LALC eNews 18th August 2023

This fortnightly newsletter is provided to member councils through the clerk and should be circulated to all councillors. This eNews can also be found on the LALC website under News.


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Training courses are available to book via the portal (login required).


The Training Bulletin is issued monthly, and courses are available to book via the portal. If there is any specific training which you feel would be valuable, and we don’t currently offer it, please let us know and we will investigate. The latest Training Bulletin can be found on the LALC website.


Clerks – when booking training for your councillors, please ensure that their email address is correct. If not, they will not receive the booking confirmation or any joining instructions.


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Current vacancies


Closing date

Ingoldmells Parish Council


No closing date

Bilsby & Farlesthorpe Parish Council


10th July

Great and Little Carlton Parish Council


Not specified

Edenham Parish Council


No closing date

Hundleby Parish Council


30th July

Metheringham Parish Council


31st July

Nettleham Parish Council


25th August

Nettleham Parish Council

Village Handyperson

25th August

Scothern Parish Council


16th August

Bardney Parish Council


18th August

Lincolnshire County Council

Senior Engagement Officer

3rd September

Billinghay Parish Council


15th September

Sutton Bridge Parish Council


12th September

Addethorpe Parish Council


11th September


If we are advertising your vacancy in the eNews and on our website, please let us know when the vacancy has been filled, so that we can remove it. If your vacancy has not yet been filled and you are continuing to advertise, please let us know of any revised closing date. If you no longer specify a closing date, please let us know so that we can update the vacancy adverts.


If you need your vacancy advertising and do not have a pre-prepared advert to send us, please complete our Vacancy Template, which can be found in the Members Portal under Document Templates.


The NALC Recruitment Manual (developed as part of the Civility & Respect project) is now available via the portal. Go into Knowledgebase and click on 'Recruitment Manual' in the 'Employment' menu area. 

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Probation & Appraisal Reviews

When was the last time your council ensured that all staff including the Clerk and new employees had their chance to review their performance and tell you how things are going?

The best employers care about their employees so want to hear what might be causing a problem or what could be improved.  Feedback should be regular and not saved up until the annual appraisal or at the end of probation. If it comes as a shock to either the employee or appraiser to hear something new then communication and feedback is not working well.  There should be regular dialogue with employees but a chance to assess what is going well and not so well can release tension and prevent future problems particularly if focussed on learning and improvement.  A period to listen and learn from each other can solve many problems. 

It is usual for the Clerk’s performance to be reviewed by 2 or 3 councillors as a sub-committee of the staffing committee and the result is reported to the staffing committee during a confidential meeting.  It is not recommended that the whole council conduct the performance review. If performance is linked to pay then a pay review may follow in time to take any pay implications into account in any forthcoming budget-setting and precept-setting period.

Other staff are usually line managed by the Clerk and the Clerk will undertake their performance reviews and appraisals.

It is usual to hold annual appraisals. Half-yearly appraisals are also good practice. It may be appropriate to hold more frequent appraisal or performance management discussions as part of general supervision and management throughout the year but particularly during the early stages of employment or following disciplinary action or performance concerns.

To assist this process LALC provides a few appraisal and probation review document templates within our password-protected portal which you may find useful:

Also refer to The Good Councillor’s Guide to Employment available from our Key Documents area on the LALC homepage:

ACAS – Managing People:

ACAS – Templates for Employers:

Want to learn more about appraisals? Then listen to the free Civility and Respect podcast about appraisals (as listed on page 4 of the current Training Bulletin) or get booked onto the Appraisals training course on 6th November 2023 starting at 10am until 12noon through your Clerk:

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Personnel Advice & Solutions Ltd


Fully flexible Employers improve recruitment and retention at twice the rate of those requiring full-time office attendance

A recent report called The Flex Index analysis - based on 2022-23 data from more than 4,500 Employers – found that fully flexible Employers, those who allowed 100% home working by their Employees, were able to improve recruitment by 5.6% over the last 12 months.  In comparison, firms with a hybrid approach to office / home working grew headcount by 4.1% and those with a full-time in-office structure only grew headcount by 2.6%.  This could be interesting news within the Town / Parish Council sector, where recruitment and retaining good staff has been a problem for a number of years.

The report also found that there is variance in recruitment depending on what flexible approach an organisation uses:

                 Fully remote Employers have grown headcount the fastest over the last 12 months (6.9% growth).

