LALC eNews 31st May 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

Stubton Parish Council


18th November 2023

Blyton Parish Council


No closing date

Corringham Parish Council


No closing date

Market Rasen Town Council


7th June 2024

Barrowby Parish Council


30th June 2024

North Thoresby, Grainsby & Waithe Parish Council


30th July 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 £75. 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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Sign up to the LCC Town and Parishes newsletter - email

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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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Summer Conference


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

Come and network with like-minded councils!

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

Paul Drury will be giving a short presentation at the start of the day on the Armed Forces Covenant relaunch.

Workshops (delegates will be able to choose two out of the three workshops to attend):

  • Health & Safety myth busting - Worknest

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and local councils (including both Copilot and GPT) – Cloudy IT

  • Flooding – Lincolnshire Project Groundwater team

Trade stands: Unity Trust Bank, Kompan, Blachere, Worknest (H&S), Clear Insurance, Vaughtons (civic regalia), Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service, CCLA, Cloudy IT, Lincolnshire Project Groundwater team.

The full programme will be announced soon.

Booking now open!

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Parish Precepts 2024-25

Council Tax levels set by councils in England for the 2024-25 financial year are now available.

There are 10,256 parishes in England, 8,903 of which issue a precept.

The average Band D precept charged by local precepting bodies (including local councils) for 2024/25 is £85.88, an increase of £6.74 or 8.5%.

5,833 parishes have precepts exceeding £10,000, up from 5,610 in 2023-24.

905 councils have precepts exceeding £200,000, up from 846 in 2023-24.

346 councils have precepts exceeding £500,000, up from 308 in 2023-24.

124 councils have precepts exceeding £1M, up from 104 in 2023-24.

Lincolnshire does not have any councils in the top 50 highest council tax at Band D.

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Web management service – new email address

For those councils already using the LALC web management service, please now use 

For any new enquiries about this service, please contact

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An Evening With….. events

LALC took on board feedback and suggestions from members and have so far organised two An Evening With… events. Unfortunately, in both cases the interest level was very low, and we had to cancel the events as they were not viable to put on.

If there is a specific event that members want us to put on, we will consider organising something, but we do then need member support to ensure it can take place.

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Taxpayers fork out £23k for probe into parish council 'bullying' row

An investigation into a row at a parish council will cost taxpayers around £20,000. Councillor Angela Drakakis-Smith is set to be 'censured' by Betley, Balterley and Wrinehill Parish Council after she was found to have breached the members' code of conduct.

The recommendation from the standards hearings panel at Newcastle Borough Council comes after a lengthy solicitor's investigation into numerous complaints against Cllr Drakakis-Smith, including claims she 'bullied' the former parish clerk Gwyn Griffiths. And the borough council has now issued the parish council with a bill for £23,865, including around £4,000 VAT, covering the cost of the standards investigation.

Mr Griffiths, three councillors and a member of the public made formal complaints against Cllr Drakakis-Smith in 2022 and 2023, saying that she had breached the code through behaviour such as bombarding the clerk with emails and requests for information, and continually questioning the accuracy of his minutes.

Source – Stoke Sentinel:

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BT Group announces streamlined digital switchover to full fibre network

The BT Group has refined its strategy for the UK's transition to a full fibre digital network, aiming to modernise the nation's telecommunication infrastructure.

As part of this initiative, BT will significantly reduce the number of local telephone exchanges from around 5,600 to just 1,000 by the early 2030s. This reduction aligns with the shift from traditional copper networks to more efficient fibre networks, which require less equipment and can serve more customers from fewer locations.

The transition includes a pilot program to exit three initial exchanges by March 2025, followed by a broader plan to decommission 100 exchanges by December 2030 and most of the remaining exchanges soon after. The first three pilot exchanges are in Deddington (Oxfordshire), Kenton Road (Greater London) and Ballyclare (Northern Ireland), with respective exit dates set for March and September 2024.

BT's new home phone service, Digital Voice, will replace traditional landlines, utilising broadband connections to make calls. BT offers Voice Over IP (VOIP) products for business customers that integrate traditional phone system features with cloud flexibility. These services are designed to be reliable and efficient, ensuring a seamless transition for our customers.

The transition to BT's full-fibre network and the introduction of the Digital Voice service will have several impacts on parish councils, particularly regarding their communication infrastructure and services provided to residents. Here are the critical areas of impact:

Upgrade from traditional copper-based telephone lines to fibre-based Digital Voice services.

Continuity of service by ensuring a seamless transition without disruption to council services will be critical. 

Play a role in identifying vulnerable residents within their communities. 

Support local awareness campaigns and events to educate residents about the switch to Digital Voice. 

