Contents:
 
About Us
Terms of Reference and Working Parties
Community Engagement Policy
Training and Development Policy
Freedom of Information Act 2008

About Us

The Town Council is made up of twelve Councillors, with a Town Clerk supporting the Councillors in their duties and the resulting administration.

The Town Council holds public meetings at Cliff House, normally twice a month at Cliff House. These meetings are on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month at start at 6.30pm.(For December and August Meetings please consult the town newsletter)

These meetings are open to all, and disabled access is provided.

Salcombe Town Council actively encourages people to attend its meetings, and at the beginning of every meeting there is an open forum where the public can raise concerns about matters arising from our agenda, the agenda is published on our website, and displayed on council notice boards situated outside the TIC in Market Street, the Spar Shop in Loring Road, and in the lobby to Cliff House.

Over 50% of houses and flats are used as holiday homes or second homes. During the course of the year, with the number of visitors coming for the day, using the harbour and staying in the houses and flats, there can be an additional 22.000 people in Salcombe.

Salcombe Town Council is your sounding board, and is there to listen to the concerns of all residents about the future of Salcombe and the development of Salcombe as a sustainable and pleasant place for people both to live in and to visit.

Terms of Reference for Salcombe Town
Council and Working Parties

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FULL COUNCIL MEETING

The Council is the main policy-making body of the Council and considers the broad social and economic needs of the Parish, including establishing the ‘Vision’ and key objectives as laid out in the Parish Plan.

Terms of Reference:

  • To consider and agree the broad policies and objectives of the Council, including the Council’s Vision statement and approval of the key objectives and targets in the Parish Plan.
  • To agree membership of the Council’s main working parties in accordance with the Council’s Standing Orders.
  • To be responsible for allocating and controlling the manpower resources of the Council as recommended by the Policy and Staffing Working Party.  Including the identification of the need for new services, policies and facilities.
  • To consider recommendations put forward by the Planning Working Party and agree appropriate response for the Local Planning Authority.
  • To finalise the budget (financial estimates) of the Council and agree the precept to be levied having taken into consideration the recommendations put forward by the Finance Working Party.
  • To authorise Councillors attendance at conferences, courses and meetings.
  • To assume responsibility for membership of outside bodies.
  • To respond to consultation documents from Government and other bodies, other than those matters specifically delegated to other Committees.
  • To enter into legal proceedings on the Council’s behalf.
  • To deal with matters not normally dealt with or specifically referred to other Committees.

FINANCE WORKING PARTY

The Finance Working Party considers the financial aspects of the Council and Parish area.

Terms of Reference

  • To be responsible for the Council’s budget and the works scheduled therein.
  • To be responsible for the collection of all revenue, raising and renewal of loans and insurance in accordance with the Council’s Financial Regulations.
  • To be responsible for the banking, financial and accounting methods adopted by the Council, including ensuring that an effective and robust system of internal audit is in place, in accordance with the Council’s Financial Regulations and Regulation 6 of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003.

PROPERTY AND OPEN SPACES WORKING PARTY

The Community and Environment Committee considers matters relating to community property, open spaces, parks, footpaths, transport and the general wellbeing of the area and the public together with taking forward projects within the Town Plan or highlighted in future by Council.

  • To consider and monitor County and District management plans and consultations on matters such as Transport, Tourism, Waste Management, Environment and Footpaths.
  • To assume responsibility for the implementation of all Council identified projects.
  • To make recommendations on responses to consultation documents within this committee’s remit.
  • To receive information or complaints from parishioners and on minor (non contentious) issues direct a course of action or recommend to Council where appropriate.
  • To monitor property agreements entered into by Council.
  • To assess what assets the council hold or own and prepare such list.

PLANNING COMMITTEE

The Planning Committee considers the planning and environmental aspects of development in the Parish and immediate surrounding area. 

  • To consider and monitor County Structure Plan, District Local Plans, Minerals Local Plan, Waste Local Plan, County Transport Policies and Programme and other strategic planning documents, making recommendations to Full Council where appropriate.
  • To consider appropriate representations on local planning and development applications amendments and appeals, including those relating to listed buildings and the conservation area.
  • To consider appropriate representations on Tree Preservation Orders.

