Dorchester Town Council
Views around Dorchester

Committee Structure

The full Town Council meets approximately 6 times a year on a two-monthly cycle. The Council appoints 3 main committees which in turn appoint a number of panels. These panels usually make recommendations to committees but the committees themselves have the power to make decisions on behalf of the Council on certain matters.  Otherwise their recommedations have to be approved by the full Council before they are acted on. Sometimes urgent decisions are required and there is a mechanism for this to be done if necessary to ensure that the best interests of Dorchester are not prejudiced by undesirable delay. All Councillors receive all the papers for every committee meeting and have the right to attend and speak at them, although they are only allowed to vote if they are a member of the committee.

The Management Committee meets at least 6 times a year. It has 12 members and looks after the Council's many sport and recreational facilities, including the Borough Gardens, Weymouth Avenue Recreation Ground, The Walks, Sandringham Sports Centre, Salisbury Field, Fordington Green, 13 children's play areas and 6 allotment sites as well as the Corn Exchange buildings and Dorchester's twinning links.

The Planning and Environment Committee meets at least 12 times a year. It has 14 members and comments on planning applications for development in Dorchester before they are determined by the District Council (or, occasionally, the County Council) and also deals with a wide range of other matters affecting the general environment of the town, including traffic issues and general refurbishment proposals.

The Policy Committee meets at least 6 times a year. It has 7 members and looks after the various resources which the Council needs to carry out its work, including staff and money as well as considering the overall direction which the Council should take, including new projects.

The Council also appoints other Committees which meet on an occasional basis to deal with specific matters - the Selection Committee and the Mayoral Selection Committee are two examples, and the Council is also represented on 3 joint committees, the Dorchester Joint Burial Committee (with Winterborne Herringston Parish Council), the Dorchester Markets Joint Committee (with West Dorset District Council) and the Dorchester Heritage Committee (with Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council).