The main areas we are involved in are:
- Allotments – we provide and manage 170 allotment plots across Bridport.
- Capital Projects – we deliver and support projects for community benefit. Recent examples include solar car ports at Plottingham Car Park, the Changing Places toilet in West Bay, and support for the refurbishment of the Literary and Scientific Institute, West Bay Discovery Centre and Bridport Youth & Community Centre.
- Cemetery – The Town Council manages Bridport Cemetery, which is such an important and highly regarded asset for the town.
- Civic and Ceremonial – the Town Mayor and Deputy Mayor are elected from Bridport’s Town Councillors, and they attend a wide range of events and functions as the town’s representatives.
- Community Bus – we launched a round-Bridport bus service in 2018 to enable residents to access the town centre and other parts of the town following withdrawal of support for similar services by Dorset Council.
- Community Representation and Leadership – our position as a statutory public body gives us a strong voice in representing the community to other local and national public sector bodies. We also take a lead on issues of importance to the community, including establishing Bridport as a ‘Rights Respecting’ town.
- Events – The Town Council is at the heart of all of the major events in Bridport – the Community Charter Fair, Food Festival, Beer Festival, Jurassic Fields Music Festival, Folk Festival, Melplash Show, Bridport Carnival, Torchlight Procession, Hat Festival, Remembrance Sunday, and Christmas Cheer. We also support smaller community events and promote Bridport as ‘Dorset’s Eventful Town’.
- Grants – the Town Council awards over £60,000 a year in grant support to community organisations.
- Hire/Lease of Facilities – we have conference, meeting and events venues at Mountfield, the Salt House, the WI Hall and the Town Hall, which are available for private hire. We also offer long leases at Council-owned properties for office, commercial and community uses.
- Markets – We manage Bridport Market, West Bay Summer Market, and West Bay Car Boot Sale. We are the market authority for the town, meaning that we control what markets can be provided.
- Open public spaces – we look after all public highway verges, a range of footpaths, and various green and open spaces in Bridport (including St Mary’s Playing Fields, Plottingham Fields, Riverside Gardens, Borough Gardens, Asker Meadows and Bucky Doo Square). Our grounds maintenance work is expanding quickly, as we take on work on behalf of Dorset Council, parishes surrounding Bridport and other local organisations.
- Partnership Working – we work with a range of local organisations to make the most of resources in the Bridport area. These include parish councils and charitable and voluntary organisations. We are a member of, and provide administrative support to, the Bridport Local Area Partnership, which brings together over 200 local groups and individuals to benefit the community in areas such as health and wellbeing and homelessness.
- Planning – the Town Council is a statutory consultee on planning applications, and a partner with other local councils in the Bridport Area Neighbourhood Plan.
- Play Areas – The Town Council maintains and enhances a number of play areas, including the fully accessible West Bay Play Area.
- Strategic Plans – we work in conjunction with the Bridport community to provide a vision for the town, through documents like the Climate Emergency Action Plan, Neighbourhood Plan, Bridport Investment Plan, the Access & Movement Study, and the Streetscape & Heritage Study.
- Street Collection Licences, Sitting Out Licences, and A-Boards – we manage these on behalf of Dorset Council.
- Tourist Information Centre – As well as its tourism information services, the award winning TIC also now manages the Town Hall, WI Hall, Bucky Doo Square, the Bridport and West Bay web site and the production of the Town Guide. It provides a Box Office Service to a range of local organisations and events including the Electric Palace and the BridLit Festival.
A team of 25 staff led by the Town Clerk delivers these services. Our work is governed by councillors who make decisions at Full Council meetings, at three Council committees, and a Sub-Committee.
The video below provides more information on the Town Council’s work: