Following a successful bid to Somerset County Council’s Climate Emergency Community Fund, the Town Council is looking to recruit an experienced and self-motivating Retrofit Assessor / Co-ordinator. This will be an exciting opportunity to get to know a small area and its residents really well, and make a big impact on the quality of its housing stock.
Bruton is a small rural town situated in the south east corner of Somerset (close to the Wiltshire and Dorset borders). Though small, we have ambition. We have partnered with the Centre for Sustainable Energy to develop a project that we think is the best way of kick-starting the low-carbon retrofitting of homes in our area. Our project will bring together our local knowledge, your professional expertise and skills, and the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s years of experience in this field.
You will promote the benefits of low-carbon retrofit to residents and local companies and tradespeople, give advice to homeowners, and, for those who wish it, provide detailed high-quality surveys and bespoke home retrofit plans which you will quality assure as necessary. You will also work with local construction companies and suppliers to make them aware of the emerging local retrofit market and the training opportunities available. As well as Bruton and its parish, the project area will extend to neighbouring parishes and the market towns of Ansford and Castle Cary.
As the only Retrofit Assessor / Co-ordinator in the area, alongside your professional expertise you will need to be self-motivating, and confident in working with members of the public and tradespeople. You will have dedicated administrative support from a part-time Retrofit Project Officer, and professional support from the Centre for Sustainable Energy.
This full-time position is graded at SCP 28-29 (£32,234-32,910, pay award pending). It is offered for a period of 18 months which may potentially be extended if funding allows. National Joint Council terms and conditions apply. The Town Council offers a defined contribution pension scheme which the post-holder may opt into.
For an informal discussion about this position please contact Cllr James Hood (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07968 728959).
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 11 June 2021. Email applications to email@example.com
Interviews will take place online (Zoom) on Wednesday 23 June 2021. The Town Council will make a decision about who to appoint at its meeting on 29 June 2021, and we should be able to advise the successful candidate of their appointment on Wednesday 30 June 2021 (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.