VAT Section 6 Notice 749, annual leave and the Annual Governance & Assurance Review

Dear Councillors

This week’s mail box has included questions on VAT, attendance at meetings, the Clerks exposure to legal action, lots on staff appraisals and the usual panic as we try and calculate annual leave for part time colleagues.  In short,

  • Section 6 of VAT Notice 749, which clearly sets out that the council as a minimum must:
  1. Order the work
  2. Receive the supply of goods or services
  3. Receive a VAT invoice addressed to it
  4. Pay from its own funds (including grants awarded to the council)
  • Councillors must be physically present at meetings to marked as present, to participate in debate, to participate in voting and to contribute toward the quoracy count – there are no exceptions.
  • The Clerk is an employee of the Council and is indemnified by the Council when acting in accordance with their instructions or in accordance with their authority.  The Council as a whole is obliged to take any reasonable action to protect the clerk.
  • If you or colleagues are members of the SLCC take a look in their advice area you’ll find templates and you’ll recall I circulated the attached handbook earlier this month too
  • Finally annual leave we’ve used 12 hours of work a week as the example….
  1. If the Employee is on a NJC contract with less than 5 years’ service they have 6.6 weeks leave entitlement (23 days + 8 Bank holidays + 2 Statutory days = 33/5=6.6) 6.6 weeks x 12 hours per week = 79 hours per annum
  2. If they are on a NJC contract with 5 years or more service they have 7.2 weeks leave entitlement (26 days + 8 Bank holidays + 2 statutory days = 36/5=7.2 weeks) 7.2 weeks x 12 hours = 86.4 hours per annum
  3. If they are not on a NJC contract 5.6 weeks per annum x  12 hours per week = 67 hours

The bank holidays were included in the calculation that arrived at the number of hours leave entitlement, however this doesn’t mean that the Employee has to use up some of these hours when there is a bank holiday. It simply means that by including them in the calculation the Council is fully meeting their employee’s entitlement.

Thank you to NALC, Steve, Roger and Chris for their help in these areas.

Regrettably we had to postpone the CCTV governance training and we will reschedule that as soon as our presenter is back to full strength but Chairing Skills took place as planned.  A slightly smaller group which is not surprising as we move both to end of financial and end of electoral year.

Next week we have NALC’s Community Resilience and their Emergency Planning courses both on Wednesday, followed by Report Writing on Thursday.  I’ll be closing the week on Friday afternoon with some bespoke whole council training, I don’t whether or not we still have Dress down Friday, in my house it’s known as Cocktail Friday a bit of a lockdown legacy, so I shall be taking cake as a compromise offering!

Those of us in the Bucks area will be heralding the arrival of Balfour Beatty to our roads and the BC Cabinet Member for Transport, Steven Broadbent and officers will hold an online BC Town and Parish Council Transport briefing at 6.30pm-8pm on 30 March 2023. Invites have been sent directly to all Town and Parish councils to attend the briefing, which will cover how BC and their partners are working to ensure a successful transition from the current Transport for Buckinghamshire arrangements ending on 31 March 2023 to the new Buckinghamshire Highways beginning on 1 April 2023.This session will cover why and how things are changing, how we’ve been working to make the changes and how we are ensuring value for money, efficiency and improved customer service while maintaining the safety of the highways network in the changeover. This session will also provide key contacts and information about how the new service will work for you.

NB:  A maximum of two people can attend from each organisationClick here to join the meeting shortly before the start at 6:30pm on Thursday 30 March.

You should by now all have received your annual invitation to submit to the Annual Governance and Assurance Review delivered to you inboxes from PKF Littlejohn.  Just in case you’ve mislaid it I’ve put the link to their website in here for you.  A special call out to Parish Meetings – you are required to participate in this follow this link for your guidelines.

I’d heard a rumour of two updated LTN’s due out this week but they haven’t arrived so whilst you are rootling through your cupboards and directories prepping for your AGAR, let me remind you to take a look at LTN  40 which relates to Council Records Retention.  It’s on the NALCs website so you’ll need your login details.  I was asked for NALC’s template Complaints procedure this week I have requested but not tracked it down yet, NALC are moving house this week.  As soon as it is located, I’ll share it.

Hope you all have a great weekend, if you’ve been busy in the garden unwrapping what’s left, you best get out there and wrap it up again, apparently winter isn’t done with us just yet.  We look forward to speaking with you next week.

Kind regards

Mel, Helen and Lorraine

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