POLICY AND STAFFING

  • To consider the distribution of functions between Committees and make recommendations to Council on any major policy changes in the Council’s management or administrative purposes. To consider the board policy aspects together with the detailed matters of the Council’s staffing.
  • To review, update and maintain the Council website and newsletters.
  • To promote the Council and Town for the benefit of the area.
  • To make recommendations on responses to consultation documents within this committee’s remit.
  • To formulate and put forward policies as required by Council.
  • To work towards achieving Quality Status.
  • To overview Property and Open Spaces working party assessment of assets and ensure that all leases and documents are up to date and compliant.

SALCOMBE TOWN COUNCIL
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT STRATEGY

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Introduction

Salcombe Town Council's community engagement activities have been brought together into one overarching strategy for the town and, as a result, we are aiming to better coordinate how we engage with all communities within the geographical area of Salcombe Town - based on our belief that:

  • All people within Salcombe community should be involved in the decisions that affect them
  • All people within Salcombe community deserve high quality public services, shaped around their needs
  • Town council policies and strategies should reflect local priorities, requirements and aspirations.

This community engagement strategy recognises the diversity of our community, the importance of community capacity building and the need to provide appropriate opportunities for local people and the community to participate at whatever level they wish to influence service delivery, decision making and policy development.

Salcombe Town Council’s vision

  • This strategy supports the council’s vision of Salcombe as:
    A town that protects the outstandingly beautiful environment in which it is situated.
  • A lifestyle that benefits all sections of the community.
  • A community that enjoys a stable, secure and healthy way of life.
  • A caring community that provides for all ages.
  • A community willing to help itself.
  • In the face of changes to the traditional industries of fishing, boatbuilding and agriculture a community that adopts new activities to sustain the economic viability of the town.

It provides a focus for all engagement activities, policies and processes to align with the council’s objectives to create an improved quality of life by working with people and partners, devolving decision-making and empowering individuals and the community to contribute and influence services. 

What is the overall aim of the Community Engagement Strategy?

This Community Engagement Strategy aims to support strong, active and inclusive communities, who are informed and involved in decision-making and enable us to improve public services to enhance quality of life across Salcombe town. By this we mean:

  • strong communities, who can form and sustain their own organisations, bringing people together to deal with their common concerns
  • active communities, where people are supported to improve quality of life in their own communities
  • inclusive communities, where all sections of the community feel they have opportunities to be involved in decision-making and influence public services

What are our objectives?

The objectives below identify how the Council can contribute to the vision and ensure that the Community Engagement Strategy delivers an effective and coordinated approach to community engagement for the benefit of all people and the diverse communities of Salcombe town.  We will:  

  • strengthen, develop and sustain opportunities for local people and groups to influence what happens in their community
  • provide opportunities for the community to shape and influence the development and delivery of quality services and policies that reflect local needs and priorities
  • manage and coordinate engagement activities to ensure consistency, quality and partner participation and avoid duplication
  • ensure that community engagement activities provide opportunities for participation for all sections of the community, particularly people and groups that are often missed out of community engagement activities
  • listen to the community and ensure feedback to participants about the outcomes of consultation and engagement
  • provide variety and flexibility and choice in community engagement activities
  • listen and learn from our own and others' experience and share community engagement skills and knowledge of putting the citizen at the heart of decision-making.

How will we achieve the objectives?

Detailed consideration will be given to all projects, proposals and policies to ensure we achieve our objectives set out above. Such decisions will be continually monitored and reviewed to ensure they are flexible and evolve to respond to the changing needs of our community and community engagement activities.  

Our priorities include: 

  • improving coordination and governance of community engagement activities, by the development of protocols, toolkits and frameworks that reach out and involve the community as a whole
  • developing a web-based email feedback to engage consultation with the local community and wider interest community
  • providing a regular surgery to make councillors and officers more accessible and inclusive
  • developing measures to harness the views and opinions of people and groups who are often missed out of community engagement activities
  • improve coordination with partners in engagement activities
  • raise awareness of volunteering opportunities in the town
  • developing and enhancing skills and expertise in engagement and participation
  • participating in local networks to share knowledge and experience of community engagement activities in other areas
  • rolling out our community engagement strategy through councillors and others involved in community engagement activities.

Who is this strategy for?

