LALC ENews 28th November 2022

Weekly newsletter available to County Association member councils and clerks for circulation to all councillors.  Details of upcoming training, vacancies, HR guidance, Clerks' Networking Day and other topical issues.

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13th Edition of Arnold-Baker on Local Council Administration

The comprehensive and authoritative guide to local government law has been extensively revised for its 13th edition.  List price: £164.99. Price through LALC - £131.99, which is a saving of 20%.Please contact Lindsey to order a copy.

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We still have availability at the following sessions. Book now to avoid disappointment! (Please book via the new CRM).

Clerks’ Networking Day (including SLCC Lincolnshire branch meeting/AGM) 7th December 10am-4pm Dunholme Village Hall, LN2 3SU

Charity Law (Day 1 of 2) 13th December 1.30pm-3pm Zoom

Charity Law (Day 2 of 2) 14th December 1.30pm-3pm Zoom

New Councillor Session 24th January 6:00pm-9:00pm Zoom

Allotments (Day 1 of 3) – Tenancy and Policies 1st March 1.00pm-2.30pm Zoom;  Allotments (Day 2 of 3) – Site Facilities and Health & Safety 8th March 1.00pm-2.30pm Zoom First Aid At Work 14th March 9.30am-4.30pm The Old School, Dunholme, LN2 3QR Allotments (Day 3 of 3) – Self-management for Association Councils 15th March 1.00pm-2.30pm Zoom

Coming soon - Elections Workshop February - TBC

We are currently working on the training programme for the next quarter – look out for further dates being published.

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Current vacancies Position Closing date Cowbit Parish Council Clerk/RFO 30th November; Nocton Parish Council Clerk/RFO 30th November; Ruskington Parish Council Administration Assistant 29th November; South Luffenham Parish Council (Rutland) Clerk/RFO No closing date; North Luffenham Parish Council (Rutland) Clerk/RFO No closing date; Stow Parish Council Clerk/RFO 31st December; Snitterby Parish Council Clerk/RFO 12th December; Welton-by-Lincoln Parish Council Administration Assistant 31st December; Folkingham Parish Council Clerk/RFO 14th December.

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LALC/SLCC Clerks’ Networking Day

7th December 2022 10am – 3.30pm

Dunholme Village Hall, Honeyholes Lane, Dunholme, Lincoln LN2 3SU

9.30am – 10am Arrival, registration, refreshments

10am – 12.30am ‘Sustainable Communities and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals’ – Clive Wilson & Bert Moore

United Nations Association Greater Lincolnshire -

This workshop will enable participants to gain knowledge and understanding of Sustainable Development and help identify how Parishes can engage to promote the attainment of the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

Aims of the session:

1. To raise awareness of the challenges facing Local Parishes, Communities and Individuals in Lincolnshire looking forward to 2030

2. To explore what is meant by ‘Sustainable Development’ and how this is represented in the United Nations Sustainable 2030 Development Goals

3. To introduce the ideas on ‘Doughnut Economics’ and ‘Circular Economy’

4. To share perspectives and practices from Lincolnshire Parishes with regard to Sustainable Development

5. To identify ways of working together to achieve ‘Sustainable Parishes and Communities

6. To identify support and training required for Parishes and their Councillors

12.30 - 1.30pm Christmas Buffet Lunch & networking

1.30pm – 2.15pm Rob Smith, SLCC Chief Executive

a) 2.15pm – SLCC AGM for SLCC members (agenda issued by SLCC directly to members)

b) 2.15pm – 3pm Budgeting and Lincolnshire Precepts workshop – Andrew Everard, LALC

3pm – 3.45pm (For SLCC members) Budgeting and Lincolnshire Precepts workshop – Andrew Everard, LALC

Bookings ASAP please on the LALC portal for the Clerk’s Networking Day £15.00.

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Personnel Solutions & Advice Ltd COUNCIL NEWS - NOVEMBER 2022

As we approach the end of the year, this is a time when many Councils conduct their Appraisals. It is also a time when Councils who do not do them, start wondering how they could start an Appraisal process.

The following is not a step-by-step guide on conducting an Appraisal interview, but a set of points that a Town or Parish Council may want to consider when carrying out the process.

