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Wareham Town Council
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The Council

Wareham Town Council was formed after local government re-organisation in 1974 when Purbeck District Council took over many of the powers of the former Borough of Wareham. The Town Council has 16 Councillors who represent all parts of the town. In April 2006 there were 4685 registered electors. Elections are held every four years. All Town Council meetings are held in the Town Hall in East Street on Tuesday evenings at 7.00 pm. The public are very welcome to attend and may speak on any topic of public interest relating to the Town at the discretion of the Mayor.

Wareham has a long tradition of Town Mayors stretching back to 1336 and every name to date is recorded on panels in the Council Chamber. The Mayor is elected annually in May by the Town Council at a special 'Mayor Making' meeting. A book is kept to record Mayors' names since 1703, witnessed by Councillors, and forms part of the Town Council's civic regalia. The proceedings in the Council Chamber feature the Sergeant at Mace bearing the splendid Town Mace given to Wareham in the reign of James 1st. Two Constables from Wareham's historic Court Leet in dark suits and bowler hats also bear their own symbols of authority, a pair of two-metre wooden staves dating from 1778.

It is thought that very few councils can trace their Mayors back as far as 1336 - although the Wareham names were almost lost for ever. Prior to 1703, a Clerk named Nathaniel Child absconded to London with most of the Town's records, including the book recording past Mayors' names. Child then attempted to blackmail the town for a large sum of money, effectively saying "pay up or the records will be destroyed". Payment was refused, the records promptly disappeared and the name boards were made up later (from local records which still existed before they were destroyed in the Great Fire of Wareham in 1762) as the only record available of those times.

Responsibilities
The activities and responsibilities of the Town Council are many and most of its work is overseen by various Committees appointed by the Council. The powers and duties of these Committees are set out below:

Standing Committees (members of the public are welcome to attend and also ask questions):

Amenities Committee
Management of the Wareham Recreation Ground in Worgret Road containing cricket/football pitches and a play area, three other play areas in North Wareham, open spaces, allotment matters, rights of way, Howard's Lane car park, land and property management, public seats, war memorial, street lighting, arts and entertainment, litter/environmental issues, shelters, signs and matters arising from Wareham Burials Joint Committee.

Planning and Transport Committee
Consideration of all planning applications within the Town area. Consideration of transport matters including liaison with Dorset County Council on highway and traffic regulation orders, parking and traffic calming, local and strategic plans, all other highway matters.

Policy, Resources and Finance Committee
Deals with matters concerning policy, resources and general financial decisions, including the annual budget setting process, borrowing and investments, financial regulations, land and property (leases, rents, disposal etc.), legal proceedings, public relations, tourism, standing orders, crime prevention, bye laws. Determines applications for donations (grants) from local groups and organisations, and generally advises the Town Council on policy matters. Considers all other matters not within the purview of another committee.

Wareham Town Council Accounts 2013-2014
Wareham Town Council Accounts 2012-2013



Other Committees (not open to the public):

Museum Committee

Looks after all things connected with the Town Museum: acquisitions, exhibitions, projects, policy, finance, volunteer support.

Wareham in Bloom Committee
Deals with all aspects of Wareham in Bloom including annual fundraising and sponsorship, allocation of floral display contracts, community involvement, environmental tidiness of the town, the local Wareham In Bloom competition and the annual entry for South East in Bloom.

Human Resources Panel
Responsibility for all staff matters including recruitment, training and implementation of certain internal procedures.
Town Hall
Wareham Town Hall
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Town Council Initiatives
Wareham Town Council has supported a number of initiatives in the town, including highways and traffic regulation issues, and six CCTV cameras have been installed with Council and Police support. There are also Council 'reps' on PACT (Partners and Communities Together) a government-inspired body which seeks to solve problems on a local level in a 'joined up' partnership approach. Local Twinning Associations are supported in their efforts to maintain links with Hemsbach in Germany and Conches-En-Ouches in France. The Town Council is also proud to have completely replaced all of its four play areas since 2004, either with grant funding, its own capital resources or a mixture of both. Local children now have superb play facilities and can enjoy a variety of equipment to stimulate and entertain them as they grow into the citizens of tomorrow. The Town Hall, a historic Wareham landmark,has recently been fully refurbished. In 2009, a new Town Criers Competition was supported by the Council, together with an innovative Wareham Music Festival, and these are now annual events to attract even more visitors

Bookings
The Town Council takes bookings for the Recreation Ground (cricket and football pitches), the use of the Corn Exchange situated in the Town Hall for jumble sales, farmers markets, meetings etc., and for use of the Council Chamber for weddings and civil partnerships. Those who wish to book are requested to telephone 01929 553006 and speak to the administrative staff.

Allotments

The Town Council ensures that allotment sites are provided for local residents in the town, at Northmoor and Bestwall. Contact the Council offices for details of the allotments secretary at your preferred site. In 2006, the Town Council approved a new 'Best Kept Allotment Competition' for its hard working gardeners and the presentations of trophies will take place annually in October.

Wareham Community Plan
In 2005, Wareham Town Council adopted the Wareham Community Plan as the cornerstone of its future policies and is working to implement all aspects of what local residents said they wanted for their town after extensive consultation. With the help of community organisations and volunteers the Council is committed to all of its goals. If you want to get involved as a community volunteer, please let us know and we will pass on your details.

Wareham Town Council:
"Working for Wareham"
Tel. 01929 553006 (General Enquiries)
Town Clerk: 01929 550771

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