We recognise that the council alone cannot achieve the ambitions in this strategy. Everyone has a part to play in making this Community Engagement Strategy work, particularly:

  • all Salcombe residents, whether young, old, working, retired or partial  residents
  • elected members, who play a key role in delivering the aims in this strategy
  • town clerk and any staff or volunteers – everyone  involved in community engagement activity in any form
  • community and voluntary sector organisations, who provide local services, work directly with local groups and organisations and with members of usually excluded groups and represent the views of their sectors
  • partners, by working with other organisations and partnerships to make sure that services across the town complement each other.

Salcombe Town Council seeks to work with other organisations, such as the police, universities, health service, and all groups outside and within the town together with individuals from the community, voluntary and private sectors to make sure that engagement activities influence the future direction of the Town.

We also know that we need to work with our local and visiting communities to encourage effective community engagement and ensure that processes are flexible and can be tailored to different groups and individuals in different areas of the Town. We understand that sometimes people are reluctant to get involved and we will work with other partners to ensure that community engagement is as straightforward as possible and targeted appropriately.

What has been achieved so far?

A town plan was produced in 2003 and there have been plenty of changes and challenges since then. This strategy builds on the many good examples of community engagement activity across the town. Some of these are mentioned below.

  • Training. In 2008 we commenced a structure of training for both councillors and the community in the areas of Planning, First Aid and Council Structure.
  • Community development. We actively pursue whatever funds are available to target action on enabling community capacity building and community engagement, with a particular emphasis on promoting equality and diversity and involving the community in plans or changes for their area.
  • Access.  We have pursued funds to repair the Ferry Pier and re-open the footpath to Splatt Cove, we have and continue to actively oppose any blocking of the foreshore access.
  • Working Parties. In 2008 we formed  specific working groups to focus our resources for maximum impact.(Finance, Planning, Policy and Open Spaces)
  • Cycle Path.  We have actively monitored the residual funding to complete the Salcombe to Malborough cycle path and it will be opened  Spring/Summer of 2009
  • Planning. In 2008 we formed a Planning Group that visits every planning application and checks it’s validity against local and national planning law, to date the Council has forced 5 appeals and been successful in 4 of them, thus helping protect the towns’ heritage and character.
  • Website and Newsletter. In 2008/2009 Town Council launched a new council website and quarterly Newsletter which inform the town about issues facing our community and thus enables the community to be involved, comment and express their opinion on these or any other issues.

 What do we mean by community engagement?

Community engagement can mean different things to different people, different communities and different services and situations. We have designed our Community Engagement Strategy to ensure that we can provide the most appropriate means for people and communities to be involved and give feedback. The various means of community engagement are:

  • Information supports all types of community engagement and keeps people informed about such things as decisions, services and local events (e.g. Town Council newsletter with all local information. The Town Council's website is accessible and it includes local information and useful links).
  • Consultation can be used when there is a decision to make about something or when there are a number of choices about the details (e.g. town plan, questionnaires, newsletter feedback, Council website contact).
  • Attending meetings. This is when members of the public are welcomed and encouraged to attend any town council meeting (such dates and times of meetings are posted on the Salcombe Town Council noticeboard, website or can be obtained from the Clerk – 01548 842282) to put forward their concerns, suggestions or offer assistance within the ‘Open Forum’ section of the meeting.  Or alternatively people can attend the Annual Town Meeting and take part.
  • Comment.  Everyone including residents, partial residents, visitor or partner is welcome to put forward their thoughts, ideas, concerns, criticisms or worries by telephone, email or written and the town council will consider and respond to such.

Every type of involvement is important in the community engagement process and different methods will be used depending on the activity and circumstances. Sometimes it may be appropriate to inform or consult on some activities, while at other times we will seek to involve communities and individual in much greater depth. Our aim is to work towards devolved decision-making and supporting independent community initiatives wherever possible and to demonstrate where this type of community engagement activity can make genuine improvements to services. What are our community engagement standards? 

