LALC eNews 22nd March 2024
  • If any Clerks want to join the Clerks’ eGroup, or any councillors want to join the Councillor eGroup, contact

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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 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.

If you update your council email and are already booked on training, please let us know so that we can update your booking to ensure you receive the automatic reminders.

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Current vacancies


Closing date

Edenham Parish Council


No closing date

Baston Parish Council


30th November 2023

Stubton Parish Council


18th November 2023

Bicker Parish Council


31st January 2024

Gedney Hill Parish Council


29th February 2024

Stamford Town Council

Chief Executive Officer (Clerk/RFO)

16th February 2024

Stamford Town Council

Communications & Engagement Officer

16th February 2024

Hemswell Cliff Parish Council


23rd February 2024

Friskney Parish Council

Cemetery Caretaker

29th February 2024

Immingham Town Council

Assistant Town Clerk

16th February 2024

Farnsfield Parish Council (Nottinghamshire)

Locum Clerk/RFO

12th April 2024

Blyton Parish Council


No closing date

Allington Parish Council


29th March 2024

Newark Town Council

Deputy Town Clerk

5th April 2024

Bardney Group Parish Council


12th April 2024

Doddington & Whisby Parish Council


30th April 2024

Vacancy advertising

LALC can advertise your vacancy on our website and in the fortnightly eNews. This is a free service. If you 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.    

We also offer a paid advertising service, which ensures that your advert also appears on Lincolnshire County Council’s website, Facebook, and LinkedIn (in addition to the LALC website and eNews).  The current fee for this is £60 however will be increasing to £75 from 1st April (due to LCC charge increases). Please complete the Vacancy Template (as above), ensuring that all requested information is completed, and then contact us at You will be invoiced for this service.

Please note that Lincolnshire County Council require a closing date on their advert, as well as salary information (these are mandatory fields). LCC will remove your advert once the closing date has passed, so please consider the date carefully as you will have to pay again to re-advertise if your vacancy hasn’t been filled by then.

We recommend all councils advertise their vacancy, job details, method of application and up to date contact details on their own website too.

Please let us know when the vacancy has been filled, so that we can remove it from our website/eNews. 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.

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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FREE EVENT: An evening with…Paul Drury   

In the first of our “An evening with…” series, join us for this exciting opportunity to spend an evening with Paul Drury.

Prior to retiring in 2022, Paul worked as the Prevent Officer within the Safer Communities Team for Lincolnshire County Council. He had responsibility for a number of areas, such as lead local authority officer for Prevent, Counter Extremism and Hate Crime. He also Chairs the Community Emergency Cell for the Lincolnshire Local Resilience Forum.

This event will be free of charge, and we hope that it will be the first of many ... please come and network with fellow councillors and clerks and the LALC team as well gaining an insight to several areas of interest that Paul Drury is involved with.

Paul will be talking about Volunteering, Social Prescribing and the Armed Forces Covenant relaunch amongst other things.

The event takes place at The Heath Village Hall & Library, Bracebridge Heath, on 23rd April from 6:00pm – 9:00pm.

Places can be booked in the usual way via the portal (login required).

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LALC Summer Conference – 24th July

The LALC Summer Conference this year will take place on Wednesday 24th July at Belton Woods Hotel, Belton, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG32 2LN.

Featuring a choice of workshops, Q&A session, trade stands and the LALC AGM.

The full programme will be announced nearer to the date.

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Latest News

To see the latest NALC news:

To see the latest SLCC news:

(No login is required).

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NALC Legal Update

New procurement thresholds

We have updated Legal Topic Note 87 on procurement with the new public procurement thresholds that took effect on 1 January 2024 and which are updated every other year. The thresholds apply to public works, public services, and public supply contracts. 

Can a council give a character reference?

We were asked recently if a council could give a corporate good character reference. Our view was that a council as a corporate body cannot “know” someone or have thoughts on a person’s character. The chair and individual councillors are free to do so in their individual capacity and could relate their knowledge of a person’s character to their links to or activities for the council, e.g. a person who took part in a council event. This advice would apply to other forms of reference.

Foreign convictions/ bankruptcy

We were asked about a scenario where it had been brought to the council’s attention that a councillor had a bankruptcy conviction in another country. The council asked us if this was a disqualification under section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972. The relevant criterion is a bankruptcy restrictions order, however the answer was no in any event as the disqualification only applies to bankruptcy or criminal convictions if in UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Funding to schools

A few of you have asked us recently whether councils can make grants to schools. The status of a school is relevant when considering powers related to funding. The general power of competence could apply or section 137 of the Local Government Act. If a school is a local authority school and the funding would be for recreational facilities, a council could consider using section 19 (3) (b) of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 (the 1976 Act), in cooperation with the principal authority. 