Facilitate or host public meetings where BT representatives can address community concerns and provide detailed information about the changes.

Ensuring alarm systems, healthcare pendants, or other critical devices connected to traditional phone lines are compatible with the new fibre network will be essential to maintain community safety and services.

Coordinate with alarm and telecare providers to upgrade or replace devices that rely on old technology.

Budget for transitioning to the new technology and potentially seek funding or grants to cover the costs associated with the transition

Find out more about the BT switchover:

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The King supports Pub is The Hub with donation to support pubs, publicans and rural communities

Pub is The Hub has welcomed a donation from His Majesty The King to help independent publicans support local services and activities for communities in rural areas.

The donation will help the Community Services Fund which advises publicans to diversify their services. This can be anything from supporting a rural pub to opening a local community café, an allotment, a play area, library or village store.

Pub is The Hub was founded by His Majesty The King, when he was The Prince of Wales in 2001. Over the past 23 years Pub is The Hub has been able to help hundreds of pubs to diversify, with many receiving both advisory and financial support through its Community Services Fund.

Pub is The Hub’s future vision is to help 1,000 more pubs diversify over the next three years.

Read the full story:

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New NALC national network for smallest local councils 

NALC have launched a new national network for the smallest local councils. 

The NALC National Network: Micro councils is for local councils with an annual precept or expenditure of £10,000 or less. This new network will follow the same model as the six other NALC networks, meeting roughly quarterly by Zoom and discussing issues relevant to the group’s distinct interests. 

To find out more information about this network and to join:

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Latest Community Ownership Fund window opens on 30 May

Ashley Parish Council, Burntwood Town Council, Calow Parish Council, Falmouth Town Council, Flitwick Town Council, Leominster Town Council, Lynton & Lynmouth Town Council, Newport Parish Council, Normandy Parish Council, St Ives Town Council and Todmorden Town Council collectively secured £2.6 million from the Community Ownership Funding during the third round of the third window. Successful projects from Round 4 Window 1 will be announced shortly. The initiative – which NALC lobbied successfully to be extended to allow applications from our councils – supports communities in preserving, enhancing, or reviving local assets like libraries, halls, pubs, and nature reserves. The final window, round 4 window 2, launches on 30 May 2024 and will close on 26 June 2024. I would encourage councils to apply for this important funding before the window closes!

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Access to Worknest Health & Safety advice

LALC members now have access to Health & Safety advice through an agreement with Worknest (

More details and how to access this service will be released shortly.

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NALC: New Defra Community Green Spaces Fund

Lobbying for access to grant funding is among NALC’s key policy objectives and we’ve been pressing the government to build on the Community Ownership Fund by providing further funding opportunities for local councils. Which is why the recent announcement by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) of a new Community Green Spaces Fund is extremely welcome, as this will make up to £7 million available until the end of March 2025 for rural organisations including local councils to support capital improvements to rural community greenspaces in England. It is envisaged funds will be available for capital expenditure for projects that aim to create, restore, and enhance green spaces such as landscaping, planting, installation of natural play facilities, paths and seating. And we are expecting the fund to use the current rural definition of under 10,000 population. 

We’re engaging with Defra and our Rural Coalition colleagues Action with Communities in Rural England to get the fund set up and open as soon as possible, but in the meantime I wanted councils in rural areas to be aware of the fund as you may have projects in the pipeline which could be supported or to encourage you to start thinking about how you may use the funding. 

Rural community groups and local councils interested in the fund are encouraged to register their details with ACRE to receive more information about the fund when this becomes available, we’ll also be sharing details when we have them.

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Great Big Green Week 8 – 16 June

The Great Big Green Week will take place between 8 and 16 June 2024, providing an opportunity for local communities across the country to come together in a week-long celebration of action to tackle climate change and protect our natural world. Save the date and get planning your activities, or why not link up with other local groups to connect with existing events? Find everything you need to take part in the Great Big Green Week at today. And on top of that, if you add your events to the website, you'll be sent a free pack of branded materials to display at your events - including posters, flyers, bunting and more!

Find out more:

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Pathway To Play Campaign

The Association of Play Industries’ (API) have launched their brand-new campaign, #PathwayToPlay.

The API is urging the next UK government to prioritise investment in public playgrounds, recognising them as vital hubs for outdoor play and crucial to the health and wellbeing of the nation’s children.

They are calling on the next government to make a commitment to:

Conduct a national audit: assess the quantity, quality and location of public playgrounds

Ensure long-term sustainability: provide dedicated funding for the installation and upkeep of free-to-use community play spaces

Increase physical activity levels in schools: integrate outdoor learning into the National Curriculum and fund school play spaces and equipment

They would like your help in sharing their manifesto far and wide and have made available assets for you to access and share:

These include:

A social media pack with suggested posts for X, LinkedIn and Facebook

Copy for your newsletters

Campaign graphics

Visit their campaign page:

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NALC opens nominations for its Star Council Awards 2024

NALC has opened nominations for its Star Council Awards 2024 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.