In all of our engagement activities we will:

  • Co-ordination & Partnership
    • co-ordinate community engagement activities, with the town council and partners, to avoid duplication and 'consultation fatigue', caused by too much consultation and too little action and feedback
    • provide leadership, to ensure that community engagement influences services and plans
  • Access & Inclusion
    • ensure that we take into account particular needs and overcome any difficulties participants may have to enable them to participate
    • involve communities that are usually excluded
    • ensure that there is equal access to services, and that services meet the needs of all communities
    • ensure adherence to health and safety regulations
  • Clarity of Purpose
    • only use community engagement and consultation processes when there is a real opportunity for people to influence and change decisions and services
    • be open and honest about the aims of community engagement activity and what it hopes to achieve
    • ensure that community engagement activities are realistic and that expectations are not raised unnecessarily
    • have clear processes to feed back on community engagement activity and outcomes and give reasons if unable to deliver on expectations
    • ensure participants know what they are agreeing to take part in and how the information will be used
  • Confidentiality
    • ensure awareness of confidentiality issues in community engagement activities, with particular regard to the Freedom of Information Act (Confidentiality issues will be adhered to, within the constraints of legislation)
  • Integrity
    • ensure that community engagement activities are voluntary, and that participants can withdraw at any time
    • ensure that information obtained from community engagement activities is honestly interpreted
    • ensure that the rights and dignity of all participants are respected at all times
    • respect the rights of participants to decide how much to reveal about themselves
    • give careful consideration to activities, information and questions to ensure that they do not offend, cause distress or embarrassment
  • Visibility
    • ensure that those most directly affected by plans and decisions are aware of opportunities for community engagement
    • engage with key stakeholders and/or representative groups in advance of specific community engagement activities – to provide advance warning and to seek views on the most effective means of publicity

How will we measure our achievements?

It is important for us to know whether we are achieving our vision for this Community Engagement Strategy and we welcome any feedback and will openly and honestly consider such and feedback to any such communication.

This strategy will be reviewed annually and due consideration given to any amendments suggested or required.

Who is responsible for this Community Engagement Strategy?

This strategy supports co-ordinated community engagement and consultation activities – the key to successful implementation of the strategy is effective management and governance. The following structure provides a governance framework for this Community Engagement Strategy.

  •         The Elected Members will actively work to enhance community engagement activity in council decision-making.
  •          The Town Clerk is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of the strategy.

SALCOMBE TOWN COUNCIL
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT POLICY

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1

Introduction

1.1

This document forms the Council’s Training and Development Policy. It sets out:

  • The Council’s commitment to training
  • The identification of training needs
  • Financial assistance
  • Study leave
  • Short courses/workshops
  • Evaluation of training
  • Links with other policies
  • Reporting on progress

1.2

The objectives of this strategy are to:

  • Encourage Councillors and staff to undertake appropriate training
  • Allocate training in a fair manner
  • Ensure that all training is evaluated to assess its value

2

Commitment to Training

2.1

Salcombe Town Council is committed to the ongoing training and development of all Councillors and employee(s) to enable them to make the most effective contribution to the Council’s aims and objectives in providing the highest quality representation and services for the people of the town.

2.2

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2007), training can be defined as:
“A planned process to develop the abilities of the individual and to satisfy current and future needs of the organisation.”

2.3

Salcombe Town Council recognises that its most important resource is its Councillors and officer(s) and is committed to encouraging both Councillors and officer(s) to enhance their knowledge and qualifications through further training. Some training is necessary to ensure compliance with all legal and statutory requirements.

2.4

The Council expects the officer(s) to undertake a programme of continuing professional development (CPD) in line with the requirements of their requisite professional bodies.

2.5

Providing training yields a number of benefits:

  • Improves the quality of the services and facilities that Salcombe Town Council provides;
  • Enables the organisation to achieve its corporate aims and objectives;
  • Improves the skill base of the employee(s), producing confident, highly qualified staff working as part of an effective and efficient team; and
  • Demonstrates that the employee(s) is/are valued.

2.6

Training and development will be achieved by including a realistic financial allocation for training and development in the annual budget, as well as taking advantage of any relevant partnership or in-house provision available.

2.7

The process of development is as follows:

  1. Training needs should be identified by considering the overall objectives of the organisation, as well as individual requirements.
  2. Planning and organising training to meet those specific needs.
  3. Designing and delivering the training.
  4. Evaluating the effectiveness of training.

