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Purbeck District Council

The council is organised into four main departments headed by Chief Executive Steve Mackenzie.

Chief Executives Office

The Chief Executive is Steve Mackenzie.

The Chief Executive's Office consists of the:

  • Chief Executive and his PA
  • the Solicitor to the council
  • Legal Unit
  • Democratic and Electoral Services Unit
  • Performance Unit
  • Communications and Graphics
  • Human Resources, which includes Health and Safety

Chief Executive's unit

Offers the following:

  • policy advice to the council
  • day to day leadership and co-ordination of key strategies
  • overseeing the Corporate Strategy
  • budget and effective use of resources
  • co-ordination of cross cutting issues including equalities, developing joint working with other authorities, and guidance on corporate issues such as e-Government

Communications and Graphics unit

The Communications and Graphics team is responsible for communicating vital information about the council and its services to the residents of Purbeck and to regional, national and international audiences.


Democratic and electoral services unit


  • preparation of council meeting papers
  • servicing council and other meetings
  • maintenance of corporate documents (eg Constitution)
  • maintenance of the registers of interests for district and parish councillors
  • compilation of the Register of Electors and administration of elections
  • providing procedural advice to town and parish councils
  • emergency planning and business continuity
  • civic support – or support to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman in their civic role

Human Resources unit

  • offers guidance and support on all human resource issues
  • processing and payment of monthly salaries
  • health and safety ensuring that all staff are provided with a safe and secure environment to work in

Performance unit

Oversees the following:

  • freedom of information requests
  • performance monitoring
  • corporate user satisfaction consultation

Solicitor to the council


  • monitoring Officer for the council
  • legal advice and support to the council and its committees, councillors and officers including governance, development management, public health and housing, acquisition and disposal of land and litigation matters
  • representation of the council in legal proceedings in the courts, tribunals and at public inquiries

Planning and Community Services

The General Manager is Bridget Downton.

The section supports the council's strategic priorities through:

  • policy development
  • direct implementation of projects
  • regulatory work covering environmental, social and economic issues
  • it also supports other sections with their statutory and non-statutory activities through expert policy advice and research

The section is made up of the following teams:

Planning Policy

The main activities of this team include:

  • preparing the Local Plan
  • preparing other planning policy documents
  • supporting neighbourhood planning
  • processing nominations for Assets of Community Value

Environmental Design

The main activities of this team include:

  • technical advice to Development Management and Planning Policy (trees, drainage and built conservation)
  • project work to support department and council
  • economic development
  • management of Tree Preservation Orders and processing requests for work to protected trees.

Natural Heritage and Tourism

The team's services include:

  • natural heritage
  • input into the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) management plan and projects
  • Discover Purbeck Information Centre
  • tourism management
  • Purbeck Heritage Network
  • management of Upton Wood
  • providing specialist landscape advice to Development Management

Development Management

This team deals with:

  • processing planning applications (The exceptions are applications for mineral extractions and waste disposal which are dealt with by Dorset County Council)
  • planning Enforcement
  • pre application advice
  • facilitation of developments that support council priorities
  • dealing with planning conditions

Building Control

The team's services include:

  • processing of building regulation applications
  • undertaking site inspections
  • dealing with dangerous structures
  • Building control advice

Business Development

This team's services include:

  • administrative and technical support to processing functions in department
  • corporate and department wide support
  • performance management and improvement
  • dealing with searches of the local land charges register

Public Health and Housing Services

The General Manager is Rebecca Kirk.

This section is concerned primarily with Public Health and seeks to protect and enhance the health, safety and welfare of people at home and at work. It does this through education, enforcement and the promotion of best practice. In addition, the section works in close partnership with other sections and a range of agencies and non-statutory organisations.

View our Enforcement Policy.

