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Council Structure & Staff Team

a drawing of 3 people stood next to eachother

Council Structure

The three main standing committees are:

  1. Finance
  2. Planning
  3. Community, Culture and Economic Growth

Committees are appointed at the Council’s Annual General Meeting in May each year.

Use this link to view the Council’s Committee structure

The Community, Culture and Economic Growth Committee (CCEG) have the strongest links to the parish. This Committee is responsible for maintaining and improving the environment, infrastructure, accessibility, supports community events and projects by working with partners including Penrith in Bloom, Cumbria in Bloom and the Business Improvement Districts, Chamber of Trade, Eden District Council and volunteers. The Committee are responsible for activities designed to improve the economic vibrancy of the Town, encouraging inward investment, developing arts and culture and managing the Councils Grant Scheme.

The  Finance Committee is responsible for the management of all matters related to the Council finances and make recommendations to Full Council regularly. However, only Full Council can resolve the Precept. The committee is responsible for the running of the Council’s businesses operations including the Council Office, allotments, and public domain assets such as Fairhill recreation ground, benches, bus shelters, the bandstand and the Musgrave Monument. The committee is responsible for the oversight of all personnel related matters.

The Planning Committee is responsible for responding to planning applications, and submits responses to the District Council who are the Local Planning Authority. They also consider consultation on highways and footpath issues. The Committee also oversees the delivery of the Penrith Neighbourhood Development Plan.

Committees may establish working groups of Councillors. Working groups or Task and Finish Groups cannot make decisions on behalf of the Council. The groups may research projects and make recommendations back to their parent committee. These meetings are informal and governed by terms of reference and close after their work is complete. These meetings are not formally minuted. Notes of the meeting may be produced. Members of the public are not permitted to attend these meetings but on occasion members of the public with specialist knowledge may be invited to participate in a meeting to  progress a specific project.

For further information, please refer to the Council’s Scheme of Delegation in the policies section of this site.

Councillors Meeting Attendance

To view the Councillors register of attendance please use this underlined link

Councillors Training Register

To view the Councillors Training Register please use this underlined link

The employees and Members of the Council are seen as being fundamental in all areas of its service delivery and development. Accordingly, it is essential that they are all fully trained to carry out their duties as effectively as possible.

Training and development forms part of the overall performance management of the Council and each staff member receives an annual appraisal.

Council Staff Team

The Council is required by Section 112 of the Local Government Act 1972 to appoint such officers as it considers necessary for the proper discharge of its functions. The 1972 Act and other legislation entrust a number of responsibilities and duties to the Proper Officer of the Council (another title of the Clerk). The Standing Orders of the Council designate the Clerk to be the Proper Officer of the Council so that that the public is aware of the extent of the Clerk’s authority. Section 151 of the 1972 Act also requires local councils to ensure that one of its officers has overall responsibility for the administration of its financial affairs, the Responsible Finance Officer.

Staff Structure

To view the current staff structure please use this link

Town Clerk

The Town Clerk,  Mrs Viv Tunnadine is an experienced qualified clerk and is a Principal member of the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC). She is a National Panel assessor for the National Association of Local Councils  Local Council Award Scheme.

The Town Clerk is the Council’s principal executive and adviser and is not answerable to any individual councillor – not even the Chair. He/she is an independent and unbiased employee of the Council, recognising that the Council is responsible for all decisions and taking instruction from the Council as a body.  The Town Clerk can only be appointed and removed from appointment by the Council and he/she is accountable to the Council as Corporate Body. The Town Clerk cannot be line-managed by any one councillor. The Clerk is the line manager for all other Council employees.

Together with the Mayor (Chair of the Council) the Clerk is the face of officialdom in the community. The Clerk is often called the 2nd Citizen in view of the advisory and ceremonial role played alongside the 1st Citizen (Mayor/Chair).

As the Council’s Proper Officer the Town Clerk is responsible for implementing Council policy; ensuring the council acts within the law; advising the council on all aspects of its work and may have delegated powers of decision making especially in urgent situations.

The Town Clerk has a key role in advising the Council, and its members, on governance, ethical and procedural matters. A constructive partnership between the Town  Clerk, Chair and Elected Members is essential for the proper and efficient functioning of the Council.

Use this underlined link to view the Clerk Training Register for CPD  

Responsible Financial Officer

The Responsible Financial Officer , Jack Jones, since qualifying as a CIPFA accountant,  has followed a career in local government finance and has extensive experience at a senior level, most notably as Chief Financial Officer for South Lakeland District Council.  As a result of a staff restructure in 2009, Jack  took voluntary redundancy/early retirement from the Council and worked as an internal auditor with local government and charitable clients.  In 2014, Jack  took up the post of Town Treasurer at Kendal Town Council, where he was responsible for all aspects of its financial management.

