NALC Good Councillors Guide update, Members EAP Programme Expansion, NJC Pay Award, Biodiversity Seminar Rescheduled

Well campers it might be time to dust off the deckchairs as I believe a settled spell of better weather is heading our way next week.  Goodness knows we would all welcome it.

I was on annual leave last week, and been frantic all this week so if you have felt a little neglected, that’s why.  Lorraine did a sterling job of keeping things going, and I did do some essential work whilst away.  

So whilst I was off, a new Good Councillors Guide was launched, a new LTN 22 – Grievance and Disciplinary was issued, the new NALC national network for the smallest local councils was launched,the NALC National Network: Women Councillors met on 20 May 2024, the Latest Community Ownership Fund window opened on 30 May, and then if that wasn’t enough, someone announced a General Election.  I’m not sure I can leave town again!

You may also recall the disturbing news that a Principal Authority had tried to recover the costs of a Code of Conduct investigation which I shared recently, here is an update News | Leicestershire & Rutland Association of Local Councils (leicestershireandrutlandalc.gov.uk)

As we enter into June next week I shall be reviewing and submitting the numbers for the Employee Assistance Programme which we offer as a member benefit service.  This year we are able to extend the cover for Councillors as well, this completely confidential service remains at £8.10 pp pa.  We fought hard for the extension for cover of councillors too, as they are not employees of the council this was unusual, but I’m pleased to say we won through in the end.  If you wish to join please complete the form in the web site, follow the link in blue above.  Existing councils will be automatically invoiced, although do let me know if you need to increase your numbers to accommodate councillors too. I am aiming to send the invoices out next Wednesday so if you are able to let me know before then that would be most helpful.  Don’t panic if you haven’t discussed it at council yet, let me know after your next meeting.

I’m delighted that next week’s New! Councillor Essentials Parts 1 To 3 – June 5th, 12th And 19th At 6.30pm Online is SOLD OUT but also keen to let you know that following cancellations we now have space available on A.I. For Council Communications & Community Engagement In-Person Workshop- Thursday June 6th At 10am To 2pm.  

We’ve also got a lunchtime Knowledge Bites – An Introduction To The Work Of Sofea – June 11th At 1pm Online.  All great items to get involved in. 

On the Members Benefits front I’m pleased to say we now have Parish Online signed up providing a 30% discount to BMKALC members on their website offerings and 20 % on their mapping offers.  We have an extensive range of services now available, please go to the members area, login chose your subject area and supplier and fill in the form.  It really is that simple.

It won’t be long before we start to get anxious about the next pay award for those on NJC contracts.  A flat rate offer was made and rejected, it equated to around 4.4 % average, but I really do think that this year, all bets really are off and so we wait and see.

I expect the General Election will cause some distraction over the next 5 weeks,  in particular it plays havoc with diaries  as all room bookings in BC are cancelled to accommodate preparations for the ballot boxes.  Those of you looking forward to joining us at the Achieving Biodiversity seminar day were amongst the first to be affected and we have now moved this event to September 16th instead.  Bear with us if we have to move some dates around, it’s a complete pain and also the price of democracy.  I expect those of you reorganising village hall bookings are sharing a deep sigh, as you start contacting your hirers.

Finally I was pleased to receive notification of councillors who had been appointed as representatives to BMKALC and I welcome Tim and Richard to our “View”.  It is vitally important to get all the information out to councillors as well as clerks, so if you have appointed a representative to BMKALC, please send me their names and email addresses and we will add them to the “View” circulation list.  

Till next week then, Lorraine and I wish you a great weekend and a chance to get out and about.  We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Kind regards

Mel and Lorraine

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