The Swanage Town Council meets at The Town Hall on High Street in Swanage, Dorset. Reception staff at The Town Hall can provide information about their services with cemeteries, allotments, and more. The Council is composed of 12 Councilors who meet regularly to debate and initiate new policies, planning applications, and other matters that affect the town. Meetings start at 7 p.m. on the last Monday of every month. Each meeting allows 15 minutes’ worth of time for the public to ask questions, comment on items on the agenda, and to generally become involved in the evening’s debate. There are six other committees that also meet at The Town Hall:
- Parish Assembly: The Assembly has recently gathered to discuss sea defenses and for open forums and held award ceremonies for good deeds at their annual meetings.
- Planning and Consultation Committee: The Committee spends most of its time reviewing proposed building plans, which involve requests to add decks, demolish garages, replace roofs, build new dwellings, add gates, and other various structural requests.
- Tourism Committee: The Committee was most recently scheduled to meet on March 24th, 2020; however, the meeting has been postponed and an updated agenda does not appear online.
- Policy, Finance, and Performance Management Committee: This Committee deals with financial matters, such as reviewing the operation of the market for each season, reviewing charges, renewing insurance, review grants, and speak about other various financial matters that need to be addressed.
- Beach Management Advisory Committee: At their last meeting, the Committee addresses matters brought up at previous meetings, spoke about a dog-related public space protection order, debated a public pedestrian section on Shore Road, provided updates, spoke about flood defenses, and so on.
- General Operations Committee: This Committee handles general matters involving items like cemeteries, planting trees and gardens, budget approval for cameras at public venues, contracts for special lighting, car park resurfacing, and etc.
- Transport Committee: The Council looks at requests that could improve traffic, improvements to roads, car park matters, public transportation matters with buses and the Sandbanks Ferry, car park charges, and any general transportation-related matters.
- Personnel Committee: This Committee planned on speaking about job evaluations and reviewing post-OPSI at their last meeting on January 6th, 2020
The Town Hall Website has not been updated with a new schedule for this year, however, meetings have currently been canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis. In the future, you can check https://www.swanage.gov.uk/Meetings.aspx and scroll down to Planning and Consultation Committee Meetings or Committee Meetings to view the (hopefully) updated schedule. You can also view each Committee’s agenda at the following link: https://www.swanage.gov.uk/Meeting-Agendas.aspx
The Dorset Council has replaced the six previous borough councils (East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset, Weymouth, and Portland) into one. The Council provides several different services on their website relating to housing, jobs and careers, benefits, care and support for adults, emergencies and severe weather, planning, buildings & land, births, deaths, and marriages. You can also report a road problem, check school term dates, pay your council tax, view live travel alerts, and so on using their website at the link https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/home.aspx. Currently, the Council is holding virtual meetings due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with plans to return to their normal public meetings once things are back to normal. Virtual meetings can be viewed at the following link: https://www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/councillors-committees-elections/committees/virtual-committee-meetings.aspx