Busy! Busy! Busy!

Dear Councils and Colleagues

The View is distinctly frosty, and the clear sunshine that I’m currently witnessing is glorious.  As for the week busy, busy, busy!

Last week we romped our way through Cllr Training, Office 365, General Power of Competence, Community Support in Action, Community Enrichment and Resilience all part of our Free January Members Benefit.  In addition IAC presented the last in a short series of Financial training courses.  I met with Northamptonshire counterpart to share ideas and experience and we’ve agreed to meet again including our Bedfordshire neighbour next time.  Oxfordshire’s CEO acts as my mentor and we are working with Hertfordshire on our drive to get more Internal Auditors out there, so as you can see we do share and learn together with our neighbours.

Something interesting if you are in the BC area from Community Impact Bucks.  Two new free fundraising workshops for Bucks charities in February 2023.  With predictions that the UK charity sector’s income will decline by £2.2bn in real terms by the end of 2023-24 (ref Pro Bono Economics) as demand for services soar, many not-for-profit organisations are looking for ways to boost their fundraising efforts.

To help Buckinghamshire’s not-for-profit organisations do this, local charity Community Impact Bucks is holding two free workshops in February 2023: Fundraising Readiness workshop on 9th February 2023 (12.30-2pm) will highlight the building blocks an organisation needs to have in place to succeed in fundraising, and the Meet the Funder workshop on 23rd February 2023 (1-2pm) will give attendees an insight into Buckinghamshire Community Boards funding.  For more information and to book, visit Community Impact Bucks’ Training and Events.

BC Devolved Services agreements.  I met with Simon and Rosie Tunnard last week and as this item rarely drifts from the top of my To Do list, I asked for an update.  The budget proposals for transport are still undergoing scrutiny and a final answer is not expected till late February, so we won’t know the financial settlement to councils until after that time.  Clearly you have all been through the budgeting process and your precept request may already have been submitted.  I have expressed our disappoint on your behalf and impressed how much we are looking forward to a new deal and a new plan with our new partner, Balfour Beatty.

A reminder for our MK family members is that for the first time, Milton Keynes residents will need to show photographic ID to vote at this year’s local elections. The requirement for voter ID was introduced in the UK’s Government Elections Act last year and Milton Keynes City Council is now urging residents to make sure they are ready to vote in May by checking they have an accepted form of ID. If you are holding elections this year please make sure that this is clear on all your promotional material.  No elections for BC this year and I’m not sure if you have a by election due to a casual vacancy, that this will apply to you too, I shall find out!

We are all aware of colleagues or that we are ourselves feeling under pressure if not all of the time, certainly some of the time, NALC have over the last couple of years taking proactive steps to support our wellbeing and resilience and following our course of Friday we are reminding you to take a look at NALC’s website for some great case studies and valuable resources.  You’ll need to login to access them.

Next week we  look forward to Responsible Investments, How to build an effective Personnel Committee, Office 365 for larger councils, Effective responses to Planning Applications and Free Nature all from our Free January programme.  We also have a BMKALC Executive Board Meeting and will be looking forward to hearing from you too.

By the way CAB 13th Edition now in stock!  You can order via the website.

Kind regards

Mel, Helen and Lorraine

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