3

The Identification of Training Needs

3.1

Employees will be asked to identify their development needs during regular meetings with councillors. There are number of additional ways that the training needs of both Councillors and staff may be recognised:

  • Questionnaires
  • During interview
  • Following confirmation of appointment.
  • Formal and informal discussion

3.2

Other circumstances may present the need for training:

  • Legislative requirements i.e. First Aid, Fire Safety, Manual Handling.
  • Changes in legislation
  • Changes in systems
  • New or revised qualifications become available
  • Accidents
  • Professional error
  • Introduction of new equipment
  • New working methods and practices
  • Complaints to the Council
  • A request from a member of staff
  • Devolved services / delivery of new services

3.3

Employees who wish to be nominated for a training course should discuss this in the first instance during talks with councillors; where it will be determined whether the training is relevant to the Council’s needs and/or service delivery.

4

Corporate Training

4.1

Corporate training is necessary to ensure that employee(s) are aware of their legal responsibilities or corporate standards e.g. Health and Safety, Risk Management and Equal Opportunities. Employees will be required to attend training courses, workshops or seminars where suitable training is identified.

5

Financial Assistance

5.1

It is important to note that all sponsored training must be appropriate to the needs of the Council, be relevant to the individual’s role and is subject to the availability of financial resources.  

Each request will be considered on an individual basis and the benefits to the individual and the organisation will be identified.  

In order to best ensure cost effectiveness, Councillors and employee(s) will be required to attend the nearest college/venue offering the required course, unless an alternative is authorised by full council in the interest of operational effectiveness or Best Value.

5.2

Other considerations include the following:

  • Implication of employee release for training course(s) on the operational capability of the council
  • The most economic and effective means of training
  • Provision and availability of training budget

5.3

For approved courses employees can expect the following to be sponsored:

  • The course fee
  • Examination fees
  • Associated membership fees

5.4

Councillors and officer(s) attending assisted courses are required to inform the Clerk or Councillors immediately of any absences, giving reasons.

5.5

Failure to sit an examination may result in the Council withdrawing future course funding and/or requesting the refunding of financial assistance. Each case will be considered on an individual basis.

5.6

Any employee undertaking post-entry qualifications funded by the Council must be aware that should they leave Salcombe Town Council employment within two years of completion of the qualification they will be required to repay all costs associated with the undertaking of such training.  
If the employee takes up employment with another Local Authority an exemption to this clause may be granted.

6

Study Leave

6.1

Employees who are given approval to undertake external qualifications are granted the following:

  • Study time to attend day-release courses
  • Time to sit examinations
  • Study time of one day per examination (to be discussed and agreed by line manager in advance)
  • Provision of study time must be agreed with the Council prior to the course being undertaken.

7

Short Courses/Workshops/Residential Weekends

7.1

Where attendance is required at a short course, a full day of paid leave w
ill be granted.

7.2

Councillors and staff attending approved short courses/workshops/residential weekends can expect the following to be paid:

  • The course fee (usually invoiced following the event)
  • Travelling expenses in accordance with the Council’s current policy
  • Subsistence in accordance with the Council’s current policy

8

Evaluation of Training

8.1

Records of all training undertaken by employee(s) will be kept.

8.2

As part of Salcombe Town Council’s continuing commitment to training and development, employee(s) and Councillors are asked to provide feedback on the value and effectiveness of the training they undertake highlighting in particular the key implications of new legislation, guidance and/or best practice for the ongoing efficiency and effectiveness of the authority.

9

Linking with other Council Policies 
How will this link to the Council’s other policies?

9.1

Equality of opportunity in all aspects of Councillor and officer development;

  • A ‘Statement of Intent’ on training for both Councillors and staff is a requirement for the Re-accreditation of Quality Council Status;
  • Risk Management Policy – a commitment to Training and Development greatly assists in achieving good governance and an effective system of Risk Management;
  • Health and Safety Policy – ongoing training and development is key to ensuring a positive approach to Health and Safety is embedded throughout the authority;
  • Undertaking training is a clear indication of Continuing Professional Development.

10

Reporting on Progress – The Clerk will report annually to the full council detailing attendance at training over the year.

11

Conclusion

11.1

The adoption of a training policy should achieve many benefits for the Council.  It will assist in demonstrating that the Council is committed to continuing professional development and enhancing the skills of both Councillors and staff.
  

12

Freedom of Information 

12.1

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this Document will be posted on the Council’s Website and copies of this document will be available for inspection on request.