Community and Town councils were formed by an act of parliament in 1894 to look after the interests of those who live within the town community.
A Town Council like Lechlade’s is an elected body in the first tier of local government. The second and third tiers are Cotswold District Council, and Gloucestershire County Council – often referred to as Principal Councils or Authorities, each of which have several legal duties which they must to deliver. A Town Council has legal power to take some actions but few legal duties and greater freedom to choose what actions to take.
The Town Council takes a leadership role to represent the interests of the community when working to influence other partners such as Gloucestershire County Council and Cotswold District Council to achieve better services to meet local needs and make a difference. This is particularly important as Lechlade on Thames continues to grow and decisions taken by the District and County Councils may vitally affect the quality of life within the town.
Lechlade on Thames Town Council is made up of 13 unpaid councillors who are elected for four years each to serve the population of Lechlade in matters of local government.
The Town Council meets on the second Monday of the month and is supported by three standing committees (Finance, Communications and Highways) which also meet monthly. A further standing committee (Emergency Response and Flood Relief) meets up to four times a year or when required.
The staff team, employed by Council, include the Town Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer and Deputy Clerk who provide advice and administrative support to Council and take actions to implement Council decisions. There is a handyman responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of two play areas, the outside gym, cemetery, Sherborne Park and several other grass verges across the Town.
The Town Council Office, in the Memorial Hall, is the main point of contact for Councillors and the community.