About Abingdon Town Council

The estimated population of Abingdon in 2008 was 33,135. The Town Council is responsible to the residents
of Abingdon for a wide range of services, all of which are set out within this document. In addition, the town
is served by Oxfordshire County Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council which provide a
different range of services, although some of them, most notably recreation, can overlap. Principal services
provided by each Council are:-

       Abingdon Town Council
       Abingdon Museum/County Hall                         Some dog-litter bins

       Allotments                                          Local Archives

       Britain in Bloom                                    Markets, Market Place and Farmers’ Market

       Bus Shelters                                        Planning and Transport consultation

       Cemeteries and Closed Churchyards                   Recreation areas including many open spaces and
                                                           children’s play areas
       Christmas Lights
                                                           Residents’ Parking Scheme (as agents for OCC)
       Town Twinning
                                                           Grants to voluntary and other organisations
       Working in partnership with others for
       example, Joint Economic Forum, Joint                Abingdon Visitor and Community Information
       Environmental Trust, Choose Abingdon                Centre

       Vale of White Horse District Council in
       Car Parks and Public Toilets                        Leisure and Recreation

       Economic Development                                Licensing

       Environmental Services                              Local Taxation Collection

       Housing                                             Planning & Development

       Housing & Council Tax Benefits                      Refuse Collection

       Oxfordshire County Council
       in brief:
       Children’s Services and Education                            Museum Services
       Fire Service & Community Safety                              Refuse Disposal
       Highways and Transport                                       Strategic Planning
       Libraries                                                    Social Services - Adults
       Heritage                                                     Youth Development

Councillors and Officers
The Town Council comprises of 21 Liberal Democrat Members. Elections are held every 4 years, the next
being in May 2011. In the event of a seat becoming vacant, by-elections are held as and when necessary.
Each year, a Mayor is elected by the Councillors from amongst their number

The Town Council has scheduled meetings six times a year. However, most decisions are delegated to
committees and in some cases to sub-committees or working parties. All committees are open to the public.
Council meetings are normally held in the Council Chamber at the Guildhall, whilst Committee meetings are
held in the Committee Room in the Old Abbey House.

Councillors are responsible for making policy decisions and deciding on the Town Council’s budget.
Councillors are not paid but do receive an allowance towards the expenses they incur in performing their
duties; the allowance for 2009/10 is £756. This was set by an independent remuneration panel of the District
Council, the authority which is responsible for
considering such matters. The Council is a body corporate with perpetual succession. As such the council is
a person in law and is distinct from its Members (either as individuals or collectively). The lawful acts, assets
and liabilities are its own and not those of its members.

The Council elects a Mayor each year. The Mayor is the civic leader of the Council, Chairs Council meetings
and has certain responsibilities in law. The Town Council also elects a Leader. The Leader, who is also Chair
of the Council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee, acts as the lead Member in relation to policy and
financial matters.
Officers are responsible for the day to day running of all Council services and facilities. The Council’s Chief
Executive Officer is the Town Clerk, Mr Nigel Warner. The Town Clerk is the Proper Officer of the Council
and is responsible for the management of staff and resources within the constraints of Council policy, and
also acts as the Council’s Responsible Financial Officer under section 151 of the Local Government Act

The officers of the Council are the Town Council’s paid employees and work for the authority as a whole,
providing professional advice to ensure that Councillors are properly informed of all relevant matters and
able, therefore, to take a balanced viewpoint and an informed decision. The Council’s workforce is small,
numbering around 30 which include office, outside and museum staff and the residents’ parking wardens; the
full time equivalent being 18 members of staff.


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