LALC eNews 26th May 2023

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

The Training Bulletin has previously been issued 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.

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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*Change of training venue*

We have had to change the venue for the Councillor Induction & Refresher training scheduled for 14th June, 18:00 – 21:00 in Gainsborough. This will now be held at:

Marshalls Sports Ground

Middlefield Lane


DN21 1UU

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

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Current vacancies


Closing date

Snitterby Parish Council


No closing date

Ingoldmells Parish Council


No closing date

Bilsby & Farlesthorpe Parish Council


No closing date

Osgodby Parish Council


No closing date

Potterhanworth Parish Council

Temporary Clerk

No closing date

North Kyme Parish Council


No closing date

Brattleby Parish Council


12th May

Ruskington Parish Council

RFO/Deputy Clerk

29th May

North Thoresby, Grainsby and Waithe Parish Council


26th May

Spilsby Town Council

Administration Assistant

16th June

Metheringham Parish Council


5th June

Denton Parish Council


No closing date

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 the ‘Employment’ card and enter ‘recruitment’ in the search box.  

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Cost-of-living survey by the Rural Services Network

The Rural Services Network (RSN) published the results of its Rural Cost of Living Survey. The survey showed that more than 75% of respondents say their financial situation has worsened over the last year.

The full report can be accessed here: 

The RSN is the national champion for rural services, ensuring that people in rural areas have a strong voice.

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LALC Summer Conference 19th July – Now booking

The LALC Summer Conference will be held on Wednesday 19th July at the Bentley Hotel, South Hykeham, featuring:

 • Guest speaker - Clive Wilson from United Nations Association Greater Lincolnshire, promoting new thinking and actions by local councils to promote the attainment of the UN2030 goals

Q&A Panel – Police & Crime Commissioner, Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner, John Turner (local Integrated Care Board). We also hope to have representatives from NALC and Lincolnshire County Council. 


        o Amy Lennox – Grant Funding

        o BHIB – Cyber Security

        o Breakthrough Communications – TBC

Presentation of Long Service Awards

Trade stands including: National Allotment Society, Pear Technology, CCLA, Blachere Illuminations, Breakthrough Communications, Kompan, BHIB, Lincolnshire Council for Voluntary Youth Services

The conference fee will be £25 plus VAT. Bookings should be made via the portal. This does not include the Evening Awards Dinner.

The LALC Shining Stars Awards will be presented at our Evening Awards Dinner starting at 5:30pm, following the conference. We will have guest speakers, presentation of the awards by our sponsors, and a celebration of 50 years of LALC. Booking details for the Awards will be issued as soon as they are confirmed.

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REMINDER – Nominations for LALC’s Management Committee

Nomination forms for the new LALC Management Committee were previously sent out to all councils. Nominations should be submitted to no later than 15th June.

Nominations for the Management Committee membership will be considered at the LALC 50th AGM, taking place on Thursday 29th June at 7:00pm, via Zoom. The meeting Zoom link and agenda packs will be sent out prior to the meeting.

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NALC Star Council awards are back for 2023!

NALC has opened nominations for its Star Council Awards 2023 to celebrate the achievements of the local (parish and town) council sector.

The Star Council Awards are the only awards programme in England specifically designed to acknowledge the impact and contribution of local councils in their communities. The awards are open to all local councils, councillors, clerks, and county associations across England.

This year, there are five award categories for which entrants can apply: 

Council of the Year – Sponsored by Blachere Illumination

Councillor of the Year – Sponsored by Breakthrough Communications

Young Councillor of the Year – Sponsored by DCK Accounting Solutions

County Association of the Year – Sponsored by CCLA

Clerk of the Year – Sponsored by Cloudy IT

The award categories have been carefully selected to recognise excellence in different areas of local council operations and highlight the varied contributions made by councils.

Further details:

The nomination period ends on 28 July 2023, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in the House of Lords on 29 November 2023, where they will be presented with their awards.

BHIB Councils Insurance, Blachere Illumination, Breakthrough Communications, CCLA, Cloudy IT and DCK Accounting Solutions sponsor the awards.

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LALC Annual Shining Star Awards 2023 – Please get your nominations in

Do you know any councillors that have done extraordinary work in Council or in their community? Does your Council have young councillors (aged 18-30) that have stood out, doing outstanding work in the community? Or maybe your Clerk has gone the extra mile to support the Council, Councillors or the community. 

Who do you want to nominate?

Categories for Nominations:

1. Council of the Year (small councils – up to 5000 electorate)

2. Council of the Year (larger councils – over 5000 electorate)

3. Councillor of the year

4. Young Councillor (aged 18-30)

5. Clerk of the Year

6. Special Recognition Award

Nomination forms have previously been issued to all Councils and should be returned to by 30th June 2023.

