With the roads clearer and the town centre car parks full, it can only mean that School is out for Summer! It took 15 minutes for me to find a parking space yesterday in the centre of Aylesbury, apparently Barbie is pulling in the crowds!
A few items to bring to your attention of which you might not be aware that I picked up on the DLUHC updates last week.
Community Payback: nominate anti-social behaviour clean-up projects
DLUHC and the Ministry of Justice wrote to council leaders earlier this month (7 July) encouraging councils to take up opportunities offered as part of the government’s Anti-Social Behaviour action plan provided by the Community Payback and Immediate Justice schemes. Community Payback teams support councils through the delivery of a range of community projects. These include painting and decorating, cleaning up litter and fly tipping, tree planting, graffiti removal, and work in parks and open spaces. The Community Payback Autumn Clean is part of the plan and will take place from 15 September to 24 September. It will focus on delivering Anti-Social Behaviour clean-up projects including graffiti removal, litter picking, and beach projects in support of the Great British Beach Clean. Councils are encouraged to take the opportunity to nominate a Community Payback project by emailing HM Prison and Probation Service or through existing Probation Service contacts.
Anti-Social Behaviour action plan: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/anti-social-behaviour-action-plan
The Department for Work and Pensions and Department of Health and Social Care are today (20 July) publishing a consultation on ways to increase uptake of Occupational Health provision. Employers will be encouraged to take up Occupational Health offers to help employees access mental and physical health support at work, particularly for those working in small and medium-sized enterprises. The proposals include introducing a national “health at work” standard for all employers to provide a baseline for quality Occupational Health provision, which includes guidance, an option to pursue accreditation, and additional government support services. The consultation also seeks views on developing longer-term workforce capacity to help meet any increased demand for Occupational Health services in the future. The consultation closes on 12 October.
Plans to improve health in the workplace
At the BC Parish Clerks Forum this week an interesting question was raised regarding the access to confidential minutes through an FOI request. We were asked to provide clarity and Helen got on to the Information Commissioners Office straight away. Confidential minutes are discoverable. Each request must be considered individually, before determining if the information requested may be shared, it is rare that any document can be refused in total, documents may be redacted in line with legal limitations. This is why when drafting your agenda confidential items and recording your related minutes you are mindful of the language and descriptions used. I attach the document which formed the basis of Helen’s conversation with the ICO.
Also you might be looking at your energy supplies and new contracts and remind you of your members benefit whereby Clear Utility Solutions can assist you. Click here to use your partnership portal to access the utilities comparison service.
It was good to have the BC Clerks Forums back in the schedule and to welcome Wendy Morgan Brown to the BC team. The conversation was engaging and challenges were highlighted, I think we all enjoyed being back in an actual room, albeit that we recognise that it takes us away from our work desk for longer.
Whilst we don’t train in August, work on our scheduled training and identification of training needs and partners goes on and Lorraine will be sending you updates. I would urge you all to keep an eye on our website as Lorraine is constantly updating it. Looking ahead to September we have:
· New! Developing An Action Plan For Town, Parish & Community Councils – September 5th At 10am – Online
· Chairing Skills For Town, Parish & Community Councils – September 20th At 6.30pm – Online
I want to call to your attention the Civility and Respect Seminar. we have an incredible line up consisting of Paul Hoey & Natalie Ainscough, Nick Graham & Glenn Watson (BC Monitoring Officers), Sharon Bridglalsingh from MKCC Director, Law and Governance, Daniel Purchese of Breakthrough Communications and our own Cllr Jon Harvey from Buckingham TC and a representative on your Executive Board. Our email box demonstrates that we still have some distance to go in terms of improving the confidence of everyone in our Council’s activities and our behaviour when delivering them. Having these excellent practitioners in one place to lead a county wide improvement drive in civility and respect is an incredible opportunity. We languish low in the league tables when it comes to signing up the Civility and Respect policy, we simply must do better.
Have a great week and we look forward to speaking with you!
Mel, Helen and Lorraine