Jack has been appointed as an independent member of the Cumbria Police Joint Audit and Standards Committee.

Jack is responsible for the Council’s financial administration, providing financial information and advice to Councillors, preparing budget and budgetary control reports for the Council and its Committees and the formulation of financial policies, regulations and strategies.


The solicitor employed by the Council, Paul Foote, has extensive experience of working for and advising local authorities across the range of their responsibilities and functions. He qualified as a solicitor in 1980.  

He has worked for Metropolitan and Shire District Councils during the greater part of his careerPrior to joining the Town Council he was employed by Eden District Council where he was the Director of Corporate and Legal Services. He was also the monitoring officer for the District Council. He acted as the Deputy Chief Executive in his later role until his retirement in 2016. He was re-engaged to act as the Senior Legal advisor by Eden District Council until July, 2019.  

Paul will provide advice to the Council and its staff on legal matters affecting the Town Council and undertake some of its legal work. He is the Data Protection Officer for the Council.  

Services & Contracts Manager

The Services and Contracts Manager, Ian Parker, is an experienced local government officer, having spent 18 years working within the area of leisure and community services which involved the management of contracts, grounds maintenance, sports development, events and play area services.

The Services and Contracts Manager will lead the implementation of the devolution of assets primarily from Eden District Council.

The Town Council is increasing its assets and the Services and Contracts Manager will manage contracts to ensure that assets are inspected and maintained to a high standard and that the Council’s service standards are met.

The Services and Contracts Manager will manage the Penrith Town Caretaker who is being contracted to ensure that many of the Council’s assets are inspected, repaired and cleaned ensuring that they are fit for use for the public and present Penrith as an attractive, well maintained and welcoming Town.

The Services and Contracts Manager will be supporting new and established Community Groups who are seeking to make improvements to open space and land owned and maintained by the Town Council including improvements to play areas, street furniture and the wider environment.

Deputy Town Clerk

The Deputy Town Clerk, Rosalyn Richardson, is an experienced local government officer, and has worked at both Cumbria County Council and Eden District Council where she was a democratic services officer for 15 years. Her responsibilities include:

  • Preparing agendas for meetings and despatching them to Members and others as required for committees within the DTC remit
  • Taking accurate minutes at the various meetings and publishing the agreed minutes as appropriate
  • Using relevant software systems including MS Office and finance systems
  • Preparing material for the web site
  • Mayor’s administration and the Council’s civic responsibilities
  • Co-ordinating Civic functions including tasks such as booking the venue, organising the catering and printing, issuing invitations and attending as required
  • Implementing policies of the Council as and when required
  • Delegated authority for budgets relating to services
  • Providing support to the Asset Transfer Support Officer for the process of the transfer of devolved assets and services from the principal authority
  • Responsible for the day to day management of the Council’s services and assets

The Deputy Town Clerk acts as clerk for the Planning Committee and the Penrith Neighbourhood Plan Group.

Economic Development Officer

Carol Grey, the Town Council’s Economic Development Officer developed Penrith Business Improvement District and is experienced in town centre management, tourism and business development.

The role and responsibilities of the Economic Development Officer are varied and include :

  • Identifing new initiatives and opportunities for the development of services and the town.
  • Collaborating with Penrith Business Improvement District & Chamber of Trade, Penrith Vision Alliance and representatives from the Principal Authority.
  • Working in partnership with the Penrith Business Improvement District and Penrith Chamber of Trade, developing a Business Plan for Penrith
  • Developing, managing and delivering a range of economic initiatives and projects in line with the Council’s Strategic Priorities.
  • Facilitating, promoting and developing high quality relationships with significant employers, businesses, stakeholders, business associations and networks, economic development partners and those seeking to invest in the area.
  • Responsible for the promotion of Penrith, to raising its profile, leading to more visitors, increased footfall, and longer dwell time and higher spend.

Sustainability Officer

Kerry Morgan, Sustainability Officer will oversee the delivery of the Council’s Climate Change Strategy. She will work with key partners and community organisations to assist Penrith to become a carbon neutral town by 2030. Current responsibilities include:

  • Leading on the Councils Carbon Neutral Penrith Strategy.
  • Responsible for the delivery and implementation of the strategy and action plans.
  • To develop related policies and initiate projects to mitigate climate change.
  • To collaborate and engage with local sustainability groups and key partners.


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