The Town Council is an elected body of 13 unpaid councillors who have statutory responsibilities for certain aspects of the town, these include street lights, public parks, grass cutting and maintaining some of the listed buildings such as the Market House. Other non-statutory areas the council is involved in are planning applications, forward planning for the town as a whole and as a community voice to Wycombe District Council and Buckinghamshire County Council as well as local business.
Full Council meetings take place at 7:00pm bi-monthly, on the last Tuesday of the month in The Princes Centre, Clifford Road and are open to the public. Typically the meetings last 2 hours and will usually include a report from the police. The first 10 minutes of the meeting are available for the general public to raise any issues they may have with the council.
The Council has six Standing Committees, each with its own remit:
The administration of the Council is managed by the Town Clerk. As Head of the Administration the Clerk advises the Council on new developments in procedures, law, and local council work and covers all areas such as Employment, Health & Safety, Legal and all other matters relating to employment and council work.
The Town Clerk is also responsible for day to day line management and performance management and appraisal of any staff employed by the Town Council. This will be reported on to the Committee.
The Administration/Human Resources Committee’s role is to make recommendations to Full Council on:-
All aspects of the Council’s policies and strategy relating to its staff.
All staff recruitment, appointments, training and disciplinary matters·
The training and qualification policy of the Council
The provision of office accommodation ·
Establishing the health, safety and welfare policies of the Council and oversee implementation and compliance
The staffing levels necessary to efficiently discharge the work required by the Council
The Committee has the delegated authority to manage issues including:-
To provide support and assistance to the Town Clerk with staffing and staff conduct matters
To review and engage with schemes for the employment of people under job creation and youth training programmes ·
To ensure that all disciplinary and grievance policies are dealt with in line with the Council’s procedures
To recommend, authorise and oversee all training for employees and Councillors ·
To deal with matters regarding Councillor /Staff conduct.
To approve job descriptions and review workloads periodically
The Town Committee is responsible for the general maintenance of the Town, Parks and Stratton Memorial Garden. This includes lighting, litter & glass picking, dog waste collections in the parks, grass cutting, trees and flowerbeds, playground equipment maintenance, war memorials, CCTV maintenance, Market House maintenance.
The Finance Committee is the financial link between the full Town Council and the 'spending' committees, ie Administration, Town and Lighting, Parks, Public Relations and Burials committees. The Town Council requires that those committees whose activities necessitate spending and the production of tenders should be held responsible for the development and the management of their individual budgets. This devolution of financial responsibility is intended to engender a greater feeling of ownership within the individual committees and lead to better value for money for the town.
At the start of each financial year, a council meeting is held to agree the estimated expenditure of all committees for the coming year and, from this, to establish the town’s precept (the amount of money the council asks for in the council tax under 'parish'). This goes to the Finance Committee for a final check, before being passed by them to the full Town Council for formal endorsement.
The Finance Committee's membership comprises the chairmen of each of the spending committees. The Chairman of the Town Council is an ex officio member. The Chairman and Vice-chairman of the Finance Committee are council members with no other chair responsibilities. Throughout the year the Finance committee monitors expenditure to ensure probity and value for money, and to check that the rate of spend is acceptable. The composition of the committee allows free and open discussion on all financial matters and the means to respond rapidly to any unforeseen problems.
This committee has three key roles: it reviews every planning application, considers tree applications, and takes part in various district and regional consultations where they may impact on Princes Risborough.
The Town Council is a statutory consultee, and reviews all planning applications and advises WDC should they not meet local requirements and aspirations. However, it should be noted that Wycombe District Council makes the final decision on all planning applications, and does not always agree with the Town Council's comments.
The Town Centre & Events Committee remit is to make the town centre a pleasant place to come to, and to put on events for residents and visitors. All events are aimed to strengthen our community, young and old; and contribute to making Princes Risborough an especially vibrant town. Many events are run in partnership with local groups and organisations. The Committee also takes responsibility for the running of Risborough in Bloom, youth projects and the promotion of the town through appropriate media.
Public Relations Committee
The Public Relations are responsible for the production and distribution of Crosstalk newsletter, website management, and public meetings.
To find out which councillor sits on which Committee and which councillors represent the Council on outside bodies please visit the Councillors page.