Padstow is a fishing harbour and holiday resort on the north coast of Cornwall. The population of the parish is approximately 7,000, which includes nearby Trevone village. In the summer months this figure increases greatly, with day visitors in the region of 500,000 a year. Padstow is on the western side of the Camel estuary and can be reached on the A389 road and via the Camel Trail, 17 ‘car-free’ miles from Bodmin, which is very popular with cyclists and walkers. Padstow Town Council strives to serve the communities of Padstow and Trevone with quality, local services at a minimum cost. The public sector has faced many challenges and financial restrictions over the last few years. Cornwall Council has reduced some of its services such as public toilets and is devolving some services to parishes, following central government funding cut backs. During this time Padstow Town Council has worked closely with Cornwall Council to consider properties and services that could be devolved, it also considers whether to take on services which Cornwall Council cease to provide. The Council also has close working relationships with the Police and many other local organisations. More so in 2020 with the COVID19 pandemic had seen great challenges and financial constraints. Greater working relationships have been forged with Cornwall Council, local Police and local partners in how to do all we can for our community.
What is the purpose of the Business Plan?
This Business Plan sets out the Council’s mission and key priorities/objectives. With it detailing major capital projects for the next three years. This helps the Council take a planned and consistent approach to the prioritisation and allocation of resources. It sets out the blueprint of how Padstow Town Council will work in the best interests of all who live, work and use our services. The Council wishes to be more proactive rather reactive in its decision making, ‘future-proofing’ the enhancement of its assets where feasible. The Business Plan will give residents a clear understanding of what the Town Council does and what it is trying to achieve.
Padstow Town Council endeavours to promote the best social, economic and environmental practices for Padstow and Trevone by efficiently managing services, assets and the resources of the Council for the benefit of the local community. The Council aims to be a professional and competent council, which is open and accountable and ensures sound financial management of the council’s resources.
Review of the Business Plan
The Business Plan will be reviewed regularly to ensure that the Council remains focused on the delivery of its objectives and to assist with the Budget setting process. This function will be a responsibility of the Finance and General Purposes Committee in order that it can take an overview of proposed projects considered by each committee.
Aims & Objectives
The Town Council’s aim is to improve the quality of life for the residents and visitors of Padstow and Trevone and to achieve this will:
- Endeavour to address the needs of residents within the resources and powers available to the Town Council.
- Provide high standard, cost-effective services.
- Assist other organisations to provide services.
- Update residents on what the council is doing through its website, noticeboards, meetings and local press.
The objectives are:
- To enable residents to enjoy the recreational facilities of the town.
- To liaise with statutory bodies and voluntary organisations to improve standards of service that meet local needs.
- To help safeguard the environment in and around Padstow and Trevone and to maintain it for the future.
Overview of Padstow Town Council
- The Council is made up of 12 Councillors who are elected every four years, three represent Trevone ward and nine represent Padstow ward.
- The Town Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected by the Council every year.
- The committees are: Finance and General Purposes; Highways, Roads & Transport; Leisure, Tourism and Open Spaces; Planning and Staffing.
- Working groups are formed to deal with issues as appropriate and meet on an ad hoc basis.
- The Full Council normally meets on the last Tuesday of each month and meetings are open to the public. Since the pandemic in 2020 meetings have moved to “virtual” which will continue for the foreseeable future. Full Council meetings are not held in August and December.
- Most Council meetings are open to the public and residents are allowed to speak at the discretion of the Chairman of each meeting.
- An Annual Parish meeting is held each year to review the activities of the previous year and residents can raise any issues of concern.
- The Council operates using a constitution, consisting of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations with supporting policies.
- Agendas and Minutes of Council meetings, together with other Council documents, are available on the Council website: padstow-tc.gov.uk
- Padstow Town Council is the first tier of local government closest to the community, with an important role to play by representing its interests.
- Within its limited remit it provides efficient services and amenities to meet local need.
The administration of the Town Council is carried out by a Town Clerk who is appointed by the Council. The Town Clerk is required to carry out all the functions required by law as the Town Council’s Proper Officer and to issue all statutory notifications. The Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) is responsible for managing the finances on behalf of the Council. As of July 2020 the Council employs a total of nine staff, these staff cover the following positions: Town Clerk, RFO, Council Support Officers, Maintenance Team, Toilet Cleaners/Car park attendants and office cleaner.
The Councils main source of income is from the Railway and Lawn car parks and rental properties in Padstow. This income has enabled the Council historically not to charge a precept (town or parish cost that is added to Council tax). Setting a precept is considered by the Council each year during the budget setting process.
The operating expenses are:
- Democratic Core – election expenses, Councillor training, bouquets etc
- Corporate Services – wages, professional & bank charges, HR, audit etc
- Central Services – grants awarded to local organisations
- HRT Railway car park – Non Domestic Rates (NDR), wages, cash collections etc
- HRT Lawn car park – NDR, wages, cash collection etc
- HRT Lighting – bandstand electricity
- Environment Cemetery – wages, grave excavation, maintenance, NDR, water etc
- Environment Toilets – water, NDR, cleaning toilets wages, materials etc
- Leisure, Sport & Recreation – skate park hire
- Leisure Tourism – town signs
- Leisure Open Spaces – grounds maintenance wages, grass cutting, bins etc
- Investment Properties – insurance, surveyor and legal fees etc
- Administration – wages, NDR, stationery, telephone, computer etc
Capital expenditure and financing
The Council’s priorities for capital expenditure are the maintenance and improvement of existing assets. A Business Plan outlines anticipated future capital expenditure, this will be reviewed regularly for priority, affordability and General and Earmarked Reserves balances.
