75th Anniversary Celebration and Excellence Awards

If we were to view the past 75 years with microscopic intensity it would reveal millions of small, often unconnected, actions and activities. Whether it be the long service or distinguished actions of an individual, bold and innovative projects or quiet consistent support, they provide the warp and weft composing the fabric of our communities. They hold us together, and together we design our future vision for home.

Our awards for this 75th year want to recognise this, and we would like your support to firstly nominate and then to join us in recognition of our local stars. Sadly no gold watches to hand out but these acknowledgements are heartfelt and sincere.

A letter from our Chief Executive, Mel Woof

On the 1st of November 1947, Town and Parish Councils from the County of Buckinghamshire came together for the Inaugural Meeting of Buckinghamshire Association of Local Councils. This remarkable collaborative which has sustained both its members and our local government sector, will celebrate its 75th birthday in 2023.

Town and Parish Councils are perhaps the final bastion of a full democracy. We are the closest point to those we claim to represent and equally, the closest point to be judged by that same audience. Recognising the power of working together to educate, lobby and improve our communities, Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Association of Local Councils, as it is now known, and it’s members have faced challenge and judgement, earned respect and compliments, on the real work they do in their communities.

So for our 75th birthday together, we will be celebrating our Communities, looking at practical ways to support and further enrich the wide diversity that we represent, pooling our knowledge and resources and looking further afield for ideas and inspiration. We very much look forward to your participation in special events this year recognising this incredible milestone.

Happy 75th Birthday BMKALC!

Mel Woof
Chief Executive

Book Celebration Event tickets here

75th Anniversary Message Board

Dominic Warner - Clerk to Council
Campbell Park Community Council
Congratulations on celebrating this special anniversary. Your representation and advocacy gives your member Councils a voice where it matters. Your support and guidance helps Councils and Officers through the most challenging situations. Your conferences and training sessions empower Councils to deliver on behalf of residents across the county. Well done, enjoy the moment!


BMKALC’s President will welcome attendees to our first peer to peer led conference and will set the scene for the day.

Speaker: Countess Elizabeth Howe

Steve is joined by colleagues Tash Darling – Youth Manager and Safeguarding Lead and Sean Perry – Community Services Manager

If not us, then who?

Exploring the impact of changes at principal authority and national level and how our sector can make a difference in mitigating these changes, Steve discusses the benefits of local service provision and the changes they make at a truly local level.

How can youth services help reduce demands on the health service?

How does offering advice to residents improve local economies?

How do collaborations bring better outcomes, at a lower cost?

And how can we prove our value?

With examples from where the former NALC Council of the Year has invested in direct services and how this had made a difference in the parish, Steve aims to inspire others to consider how they might make the changes wanted and needed within their communities.


Bio: Steve McNay has been managing Woughton Community Council since 2018, overseeing a diverse range of services and support that make Woughton an essential provider within the parish. Steve previously worked in the NHS and the third sector, primarily managing mental health services, but also learning disabilities, housing and homelessness and youth and community providers. Steve has previously lived within the parish, originally moving there in 1980 as the city was being built, and again in the early 2000’s, where he bought his first house.

 Moving into the local council sector has enabled Steve to take a longer term approach, with the ‘short term’ funding model of charities sometimes making it hard to build sustainable, ongoing support. Woughton offers a huge range of support, Including a specialist metal health and wellbeing officer, advice service, integrated youth services and a range of community support projects.

With a committed and supportive officer and councillor team, Woughton’s approach is increasingly being replicated in other areas and led to them being awarded ‘Council of the Year’ in 2019.  Speak- 


Mark is the Founder and Creative Director at Aubergine and website accessibility expert & champion. 30+ years experience working in the internet.
Author of the NALC Website Accessibility & Publishing Guidebook
Advisor to 300+ town & parish councils on website accessibility compliance
Public speaker & trainer
Parish councillor of 10+ years
Newly ILCA qualified!
Terrible golfer & lover of good wine.


Breakthrough Communications

Daniel Purchese is Co-Director of Breakthrough Communications, specialists in helping local councils communicate and engage effectively and compliantly with their communities. Daniel’s professional background is in community campaigning and training. He was previously Head of People Development for one of the country’s largest campaigning membership organisations and oversaw training programmes for tens of thousands of volunteers. Daniel has previously served as a town, district and county councillor as well as having been a Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services.

15 Minute Masterclass: What’s your council’s community engagement strategy?

It’s never been more important for councils of all shapes and sizes to ensure they are communicating and engaging effectively with the communities they serve. In this 15 minute Mini Masterclass, Daniel will share the crucial questions your council needs to consider in order to shape your strategic approach to community engagement.



Community Partnerships – How to do more with less.

With budgets, staff and time tight, how can local councils still support its residents? Partnering with charities, not-for-profit and volunteer groups gives local councils the know-how, expertise and valuable insight in supporting the community. Partners are already doing the work, supporting them ensures sustainability and an increase in services that can be provided to reach and support more residents. Community Partnerships is not always easy and its can be hard to know where to start.



Newport Pagnell’s Devolution Journey 

Newport Pagnell Town Council started out as a medium sized council about 15 years ago.  It has now grown to a super council with a precept of over E1M and further income that sits outside of its own accounts of around £2M.  It has taken on assets worth £17M, and now has a large leisure portfolio offer to residents.  The Town Council works closely with partnership organisations to deliver a programme that helps both the mental and physical health of our community, and to ensure that all segments of the community are treated inclusively.

