Dear Clerks and Councillors
Prompted by meetings and your comments about how we secure representation from all areas of our geography, I thought I’d give you a taste of some of the queries we receive in to BMKALC each week.
Of course we anticipate the usual queries on calling of, running and minuting of meetings, financial queries and at this time of year some urgent calls regarding audits, end of year and the wonderful Annual Governance Assurance (AGAR). These are our bread and butter. The extra seasoning this week included photography at parish events, councils running lotteries and awarding prizes, the inclusion of VAT when considering if your future contracts need to be included on contract finder, some difficult personnel queries and the enforcement of bye-laws.
These types of enquiries are most usually resolved by recourse to the extensive NALC library of Legal Topic Notes or, by means of a legal enquiry which we make on your behalf to the legal team at NALC. However a number of particularly local issues are forwarded to Wellers Hedley from councils using their Members Benefit of a free 15minute consultation with Frances Webster.
So this week the highlights have been visits to parish councils, a disappearing copy/scanning/printer unit, two planning meetings, one for BC and one National, the County Officers Training forum, meetings with the SBALC and AVALC chairman and the securing of the Oculus and Street for our annual conference to be held in the Autumn. My apologies for the short notice for the BC planning meeting, it was my mistake and one which I will make sure doesn’t happen again. For the National event, I can only share your frustration, as you can see from the time stamp on the NALC email we didn’t receive notice either and so we and every other council in the country found it difficult to attend.
Next week we have a whole Council training event, County Officers meeting, Wycombe Association of Local Councils and Clerks on the CiLCA 22 cohort begin their qualification adventure.
I feel perhaps, looking back over the week, that perhaps my honeymoon period is over and now some of the real challenges are starting to emerge. However my sense of humour is restored and next week so will our printer unit, I work with a fabulous team both in the office and with all of you and the sun is shining!
We wish you all a great weekend and look forwarding to picking up with you all again on Monday.
Mel, Helen and Lorraine
County Officer – Bucks and Milton Keynes Association of Local Councils.