Alison Benfield

Alison Benfield


01480 388926

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The Town Clerk is a full-time post whose full job title is ‘Town Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer’. They are the Council’s principal official known as the ‘Proper Officer’. Their main role is to advise the Council; ensure decisions are lawful; and to implement those decisions. The Town Clerk is also responsible for the financial affairs of the Council – managing its budget and ensuring internal controls are in place to safeguard its funds and assets. They also act as the Line Manager for the other staff. The Town Clerk works closely together with the Town Mayor and other Councillors on an almost daily basis.

Our current Town Clerk has been with the Council for 11 years in total, and has helped to shape and grow the Council as it has taken on more responsibilities. She has worked in the Town and Parish sector of local government for a total of 15 years.

Office Team

Amenities Manager

Christine Allison

The Amenities Manager assists the Town Clerk in the day to day management of the Town Council’s properties and facilities. Their role encompasses both policy and procedures and attending the Council’s Property and Amenities Committees.

On the operational side, they deal with quotes, contracts, works and the maintenance of buildings and amenity areas for which the Town Council has responsibility.

This is a recently created post is filled by Christine, who joined the Council in February 2018 having a total of 18 years’ experience in local government.
Finance Officer

Karen Duncan

The Finance Officer works closely with the Town Clerk on the financial affairs of the Council. They are responsible for the day to day book keeping and balancing of the books, along with pulling together the initial budgets for Council to consider, dealing with all year end functions and most importantly making sure all staff are paid on time.

In addition, they also act as the administrative element of both the Farmer’s Market and Allotments.

Karen took up this post in 2005 and carried out this role for 13 years. Prior to starting with the Council her background was in payroll and accounts administration.
Committee Clerk & Media Officer

Sue Rawlinson

The main part of the Committee Clerk role is preparing agendas and papers for the 62 Council and Committee meetings held annually (excluding any extra meetings that may be called). They are expected to attend and minute the main Council meeting each month, along with others as and when required.

The Media Officer role encompasses writing press releases, updating the website and assisting with the production of The Bridge the Councils quarterly magazine.

This office post also assists with civic and Mayoral charity events and acts as the main receptionist for the Town Hall.

Sue, who has been with the Council since August 1999 is currently in this post. She was previously the Mayor’s Secretary and has worked with a total of 16 Mayors over the years.
Civic & Burial Officer

Linda Scales

The Civic Officer is responsible for managing the civic diary and ensuring that the Mayor is where they should be when they should be. In addition to this, they also make all the arrangements for Civic and Charity events linked to the Town Council.

 As Burial Officer they are responsible for maintaining all records linked to the town’s cemeteries and liaising with Undertakers when internments take place. This also includes the sale of burial plots and the installation of memorials.

In addition, this role also acts as relief cover for the Norris Museum Attendance to cover for planned and unplanned leave.

This post has been filled since 2016 by Linda who joined the Council having worked in administrative roles for many years including property rental and asset management.

Grounds Team
The Town Council employs a small team of ground staff which carry out a range of horticultural and general duties in parks, play areas, and other open spaces in and around the town. Their duties include grass cutting in all cemeteries, Slepe Hall Field, Warner’s Park and the Waits, maintenance of the flowerbeds, hanging and barrier baskets in and around the town, hedge trimming and some tree maintenance work. They are also called on regularly to carry out general maintenance on properties owned by the council as well as painting and other repairs to street furniture.

Finally, they do a superb job in fetching and carrying for all civic and mayoral charity events as well as manning road closures and flag flying.

Our team is led by Roger Warboys, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor who joined the Council in 2004 as a part time member of the team. In 2007 he took on the full time role of Ground Maintenance Supervisor.

Peter Wootton joined the team again in 2011 having originally started in 2004 with Roger. He spend a short while working for another local council before deciding the St Ives was ‘the place to be’.

The last and youngest member of the team is Robert Hartop. Robert joined in a temporary position straight from school in 2008 as a temporary member of the team and was appointed to the team on a permanent basis from 2010.


Norris Museum Team

Museum Director - Sarah Russell

Sarah is responsible for the day to day running of the museum, looking after the collection and co-ordinating our programme of exhibitions. I also manage our team of fantastic volunteers.

 Learning and Outreach Officer - Hannah Vandridge

The Norris Museum’s Learning and Outreach Officer is responsible for developing and delivering the museum’s learning programmes. 

These range from historical talks and town tours to sessions with schoolchildren, which allow them to get hands-on with museum artefacts and explore aspects of our local history.

Also included in the Learning remit are the family event days, which take place throughout the year, the museum club for 3 to 6 year olds, and family craft workshops.

As part of all these things, the Learning and Outreach Officer oversees teams of volunteers who help plan and resource, as well as deliver in order to enable the museum to meet the increasing interest in all that The Norris has to offer.

Hannah is also the current chair of the Cambridgeshire Heritage Engagement Group.

 Community Officer – Susan Bate

Susan has been with the Norris Museum since July 2018, the main part of the Community Officer role is to take the museum collection out into the community and to bring the community into the museum.

This role encompasses, applying for small grants, maintaining the community room bookings, delivering memory / object sessions in the community where different groups get the opportunity to interact with museum objects, engage with harder to reach audiences using various different methods, and working in partnership with external organisations on projects that the museum delivers in the community or at the museum.

Front of House - Richard Carter, Mick Napier & Lesley Ackroyd

The front of house team at the museum welcome visitors to the museum, support researchers with enquiries and are your first port of call when getting in touch with us.