Du Desert (France) Fritzlar (Germany) and have a friendship link with Cassis (France)

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