Alternatively, a grant could be made to the school’s PTA under section 19 (3) (a) of the 1976 Act if there are concerns about double taxation, assuming the PTA is a voluntary organisation carrying on or proposing to carry on an undertaking otherwise than for profit. 

The introduction of section 19A of the Local Government Act 1894 in England (see our briefing L02-23) means that councils are not prohibited from giving money to faith schools for works to school property. As with any funding request, a council would need to consider if it is reasonable and appropriate to make a grant. Our general powers LTN 31E advice would apply.

Use of clerks’ addresses for documents

We were asked for advice where a clerk works from home and was concerned about their address being entered on a council document. We believe practice varies on how councils navigate this. Some councils may have a registered PO Box address for complying with service requirements.

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Annual Parish Meeting v Annual Parish Council Meeting

Just a reminder about these two meetings:

The Annual Parish Meeting, is a meeting of the electorate called by the Chair of the Council, where there is a council. This should be held between 1 March and 1 June, after 6pm and requires 7 days’ notice.  The Chair if available presides at the meeting and the rest of the councillors are in attendance as members of the public. The minutes of the APM are signed at the next parish meeting, usually the annual one.

The Annual Parish Council Meeting, must be held in May, on any day with 3 clear days’ notice. In an election year, it must be held within 14 days of the new council taking their seats, usually 4 days after the election. The first item of business on the agenda MUST be ‘to elect a Chair’ and best practice is to elect a Vice Chair.  The minutes of this meeting are signed off at the next council meeting.  It is simply the Annual meeting of the council – it is not like an AGM that other organisations/business may have.  The current Chair (even if no longer a councillor), will take the Chair if they are available, otherwise the Vice Chair would take the Chair. If neither are available, then one of the members will be nominated to take the Chair in order to deal with the first item on the agenda, electing the Chair for the following year. 

Whilst it is not best practice, some councils hold these meetings on the same evening. If your council does this, please do not confuse the two meetings and ensure they are kept separate.

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National Citizen Service (NCS)

Calling out to all clerks who want to make their youth community aware of some exciting opportunities that take places during their school holidays!

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is a personal and social development programme for 15–17 year olds. Established in 2011, NCS aims to build a more cohesive, mobile, and engaged society. Currently, NCS is providing young people with 3 different experiences, allowing them to have more control over the development of their futures. Young people can take part in either one, two or all three of the NCS experiences on offer:

  • Away From Home

  • Local To You

  • Online Experience

SLCC has recently been in contact with Brooke, The Community Engagement Manager from Ingeus who supports the NCS AWAY FROM HOME EXPERIENCE.

Find out more:

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PKF Littlejohn publish the 2023-24 AGAR information

PKF Littlejohn commenced emailing Lincolnshire councils with the 2023-24 AGAR (Annual Governance & Accountability Return) information w/c 18th March.

If you do not receive an email from PKF within the next two weeks, please contact their Small Body Assurance team on or +44 (0)20 7516 2200.

The 2023-24 forms and guidance have also been published on the PKF website:

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NALC publishes the 2024 Edition of the JPAG Practitioner’s Guide 

NALC has published the Joint Panel on Accountability and Governance (JPAG) 2024 edition of the Practitioners' Guide.

The 2024 edition of the guide applies to Annual Governance and Accountability Returns (AGAR) regarding financial years commencing on or after 1 April 2024.

The most notable changes to the Practitioners' Guide this year are:

  • Stronger encouragement for local (parish and town) councils to use domains for websites and emails. The Parish Council Domains Helper Team recently blogged about the benefits of this approach.

  • Recommendation that local councils publish their full internal audit report on their website alongside the AGAR. NALC's Smaller Councils Committee discussed the recommendation and agreed that this would support smaller councils in their work to be ever more open and accountable to their communities. It could also improve the quality of internal audit services to local councils. 

JPAG is responsible for issuing proper practices about the governance and accounts of smaller authorities. Its membership comprises sector representatives from NALC, the Society of Local Council Clerks and the Association of Drainage Authorities. Together with stakeholder partners representing the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, the National Audit Office, and a representative of the external audit firms appointed to smaller authorities.

Both documents have now been uploaded to the LALC website (no login required):

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Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner election – 2nd May 2024

The Police and Crime Commissioner’s election notices have been issued so we are now entering into a period of pre-election 'purdah'.  Parish and Town councils must be careful that public funds and resources are not used for electioneering or campaigning by any candidate, political party or supporters.