1. Why are you doing Appraisals?

We hear many different reasons why a Council feels it needs to carry out this process. These include:

• Pay Awards.

• Starting the Disciplinary process.

• Because the NALC template contract states we have to do them.

An Appraisal has a much more constructive purpose. It is a once-a-year opportunity for an Employee to discuss:

• How they feel about their job.

• Let you know what they are doing well and how the Council can help them do it better.

• Inform you of areas of concern and what support they may need.

• To plan how they can achieve their ambitions and aspirations.

However, there is no right or wrong reason to hold Appraisals. It is up to the Council to decide why it wants to invest time in the process. However, the Council needs to be united on this reason. It can be damaging and counterproductive if some Members think that it is about putting Employees back in line, while staff are worried about the effects on their pay. The Council needs to agree to do Appraisals and set out the purpose of doing them.

2. Who does them?

If you have more than one Employee, it would be normal for the Clerk to carry out the Appraisal of their subordinates on a one-to-one basis. Some Councils prefer to have Elected Members carry out the Appraisals instead of the Clerk, and there is no reason why this cannot happen.

The big question is who Appraises the Clerk? The Full Council is the default management body, and therefore responsible for the Clerk. However, many formally resolve to delegate employment issues such as Appraisals to a separate Employment Committee.

If that is done by clear resolution, and the Committee has clear terms of reference to enable it to carry out the process, it can take responsibility for Appraisals. At the same time Members of the Full Council who are not on the Committee would not have a legitimate aim in being involved in the Appraisal process and would not be able to justify seeing any of the Appraisal details. A lot of what goes into an Appraisal form is sensitive personal data, such as performance data and personal information. Consequently, the Council GDPR obligations require it to ensure that only those Councillors who have a legitimate aim in managing employment affairs can be justified in seeing this information.

The Employment Committee may have responsibility for appraising the Clerk, but it may be impractical for all of its Members to squeeze into a meeting room to do it. Instead, they may prefer to delegate conducting the meeting to a subcommittee.

No one individual Councillor can do it. Conducting an Appraisal involves exercising management responsibility, such as giving feedback on performance, producing improvement plans and agreeing an Action Plan. According to case law (Hillingdon) no individual Councillor can exercise management responsibility. It has to be a Committee of at least two Members.

Therefore, the Clerk’s Appraisal would be conducted by two or three Members with appropriate authorisation and terms of reference.

3. What Appraisal Forms are you using?

There are no hard and fast rules on the type of Appraisal form used. Some are based on the Employee putting a tick against a number to state how strongly or otherwise they agree with a statement or question. Others require the Employee to provide a written response to a range of open questions about their employment.

There is no saying which format is best for your Council. However, it is fair to say that senior staff prefer to give a balanced explanation for their answers, rather than just tick a box. Our advice is for Councils to get some examples of Appraisal forms and ask both Employees, and Councillors who are involved in the process, to review a number of template Appraisal forms and pick out the bits they like. The Council can then produce its own customized Appraisal form which has input from all concerned. This can help to develop ownership of the process by Employees who have been directly involved in producing the form.

4. What are you measuring?

The Appraisal process is aimed at measuring the Employees performance against the Job Description, which should be work oriented, objective and clear. By using this as a benchmark of performance, the Council will hopefully help the Employee to develop their contribution to the Council, as well as avoid discriminatory assessment criteria.

However, a lot of Job Descriptions are out of date. In which case the first meeting with an Employee could simply entail a joint discussion on the list of activities on the document. Out of date tasks that are no longer relevant can be removed, or more recent activities such as updating the Website and managing the Councils Social Media presence can be added. This conversation can also include discussion about what the Employee does well, what they need help with and what the Council can do to support them. This can be a good way of easing the Employee into an Appraisal process, as this conversation is basically what an Appraisal is.

The resultant Job Description also needs to be approved by the HR Committee to ensure it delivers what the Council needs, and not simply cherry picked the best bits.

5. How do you do the Appraisal?

Once an Appraisal form is agreed, it can be issued to Employees a week before the Appraisal meeting, and they can be asked to complete it and bring it with them on the day.

This should help to break the ice and get the ball rolling.

The meeting needs to start by focusing on what the Employee has done well during the year. Most people like to talk about their successes, and this is an ideal opportunity.

