Quality status achieved by town council

BUDLEIGH Salterton Town Council has been recognised for setting high standards.

BUDLEIGH Salterton Town Council has been recognised for setting high standards.

It has joined 28 parish and town local government authorities to have gained 'Quality Council' status.

The 'Quality Council' scheme was launched in 2003, following the Rural White Paper of 2000, with the aim of providing a benchmark standard across England.

Councillor Courtney Richards, Budleigh mayor, was delighted with the news.

The National Association of Local Councils was responsible for making the accreditation.

Cllr Richards said: "I am delighted that the council's high standards have been recognised by the NALC.

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"Much of the effort for this award has been put in by our town clerk, Jo Vanstone.

"She has worked hard to achieve her professional clerk's qualifications and to ensure that all of the council's work is carried out in an orderly and efficient manner."

Cllr Richards said achieving the status would mean they were in a better position to influence the decision-making process or take on additional responsibilities from their principal authority.

"I look forward to the council having greater influence in some of the things that directly affect our town," Cllr Richards explained.

One of the scheme's objectives is to provide an enhanced relationship between local councils, principal authorities (such as East Devon District Council) and community and voluntary-sector organisations.

In order to achieve the status, some of the required standards which needed to be met included the qualifications of the clerk, matters related to an electoral mandate, meetings, code of conduct and annual reports.