                 Firms that allow employees to choose how they work grew headcount by 5%.

                 Employers that specified a minimum number of days in the office each week grew headcount by 4.3%.

                 Employers that wanted staff in on specific days saw headcount rise by 3.8 per cent.  This can be an issue for Town / Parish Councils, where attendance in the office for some specific times during a week can be important to enable the public to have face to face contact with the Council. For many Councils the idea of having only online or video contact with their Electorate isn’t acceptable.

Flexible working can also improve accessibility to work to a more diverse range of potential Employees, and it is obviously better for talent attraction. 

However, there are risks. A fully remote work is associated with a 10 per cent productivity drop-off in some studies.  Also Councils must think about the practicalities:

                 Effective communication technology is essential.  Councils must have access to their Employees during their normal working hours, regardless of where they are; office based or at home. 

                 Some Employees may struggle with the ability to separate the home and work cultures.  They can struggle with the intrusive nature of having to deal with colleagues, Councillors and the public from the ‘sanctuary’ of their home.  This needs managing sensitively to ensure that calls, emails and other intrusive elements of work are kept to working hours only.

                 Home working Employees need equipment to do the job, such as laptops, printers, mobile phones.  There is also the concern that these expensive assets can be held ‘hostage’ if the Employment relationship breaks down, and not returned.

                 Confidentiality is also an issue for Councils to consider.  The Council needs to ensure that sensitive personal data belonging to the Council is being securely stored at an Employee’s home.  Again, if the employment relationship breaks down, is the Council confident this information will be returned?  An option could be for all data an information to be stored on an encrypted memory cloud, to which only key people such as the Clerk, Chair and Vice Chair have access to the password.

What is becoming more apparent is that traditional office based 9-5 working is coming to an end, and more diverse and hybridised forms of working are gradually becoming the norm for a lot of Councils.


Chris Moses LLM Chartered FCIPD is Managing Director of Personnel Advice & Solutions Ltd.  He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has a Master’s Degree in Employment Law.

If you have any questions regarding these issues please feel free to contact him on (01529) 305056 or email

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Phase 3c Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme

Phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, worth £1.425bn, was launched by Salix on behalf of the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero in 2021.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures. This scheme continues its task to reduce fossil fuels as well as making public buildings more comfortable and more efficient to warm. This is important as we know most of the buildings in the public sector still rely on burning fossil fuels for heating, hot water, and catering.

For Phase 3c, an additional financial year of funding has been granted by the Department. This funding increases the value of the overall funding to the scheme and will enable Phase 3c projects to deliver across two financial years.

Phase 3c of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme has up to £230 million available in 2024/25. The budget available in 2025/26 will be confirmed this autumn though applicants should assume a broadly balanced profile across 2024/25 and 2025/26.

The Application Portal for Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme Phase 3c is expected to open in the autumn.

To find out more:

In the meantime, please join a Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme Phase 3c webinar to find out more and meet the Salix team:

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Parkinson Partnership enter a new partnership with treasury advisors Arlingclose Ltd

The partnership has been designed to improve the availability of investment advice to local councils.

Parish Councils: how should you invest your funds?

 With market volatility continuing to fluctuate and short-term interest rates rapidly rising, it may be time to reassess your bank balances and short-term investments for security, liquidity and yield.

 A looming recession means it is ever more crucial to ensure security of principal is maintained. One way this can be managed is to diversify funds across a number of counterparties to eliminate any sizeable losses. When investing with banks through either call accounts, notice accounts or fixed term deposits, it is important to identify whether your authority is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

 Following discussions with Arlingclose, the FSCS extended its protections in 2015 to include ‘small local authorities’, which are described as authorities with an annual budget of less than €500,000 (currently £430,000 and updated annually on 3rd July). This means that authorities considered small are granted the same protections as individuals, and deposits of up to £85,000 per UK bank or building society are fully protected. Authorities covered by the scheme should have enough counterparties to ensure accounts do not exceed this limit.

For larger authorities, there is no FSCS protection and an investment strategy should be formed to help set formal criteria for investing. Not all banks run the same risks and, as investors of public money, you will want to ensure you are making your best effort to maximise security. The strategy should include minimum overall acceptable credit criteria as well as duration and monetary limits based on the type of approved counterparty and its creditworthiness. For councils with investments of over £100,000, an investment strategy prepared in line with government investment guidance is a legal requirement.