The Appraiser should also ask what could the Council have done to make the process better. Extra training, support or resources can be discussed, and the suggestions can become part of the resultant Action Plan.

If criticism is to be given, I would suggest no more that the top three concerns are addressed. If a long list of problems are issued, the Employee may become defensive, and reluctant to attend future meetings. A long list of poor performance issues and/or misconduct can be addressed through the disciplinary process, but that is a different event. The top three concerns would be addressed as a Counselling issue. The Employee would be asked to explain what they would do to improve the issue, how they would approach it with the benefit of hindsight, and what the Council can do to support them and help to improve on the matter.

6. What is the Outcome?

At the end of the Appraisal Form there is the Action Plan. This sets out what has been agreed and what both parties aim to do to help develop the Employee.

However, to be effective it needs to be specific, objective, targeted and costed. What does this mean?

The plan needs to:

• Set out what changes are required by the Employee, how they need to perform, and what the Council is doing to help them.

• How will it happen? Whether through training courses, coaching and mentoring at work, distance learning, the plan needs to identify and set out how the Employee will be supported in achieving the set goals. This can include dates of when these events will happen, and where, such as specific training events and dates.

• Affording it. The Council or HR Committee can allocate a training budget for each member of staff, which is used to pay for these events.

This will ensure that the Employee can expect training and development events to happen on set dates, and know that the money is there to pay for them. As a result, they can expect the Action Plan to be implemented, and they will receive the support they need to develop as an Employee.


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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Cost of Living updates

Useful Cost-of-Living Support information and links can be found on the new LALC website:

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Fears over debt as more people could turn to loan sharks to cover Christmas

See press release from the England Illegal Money Lending Team on the LALC website:

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New LALC website/CRM access

If any clerk has not yet received your invitation to our new website/CRM please contact us. The old website will be switched off at the end of December and all training must be booked via the new site after that point.

For those clerks who already have got CRM access, please ensure that contact details for your council and councillors are kept up to date, including any change of Chair. LALC eNews is also published on the public facing website each week under Latest News.

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NALC Legal Topic Notes

All current NALC Legal Topic Notes (LTNs) are accessible by the Clerk via the LALC CRM.

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Does your council have a ‘good news’ story or an example of best practice you’d like to share with other councils? If so, please let us know so that we can include it in a future edition of eNews.

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Emergency Plans

Does your council have an Emergency Plan in place? Are you working towards putting an Emergency Plan in place? Are you currently reviewing your Emergency Plan?

Please let us know so that we can pass this information on to LCC Emergency Planning team.

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If you are a business, local authority, parish council, sports club or anyone else who may be able to provide motorcaravan overnight parking and/or facilities, Europe has long realised the benefits for tourism from encouraging motorhomes & campervans (motorcaravans) to visit, but they can only stay if they can get access to fresh water and facilities for black water waste every few days. Here in the UK there are not enough facilities for motorhome & campervan stopovers (Aires) and CAMpRA provides a central source of information on how towns and small businesses can benefit from the year round revenue stream by providing simple overnight parking and waste points. With little or no investment you could be on your way to providing a valuable resource to the UK Tourism Industry and creating a new source of income for you/your business. With over 400,000 motorcaravan owners in the UK (that’s more than registered caravan owners!) there is a growing market for these particular types of sites which cater for a different type of recreational holiday. More importantly it’s a great way of generating year-round revenue.

The potential benefits in setting up Aires:

• Year-round revenue stream

• Attract European motorcaravan tourism

• Minimal investment

• Added security

• Control disposal of waste

• Traffic management

• Tourism management

• Reduce carbon emissions

Potential Revenue from a 5-van capacity scenario: £5 parking for 24 hours, no water and waste services, open 52 weeks a year 5 vans,7 nights x 30 wks = £5,250 2 vans, x 5 nights/wk x 22 wks = £1,100 Total Parking Revenue = £6,350 Spend in local pub and shop @ £47/van (2 persons) 5 vans x 7 nights x 30 weeks = £49,350 high season 2 vans x 5 nights x 22 weeks= £ 10,340 low season Total to Local Businesses = £56,690 pa Total into local economy = £63,040 pa For further information see:

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Lincolnshire Community Foundation – Grange Wind Farm Community Fund

The closing date for the Grange Wind Farm Community Fund is fast approaching on 1st January 2023. Not-for-profit community groups and registered charities, along with Schools, Parish Councils and Churches who are based within a 10-mile radius of The Grange Wind Farm, located between Sutton Bridge and Tydd St Mary may apply for up to £5,000 per round.

