Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council is the local authority for the two towns of Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge. It is the third tier of local government after Somerset County Council and Sedgemoor District Council.
The Town Council has 18 councillors who are elected every 4 years. The current Members will serve until May 2023 and are elected across 5 wards.
The Council year runs from May to April and it is at the Annual Meeting of the Town Council in May that the Town Mayor is elected for the year. The Mayor is the chairman of the Council.
The Annual Meeting also elects Members to its committees and carries out administrative ‘housekeeping’.
The Town Council works closely with the principal authorities of Sedgemoor District Council and Somerset County Council to improve and maintain streets, footpaths, recreation areas, open spaces and the beach.
The Town Council has responsibility for three cemeteries, the Princess Theatre & Arts Centre and two allotment sites. It supports local groups through grant funding and is the grass roots level of government that gives a voice to local people.
Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council employs a qualified Town Clerk and meets the criteria required to use the General Power of Competence, as granted by the Localism Act 2011. This power permits the Council to do anything an individual can do, unless prohibited by law (and subject to public law principles).
Each year, around November, the Town Council calculates how much money it will need to provide services for the following year and agrees the precept. This sum is levied on Sedgemoor District Council and is collected by that Council as a proportion of the total council tax paid by households in Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge. In the financial year 2020/21 the precept is £718,211.