Dear Clerks and Councillors
Another week of contrasts, toasty on Sunday and jumpers by Tuesday! Of course Tuesday was my designated day off this week, just my luck!
Helen and I continue our personal development with the CiLCA Train the Trainer programme and next week sees us delivering a 10 minute training and presentation module to our training group for our assessment. On Thursday, our CiLCA 2022 team under the tutelage of Carole, started the process of working through the Learning Outcomes and portfolio preparation for Unit One of their qualification. For those Councillors that may be unaware, CiLCA is the official qualification for Clerks which is a fundamental requirement for Councils wishing to take on the General Power of Competence. Together of course, with two thirds of the council having faced an election.
Zoom on Wednesday evening provided the platform for Councillor Training. Councillors both new and established, joined us for a rapid fire romp through Councils, the Powers to spend Money, Roles within Councils, different types of meetings and the structures that Councils can adopt. There was quite a romp before the course started too, as I had managed to disable the camera on the BMKALC laptop and had to quickly transfer over to my personal laptop without the benefit of the proper slide show. I then added to the confusion by popping up briefly as Cllr Woof! Still we were able to start the meeting with 30 seconds to spare and a calm and unflappable Lorraine providing invaluable support!
Speaking of whom, Lorraine continues to work closely with our Website support on developing our new website, whilst continuing to ferret out new trainers and courses which are in demand and of interest to all our members. Lorraine has located a new training source for those running Burial Grounds and is in the final throes of delivering a course currently code named “HR 101 for Councils, Staffing Committees and Councillors”.
The mailbox this week has contained a couple of references to the Cessation Amounts which Councils face when the last employee within the Local Government Pension Scheme leaves or retires. The eye watering sums have come as a complete shock to the Councils concerned who have quite rightly raised some interesting question. Now BMKALC of course are not equipped to the answer these questions and are not in a position to provide pensions advice, Councils should always seek their own independent advice from a qualified Pensions Advisor. We can however forward the questions on to the Pensions Administrator at Bucks Council where I have a contact and Milton Keynes, where I need to identify a contact, and invite them to address the concerns raised. I’ll let you know how I get on.
So to next week, Chairing Skills on Tuesday evening plumb in the middle of a three day week. We’d love to see photographs of any events you have planned, obviously with the permission of the subjects! At the moment my weather app is predicting rain on the key days, how very British. Perhaps we can do a splash, no pun intended, on the website?
Wishing you all a happy and dry weekend.
Mel, Helen and Lorraine