Bio:  Shar Roselman has been involved in the parish council world for over sixteen years, both as a councillor and as a town clerk. She leads a team of thirteen staff members but has had experience of staffing numbers of over one hundred, and is accustomed to negotiating financial deals worth millions of pounds.  In addition to staff management skills, she holds extensive contract management experience, and tenders for and manages major contracts for Newport Pagnell Town Council.  Her previous jobs have been an eclectic mix of published author for children’s and young adult books, director of the Sentrachem Leadership Centre, and owner and front of house manager of two restaurants. She once worked for the Natal Rugby Union but is now a strong supporter of the British Lions.  Born in South Africa, with secondary schooling in both Germany and England, she brings a multi-cultural, broad view to council life.       

Enrichment Workshop 

This Enrichment Workshop is delivered in three parts by your peer colleagues from Buckingham Town Council, Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council and  Wolverton & Greenleys Town Council  offering unique insight and first hand expert experience in delivering enrichment projects and provisions for your communities through Art, Events and Youth Programmes.

  • The cost of this workshop is included in your conference ticket.
  • Duration, one hour including Q&A
  • Places are limited book now to avoid disappointment.


Louise Stubbs, Deputy Town Clerk

Sam Hoareau, External Facilities & Town Centre Manager

Topic: Giant Swans: Art and Engagement in the Community

“From giant swans to colourful otters, Buckingham Town Council regularly delivers arts focused events, including two large sculpture projects in 2021 and 2023, the Buckingham Otter Trail and the Buckingham Swan Trail. Louise and Sam will guide you through how the Council uses art to engage with the community, including how to sell your ideas, manage grant funding, sponsorship and encourage a creative environment.”



Delia Shepard Town Clerk

Davina Pancholi-Ifould, Community Events and Support Services Officer

Topic: Understanding the value of community events 

Community events are often viewed as a nice thing to do or something that must happen to meet the trends of a season eg Easter, Eid and Christmas.

One of the more challenging aspects of hosting events lies outside of the logistical organisation and begins with the intention.

  • What is this event for?
  • What will we learn from it?
  • What value will our residents get from it?
  • How will they feel during and after?

At Bletchley and Fenny Stratford agreeing these goals allows us to harness the full power of the gathering of our communities in a way that is more beneficial than just people enjoying one day. We’ll try to illustrate what we’ve learnt from delivering this and other smaller events in conjunction with our community partners.


Andrea Vincent, Town Clerk

Chris Madeley, Community Engagement and Projects Officer

Topic: Youth Provision 

‘My take on parish/town councils is they need to ask the community what they need and then do their best to provide or facilitate that provision. This is what we have striven to do with a wide consultation. The presentation focuses on youth provision as that was what our community primarily asked for but the principles can be applied to any activity.’ Andrea Vincent, Town Clerk


Funding Workshop Conference 2023

Sourcing Funding for Town and Parish Councils

Speaker: Mike Deegan 

This one-hour workshop offers invaluable information about the funding sources available for community health & wellbeing projects in Buckinghamshire. There will also be tips and advice on applying for grants and writing more successful bids.

The session will cover the current main sources of relevant national, local and county funding. It will also consider the beneficial opportunities (and accessibility of resources) possible when working with local partner organisations and health authorities.

Mike over 25 years experience of writing successful funding bids and developing thriving community & environmental projects. His expertise working for a charity, being a parish councillor and delivering local community projects means that Mike fully understands how smaller bodies and organisations operate.

  • The cost of this workshop is included in your conference ticket.
  • Duration, one hour including Q&A
  • Places are limited book now to avoid disappointment.

Social Prescribing Workshop 

Hughenden Parish Council Logo

Speaker: Councillor Simon Keary

Long standing Parish Councillor (Hughenden) – working closely with local communities both to celebrate key parish milestones but also promoting engagement through involvement in parish projects around Heritage and Nature Recovery. Life member of the Chiltern Society leading a board that is looking to the future in terms of organisational development and a sustainable future for the Chilterns wider area  and one that links local communities to local nature.

The day job with the NHS creates a perfect link to delivering health and wellbeing outcomes through social prescribing as well as developing strategic level productive organisational partnerships.

Topic: Social Prescribing 

Recently there has been a lot made of Social Prescribing – the ability of GPs and their teams to link patients to community and national organisations and activities which would benefit them in terms of physical and mental health – and so avoid surgery and drug prescriptions.

But this concept has been around for a long time – its just that most of it is through self referrals and the quality of the experience is a person judgement rather than pre-ordained.

In this session we look at the forms that social prescribing takes, who does it, how town and parish councils can promote and get involved with this and how they can support residents to benefit from these opportunities.

  • The cost of this workshop is included in your conference ticket.
  • Duration, one hour including Q&A
  • Places are limited book now to avoid disappointment.

Buckinghamshire’s Youth Voice Executive Committee and Milton Keyne’s Youth Cabinet are teaming up to provide a youth perspective to BMKALC’s 2023 conference. These young people are actively involved in diverse and creative youth voice projects to make a positive difference to their communities while developing their own skills and experience.

Through their keynote speech, marketplace stall, and spot on the discussion panel, the young people will share their perspectives, experience, and top tips for engaging with young people in your communities and empowering them to make a difference.