NALC Legal Bulletin, Employment Contract For Clerks, MK Elections 2024, ICO Update

Dear Colleagues


Well, I definitely saw tiny flakes of snow.  However the sledges are wedged so high up in the rafters of the garage, I don’t need any more snow as I can’t reach them! I trust that for those communities that have been flooded out, that the necessary support is now on site and that the lives and homes are returning to normal service.

It’s taken a little while to go through all the emails that accumulated during my leave, my apologies and thanks to those who patiently awaited my return and a huge bouquet due to Lorraine for keeping everything going in my absence.  If I haven’t got back to you by the time you get this, by all means send me a nudge, it really was a very full inbox!

So what happened while you were momentarily distracted?  A new legal bulletin from NALC, at long last a new Employment Contract for Clerks, the launch and update to the Elections Toolkit, a new phone number for the Employee Assistance Programme, changes to funding rules relating to Church property or property belonging to ecclesiastic charities.

Of course we are now in Free January, lots of short, interesting and FREE courses for you to dip your toes into.  Woughton CC started us off by demonstrating what we can achieve on the ground for residents, followed by Gt Linford who demonstrated active partnerships achieving the same goals through different avenues.  Thank you to both Steve and Tommy.  Please ensure that all your councillors are aware of the timetable the link is in red below the signature line of this email.  The content is not all academic, we have input from our fellow councils on the reality of projects and developments on the ground.  It’s hard putting your council forward for scrutiny, I know you’ll join me in giving them your warm support!

What do we think the key issues for this year will be? There will be a number undoubtably complicated by elections, both national and local, see the briefing notes below for our MK Parishes.  Our 2024 training programme will reflect the necessary training to attract new candidates and get them trained up quickly to become effective councillors.  Additionally Martyns Law and the safe and effective use of AI will become topics for wide discussion and we can anticipate all councils will be affected by these.  We’ll be looking at how we share the experiences of our members in a way that we can all be inspired and learn from them.  No conference for us this year, but there will be smaller seminar days and maybe something a little different around the AGM time.

I attach various items for your attention and an appeal from a former colleague on behalf of the Florence Nightingale Hospice, if you are in position to help even if only by placing posters on your noticeboards he will be grateful,  On the other hand maybe you have a special garden to share?  There is also the latest newsletter from the ICO, details from The Community Energy Fund.  Of course we commemorate the 80th Anniversary of D Day this year and there are two attachments from Bruno Peek for your information. There is also a poster from SOFEA whom many will have encountered whilst visiting our Conference, hugely supportive of young adults in our community.

News from Milton Keynes City Council 

MK Elections 2024

We have begun our preparations for the 2 May 2024 Local, Parish and Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections. There is uncertainty surrounding the timing of a general election next year, as the Prime Minister can call an election at any time (25 working days’ notice), but this must happen before 28 January 2025. 

This briefing note details the challenges faced in preparing for a general election on an unknown date, alongside a complex combination of scheduled polls. It also provides some detail on our high level planning on possible scenarios and decisions considered around the count, postal voting, and resources.

As a reminder – some MK Parish Councils have elections in May 2024 – this briefing note has more information.

For more information, please contact Peter Brown or Peter Taylor

MK Ward Boundary Review Update

Thank you to the 75% of MKCC Councillors who responded to our Council size survey. The results will form part of the evidence for our submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England (the Commission), which full Council will consider in January. The Commission will then review submissions and make a final decision on our Council size in mid March.

This briefing note details the progress / work undertaken to date including information on the Council size, electorate forecasts, warding patterns and consequential work prior to all out elections in May 2026 for new wards.

For more information, please contact Peter Brown

Well there is so much more to share, but I think I’ve given you quite enough for week 1.  I wish you all a restful weekend and Lorraine and I look forward to speaking to you next week.

Kind regards

Mel & Lorraine

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

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