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Prudhoe Town Council is the lowest, ‘grass-roots’ level of government after Parliament and the County Council. Its legal powers are granted and regulated by various government acts, but, unlike other tiers of government, it receives no financial support from other parts of government.
The Town Council supplements the provision of local government services in Northumberland as well as promoting the success and well being of the Town in other areas.
The Town Council has 15 unpaid councillors who are normally elected for a term of 4 years. The civic year runs from May to April with the election of the Chair of the Council and Vice Chair taking place at the Annual General Meeting in May. Other committees, sub-committees and working groups are also appointed at this statutory meeting.
How the Council operates
In addition to the monthly Ordinary Meeting the council operates a committee system covering Planning, Contracts and Works, Cemetery and Memorial Sub-Committee, Town Events Committee, Personnel Committee and the Prudhoe in Bloom Working Group.
The committee system enables smaller groups of councillors to consider more complex issues in greater detail and to make recommendations to the full Council as to what the Town Council’s response should be. Such recommendations are approved (or otherwise) by all members voting at the monthly Ordinary Meeting.
Items for debate are brought before the relevant committee or the Ordinary Meeting by means of the agenda, which is issued a minimum of 3 clear working days (including Saturday) prior to the meeting and advertised on the Council notice boards and on this website. The recorded minutes of these meetings, once approved are also held on this website and are available for public inspection.
The Town Council has no authority to make a decision on any item that has not been properly and publicly advertised by way of the agenda.
Ordinary Meetings of the full council are usually held on the last Wednesday of the month, at 7pm in meeting room 1 of The Spetchells Centre.
The Chair may convene an extraordinary meeting of the council at any time.
Planning, Contracts and Works meetings are usually held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, at 7pm, also in meeting room 1 of The Spetchells Centre, followed by the Prudhoe in Bloom Working Group that meets at 5.30pm in the same location in most months. The Young People's Forum usually meet on the first Wednesday of the month at 5pm in The East Centre building.
Other Committee meetings are held as and when required.
The press and public are welcome to attend all advertised council meetings and the public may, subject to prior arrangement with the Clerk put questions or make statements on any matter in public session at the commencement of each meeting. This is normally restricted to 5 minutes per speaker. Anyone who wishes to speak should give the Clerk written notice by 12 noon on the Wednesday preceding the meeting.
The Annual Town Meeting, at which members of the public are welcome to ask questions of the council, is held in early May. At this meeting the Chair of the Council will give a report of the work of the Council in the past year, and outline proposals for year ahead.
The Spetchells Centre
Mickley Square (wall of Mickley Club)
How the Council is funded
The Council Tax paid by Prudhoe residents includes the spending requirements of Northumberland County Council, Northumbria Police and the Town Council. The Town Council does not receive any revenue or financial support from Central Government nor does it receive any income from local businesses via their rates. Apart from an annual allowance paid to the Chair/Mayor to cover expenses, no councillor receives any pay for their time and effort. To repeat, Town Councillor’s give freely their time and receive no financial or other reward for doing so.
Each year the Town Council calculates the money it needs to raise to provide its service and any capital projects for the year ahead. This sum, called the precept, is the amount we levy on the County Council and which they collect as a proportion of the total council tax paid by Prudhoe and Mickley residents.