Maintaining an adequate level of liquidity is important to ensure there is funds available to draw down should unexpected costs arise. Keeping a proportion of your portfolio liquid can help avoid incurring expensive borrowing from external sources. Money Market Funds (MMFs) are a useful liquidity tool which also offer diversification.


A MMF is a pooled fund which invests in high credit quality, short-term debt instruments and typically offers daily liquidity. MMFs are actively managed by a fund manager and there are rigid guidelines regarding the makeup and transparency of the fund. For example, the fund must have a weighted average maturity of below 60 days and each holding is limited to no more than 5% of the fund. The principal objectives of a MMF are preservation of capital, high liquidity and competitive returns (or yield) commensurate with security and liquidity, aligning them closely with the requirements of the government investment guidance.

In the current high and rising interest rate environment, you also want to ensure you are not bypassing lost income from accounts still paying sub one percent returns. Generally, MMFs can react relatively quickly to rate rises as existing deposits roll off and it invests at higher rates. We have seen this recently with most funds paying close to the current Bank of England base rate.

To discuss our parish council investment advice, please contact the Arlingclose team at


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NALC Legal Update – August 2023

Adverse possession – maintenance of land by different local authorities

A council hoping to make an adverse possession claim for land it had been maintaining asked us if maintenance by different local authorities over different time periods would meet the qualifying condition that a claimant must have possessed the land continuously for the relevant period (10 years for registered land and 12 years for unregistered land). They recognised that any break in possession would mean time starting afresh.

Adverse possession claims are fact specific, and all the conditions must be met for a claim to succeed so maintaining land alone would not be enough (see LTN 55). Our view was that if a claim is brought by a person/ body, it is that person/ body proving their use of the land means they should be registered as the landowner. As such, different bodies maintaining land at different times would not be enough.

Freemen – use of gender-neutral terms

We were asked if a council could use non-gendered terms for conferring honorary titles under section 249 of the Local Government Act 1972, e.g. “freeperson” in place of “freeman”. Our view is yes, it is a matter for a council. As with the term “chairman”, the law uses the masculine to denote the feminine. We suspect law written today would use non-gendered terms.

The implementation of sections 15 and 16 of the Local Government Act 1972

The question of the implementation of these two provisions occasionally comes up. The legislation cites wording (“elected”) in square brackets, providing in the case of section 15 (1) that the chair must be elected annually from among the elected members and for section 16 (1), that the number of elected parish councillors for each parish council shall not be less than five. This understandably causes some confusion.

We confirm that the amendments relating to elected members as contained in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 have never been brought in and we don’t expect them to be brought in. At the time the 2007 Act came into force, NALC lobbied for the amendments relating to elected councillors not to be brought in.

Recording meetings – straight away or when the meeting starts?

We were asked if members of the public exercising their right to record at meetings can record from the moment they come into the meeting room or when the meeting starts. We give guidance on the reporting of meetings under section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 in LTN 5E. The right to report on a meeting is limited to reporting on the proceedings of a meeting. That means, as such, that it should be when the meeting starts. “Reporting” is defined in s.1(9) of the 1960 Act.

Recent team activity

Jane Moore delivered a legal update at the Derbyshire ALC’s summer conference held on 27 June in Chesterfield. Thank you to the Derbyshire Association for the invite.

We have reissued LTN 78 to make the content of the note more practical, including links to useful guidance. Councils with specific equality issues can request legal advice under the NALC legal scheme.

We are now into the summer holiday period and members of the legal team will be taking holiday leave in August and September. We will not be able to guarantee urgent responses over the leave period.

We will be prioritising website content work for the transfer of content to the new NALC website, which will likely impact on the delivery of urgently requested advice.

We wish you all good holidays should you be taking leave, and good weather.

With best regards,

NALC Legal

Disclaimer: Information and commentary on the law contained in this bulletin is provided free of charge for information purposes only.  Whilst every reasonable effort is made to make the information and commentary accurate and up to date, no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by any member of NALC Legal Services.

The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter.  You are strongly advised to obtain specific advice about your case or matter and not to rely on the information or comments in this email.


