Free January, Parish Focus Groups, PWLB Loans and congratulations to Paula our fastest ever CiLCA Graduate!

Dear Council Colleagues

Week 2 of Free January completed.  This week we heard from our young and future rising stars in our communities and local government, looked at how we can sell and market our parishes using interactive tours and looked at keeping our websites trim, fit for purpose and legal. Thank you to our young representatives, to Dan from At-Creative and Mark from Aubergine, who donated their time and expertise to providing these free insights and tips to our members.

Additionally I attended a webinar with County Officer colleagues on the use of AI in the County Office and a meeting with my colleague from Northamptonshire on how that County has approached devolution of different services.  We also attended our first inaugural parish focus group meeting with Buckinghamshire Council.

Our MK members have enjoyed a focus group as well as the Parish Liaison for some time now, and I’m pleased that Buckinghamshire Council have decided to do something very similar.  BMKALC have four places within this BC Parish Focus Group, for four Executive Board councillors and me, as an Advisory Officer. BC further invite other BC and Parish Councillors to attend at their discretion.  The purpose of the group is to hone in on matters of shared interest and to ensure that there is common understanding as to their impact, then to explore solutions.  These matters will feed in to the wider Parish Liaison meetings to which all councils in the area are invited.

One outcome of this is that there will be a list of concerns that I will then be testing on the membership to get examples, we need to focus on facts to establish priority.  The more attractive outcome for me is the opportunity for conversation with BC that was previously delivered through the District Authorities.  I am asking our Executive Board to confirm our four representatives this week and will announce them next Friday in our View.

Last week we tried to send you a poster for Open Gardens, which was huge, Bill has kindly sent me a much reduced one so I’m trying again! (Circulated by email).

We’ve had lot of enquiries this week regarding PWLB loans, great to see to many councils investing in the future of their communities.  Remember all the loans are processed through the County Association and I then forward them on to the loan board, you can get latest information, forms and templates from NALC.  Processing of the applications has improved considerably.

A busy week lies ahead.
BC Clerks Forum in Burnham on Monday January 22nd at 10am
BC Clerks Forum in Aylesbury on Tuesday, on Tuesday January 23rd at 10am
AI And Your Council’s Communications: A Match Made In Community Engagement Heaven! – Breakthrough Communications – 24th January At 11am SOLD OUT 

Future Nature – Providing Ecological And Community Engagement Advice For Town And Parish Councils – January 24th At 2pm

BMKALC Parish Liaison Meeting in the Diamond Room, The Gateway, Aylesbury January 25th from 6pm meeting starts at 6:30pm
What’s Your Interest? – Buckinghamshire Council & Milton Keynes City Council – January 25th At 11am
BMKALC’s first Executive Board Meeting , January 26th 6:30pm
Locality  – The Future Of Neighbourhood Planning In Light Of Proposed Changes To The Planning System- January 26th At 11am

Finally I’m delighted to congratulate probably our fastest ever CiLCA graduate, Paula Milford, who received notice of her qualification on the 11th January within two months of the final CiLCA 2023 session.  Paula set herself this tough challenge and we are all delighted with her success.  Registration for CiLCA 2023 has started and I’m hoping to tempt Paula to join us briefly at the introductory session in April to help inspire our new candidates.

We look forward to speaking with you soon!

Kind regards

Mel and Lorraine

Free January – our month long members only free training & information sessions is now open for booking on our website!

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