Finally my afternoon school run completes whilst it is still light, hurrah! It’s surprising how this small extension to our daylight hours boosts mood and energy levels and we see that reflected in your queries and contacts.
Last week we concluded our Free January 2024 Training Events. Our final event was beset with technical difficulties, but we managed to overcome virtually all of them with humour and patience, both virtues invaluable to all our councillors!
This year we covered Planning, HR, AI, Legal Updates, Guided Parish Tours, Ecology, Community Engagement, Community Services and Partnerships, Website Accessibility and Compliance, Youth Councils. These free sessions provide invaluable insights not only into core area’s of council business but also of the many opportunities that are available to us. The support of our member partners, fellow councils and external tutors is essential to the success of Free January, their time is given for free and it is undoubtedly an opportunity for some of them to bring their commercial services to our attention. However we learn so much more from them in return, I’m sure you would agree it’s worth it!
So with a short respite, namely the weekend, we are back this week with Promoting Projects To Realise Financial & Community Value From Local Council Property Assets – February 6th At 6.30pm and I have a whole Council bespoke training session on the 8th, followed by Councillor Training For Parish, Town And Community Councils – 19th Of February At 6.30pm, and Events Risk Assessment (Including Martyn’s Law New Requirements) February 28th At 11am Online. We also look forward to the BC Planning Forum on the 27th Feb a Teams meeting between 2 and 4pm, invitations and joining instructions have been sent to your clerks.
Now for interesting snippets and updates. The NALC Chief Executive’s update is attached (circulated by email separately), he covered, Utility Aid, the Women Councillors Network, updates from Defra and the NALC policy committee amongst others. Buckinghamshire Council adopted the D-AGT1 Supplementary Document on 10 October 2023. The Parkinson Partnership have asked us to let you know/remind you about some new and upcoming courses on their Bookwhen site, a New Clerk’s Finance course on 28 February, as well as a new Internal Controls course on 6 March. They also have our standard Finance for Councillors courses, and a range of courses to support year end and VAT.
Finally you should all be fully aware of your obligations to have a fully compliant website. Later this year the rules on accessibility are to be further improved, your website as Local Authority must be compliant with the new regulations. The changes will mostly affect the back end of the website and you will need to contact your website designer to ensure that your website will be updated and certified accordingly. Our member partner Aubergine are available to work with those councils who are uncertain or no longer have a designer to hand. They are currently offering an excellent package to councils to help with this, full details are on our website or you can call them direct at Aubergine. Make sure you let them know you are a member of BMKALC should you call.
Have a great week and we look forward to talking with you soon.
Mel and Lorraine