LALC ENews 9th January 2023

This newsletter is provided to member councils through the clerk and should be circulated to all councillors.

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

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.

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰


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

New Councillor Session 7th February 6:00pm-9:00pm Zoom

Coming soon - Elections Workshop February - TBC

Planning for councils 21st February 7:00pm-9:30pm Zoom

Allotments (Day 1 of 3) – Tenancy and Policies 1st March 2.00pm-3.30pm Zoom

Allotments (Day 2 of 3) – Site Facilities and Health & Safety 8th March 2.00pm-3.30pm 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 2.00pm-3.30pm Zoom

LCC websites – Jadu Basics 21st April 10.00am-4.00pm Zoom

Cemetery Management (part 1) 16th May 9.15am-12.3opm Zoom

Cemetery Management (part 2) 17th May 9.15am-12.30pm Zoom

LCC websites – Jadu Advanced 26th May 10.00am-12.30pm Zoom

Play Area Inspections 7th June 9:30am-4:00pm North Hykeham Town Council Civic Offices, Fen Lane, North Hykeham, LN6 8UZ

Play Area Inspections (with exam) 8th June 9:30am-4:00pm North Hykeham Town Council Civic Offices, Fen Lane, North Hykeham, LN6 8UZ

***Training venues are booked once a number of bookings have been received. This allows LALC to book venues based on where the majority of delegates are travelling from. If there are less than 10 bookings on any course, the course will automatically be held at the LALC Office, 8 Market Rasen Road, Dunholme, Lincoln, LN2 3QR***

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Current vacancies

Position Closing date

Cowbit Parish Council

Clerk/RFO No closing date

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

Gainsborough Town Council

Allotments Officer 2nd January 

Tattershall with Thorpe Parish Council

Clerk 31st January

Asterby and Goulceby Parish Council

Clerk/RFO 31st January

Skidbrooke cum Saltfleet Haven Parish Council

Temporary Administrator/Data Processor 28th January

Skidbrooke cum Saltfleet Haven Parish Council

Clerk/RFO 28th January

Folkingham Parish Council

Clerk/RFO 17th January

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.

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Would you be interested in Memorials (Headstone) Testing training?

We are trying to ascertain whether there is sufficient interest from Lincolnshire councils in Memorials Testing training and if so, whether LALC are able to co-ordinate this via ICCM, hosted at a Lincolnshire council which has its own burial ground. ICCM run public Memorials Testing training but generally these are all over the country and therefore not necessarily easily accessible for our smaller councils.

If this is something which your council may be interested in, please let us know.

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Cost of Living updates

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

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Grant Fund Opens to Support Vital Improvement Works to Village Halls

Village halls across England can now apply for grants of between £7,500 and £75,000 to improve and modernise their facilities up to a maximum of 20 per cent of eligible project costs. The Platinum Jubilee Village Hall Fund has been launched in England to provide capital grants to improve and modernize their facilities. The fund is managed by Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) and aims to support around 125 village halls.

Further details:

Initial applications to the fund can be made until midnight 20 January 2023. Another window for applications is expected mid-February but the duration of this will depend on the value of unallocated funds remaining. 

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Nettleham Parish Council install solar panels at Mulsanne Park

As part of the Parish Council's climate change strategy we have installed solar panels on the roof of the Mulsanne Park sports pavilion, along with battery energy storage units.

These are now up and running - obviously due to the time of year they are not generating a huge amount of power at the moment but they are at least starting to save a little money and offset a small amount of CO2 (around 40kg so far).

The panels are installed on an east/west axis, they weren't installed on the south-facing side of the building in order to protect them from cricket balls (the occasional roof tile gets smashed when someone hits a particularly impressive six).

We were able to secure £10,000 of external funding for these panels, so the actual cost to the Parish Council was significantly reduced.

We will keep residents updated on how much the panels are generating once we get to sunnier weather!

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Grants of up to £100,000 Available for Community Facilities (England)

Registered Charities, churches, Parish Councils, Local Authorities and CASC registered sports clubs can apply for grants of between £2,000 and £100,000 for the provision, maintenance or improvement of community facilities. 

This can include:

· Village Halls and Community Centres

· Public Play Areas

· Publicly available Multi use games areas

· Skate parks and BMX tracks

· Sport and recreation grounds including pavilions and clubhouses with full public access

· Churches – community spaces only

· Nature Reserves

· Public gardens, parks, country parks and woodlands with at least dawn to dusk access

· Museums

The funding is being made available through the FCC Community Action Fund and is available to projects located within 10 miles of an eligible FCC Environment site.

The fund is currently closed but will re-open for applications from the 21st December until 5pm on the 8th March 2023.