General running costs may now be considered for existing projects to support groups through the cost-of-living crisis. Groups wishing to extend their delivery due to the demand on their services, for example a lunch club running once a week, seeking funding to open for additional days to provide food and warm spaces to the community may be given priority.

Over the last year, the fund has supported Tydd St Mary Parish Council in providing safety surfacing area for the Tydd Gote play area and has supported Long Sutton Cricket Club in renovating their showers, toilets and changing facilities.

The application process is straight forward, and our team are here to help with any questions applicants might have (eligibility, structures, governance etc). If you have an idea and want to speak to Grants staff before applying, please call 01529 305825.

For an application form and more information: Contact Katie Littlewood: Telephone (01529) 305825, email or download an application form from our Grants Page at

Katie Littlewood, Grants Manager at Lincolnshire Community Foundation says: “The panel recognise the need to support groups and organisations through the challenging times we are facing, therefore have made the decision to open applications up to support general running costs and overheads”.

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Considering quotations and tenders

LALC team have received various questions and comments about the best practice for considering quotations and tenders.

Transparency and declaration of interests

The agenda should make it clear what item is being considered so councillors know if they have to declare an interest (pecuniary or non-pecuniary) prior to considering the item. Failure to declare a pecuniary interest and to participate in speaking in the debate and voting may be a criminal offence under the Localism Act 2011 if a dispensation has not been granted for them to remain in the meeting or vote for that item.

Agenda item example:

To consider and approve the quotes received to undertake grass-cutting for 2022-23 from Jo Bloggs, Smiths Ltd, Jones & Son, White & Co.

Obtaining best value and due diligence

It is usual to consider the award of contracts as a confidential item so that the Council or committee should resolve to go into a confidential session:

To resolve to exclude the media and the public to consider items that may include the disclosure of confidential information regarding contracts in accordance with S.1(2) Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960

This allows the council to be able to debate the quotations and contracts in a way that can ensure that full information about the commercial aspects of the contracts can be debated, for example, there may be local knowledge, past experience and other aspects of the contract that need to be discussed before the award of the contract. If the item is discussed as a confidential item, the Council should come to a resolution as to which contractor is appointed and Model Standing Orders state:

Neither the Council, nor a committee or a sub-committee with delegated responsibility for considering tenders, is bound to accept the lowest value tender.

Some councils prefer to consider the quotations/ tenders in two stages with a financial test identifying the various quotes/tenders as labelled as A,B,C,D,E and this allows the council to rank them or score them purely on the financial costs. However, this should not be the only criteria as then the Council should discuss the merits of the contractors such as may have been identified by the council as important such as previous experience of the contractor, any specific items the contractor needs to provide such as location, equipment or certificates.

This process allows the Council to obtain Best Value for the community. Contractors have a right to challenge the decision so the process should be fair and transparent if challenged by any contractor or member of the public.

Contractors may have been asked as part of the invitation to quote or tender to provide details of business referees and if successful may be required to provide proof of public liability insurance, method statements, etc.

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NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

Autumn Statement The new chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt MP, presented his Autumn Statement to Parliament on 17 November 2022, outlining the government’s spending plans by setting budgets for each central government department. The chancellor stated that the government will deliver a plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and rebuild the UK economy, with priorities of stability, growth, and public services. Measures of interest to local government include:

• Increasing the core referendum limit for principal councils on increases in council tax to 3% and social care to 2%, with further details in the provisional local government finance settlement (PLGFS) in December.

• The statement did not refer to council tax referendums for local (parish and town) councils, which is also expected to be set out in the PLGFS.

• Additional funding of £2.8 billion for social care.

• Raising the national living wage to £10.40 an hour.

• A second round of the Levelling Up Fund allocating at least £1.7 billion to priority local infrastructure projects.

• A further mayoral devolution deal with Suffolk County Council and advanced discussions on mayoral devolution deals with local authorities in Cornwall, Norfolk, and the Northeast of England.