Find out more about the role:

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LGA event on Artificial Intelligence

Justin Griggs, head of NALC’s policy and communications, attended the hybrid panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence, hosted by our LGA colleagues on 7 March. Speakers Jenny McEneaney from LGA, Sarah Pena from Swindon Borough Council, Felicity Burch from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, Jennifer Schooling from Anglia Ruskin University and Sue Daley from TechUK, shared their thoughts on three key themes of risks, rewards and readiness. 

Jenny gave an overview of LGA’s work since 2019 on data and more recently AI, plus support available to ensure the “sensible use of AI in local government”, including the establishment of a councils network. 

Using drones to inspect council housing rooves was among the uses of AI by Swindon Borough Council, alongside trialling other uses and improving skills.

AI “is an exciting opportunity, but risky” said Felicity, who also stressed how governance was crucial in addressing ethical issues, and her department was keen to engage with local government.

Jennifer highlighted the importance of building capacity and capability in organisations alongside collaboration. 

Sue pointed out local government wasn’t alone in looking at how to use AI effectively, that digital transformation wasn’t over and that AI was part of the journey, and being AI ready required infrastructure/tools, governance, data, skills and collaboration. 

If this has piqued your interest, remember that places are still available at NALC’s online Decoding the future of artificial intelligence in local governance on 24 July -

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New knowledgebase article – Handling harassment, abuse and intimidation

A new article entitled ‘Handling harassment, abuse and intimidation’ has been added to the LALC Knowledgebase (login required) and is available under ‘Council Procedures’, with further links to useful websites and documents.

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LCC website (Jadu) access

If you use a LCC-provided website, your JADU account will be linked to your council email address. This means that if you need to reset your password, JADU will send the link to the email address it has on record. If you have changed your email address (for example, to, you may not get that email.

Please ensure that if you change your email address and your previous one is used to access JADU, you take steps to update it.

If you subscribe to the LALC Website Management Service, our Webmaster can help. Alternatively, Alison Holmes at LCC can help (

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Do you know who has administrator access to your (LCC-provided) website?

If you have a LCC-provided website, it is the council’s responsibility to monitor the list of authorised administrators and to inform LCC as soon as one of these individuals no longer requires access.

Many parish councils have had third parties working on their websites.

At the point when you no longer need their assistance, you must send an e-mail to LCC ( as a matter of urgency, asking for specific names to be removed, otherwise they will continue to have access to your site which is a security risk to your data and site.

LCC will not add or remove any administrators from your site unless you ask them to.

The authorised person to liaise with LCC is normally the clerk, chair or the council-appointed Media Officer. If there is no clerk in post, then the chair or the vice-chair can do this.

There are instructions in the LALC knowledgebase (under Website Maintenance) on how to determine the list of administrators for your website:

LCC also remind you that if you are logging in to the JADU Control Centre using an account that is not in your name, you are in breach of the Computer Misuse Act (1990) and this is classified as identity fraud. If you are one of the Local Site Administrators for your website, please ensure that only authorised personnel have access to the JADU Control Centre to maintain your data and that they have an account in their own name and a unique password that has been assigned or created by them.

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Gallagher - Community Event Guide – 2024

Events are a great way to bring local communities together, and we understand that many organisations across the UK are currently preparing for a variety of events throughout the year. Community events require significant amounts of planning, from deciding on the location and scale of the event to getting the right team in place and ensuring all aspects of the event combine to make it a success. 

Whether you’re hosting a large-scale D-Day celebration event in June or organising firework and bonfire celebrations in the winter, our new events guide can help with your community event planning. 

Our community events guide is full of helpful advice including effective risk management to help avoid potential issues, guidance on engaging the local community and suggestions on how to make your event run smoothly.

Read the guide here:

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NALC welcomes the government's move on land transparency

NALC has welcomed the government's latest proposals to make data on land ownership publicly available and transparent.

In response to the government's contractual controls on land consultation, NALC argued that the government's proposals for additional land ownership data and information to be collected and held by His Majesty's Land Registry and freely available by searching the register are now long overdue and welcome.

The main interest of local (parish and town) councils is to establish who may have contractual control over land in their area when they are, for instance, developing a neighbourhood plan.

This consultation seeks views on the government's plans to provide a more transparent picture of controls on land through the creation of a freely accessible dataset.

Read the full consultation response:

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Two Step Verification on Email and Social Media Accounts