Horley Town Council has achieved Quality Town Council Status. It will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the Surrey County Association of Parish and Town Councils to be held at the Reigate & Banstead Borough Council Chamber in Reigate on 10 July 2004. Horley is the first town council in Surrey to be awarded the prestigious award.
Chairman, Michael Miller, said "I am proud and delighted to receive this award on behalf of the Town Council. It underlines the commitment of our members and the professionalism of our staff in helping to provide the best possible and most cost effective services to the people of our town. We will continue to work closely with other authorities and agencies."
The concept of Quality Parish Councils was introduced by the Government in the Rural White Paper in 2000 and was officially launched on 1 July 2003. Alun Michael MP, the Minister responsible for Local Government Issues, said of the Scheme that it provides “confirmation and assurance that those awarded with Quality status are representative, competent, well managed, and able to take an enhanced role". The Government in its Scheme Document refers to the fact "… by meeting the requirements of this scheme and receiving Quality Status, a town council is demonstrating that it is a worthy representative of all parts of community, is effectively and properly managed, articulates the needs and wishes of the community and works with its partners as an effective information point for all local services."
In order to meet the requirements of The Quality Parish Council Scheme, the Council passed a number of rigorous Quality Tests. These included:
- The publication of an Annual Report
- The preparation of accounts in line with Accounts and Audit Regulations (1993)
- Effective communication with the production of the Horley Highlights newsletter, weekly information on notice boards in the town, Council websites, open invitation to Councillors' surgeries and consultation exercises
- Electoral mandate requirements which were met in the May 2003 local elections
- Qualifications of the Town Clerk. Alan Jones received the Assessment and Qualification Alliance award in March, which accompanied the Quality Status Scheme
- The adoption of a Code of Conduct for Councillors to which all Councillors at the Council have adhered.
- The number of Council meetings held and the involvement of the public through the Open Forum. A total of almost 60 meetings are held annually. Members attendance records are available in the Annual Report
- The Council will hold Quality Parish Status for 4 years and will be able to use the Quality logo during this period