Nominees will be invited to attend the evening Awards Ceremony following the LALC Summer Conference on 19th July, starting at 5:30pm. 

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Councillor actions following on from the May elections

Councillor election expenses forms must be sent to the Returning Officer by 1 June. Hard copies of your form must be returned, even if there are Nil expenses. Failure to submit your expenses may constitute a criminal act.

Members Registers of Interests forms must be sent to your district council by 6 June.

Declarations of Acceptance of Office as Councillor must be signed by all councillors by or at the first Full Council meeting after the elections, or by a deadline as resolved at that meeting. This is in accordance with S.83(4) Local Government Act 1972.

(4)A person elected to the office of chairman of a parish or community council or parish or community councillor shall—

(a) in the case of the chairman, at the meeting at which he is elected;

(b) in the case of a councillor, before or at the first meeting of the parish or community council after his election; or

(c) in either case if the council at that meeting so permit, before or at a later meeting fixed by the council; make in the presence of a member of the council or of the proper officer of the council and deliver to the council a declaration of acceptance of office in a form prescribed by an order made by the Secretary of State, and if he fails to do so his office shall thereupon become vacant.

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Latest funding round from Screwfix Foundation (UK)

The Screwfix Foundation has re-opened for applications from charities and not for profit organisations for projects that will fix, repair, maintain and improve the properties and community facilities of those in need by reason of financial hardship, sickness, disability, distress, or other disadvantage throughout the UK.

Grants in the region of £5,000 are available for all kinds of projects, from repairing buildings and improving facilities in deprived areas, to decorating the homes of people living with sickness and disabilities.

Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis. The next closing date for applications is the 10th of August 2023.

Organisation name: Screwfix Foundation

Deadline: 10-08-2023


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Community Ownership Fund Available to Local Councils 

We are delighted to inform you that for the first time the government has extended its £150m Community Ownership Fund to local councils and is now inviting expressions of interest.   

Aimed at assisting the purchase or renovation of local assets, thereby safeguarding their future, the Fund should be of great interest and value to local communities wishing to apply. Along with the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), SLCC has been pressing for direct access to government funding for some time, so this is a real step forward. It would be good to see lots of sector take up for this and worth looking at opportunities in local neighbourhoods, perhaps, for example, where a public works loan may have been considered as a route to project success, but now fits with the Community Ownership criteria.   

Expressions of interest must be submitted at least three weeks before the 12 July 2023 deadline.

Further information: 

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Local Council Clerk Week 

To raise awareness of and highlight the important work of local council clerks, SLCC are inviting you to celebrate Local Council Clerk Week on 10 - 14 July 2023. 

As part of the celebrations for this week they will be inviting clerks to take part in short, 1 minute videos called 'A Minute of Me'. The video will summarise the daily life of a clerk to educate and inform those outside of the sector.

If you would like more information or to appear in the video, please contact:


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How to set up your new councillors on the portal (login required)

Following the May elections, you will now have a new council in place, and this is the ideal time for clerks to update your council’s records on the LALC portal. 

Once logged in, on your dashboard, go to Organisation Contacts.

To add a new councillor

Click on Add Contact. In the Create New Contact screen, add in the councillor details. Under Role(s), select ‘Councillor’. Then click ‘Create & Invite Contact’. (*You must have a role ticked otherwise it won’t let you save the record).

*Don’t worry if it doesn’t display ‘Councillor’ against this person when you view all your contacts – it is flagged correctly in the back-end system. Our software supplier is aware.

To remove someone who is no longer a councillor

Select the record and then ‘Edit’. Then click on ‘Remove Contact’.

Change of chair

If your previous Chair is still a councillor, edit their record. Untick the ‘Chair’ role. Tick the ‘Councillor’ role, if it is not already ticked. Then ‘Update Details’. (*You must have a role ticked otherwise it won’t let you save the record).

Your system will only permit one Chair, so you must untick the old Chair before allocating your new Chair.

On the new chair’s record, edit, tick ‘Chair’ then ‘Update Details’. *You do not need to un-tick ‘Councillor’.

Change of clerk

If the clerk changes, please notify LALC as we need to ensure that all relevant records have been updated correctly and that the new clerk is given access to the portal.

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A Callout for ParkWatch!

Make Space for Girls is a charity focussed on making parks work better for teenage girls. This doesn’t mean spaces painted pink or signs saying “No Boys Allowed”. It means supporting everyone involved in creating and maintaining parks to think a bit differently.

And it means being led by evidence: not by assumptions about what teenagers want and use. And data is one of the biggest current gaps.

Make Space for Girls know that standard provisions for teenagers in parks (skateparks, pitches and multi-use games areas (MUGAs) and BMX/outdoor cycle) are dominated by boys and young men. But there is no hard data on how extensive this is. Are these facilities used 90% by boys and 10% by girls? Or is it more like 70/30? This data is needed because without it, the case for change is less robust, and councils won’t know whether interventions they make to create more inclusive spaces work.