In NALC’s response to the Autumn Statement, we highlight the role of local councils in communities and their funding, call for the exemption from council tax referendums to continue along with direct access to government funds, devolution must extend beyond mayors to communities and local councils, and the levelling up white paper commitment to review neighbourhood governance should start as a matter of urgency. NALC’s chair, Cllr Keith Stevens, will shortly be meeting with the new local government minister, Lee Rowley MP, where he will be directly pressing these and other issues. November’s Civility and Respect Project newsletter

The November edition of the Civility and Respect newsletter is out now! There has been significant progress over the last few months. I’m delighted we have made available many new resources specifically developed to address the issues of civility and respect across our sector. The November newsletter includes articles on respectful social media and staying safe online, updates on the legislation workstream and the pledge, new guides on councillors' responsibilities as employers and recruitment, a new series of podcasts, new model documents including a councillor/officer protocol and roles and responsibilities, and the training workshops. Book now for NALC’s upcoming online events!

NALC’s regular monthly online events programme continues to be extremely popular, with dynamic, hard-hitting topics up the street of local councils, with most events selling out! NALC has recently confirmed two new online events on ‘Local councils and community outreach’ on 14 December 2022 and ‘Local councils and community engagement’ on 25 January 2023). Join us at the December event to learn more about how local councils can engage in meaningful community outreach and improve local service delivery. And come to the January event to hear how to engage residents, which methods to use, and how to involve people in local council decisions. You can find out more about these events and register your place here. Fortnightly meeting with county officers

At this week’s meeting between NALC and county officers, we discussed national and county conferences and annual general meetings, their format, and how they work. I am particularly keen for NALC to attend and support as many as possible; I know many of our partners do too, so we are working together on how to do this more effectively. There were also updates on our engagement with the government and forthcoming meeting with the new local government minister, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities select committee inquiry on levelling up funding, and our review of NALC publications, including advice and guidance.

Improvement and Development Board I was pleased to chair the latest Improvement and Development Board meeting on 17 November, which brings together colleagues from NALC, the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) and several county associations. The board discussed plans to recruit a new independent chair, proposals for developing an intervention workstream for councils who face severe financial or performance challenges, as well as receiving updates on a range of improvement initiatives such as the Certificate in Local Council Administration, the community governance qualifications, the Local Council Award Scheme, and e-learning. National Employment Strategy Advisory Group The second meeting of the National Employment Advisory Group, made up of representatives from NALC, SLCC and county associations, took place on 16 November. The group reviewed plans for an update to the Good Councillors Guide to Employment which will be completed in early 2023, received an update on the development of a template contract of employment for local councils, and the Local Government Association presented a proposal for a sector-wide workforce survey to help inform the development of a new national employment strategy. I am particularly excited about this survey which will be the first in many years that aims to get robust national data on the nature of the workforce employed by local councils – more news to come on that in the new year! Out and about Over the last few years, I’ve been pleased to develop NALC’s relationship with the Association of Democratic Services Officers (ADSO) and work with them and other sector bodies on remote meetings. This is why it was great for NALC’s chair, Cllr Keith Stevens, to be invited to attend their annual conference and awards this week as their guest. As well as taking the chance to promote the sector to attendees, Keith also participated in a question time panel session covering issues such as standards, democratic engagement, and training. Do check out ADSO’s Twitter for more highlights from the event. And our head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, was at the sixth annual power, reputation and influence lecture hosted by NALC’s partner CCLA. NALC National Network: Coastal Communities This is a reminder that the next meeting of NALC’s National Network: Coastal Communities will take place on 24 November. You can sign up to join the network here. And finally... Congratulations to the latest local councils to be accredited under the Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS). As you know, LCAS celebrates the best of local councils, helps them develop their potential, and recognises that they are well-run and meet the required standards. The latest councils to be accredited are Hungerford Town Council in Berkshire for the Quality Award and Lickey and Blackwell Parish Council in Worcestershire for the Foundation Award. A huge well done to everyone involved. You can find out more about the scheme and how to apply on the NALC website. And we’re also holding a free online event on how to prepare an award-winning application on 23 November. This will provide insights into submitting an award-winning application for each award level and help increase chances of achieving the award level hoped for. The event is open to clerks, councillors and council staff interested in the scheme.

Jonathan Owen