Martyn’s Law, Jargon Busters, Elections Toolkit Launch, Planning Events, NALC final call!

Dear Colleagues

This week I attended the briefing session on Martyn’s Law hosted by the SLCC, over 450 attendees signed on to hear an update from the Home Office, views from both the SLCC and NALC and a peer experience from Shrewsbury Town Council.  The upshot is that whilst it isn’t law yet, there are things that we need to be getting on with, precautions we should be taking anyway and planning on training our councils and possibly key partners on counter terrorism measures.  I’m now exploring this and how best to support you and will write more on this in the near future.

I wanted to point out two jargon busters on our website, which councillors particularly new ones may find useful.

Jargon Buster – Glossary of Planning Terms

Jargon Buster For Councils

If you have a few hours on your hands and are looking for a slightly different distraction, the Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust is seeking to recruit a suitably experienced Secretary to support its activities. The object of the Trust is to award grants for restoration and repair of places of worship throughout the Buckinghamshire Archdeaconry which extends from Slough to Milton Keynes. The position is part time.

NALC have issued the final call for all larger and smaller local (parish and town) councils to vote for the Larger Councils Committee and Smaller Councils Committee. This year, they are using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system for all elections, and to vote, you will need to pre-register your council. Those details will be submitted to UK Engage, and a voting link will be issued. Larger councils can find more information about the candidates for direct councillor and clerk vacancies and pre-register to vote on the NALC website. Smaller councils can find out more about the candidates for the three direct committee seats and pre-register to vote by visiting the NALC website. All councils must register by 20 November 2023, and voting will close on 22 November 2023, with results being announced at the National Assembly meeting on 29 November 2023. For any enquiries on the committee elections, please get in touch with NALC at

I was asked this week to comment on the nature of bus services in and around our County this week, once I finished my choking fit, I was able to describe the very patchy and often expensive bus services we enjoy.  So when I read this week’s NALC’s blog from the Transport Planning Society (TPS) I thought I would highlight it for you too.  It talks about how local councils can help deliver a decarbonised transport system. Now in its sixth year, the Transport Planning Day on 13 November 2023 focused on planning and providing for a rapid and equitable transition to a decarbonised transport system. The blog stresses that the best thing you can do is to encourage more people in your community to walk, cycle, and use public transport. The blog lists several ways to make a plan to apply for government funding for transport. Read the blog to find out more!

Also don’t forget that we have  The Good Councillor’s Guide to transport planning available on the NALC website which you can download for free.

Next week is a huge planning week for the county, I’m in a BC devolved services focus group meeting on Monday, Planning demystified on Tuesday and Thursday and MKALC Planning Conference on Wednesday.  We have had a few cancellations for planning and these have been offered to members of the waiting list. 

On December 5th we have Councillor Recruitment, Induction & Retention – December 5th – 10am To 1pm In-Person at which we will be officially launching our new ELECTIONS TOOLKIT.  Breakthrough Communications will be joining me as we identify the challenges and what we can do to proactively address them in finding and keeping our councillors.  This course / seminar will benefit both officers and councillors committed to developing and maintaining a strong and proactive local council.  It is in-person in Aylesbury and I look forward to seeing you there.
Safeguarding Week
Please feel free to circulate the information below to other groups who may benefit in your parish.

Has your organisation got the right safeguarding measures in place?

Safeguarding is the term used to describe the policies and procedures which protect vulnerable people from abuse, harm, and neglect. All types of organisations which come into contact with the public need to have safeguarding policies; there is a duty of care and a legal responsibility for safeguarding employees, volunteers, clients, and visitors – in fact, anyone that an organisation encounters.

This year, Safeguarding Adults Week (20th – 24th November)is encouraging organisations to think about what wellbeing means to them and to the people they support. It also looks at strategies to promote the wellbeing of staff, volunteers and the people they help. For more information and training opportunities during the week, visit the Ann Craft Trust website.

If you work or volunteer for a Bucks charity or community group and you aren’t sure if you have the right measures in place, Community Impact Bucks can help. You can access free resources on their website as well as find out how they can help you be safeguarding compliant. For more information, visit Community Impact Bucks.

Have a great weekend and we look forward to seeing and speaking with you next week.

Kind regards


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