To address this gap, Make Space for Girls is running a national campaign, called ParkWatch. It will run from 27 May to 29 May 2023. They are asking people to go to the park and count how many teenagers are using MUGAs, skateparks and cycle/BMX tracks – and how many of them are girls. It is a quick spot count- taking no more than a couple of minutes. Then send the results to us via our website. They will analyse the results and produce a report, available to anyone who is interested in creating more inclusive parks.

More details and how to get involved:

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Are you aware of your digital footprint?

Every time you use visit a website, send or receive a message or email, buy or book anything online, comment on a post, upload a photo or find directions on your phone, you’re adding to your digital footprint. When you stream music, make a video call or use a smart speaker, that adds to your digital footprint too.

And when you post a photo of your children or friends, you’re also adding to their digital footprint, even though they may not have agreed to it.

One of the commonplace consequences of having a digital footprint seeing an ad for something you’ve searched for online on your social media feed, or as a pop up. But there can be other, more serious outcomes too. Like when you don’t make the shortlist for a job because a prospective employer has seen something you posted five years ago. When you’re scammed because you’ve inadvertently shared some confidential details. Or when somebody sells on your personal information to a third party.

We could probably all benefit from thinking more about the trail we leave online. And how it could affect us and others now and into the future.

What happens when you have a digital footprint?

Your digital footprint is part of your online history and can potentially be seen by other people, or tracked and held in multiple databases, however careful you are with your privacy settings. Here are just a few examples of what can happen:

Prospective or current employers can look into your and family members’ background.

Applications for schools, colleges, universities, scholarships, clubs or even sports teams could be rejected.

You, family members or friends could fall victim to fraud or identity theft … or both.

Your children could be at risk of criminal activity threatening their online or physical safety.

Records of your online activity could fall into the wrong hands, including organised crime groups.

Tech companies such as browser and search engine providers can track and record what you’ve searched and viewed. This, in turn, could be shared with other parties including law enforcement agencies.

You could be refused life, medical, property or vehicle insurance based on information you have shared online.

Advertisers can track your movement from site to site to gauge your areas of interest.

Companies can target you with specific marketing content on social media and other websites. You could also receive emails, letters or phone calls from these companies.

Entertainment providers (such as music or films) could target you with unwanted recommendations for content based on what you download or stream.

Your top tips

Think twice before sharing information about yourself, family members or friends that would be better kept private. That goes for social media, forms on websites and apps, responding to texts and messages and when taking part in surveys and quizzes.

Think before you post. Even if your social media privacy settings are set up correctly, there’s no guarantee that your posts or photos won’t be shared beyond those who you want to see them.

Be aware that every time you visit a website, your activity is visible to tech companies like website owners, browsers and search engines.

Read terms and conditions and data privacy policies on websites and apps before providing any personal data or making transactions. What can the providers do with your data, and why would you agree to it? If you’re not comfortable with the information being requested, don’t provide it.

Check geolocation settings on mobile devices, apps and cameras. If you don’t want anybody to know your whereabouts – or where you’ve been – disable them.

Never stop enjoying the many excellent benefits of using the internet, but always bear in mind the digital trail you may be leaving, who may be able to access it and how they may be able to use it.


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Have you secured your email account?

Why are email accounts so important?

Your emails contain a lot of information about you, so it’s crucial you make your email password strong. If criminals get into your email account, they could access personal information that could be used to scam you or others. To make it harder for them, always use an email password that you haven’t used elsewhere.

Your email inbox can also act as a ‘gateway’ to your other accounts. Once they can access it, a criminal could use the ‘forgot password’ option to request emails enabling them to get into other accounts, such as your social media.

 How to secure your email account

Your email password

Using a combination of 3 random words creates passwords that are long enough and strong enough. Avoid words that can be guessed, like your pet’s name or birth month. Adding numbers and symbols is a good way to make your password even harder to guess.

 Turn on 2-Step Verification (2SV) for your email

2-Step Verification (2SV) gives you twice the protection so even if cyber criminals have your password, they can't access your email.

2SV works by asking for more information to prove your identity. For example, getting a code sent to your phone when you sign in using a new device or change settings such as your password.

You won't be asked for this every time you check your email.

How to turn on 2-Step Verification (2SV)

Turn on 2SV for Outlook -

Turn on 2SV for Gmail -

Turn on 2SV for iCloud -

If you are using an email service that does not offer 2SV, please consider switching to an email provider that does.

How to check if one of your online accounts may have been compromised

Services such as can tell you if your personal information or any of your account passwords have been made public in a major data breach.

