A view from our window

Dear Clerks and Councillors

Clerks – Please share with your Councillors.

Writing in the relative cool today, it’s hard to believe how hot it was at the start of the week. This week we have once again fielded questions on remote meetings, no you can’t, decisions must be made in person at face to face meetings. The campaign for a change in law on that continues, do feel free to write to your local MP’s! The question of outrageous increases in Council insurance cropped up again, Zurich seems to be a good option right now, also questions about GPC, 2/3rds of Councillors elected and a CiLCA qualified clerk and don’t forget the resolution to be taken at Council!

I was delighted to attend Stony Stratford Town Council’s meeting on Tuesday evening and to present them with their Quality Council Award. A huge achievement on everyone’s part. If you would like to consider embarking on the Quality Council Journey get in touch or look on the NALC website. I am trying to get them to relax the rules on qualifying number of councillors at the Foundation level so that more of us can get started instead of having to wait for the next election.

With the team back at full strength we were able to progress our plans for the Conference 2022 Climate Change – Local Practical Actions. We should be able to issue publicity around this at the start of August.

I am asked rather too often for my comfort, what it is that BMKALC do for our members. To be fair this question comes more from councillors than officers and following each occurrence I go back and carefully consider what it is that justifies your support. Quite apart from the day to day telephone and email support, training and liaison with your respective Principal Authorities, we are engaged with NALC looking to move national policies along, SLCC with regard to supporting our officers and sourcing and maintaining our member support providers. The providers currently service queries on legal matters – free 15 minute call, HR Queries, Finance Queries and subsidised courses on GDPR and FOI. We support training from our principal authorities on planning and enforcement and build on it with course from external suppliers.

Our Training Framework which we will formally introduce soon, focusses on four key areas, Governance, Operational, Service Led and Topical. We endeavour to have day and evening courses, in person and online within all four areas. In some subjects we focus on training for clerks separately from councillors. It’s a complex matrix when you weave in that we need to provide core support at a minimal cost as well as providing in depth development in some subjects.

We are trying to track down what happened with access to the NJC Green Book for local T’s and P’s and also trying to establish how we can bring about change in rules prevent Councillor allowance being used to cover child care or support care costs to free a wider pool of the population to serve as Councillors. So there we are, operational, tactical and strategic!

That brings me to a new membership benefit Lorraine will be sending this out as a separate email with full details. If you are looking at your utility bills I urge you to take a look at Clear Utility Solutions. If you are considering a change in supplier, coming to the end of your contract or actually don’t know what your status is, you can follow the link to make an enquiry. The link will tell you more, introduce you to their team and provide the links you might need. https://www.clearutilitysolutions.com/bmkalc-partnership. We believe that CUS understands our sector and delivers a one stop portal which will bring benefit to our members. BMKALC does not receive any monetary recompense for any business that you undertake with CUS.

Next week I shall be trying once again to enjoy the holiday which had to be abandoned following a Covid outbreak at chez Woof in June. Helen and Lorraine will be on hand to answer your calls and queries. Helen will be leading delegates through the joys of Agenda and Minutes on Tuesday and Carole will be back to take CiLCA on Thursday.

We hope you have a great weekend and look forward to seeing soon.

Kind regards

Mel, Helen and Lorraine.

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