Town Clerk's Office, Church Lane, Blandford Forum, Dorset, DT11 7AD

Blandford Forum Town Council receives Quality Gold Award

September 5, 2017

Media Release

Blandford Forum Town Council is the first council in Dorset to receive this prestigious award
as part of the Local Council Award Scheme. This achievement recognises that the council
achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement.
Moreover, Blandford Forum Town Council goes above and beyond their legal obligations,
leading its community and continuously seeking opportunities to improve and develop even

The Award Scheme report highlighted the council’s particular areas of strength, and the panel
commented that there is much included in the application which is excellent and Blandford
Forum Town Council comes across as a very well organised and focused Town Council with
excellent administration and accountability to its residents. In addition, the council’s use of
social media, the comprehensive range of well-prepared policies and the amount of
information available on the website were all commended.

The Town Council applied for Quality Gold status last year but was awarded with Quality and
resubmitted having taken into account the panel’s suggestions for improvements. Panel
members commended Blandford Forum Town Council’s very positive response to their
collective suggestions when Quality level was awarded. Particular reference was made to the
council’s approach to developing its Neighbourhood Plan, especially in regard to agreeing the
plan area with adjoining parishes as a good example of how the council is demonstrating its
community leadership role. The council’s direct involvement and support for its local
Dementia Action Alliance which is an indication that it is responding to emerging issues was
also mentioned as well as the election video, which was cited as particularly creative and a
good means of using social media. In addition, the on-site consultation at the skate park was
referred to as very positive, capturing the views of the people who are impacted most. The
panel felt that Blandford Forum Town Council’s response to the previous accreditation of
Quality award is a very positive example of the developmental aspect of the Local Council
Award Scheme.

The Local Council Award Scheme is a peer assessed programme that has been designed to
both provide the tools and encouragement to those councils at the beginning of their
improvement journeys, as well as promoting and recognising councils that are at the cutting
edge of the sector. It is through the sector working together to share best practice, drive up
standards and supporting those who are committed to improving their offer to their
communities that individual councils and the sector as a whole will reach its full potential.

Blandford Forum Town Council’s Town Clerk, Linda Scott-Giles was quoted as being thrilled
with the outcome congratulating her team on working together with Councillors to gain the
Quality Gold level status. It is a vast move forward and an upward level from the Foundation
and then Quality levels previously held.
In terms of the future, the council is now reviewing ways in which it can keep on improving its
service to the local community and welcomes input from local people and partners on this.
Blandford Forum Town Council, and other local councils like it, are at the front line of the
government’s localism agenda and are doing as much as they can to deliver services whilst
being efficient and cost-effective.
Currently the council provides a range of services such as recreation grounds, play areas, the
cemetery, public conveniences, a formal garden and a skate park, with a new commitment to
the markets in the town, and wants to improve its community engagement through this.

Last modified: September 5, 2017

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