 If you have been affected by a data breach, you can find some useful information here from the National Cyber Security Centre on how to how to protect yourself from the impact of data breaches.

For more advice on how to stay secure online, please visit

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NALC Blog: How can I be more aware of subsidence?

Author: Lee Cleaver, sales development account broker at BHIB Councils Insurance 

In recent years the UK has been subject to extremely hot and dry weather, putting properties at greater risk of subsidence.

Subsidence happens when the ground under a property collapse or sinks lower. This uneven movement may result in structural damage, such as cracks in walls, floors, and ceilings, which can be expensive to repair.

Causes of subsidence

Properties built on clay soil, which shrinks when there is less moisture in the ground, are particularly at risk of subsidence in a prolonged dry spell. Trees and large vegetation are also generally involved. Their roots take water from the soil, drying it out and causing it to shrink even more.

When the UK gets a long, hot and dry summer, such as in 2022, it is known as an “Event Year” in the insurance industry. Many trees have been left to grow unabated as people assume they aren’t causing damage. Therefore, there is a possibility that potential problems have been created and will be unleashed during the next inevitable dry year.

Poplars, willows, and oaks are among the worst culprits as they have long, fine root structures, meaning they can drink massive amounts of water daily and dry out gardens. Mature trees may remove more than 50,000 litres from the ground each year.

Another cause of subsidence is water leaking into the soil from damaged drains, washing soil away from a building’s foundations.

How to spot subsidence and what to do about it

The tell-tale sign of subsidence is a diagonal crack next to a door or window, often narrow at the bottom and wider at the top. Look out for cracks that can be seen on both the inside and outside of the property. If they are underneath wallpaper, they may cause it to wrinkle.

Some movement in a property’s foundation is normal and won’t necessarily cause damage. Likewise, it is normal for some properties to have minor cracks which have nothing to do with subsidence.

If you are concerned about a crack, ask yourself: “Has it been there for a long time, or has it just appeared? Is the crack in just the plaster, or is it going behind into the structure, through the wall and onto the other side?” In that case, it could be the beginning of subsidence.

In the winter, when there is frequent rainfall, the cracks may start to close again, but the problem will come back again the following summer unless the underlying cause is dealt with.

The important thing is to call your broker if you are concerned. Most policies will have the option to cover damage caused by subsidence, but this might not have been selected.

Beware of the following subsidence myths

Myth one: Removing a problem tree could cause more extensive damage

The removal of trees causes problems in less than one in 1,000 cases. There’s more chance of a problem tree causing damage by leaving it there. Nor does it help to remove the tree in stages – if the tree is the cause of the soil shrinkage, it is generally prudent to remove the tree. You don’t have to remove roots; you just have to kill the tree.

Myth two: Underpinning (strengthening the building’s foundations) is the answer

Underpinning is often not the right solution. Why would you want to throw a bit of concrete under one part of the house? It fails because people take their minds off the cause, usually a tree or a shrub. Underpinning is only a last resort when we cannot stabilise by other means.

Myth three: Trees with a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) can’t be removed

When a tree has a TPO, it just means you need approval from the council to remove it. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it.

Myth four: Large thick roots are the problem

The fibrous, hair roots at the extremes of the root system take the water rather than the big primary roots.

So how can I reduce the risks?

If you are aware of the potential problem, there are some simple steps you can take to limit the risks:

If you have trees on your land, take responsibility for them. Manage, maintain, reduce, clip, and control them.

Don’t plant inappropriate trees too close to your home, garage or outbuildings. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) suggests willows need to be no closer than 40m from the nearest building, poplars 35m away, and oaks and elms 30m away.

If you’re unsure whether a tree could cause damage, seek professional advice.

Check whether your current property insurance policy covers you for subsidence risks, and if not, make sure that it is included at your next renewal. 

Are you covered?

It is essential to check that your local council insurance policy covers Subsidence. This cover can be added to your councils policy, subject to underwriting. If you are unsure whether your policy provides this cover, don't hesitate to contact your provider for clarification.

If you have any questions or queries on any of these topical matters, please get in touch with BHIB Councils Insurance for further information at

The following blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional or legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Association of Local Councils. Any links to external sources included in this blog post are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement or approval of those websites' content, products, services, or policies. Therefore, readers should use discretion and judgment when applying the information to their circumstances. Finally, this blog post may be updated or revised without notice.

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Printed copies of Good Councillor Guides

Printed copies of The Good Councillor Guide to Employment 2023 can be obtained via LALC for £7.99 per copy, plus p&p. (Arrangements can be made to collect purchased copies from the LALC Summer Conference in July).

Printed copies of The Good Councillor Guide 2018 are available for £3.99 per copy, plus p&p. 

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Councillor eGroup

Councillors, if you would like to join the LALC eGroup, please contact

There is also an eGroup set up for clerks.

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