The Council owns various assets, as detailed in the Fixed Asset Register, and maintains them for current and future residents.
The Council is required to hold 3-6 months expenditure in a General Fund. The Council adopts a risk based approach to the level of reserves and reviews them regularly. Earmarked Reserves are monies set aside for specific projects.
The Council considers Councillor allowances each year as part of the budget setting process. Historically these have not been paid to serving Councillors apart from travel and subsistence.
The Council has been delighted to support local charities and not-for–profit organisations through its annual, discretionary grants scheme. Consideration is given during the budget setting process of the level of financial support the Council can offer. The Finance and General Purposes Committee is responsible for allocating grants against any grant budget awarded annually. It is usual that this meeting take place in February each year, with applications requested by the end of January.
The Finance and General Purposes Committee considers an annual Budget for the following 1st April – 31stMarch in the autumn each year [budgeting setting process for 2021/22 changed so that Full Council undertake this role]. The Draft Budget then goes to Full Council for approval. At that time the Council also considers whether a precept should be set and duly notifies Cornwall Council. The Council aims to set a balanced Revenue and Expenditure Budget each year.
An Internal Auditor regularly reviews the effectiveness of risk management, control and governance processes. The Internal Audit reports are reviewed by Full Council. The Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR), which summarises the Council’s financial position, is publicised on the Council’s website and noticeboards and audited by an External Auditor.
The Accounts for the year ending 31st March are normally prepared in April – May each year and then go to Full Council for approval.
The Council functions
The Council’s Accounts are divided into the following areas which outlines the Council’s main functions:
- Central & Democratic Services – professional costs and grants
- Highways, Roads & Transport – car parks
- Environment Cemetery and Toilets – cemetery and PTC toilets
- Leisure, Tourism and Open Spaces – public spaces and amenities
- Administration – office costs
- Investment Properties – rental properties
The Council is responsible for the following services:
- Public Toilets (free to use) at the Railway car park, Cory and North Quay.
- Burial ground at Padstow Cemetery.
- War memorial at Stile field and memorial at Dennis Hill.
- Play area, skate park and tennis courts at the Lawn car park.
- Public spaces – Plantation, Stile field, Wheal Jubilee Parc Millennium Green and Spritty meadow.
- Grass cutting – roadside verges in the parish, Padstow Cemetery, St Petroc Churchyard, Spritty Meadow, Lawn play area, Stile field, Trevone Empty Purse.
- Footpath cutting – Gold paths in the parish, excluding the coast-path.
- Car parks – Railway and Lawn car parks.
- Memorial seats – Stile field, Padstow and Rocky beach, Trevone.
- Bus shelters – Windmill, Trevone, Sarah’s Lane, Tesco, Station Road and School Hill.
- Seating areas – Long Lugger, Mark and Cory shelters.
- Bandstand – bandstand bookings.
- Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP)
- Allotments at Rope Walk.
- Provision of and emptying of bins on Padstow Town Council land.
- Noticeboards on Padstow Town Council land.
The Council elect a Mayor each year who represents the Council and community at official engagements, with his/her consort. The Mayor meets a large number of residents and provides a link to other parish councils in Cornwall. The Mayor also gives bouquets to residents who have significant birthdays or anniversaries, on behalf of the Council.
Padstow Town Council is a consultee for planning applications in Padstow and Trevone. The Planning Committee meet monthly to review planning applications and provides the planning authority, Cornwall Council, with its views prior to decisions being taken.
The Council is proud of its reinvestment in its community over the last few years:
- The Railway car park was re-tarmacked with new layout/lining.
- New Railway public toilets were built that are free to use.
- Hill steps retaining wall was rebuilt.
- Remedial works were undertaken following rock slips on Council land.
- Station House was refurbished as the Council’s offices.
- Padstow Museum was offered part of the refurbished Station House.
- Slipway near the Camel Trail was rebuilt after a collapse.
- Stile footpath was re-tarmacked and widened.
- Padstow War Memorial was cleaned.
- Padstow Cemetery car park and entrance were improved.
- Padstow Cemetery and Churchyard new cremation areas.
- Development of skate park in the Lawns Car Park
- Victoria Monument Shelter – refurbished.
- Lawns Car Park improved layout and entrance
- North Quay and Cory toilets – refurbishment almost complete Winter 2020, final fitments of doors awaited.
- Purchase of the Building (Lawns Car Park) to maintain as a community asset and benefit.
- Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) on the Lawn tennis court area.
- Play equipment update
- Camel roadway improvements
Padstow Town Council welcomes feedback on its Business Plan.
Updated November 2020 (Council meeting 24 November 2020)