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Letter to councils on Remembrance parades and services

NALC, LGA and the Royal British Legion (RBL) have published a joint letter to all councils regarding Remembrance events ( The letter, signed by chairs of NALC and LGA, and the director general of RBL, thanks councils for their support and assistance in organising parades and services. It also asks for continued assistance and support to make them cost-effective, highlighting the part RBL branches and volunteers can play. I would be grateful if county associations could help share the letter with councils in their areas. As I know local councils are at the heart of the community and commemorative events, I'm sure you will continue to work with RBL branches and other Armed Forces organisations to enable local people to remember their fallen and look forward to the continued observance of this time-honoured tradition. You can also find out more information about Remembrance on RBL's website:


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Parishes and towns across South & East Lincolnshire to receive nearly £1.3million thanks to UKSPF funded grant scheme

Parishes and towns across the South & East Lincolnshire Councils Partnership sub-region are set to receive the first share of nearly £1.3million to help boost small community groups and projects thanks to a new grants scheme.

Lincolnshire Community Foundation's Levelling UP Community Grants Programme (GRASSroots) will distribute grant aid across Boston, East Lindsey and South Holland to go towards supporting rural communities and parish and town councils.

LALC organised and held hybrid briefings in Boston, East Lindsey and South Holland areas to raise awareness of this funding in February this year.  Katrina Evans, Chief Executive of LALC, said, “I am delighted to see some of our LALC members applied and were successful and I hope more local councils in these districts would take up the grants available to deliver projects for your local communities.  Parish and Town Councils can make a big difference applying directly or supporting local community groups to achieve their ambitions.

Funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the scheme aims to meet an already high demand from parishes and strengthen the social fabric of communities. This could be through building pride in place by improving community facilities, creating opportunities to bring people together or creating social connections that will grow and thrive.

The following projects and groups have been successful in securing a grant:

East Lindsey:

                 Wainfleet St. Mary Jubilee Orchard

                 New York Lecture Hall

                 Stixwould Village Hall

                 Spilsby Town Council

                 Aby with Greenfields Parish Council

South Holland:

                 Weston Parish Council - Weston Hills Park

                 Gosberton Snooker and Bowls Club

                 Donington - Flinders Park Improvement Project Cowbit Village Hall

                 Fleet Parish Council - Playing Field Development

Sue Fortune, Lincolnshire Community Foundation's CEO added: "This is an incredible opportunity for organisations based within the heart of their community to access much needed funding whether it's to install a new kitchen in a much-used rural village hall, reinvigorate a local village tradition or celebrate a local hero, or secure that last bit of funding to complete a community play area."

Unfortunately, in this round the fund was unable to make any grants in the Boston area due to a lack of bids brought forward. LCF, YMCA and Boston Borough Council are, however, working with a number of community organisations to bring forward exciting bids for the next round of funding.

If this is of interest to your community group, applications are still open and there is still time to apply for the next round of funding.

Grants of up to £24,999 are available to enable places to invest in and/or restore their community spaces and create the foundations for growth at a neighbourhood level.

Some of the applications which would be considered include capital improvement costs to village halls and community hubs, events (cultural, arts, heritage and community) which bring communities together, community play areas, local transport initiatives and projects aimed at reducing the cost of living or improving digital connectivity.

However, anyone is encouraged to make contact and find out more through the LCF's Grants Page at, where the application form can be found. Alternatively, more information can be found by contacting or calling 01529 305825.

Read the full article:


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NALC: New website dedicated to planning

This week, we created a dedicated webpage on planning to help local (parish and town) councils in their local engagement with the planning system. We have continuously highlighted the crucial work councils do on planning and continue to push the government for increased powers and control over planning matters. The planning webpage has information on local councils' planning powers, case studies highlighting examples of how local councils have best used the planning system to help their communities, and valuable resources. Please take some time to look at it and share it with your colleagues.

More information:

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NALC: New and updated housing and planning guides