Entrants can apply for six award categories: Council of the Year, Councillor of the Year, Young Councillor of the Year, County Association of the Year, Clerk of the Year, and Climate Response of the Year. 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.

This year, we've introduced a new award dedicated to climate response. This award will recognise the proactive efforts of councils in addressing climate change, emphasising the importance of their role in mitigating impacts, adapting to new conditions, and building resilience for both people and nature. By highlighting successful long-term strategies and community engagement, it aims to inspire other councils to take similar actions for a sustainable future.

NALC chair, Cllr Keith Stevens, commented, "We are excited to honour and celebrate the remarkable achievements of parish and town councils and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their dedication to supporting their communities. Their exceptional efforts and unwavering commitment deserve recognition and applause."

The nomination period ends on 6 September 2024, and the winners will be announced at a ceremony in the House of Lords, where they will be presented with their awards.

Clear Councils Insurance, Blachere Illumination, CCLA, Cloudy IT and Facilitating the Future sponsor the awards.

Find out more:

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Volunteers' Week 3-9 June 2024

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Volunteers' Week - an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through unpaid work.

As a parish councillor, you are a valued volunteer in your community. LCC would love for you to share your story about volunteering on Let's talk Lincolnshire (, where you can also read the stories of other inspiring volunteers.

Lincolnshire County Council supports over 350 volunteers across 17 sites and countywide, who contribute tremendously with their ingenuity, commitment, and drive.

As well as helping others, volunteering can help improve your wellbeing, gain valuable new skills and experiences, and boost your confidence.

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Parish Council Domains Helper Service

The Parish Council Domains Helper Service has been set up by the Cabinet Office to assist parish and town councils move to a domain. 

They have now published a number of articles to help dispel myths and misconceptions about domains:

Understanding your council’s responsibility towards an accessible website

There’s never been a better time to move to a domain

Is a domain mandatory?

Why the question ‘how much does a domain cost’ is not easy to answer!

More information on the Parish Council Domains Helper Service:

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NALC: Women councillors network convene to drive change in local councils

NALC held a positive meeting for women councillors on 20 May 2024 to discuss critical issues and share insights on enhancing their roles in local governance.

The meeting covered topics ranging from International Women’s Day celebrations to parental leave and the future of remote meetings. Louise Soothill, community development officer at Keighley Town Council, detailed her council’s International Women’s Day event, which took place on 8 March 2024. Partnering with Keighley Soroptimist Club, the council organised a community event that saw participation from local businesses and community groups and around 300 attendees.

The event, themed “Inclusion,” encouraged women and girls to explore non-traditional career paths. Despite a modest budget, it was a resounding success, highlighting the council’s commitment to community engagement and gender inclusion.

Cllr Kay Wesley, mayor of Congleton Town Council, led a discussion on the critical issue of parental leave. Unlike local authorities, she highlighted the need for standardised policies for local (parish and town) councils. The discussion underscored the challenges women councillors face when balancing caregiving responsibilities with their civic duties.

The debate on remote meetings was initiated by Cllr Sue Baxter, vice-president of NALC, who noted the efficiency and inclusivity of remote meetings experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cllr Baxter raised concerns about the financial and logistical burdens these might place on smaller councils. The discussions highlighted the benefits of remote meetings, such as increased public participation and accessibility for disabled individuals and those with caregiving responsibilities. Most members supported pushing for remote meetings, emphasising the importance of flexibility for local councils.

The network will next meet on 31 July 2024.

Find out more about NALC National Networks:

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Report from the Royal Garden Party – by Cllr Cathie Nicoll, Scothern Parish Council

What a wonderful experience the Garden Party was and very lucky to have the King, Queen, Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, Princess Royal and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester present – not that we got to speak to them but we did get quite close.

The event was amazing which is no more than would be expected as the event has been held for a great number of years! Everyone was very friendly and chatty, everyone “togged” up in their best clothes with no need for umbrellas!

The two bands kept us serenaded, the gardens were wonderful with not a blade of grass out of place, wonderful plants, no weeds or stones – even a goose managed to do an arabesque for us!

I just wish I’d had a bigger handbag with some “flip flops” to walk back to the hotel as the feet suffered because of the walking/standing/hot weather – but this did not put a damper on the day.  Think the King could had lent his car to us!!

Cathie was nominated by LALC and attended the event with her daughter.