In 2005, Yeovil Town Council achieved national accreditation as a recognised Quality Council. It is the first large local council in Somerset to receive the prestigious award.
The concept of Quality Councils was introduced by the Government as part of its modernising local government agenda. Quality status provides an independent assessment of local councils, and those with Quality status can be seen to be representative, competent, well managed, and able to take on an enhanced role.
In order to meet the requirements of the Quality Council scheme, the Town Council passed a number of specified Quality tests. These included:
- The publication of an Annual Report
- The preparation of accounts in line with the Accounts and Audit Regulations
- Effective communication and consultation with the local community
- Electoral mandate requirement – all seats on the Council being filled by election
- A fully qualified Town Clerk
- The adoption of and compliance with a Code of Conduct for councillors
- Regular well-attended Council meetings which include an opportunity for public participation
In making the award to the Town Council, the Accreditation Panel asked for it to be recorded that they regarded the evidence that they were shown as being exemplary and demonstrating the best that is provided within the sector.
Ian Martin, Mayor of Yeovil at the time of the award, said, "I am proud and delighted to receive this award on behalf of the Town Council. It underlines the professionalism of our members and our staff in delivering services to the people of our town.”
He added, “The award of Quality status provides official recognition of the Town Council’s ability to carry out its duties and responsibilities in an effective and efficient manner, and to engage in successful partnership working with other organisations. In line with Government aspirations, we will be looking to develop and enhance our partnership role for the benefit of the local community.”
Antony Carr, Chairman of the Accreditation Panel, is pictured (right) presenting the Quality status award to the then Mayor - Ian Martin (centre). Also pictured (left) is Peter Lacey, County Secretary to the Somerset Association of Local Councils.