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Council Structure & Staff Team

a drawing of 3 people stood next to eachother

Council Structure

The three main standing committees are:

  1. Finance
  2. Planning
  3. Community, Culture and Economic Growth

Committees are appointed at the Council’s Annual General Meeting in May each year. The Committee Structure can be viewed HERE. Most committees and the Full Council meet every two months to consider matters as detailed on the agenda.

The Council employs the Town Clerk and other officers to carry out the decisions (resolutions) and business of the Council that are made as these meetings. The Town Clerk is responsible for managing all employees and ensuring the Council follows correct procedure and legislation.

Formal Council and Committee meetings are open to the public and time is provided for members of the public to address the Council Members. For more information go to the “Council Meetings” section underneath this page on the homepage listings.

The Community, Culture and Economic Growth Committee have the strongest links to the parish. This Committee is responsible for maintaining and improving the environment, infrastructure, accessibility, supports community events and projects by working with partners including Penrith in Bloom, Cumbria in Bloom and the Business Improvement Districts, Chamber of Trade, Eden District Council and volunteers. The Committee are responsible for activities designed to improve the economic vibrancy of the Town, encouraging inward investment, developing arts and culture and managing the Councils Grant Scheme.

The Finance Committee is responsible for the management of all matters related to the Council finances and make recommendations to Full Council regularly. However, only Full Council can resolve the Precept. The committee is responsible for the running of the Council’s businesses operations including the Council Office, allotments, and public domain assets such as Fairhill recreation ground, benches, bus shelters, the bandstand and the Musgrave Monument. The committee is responsible for the oversight of all personnel related matters.

The Planning Committee is responsible for responding to planning applications, and submits responses to the District Council who are the Local Planning Authority. The Committee also oversees the delivery of the Penrith Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Committees may establish working groups of Councillors. Working groups or Task and Finish Groups cannot make decisions on behalf of the Council. The groups may research projects and make recommendations back to their parent committee. These meetings are informal and governed by terms of reference and close after their work is complete. These meetings are not formally minuted. Notes of the meeting may be produced. Members of the public are not permitted to attend these meetings but on occasion members of the public with specialist knowledge may be invited to participate in a meeting to  progress a specific project.

For further information, please refer to the Council’s Scheme of Delegation in the policies section of this site.

To view councillors attendance records at council and committee meetings please click HERE.

Council Staff Team

The Council is required by Section 112 of the Local Government Act 1972 to appoint such officers as it considers necessary for the proper discharge of its functions. The 1972 Act and other legislation entrust a number of responsibilities and duties to the Proper Officer of the Council (another title of the Clerk). The Standing Orders of the Council designate the Clerk to be the Proper Officer of the Council so that that the public is aware of the extent of the Clerk’s authority. Section 151 of the 1972 Act also requires local councils to ensure that one of its officers has overall responsibility for the administration of its financial affairs, the Responsible Finance Officer.

The employees of the Council are seen as being fundamental in all areas of its service delivery and development. Accordingly, it is essential that they are all fully trained to carry out their duties as effectively as possible.

It is the Council’s policy that all employees and Councillors of the Council will be trained to a high standard to ensure that they are able to deliver the Council’s strategic priorities  efficiently.

The Council is committed to the provision of training and development for all employees to help raise the Council’s overall performance. The Council’s Training and Development Policy is aligned with the Council’s overall priorities and objectives and gives due regard to the personal development needs of individuals.

Training and development forms part of the overall performance management of the Council and each staff member receives an annual appraisal.

Please click here for the current staffing structure.

Please click here for the Town Clerk’s Continuous Professional Development (CPD)Log

Town Clerk

The Town Clerk, Mrs Viv Tunnadine  is an experienced qualified clerk. Mrs Tunnadine is a member of the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC), and is a Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC) panel member for the Local Council Award Scheme which has been designed to celebrate the successes of the very best local councils, and to provide a framework to support all local councils to improve and develop to meet their full potential.

The clerk is the council’s principal executive and adviser. The clerk is not answerable to any individual councillor – not even the chairman. He/she is an independent and unbiased employee of the council, recognising that the council is responsible for all decisions and taking instruction from the council as a body. If the council has other members of staff then the clerk is their line manager.

The Clerk can only be appointed and removed from appointment by the Council and he/she is accountable to the Council as Corporate Body. The Clerk cannot be line-managed by any one councillor.

Together with the Mayor (Chairman of the Council) the Clerk is the face of officialdom in the community. The Clerk is often called the 2nd Citizen in view of the advisory and ceremonial role played alongside the 1st Citizen (Mayor/Chairman).

As the council’s proper officer the clerk is responsible for implementing council policy; ensuring the council acts within the law; advising the council on all aspects of its work and may have delegated powers of decision making especially in urgent situations.

The clerk has a key role in advising the council, and its members, on governance, ethical and procedural matters. A constructive partnership between the Clerk, Chairman and Elected Members is essential for the proper and efficient functioning of the Council.

The Town Clerk acts as clerk to Full Council.

You can contact the clerk: townclerk@penrithtowncouncil.co.uk

Responsible Financial Officer

The Responsible Financial Officer , Jack Jones, since qualifying as a CIPFA accountant,  has followed a career in local government finance and has extensive experience at a senior level, most notably as Chief Financial Officer for South Lakeland District Council.  As a result of a staff restructure in 2009, Jack  took voluntary redundancy/early retirement from the Council and worked as an internal auditor with local government and charitable clients.  In 2014, Jack  took up the post of Town Treasurer at Kendal Town Council, where he was responsible for all aspects of its financial management.

Jack has been appointed as an independent member of the Cumbria Police Joint Audit and Standards Committee.

Jack is responsible for the Council’s financial administration, providing financial information and advice to Councillors, preparing budget and budgetary control reports for the Council and its Committees and the formulation of financial policies, regulations and strategies.

Services & Contracts Manager

The Services and Contracts Manager, Ian Parker, is an experienced local government officer, having spent 18 years working within the area of leisure and community services which involved the management of contracts, grounds maintenance, sports development, events and play area services.

The Services and Contracts Manager will lead the implementation of the devolution of assets primarily from Eden District Council.

The Town Council is increasing its assets and the Services and Contracts Manager will manage contracts to ensure that assets are inspected and maintained to a high standard and that the Council’s service standards are met.

The Services and Contracts Manager will manage the Penrith Town Caretaker who is being contracted to ensure that many of the Council’s assets are inspected, repaired and cleaned ensuring that they are fit for use for the public and present Penrith as an attractive, well maintained and welcoming Town.

The Services and Contracts Manager will be supporting new and established Community Groups who are seeking to make improvements to open space and land owned and maintained by the Town Council including improvements to play areas, street furniture and the wider environment.

To contact the Services and Contracts manager:

Email: scmanager@penrithtowncouncil.co.uk

Deputy Town Clerk

The Deputy Town Clerk, Rosalyn Richardson, is an experienced local government officer, with the last 15 years as a democratic services officer. Her responsibilities include:

  • Preparing agendas for meetings and despatching them to Members and others as required for committees within the DTC remit
  • Taking accurate minutes at the various meetings and publishing the agreed minutes as appropriate
  • Using relevant software systems including MS Office and finance systems
  • Preparing material for the web site
  • Mayor’s administration and the Council’s civic responsibilities
  • Co-ordinating Civic functions including tasks such as booking the venue, organising the catering and printing, issuing invitations and attending as required
  • Implementing policies of the Council as and when required
  • Delegated authority for budgets relating to services
  • Providing support to the Asset Transfer Support Officer for the process of the transfer of devolved assets and services from the principal authority
  • Responsible for the day to day management of the Council’s services and assets

The Deputy Town Clerk acts as clerk for the Planning Committee and the Penrith Neighbourhood Plan Group.

To contact the Deputy Town Clerk:

Email: deputytownclerk@penrithtowncouncil.co.uk

Economic Development Officer

Carol Grey, the Town Council’s Economic Development Officer developed Penrith Business Improvement District and is experienced in town centre management, tourism and business development.

The role and responsibilities of the Economic Development Officer are varied and include :

  • Identifing new initiatives and opportunities for the development of services and the town.
  • Collaborating with Penrith Business Improvement District & Chamber of Trade, Penrith Vision Alliance and representatives from the Principal Authority.
  • Working in partnership with the Penrith Business Improvement District and Penrith Chamber of Trade, developing a Business Plan for Penrith
  • Developing, managing and delivering a range of economic initiatives and projects in line with the Council’s Strategic Priorities.
  • Facilitating, promoting and developing high quality relationships with significant employers, businesses, stakeholders, business associations and networks, economic development partners and those seeking to invest in the area.
  • Responsible for the promotion of Penrith, to raising its profile, leading to more visitors, increased footfall, and longer dwell time and higher spend.

To contact the Economic Development Officer:

Email: economicdevelopmentofficer@penrithtowncouncil.co.uk

Community Engagement Officer.

Dr. Anna Malina, Community Engagement Officer has gained a wide range of experience in communication, citizenship, local democracy and community engagement from work in the academic, community, corporate and local government arenas. In her current role with the Town Council, she will oversee media relations and community engagement. Current responsibilities include:

  • Leading on all matters related to community engagement, consultation, information dissemination and community feedback.
  • Arranging, delivering and analysing consultations
  • Preparation of letters, presentations and reports in conjunction with other officers.
  • Monitoring and updating the Council’s social media and website.
  • Arranging, promoting and supporting Town Councillors who wish to interrelate and listen to the needs of the local community.
  • Assisting in arranging and facilitating meetings.

Fresh approaches to community engagement both online and offline will be identified and explored. Anna is also interested in working with partners to scope out fresh approaches to youth engagement.

To contact the Community Engagement Officer

Email: ceofficer@ penrithtowncouncil.co.uk

TO CONTACT THE COUNCIL TEAM BY POST:

Penrith Town Council, Unit 1, 19-24 Friargate, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 7XR

BY PHONE:

Tel: 01768 899773