We are looking to recruit a Town Clerk for Bruton Town Council.
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a community minded and motivated individual, with relevant experience, to undertake this interesting and varied post supporting a highly ambitious town council.
Bruton is a small rural town situated in the south east corner of Somerset (close to the Wiltshire and Dorset borders). In addition to employing an assistant clerk and community development officer, the council also has a dedicated group of community office volunteers and thirteen active elected members. The council will be seeking to recruit an additional assistant clerk once the new town clerk is in office.
We are seeking a town clerk of the highest calibre to lead and develop our team, to work positively alongside elected members to help improve the town and to ensure that all key legal, financial and other governance requirements are met.
The successful applicant will either hold or be willing to obtain the Certificate in Local Council Administration.
The town clerk is contracted to work 15 hours per week, based at the town council’s office. Some evening work will be required to attend council and occasional committee meetings. There may be scope to increase these hours in the future, by mutual agreement.
The position is graded at lower LC3, (SCP 33-36) £14,968 – £16,169 pa (actual salary, based on 15 hours per week), subject to qualifications and experience.
How to apply
Send us a short covering letter and a CV, which when read together should demonstrate that you meet the criteria in the Person Specification. Please also provide the name and contact details of two referees, one of whom should be your most recent employer, and let your referees know that we may be in touch with them.
In order to be considered, your application needs to be with us by 12.00 on Friday 12th February. Email applications to firstname.lastname@example.org
Interviews will take place online (Zoom) on Monday 22nd February. The Town Council will make a decision about who to appoint at its meeting the following evening, and we should be able to let the successful candidate know by Wednesday 24th February (subject to receipt of satisfactory references).
About Bruton: information for applicants
Bruton is a small town at the eastern end of South Somerset District. It has a long history, was mentioned in the Domesday book, and had an Abbey, some of the remnants of which are still visible. The whole of the town centre is a conservation area, with many listed buildings, and a mediaeval street pattern which is a delight to look at but less convenient for pedestrians and cars, as the houses are simply too close together.
Despite its mediaeval centre, Bruton is anything but preserved in aspic. In 2014 Hauser and Wirth opened a renovated farmhouse on the edge of the town as an international art gallery with restaurant and garden, which now attracts 140,000 visitors each year. The town is well-marketed by this and other prominent local businesses, and has become something of a tourist destination, with over 28 AirBnB listings and overnight accommodation for nearly 150 visitors. This, coupled with its accessibility from London, has in turn made it a popular destination for people down-sizing from London (DFLs, or Down from Londons, as locals refer to them).
The other major business of the town centre is education. Kings School, a long-established private boarding school, occupies much of the land to the south of the town, and Sexey’s School, Somerset’s only voluntary aided boarding school, is also to the south-west of the town. Bruton School for Girls (which despite its name is in the neighbouring parish of Pitcombe) is another private boarding school less than a mile from the town centre. The often quoted 2011 census Bruton population of 3,000 actually includes over 400 boarding pupils.
Apart from Bruton itself, the parish is largely rural and pastoral, with two small outlying settlements at Wyke Champflower and Redlynch. Dairy cattle predominate, but several farms have diversified into related industries: Wyke Farms Limited, now a cheesemaker, has a turnover of £64M and 160 employees.
Because of its attractions and its employment opportunities Bruton feels and is a town that is thriving. The challenge for the town and its Council is to ensure that the changes that come with this prosperity are for the town’s benefit, and that Bruton remains a community that meets the needs of all its residents. In the 2016 Town Plan Survey residents valued the town’s friendliness, and its people, above everything else, but there was an under-current of anxiety about incomers, shops that didn’t sell anything that local people might want, and lack of affordable housing for young people. The Town Council’s Planning Committee sees this tension most acutely: in the historic centre there are frequent applications to create guest accommodation, on the edge of town there is widespread public opposition to new development that might provide the needed affordable housing.
You can download a copy of our Town Plan here, and read much more about the Council and the town elsewhere on this website.