The section is made up of the following teams:

Community Safety

  • community safety
  • anti-social behaviour reduction


  • abandoned vehicles
  • dog Warden
  • environmental Services
  • licensing
  • public conveniences



  • producing a "fit for purpose" Housing Strategy
  • monitoring the contract the council has with Purbeck Housing Trust to deliver aspects of the housing service
  • improving the delivery of affordable housing
  • dealing with homelessness
  • managing the Rural Housing Enabler

The council is required by the Town and Country Planning Acts to control development within its area. The effect of the service is to regulate change in the use and appearance of the environment and to support the council's long term vision of promoting thriving communities in balance with the natural environment.

Private sector housing


  • private sector housing
  • park homes
  • energy conservation
  • air quality and contaminated land

Property and Procurement unit


  • contracts and procurement administration service
  • estate management of the council's buildings and business estates
  • co-ordination of cross-departmental asset management
  • asset management plan and maintenance strategy
  • caretaking of Westport House
  • management of the council's public car parks

Public health


  • public health nuisance
  • health and safety at work
  • food safety
  • communicable disease control
  • health education
  • public health licensing/registration

Purbeck Sports Centre

Purbeck Sports Centre is owned by Dorset County Council but operated and managed by Purbeck District Council.

The Purbeck School has priority use of the centre during the day from Monday to Friday during term times, although there is a significant amount of use during these times by the general public. For example, the gym is open all day every day to the public.

In the evenings, weekends and all day and evening during school holidays all facilities are open to the general public.

Michelle Goodman is the Operations Manager, leading a team of four Duty Managers.

For more information visit the Purbeck Sports Centre pages.


The General Manager is Sue Joyce.

The functions provided include the following:

Accountancy Unit

Financial Management

  • translation of the Council's Corporate Strategy into the Medium Term Financial Strategy
  • preparation of financial forecasts
  • financial advice and support to budget holders and councillors
  • provide financial implications on all reports to Council
  • provision of cost estimates for capital projects including discounted cash flow and payback periods as part of the business case process
  • quarterly updates to councillors on the Council's financial performance


  • VAT accounting
  • provision of VAT advice to Council officers


  • securing adequate insurance cover for the Council's assets and activities
  • provision of advice on claims and level of cover
  • managing insurance claims


  • co-ordination and production of the Council's annual revenue budget and setting the annual council tax
  • co-ordination and production of the Council's capital programme and annual budget
  • provision of monthly budget monitoring information to budget holders

Final Accounts

  • co-ordination and production of the Council's final accounts
  • setting Council's financial policies

Treasury Management

  • translation of regulatory requirements into the Council's Treasury Management Strategy
  • cash flow forecasting
  • investment and borrowing management to meet cash flow requirements
  • contracted banking arrangements and bank reconciliations

Accounts Payable

  • processing and payment of invoices from suppliers of works, goods and services
  • processing and payment of staff reimbursements
  • Construction Industry Scheme monthly returns

Accounts Receivable

  • raising invoices to customers
  • follow up of outstanding debts
  • provision of monthly debtor reports to budget holders


  • completion of statutory and other statistical questionnaires
  • co-ordination of the upgrades and development and maintenance of the Council's financial information system

Customer Services unit


  • reception and telephone team, providing first point of contact for customers
  • incoming and outgoing mail
  • cashiering
  • cash collection and banking arrangements

IT services


  • consultancy and evaluation
  • voice and data network
  • system design and programming
  • internet and intranet
  • geographical information
  • data protection
  • user support and helpdesk
  • procurement and inventories

Internal Audit

  • undertaking audits of Council services based on a risk assessment of Council
  • undertaking specific reviews as requested and providing advice to managers and staff on control issues
  • reviewing the internal control framework and reporting weaknesses to the Audit and Governance Panel
  • interpretation of Financial Procedure Rules and Contractual Procedure Rules
  • undertaking "whistle blowing" and irregularity investigations and general fraud prevention activities, including the National Fraud Initiative National Fraud Initiative (NFI) Data Matching Exercise

Revenues and Benefits

  • promotion, calculation and payment of housing and council tax benefits
  • billing and collection of council tax and national non-domestic rates
  • debt recovery of overpaid benefits and unpaid council tax and national non-domestic rates

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