As part of our drive to support you on housing and planning matters, I'm excited that NALC is currently working with the Campaign to Protect Rural England and English Rural to update existing guides on planning and developing a new guide on housing design. In 2011, NALC worked with CPRE to publish Planning Explained, How to Respond to Planning Applications, and How to Shape Where You Live: A Guide to Neighbourhood Planning. These guides provide easy-to-use planning advice to our members, networks and the general public. All three are well-used and are consistently the most downloaded publications on our websites, with over a quarter of a million downloads! However, since their publication, national policy and legislation have shifted considerably, and we recognise that areas within each document need to be updated and refreshed. We are in the early stages of preparing to update all three guides to better reflect the current legislative and cultural climate. To help us, we'd welcome your feedback on the existing guides, so please complete the short survey. If you have any queries or additional comments, please contact the CPRE planning team at NALC at I'm also pleased NALC has been invited to join the advisory panel for a new good design guide on affordable rural homes, developed by the housing association English Rural and is due to be published in early Spring 2024. One of the principal challenges facing rural housing delivery is local opposition, often rooted in stigma about what homes will look like and their impact on the heritage of the existing settlements. Poor design of some rural developments has mainstreamed this view and can lead to delay or even completely derail proposals for new affordable homes. This project will bring together an advisory panel and utilise the valuable input of artist and architectural expert Matthew Rice to explore, illustrate and showcase good design, how this can be achieved and provide a resource that local communities can hold up as something to be welcomed as an enhancement of their existing built and natural environment. I'll keep you informed on both projects as they develop.



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Cyber-attack on UK's electoral registers revealed

The UK's elections watchdog (the Electoral Commission) has revealed it has been the victim of a "complex cyber-attack" potentially affecting millions of voters.

The watchdog said the information it held at the time of the attack included the names and addresses of people in the UK who registered to vote between 2014 and 2022.

This includes those who opted to keep their details off the open register - which is not accessible to the public but can be purchased, for example by credit reference agencies.

The data accessed also included the names - but not the addresses - of overseas voters, it added.

However, the data of people who qualified to register anonymously - for safety or security reasons - was not accessed, the watchdog said.

The Information Commissioner's Office, which is responsible for data protection in the UK, said it was urgently investigating.

Read the full story:


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NALC Blogs: Why do parish councils matter?

Written by the former leader of the Local Government Association (LGA) Conservative Group, Cllr Izzi Seccombe OBE.

Read the blog:

Written by Cllr Shaun Davies, chair of the Local Government Association (LGA) and former leader of the LGA Labour Group

Read the blog:

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Updates to Legal Topic Note 78 on The Equality Act 2010

This week we reissued Legal Topic Note 78 on The Equality Act 2010 to make the note's content more practical, including links to helpful guidance. The Equality Act 2010 provides legal protection from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. Local councils with specific equality issues can request legal advice under the NALC legal scheme.

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NALC becomes a White Ribbon Accredited organisation

NALC has become a White Ribbon Accredited organisation for our commitment to ending men's violence against women in the workplace and the local community. And we are the first national body in the local government sector to achieve this! As a White Ribbon Accredited organisation, NALC will be taking forward a three-year action plan of activities to change staff culture, systems and raise awareness within the local (parish and town) council sector.

To learn more:

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Royal British Legion network for councillors


The Royal British Legion has launched a new network for councillors. Any councillor can sign up and receive regular communication about how councils (both local councils and principal authorities) can support the Armed Forces community and the broader work of the Royal British Legion, ranging from Remembrance to fundraising and membership.

You can find out more and join on the Royal British Legion website:

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Did you know you can report suspected driving offences direct to the Police?

Op Snap is an online portal set up by Lincolnshire Police where you can upload footage of suspected driving offences. Every single submission is viewed and where the footage shows a traffic offence, action is taken.

You can report driving offences such as:

•          Dangerous driving

•          Driving without due care and attention

•          Careless driving

•          Not wearing a seatbelt

•          Failing to stop at a red traffic light

•          Crossing solid white lines

•          Offences where a driver is clearly not in proper control of a vehicle

The information you provide will help us to decide if there is enough evidence of an offence, which can be investigated and prosecuted.  If the information you and other witnesses provide is not enough to investigate further, we will send vehicle details to officers for intelligence purposes.

When submitting a report through Operation Snap you must be willing to attend court to give evidence, should the case go that far.

Whilst we appreciate your time and commitment to reporting an incident of bad driving, the evidence you alone provide may not be enough to meet the criteria for the alleged offender to appear in court.

Operation Snap can’t be used to report road traffic collisions.  You should do this by calling 101.

For further details and how to report a driving offence:


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Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter

The latest Neighbourhood Watch newsletter can be accessed here:

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BHIB Insurance

BHIB Ltd have confirmed that the company will be trading under the name Clear Management Insurance Ltd from September. (Clear Management acquired BHIB in 2020).


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Are you tired of being interrupted by scam calls? It’s time to take control!

National Trading Standards Friends Against Scams are offering free call blocking units to protect you from phone scams. These amazing units have a track record of blocking 91% of scam and nuisance calls.

Apply now at
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