How the Town Council Was Established
The former Seaham Urban District Council was responsible for local government affairs within the town until it went out of existence in 1974. Later that decade the public voiced concerns calling for a local Council to be established to give Seaham its own voice. As a result a referendum was held in 1980 and a majority vote by the townspeople wanted their own Council in the town. Seaham people clearly felt they wanted the town to have its own voice in local affairs and a separate identity. In May, 1983 the first elections were held for Seaham Town Council.
The Council began meeting in hired community hall facilities. The first phase of their existing Civic Offices in Adelaide Row was purchased in 1984 and the premises have since been extended to incorporate the town tourism, visitor and information facility. The Council’s crest was agreed following a competition amongst local school pupils. The design and motto were approved and it has been formally adopted as a civic crest for Seaham.
The Council’s Principal Officer is the Town Clerk (Mark Welsh) who is based at the Civic Offices at 3/4 Adelaide Row, Seaham. Mr Paul Fletcher, the Deputy Town Clerk (Leisure and Amenities) is responsible for the Parks Department operation and is also located within the Civic Offices. The Council employs 23 employees. The main responsibilities of the Council can be viewed here.
The Council's Achievements
Seaham was first awarded Quality Town Council Status in September, 2004. Since then the Council has been re-accredited with Quality Council Status for a further period of four years from November, 2008.
The Scheme is supported by six National Stakeholders, the Commission for Rural Communities and Local Government, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Local Government Association, the National Association of Local Councils and the Society of Local Council Clerks. The aim of the Scheme, which was launched in June, 2003 following the publication of the Rural White Paper in 2000 and which confirmed the Government's support, is to provide a benchmark of minimum standards for Parish and Town Councils and enable them to better represent the communities they serve. Achieving Quality Status demonstrates that a Council has met certain minimum standards and increased professionalism expected from an effective, representative and active Town Council. The Scheme also aims to provide an enhanced relationship between Local Councils, Principal Authorities and community and voluntary sector organisations.
The Council produce an Annual Performance Plan around June each year and it is committed to looking for continuous improvement in service provision, monitoring performance and meeting targets. Throughout the year in main service areas, surveys are carried out to assess customer satisfaction levels.
Seaham Town Guide
The latest edition of the Seaham Town Guide published in July, 2011 can be viewed here.
Seaham Gifts and Souvenirs
The Council have a range of gifts available, many of which bear Seaham's crest/coat of arms. These include such items as ties, glassware and stationery items,and are available for sale from the Council's Civic Offices at 3/4 Adelaide Row, Seaham.