Council of the Week: St. Neots Town Council
This week we are celebrating the work of the largest town council in Cambridgeshire.
St. Neots is a charming market town, with a friendly and vibrant character and a rapidly growing population, currently at 40,000. It provides a wide range of services including community centres, burials, closed cemeteries and play areas, as well as providing financial and premises support for a museum and volunteer bureau.
St Neots Town Council also provides a huge amount of support to the many and varied community groups that exist in the town and regularly runs large community events.
NALC would like to congratulate the council on its recent success in securing a yes vote in a Neighbourhood Plan referendum, which is the result of many years hard work by members, staff and the community. The Council will now use these plans as the platform for the advancement of localism in the town by offering more services. It is about to take on many services being ceased by the principal councils.
St Neots is a council providing a best practice example of community engagement and partnership working, carrying out rigorous consultation with local residents, groups and organisations on the development of its neighbourhood plan. The council holds and attends regular meetings with groups such as the retailers and town centre management groups, resident associations, the museum trust and the police.
St Neots also initiated an awards scheme in 2015, to celebrate the achievements of individuals, community groups and businesses within the town. Over 150 guests attended the gala dinner ceremony last April, hosted by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire presenter Sue Dougan.
The council’s communications are of an excellent standard, with a great website that is informative and easy to navigate, a newsletter in partnership with "Think Local" magazine, regular social media updates and press releases issued to local media.
NALC is pleased to learn that St Neots has set up an annual appraisal system for its hard working staff to identify training needs, for which it has set aside a sizable budget; training sessions are bought in at the council and staff are well qualified for their roles. In an innovative use of its staff, the council also offer the services of its operations team, such as grave digging, building works and grass cutting, at cost to local residents.
St Neots is clearly a high achieving and innovative council and NALC is pleased to highlight their excellent work and join them in celebrating their recent successful neighbourhood plan submission.
Congratulations to all at St Neots Town Council!