Newly elected councillors mark 50 years of Swanage Town Council

Following the local elections, a new team of councillors took their seats in the Swanage Town Hall council chamber for the first time, 50 years after the creation of Swanage Town Council in 1974.

At the annual meeting of the Swanage Town Council on Monday 13th May 2024, the first item on the agenda was to elect a mayor and a deputy to the new council.

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Newly elected councillors and town clerk Martin Ayres
Andy Lyons

Left to right: Swanage Town Council’s fifth town clerk Martin Ayres, 21st town mayor Tina Foster and deputy town mayor Chris Moreton

Councillor Tina Foster re-elected as town mayor

Nominated, seconded and elected was councillor Tina Foster as town mayor and councillor Chris Moreton as deputy town mayor, effectively allowing them to continue in the roles that they held under the former administration.

Swanage Town Council was formed following a reorganisation of local government in 1974 which saw the end of the Swanage Urban District Council. The old name can still be spotted on some drain covers in the town.

Swanage Town Council 1975 - 76

The first Swanage Town Council pictured in 1975/6

Newly elected Swanage Town Councillors May 2024
Andy Lyons

Swanage elected councillors and town hall staff May 2024. Table on left, left to right: councillor Chris Tomes, councillor Cliff Sutton, councillor Sarah Vile, councillor Debby Monkhouse, councillor Jules Dorrington. Back table left to right: finance manager Alison Spencer, planning and community engagement manager Niki Clark, democratic services officer Emma Evans, town clerk Martin Ayres, town mayor Tina Foster, deputy mayor Chris Moreton, visitor services and business development manager Culvin Milmer, assets and compliance manager Gail Percival. Table on right, left to right: councillor Mike Bonfield, councillor Sarah Brookes, councillor John Lejeune, councillor Bill Trite, councillor Megan Coward

Top of the agenda in 1974 was the purchase of Swanage station

The first meeting of Swanage Town Council was the annual council meeting on Thursday 23rd May 1974.

There were 11 elected councillors, all of whom had served in the Swanage Urban District Council. Councillor Hancock was the town mayor with councillor Raymond as the deputy town mayor.

On the agenda for the first meeting of Swanage Town Council was the acquisition of the former railway station and adjoining land, alongside discussions with the Swanage Railway Society. At the time it was an open question whether the station buildings and good shed would be retained.

Other subjects discussed included parking permits, taxi rank fees, the extension of the bowling alley and the rifle range at the Municipal Caravan Park, plans for a new post box by The Mowlem following the move of the Post Office to King’s Road and permission for the Swanage Carnival committee to run a gymkhana on Journey’s End field at Day’s Park on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Swanage Town Mayor Tina Foster

Town mayor Tina Foster celebrating continuity – 50 years of Swanage Town Council

Committee representation decided

At the most recent annual meeting on Monday 13th May 2024, no policy issues were discussed, however the councillors decided who would work on which committee and working party.

Currently there are six standing committees, two sub committees, two advisory committees and about 20 working parties, as well as the full council meetings which are held about 12 times a year.

For some, the elation of being elected may be tempered by the realisation of the amount of unpaid time and effort required.

Further information

  • Details of Swanage Town Council meetings

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