Council Spotlight: Nailsea Town Council
Nailsea Town Council has an estimated population of 16,500 residents and a precept of £471,334. The council is also accredited with the Foundation Award under the National Association of Local Councils’ (NALC) Local Council Award Scheme.
The council is non-political and aims to be proactive and innovative in improving the town and being an advocate for its residents. Despite numerous additional responsibilities, the precept has only increased by 10.7% in the last 11 years.
The council had to decide what services to take over from the principal authority. This including a youth club, maintenance of paths, the Garden of Rest, dog bin emptying and bus shelter cleaning.
In 2011 a £1.2m restoration of a medieval Tithe Barn was completed, including a £500,000 grant from Heritage Lottery Fund. The barn is run as not-for-profit community venue with any income being run as surplus. Working with the Tithe Barn Trust, this surplus is used to support activities such as the NHS-led Leg Club, Music and Memories and the Memory Café. The barn is also a base for supporting people with dementia and their carers’.
A concept called Nailsea Place has been developed with the Patients’ Association, focussing on health and wellbeing. As part of this, the council purchased a building, which is right in the town’s retail centre. This opened in October 2017 and a wide range of activities are already taking place, with a number of organisations, such as Diabetes UK. A grant was obtained from NHS Digital to promote the use of digital technology to improve health and wellbeing. The council is working with a number of academic organisations to develop a long-term evaluation of the Nailsea Place initiative.