The application form is available on the FCC Community Foundation website (link below). 

Useful Links: Application Guidelines

Organisation name: FCC Community Foundation

Deadline: 08-03-2023


 ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Multiply Maths Skills Survey

Multiply Numeracy Skills

Multiply is a national initiative. It supports people to understand and work with numbers in everyday life. The programme aims to spark better opportunities and brighter futures. Lincolnshire County Council has successfully secured £4 million to deliver Multiply across the county.

We want to do all we can to make learning easy to access and fit into people's lives. We want to make sure that we deliver the learning people need in the way they need it.

We would like people to complete a short survey so we can gather your views and experiences. Your feedback will help shape the development and delivery of this three-year programme. There are two surveys available. The first is aimed at the public. The second is aimed at employers and business owners.  

The survey should take about five minutes:

(Survey closes 6th February).

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Congratulations to Market Rasen Town Council upon achieving the Local Council Award Scheme Foundation level.  

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Annual Parish Meeting versus the Annual Meeting of the Council

There still seems to be confusion amongst some councils regarding these two mandatory meetings. 

The Annual Parish Meeting is not a meeting of the council but is a statutory meeting of the parish or town electors and must be held between 1st March and 1st June. Generally, these meetings are an opportunity to celebrate local activities in the past year and debate current issues in the community. There is no prescribed format to the meeting – you may want to invite local organisations and groups to come and report on the past year or arrange a ‘guest speaker’ on a topic of interest in the parish. Parishioners are encouraged to participate in the meeting. The Chairman of the council, any two councillors or any six electors can call the Annual Parish or Town meeting. 7 days’ notice is required, and the meeting cannot start before 6:00pm. The council Chairman, if present, must chair the meeting. Minutes should be taken, and these get approved at the next Annual Parish Meeting.

The Annual Meeting of the (Parish or Town) Council is a statutory meeting of the council and must be held in May. In an election year it must be held within 14 days of the new council taking office. New councillors normally take office 4 days after the elections are held, but due to the extra Bank Holiday this year for the King’s Coronation, the new councillors will take office on Tuesday 9th May. So, this year, your Annual Meeting of the (Parish or Town) Council must be held within 14 days of 9th May. (In a non-election year, this meeting can be held at any time in May).

This is the meeting which sets up the council for the new administrative year and the first agenda item must be election of a Chairman. Depending on what your council’s Standing Orders say, you would then also likely appoint Vice Chairman (if relevant), agree terms of reference for committees, appoint councillors to committees, agree schemes of delegation, agree membership of outside bodies, review Standing Orders and Financial Regulations and other specific documents, review direct debits, review risks etc.

To avoid confusion, it is best practice to hold the Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Meeting of the (Parish or Town) Council on separate occasions.

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰



1 Conducting Redundancy Consultation

The first three months of the year are often the time when larger Councils consider restructuring their workforce in anticipation of the new financial year.  There are many reasons for this to happen between January and March, such as funding for particular posts coming to an end, the Council wanting to stop loss making activities or simply restructuring what they do.  

However, if restructuring also entails making staff redundant, the process is not a risk-free option.  Any Employee with two or more years continuous employment could claim Unfair Dismissal if the process is mishandled.  One of the key elements of any redundancy process is meaningful consultation.  

For a Council to simply resolve that a post or posts are no longer needed, and to inform Employees that they will be leaving at the end of the Financial Year without prior explanation or entering into dialogue before making that decision, is failing to deliver that consultation and creates an Unfair Dismissal.

This was recently tested in case law (Teixeira v Zaika Restaurants) following a dismissal over the phone of a chef who was less experienced than their colleagues.  The Employer’s defence was that consultation would always have been meaningless, as the job had ended and there were no other options available for consideration.

The Court disagreed with the Employer’s failure to consult and ruled that the purpose of the process was to test an assumption that there was no further need for an Employee, and in this case the Employee was denied that opportunity.  The purpose of consultation is to challenge the reasons for proposing redundancy and consider alternative jobs or opportunities.

By denying Employees an opportunity to engage in a dialogue over these options, removes the possibility of them coming up with ideas that could have avoided the redundancy.

Consequently, taking the unilateral decision to dismiss without consultation constitutes Unfair Dismissal.

2 Could Requiring someone with a Disability to attend a Redundancy Consultation meeting constitute Disability Discrimination?

Yes, if the disability places someone in an unfavourable position in attending the meeting, as was determined in the case of Hilaire v Luton Borough Council.

If an Employee has a disability that affects their communication skills, ability to fully understand what is being discussed, or they have a mental health problem that could be exacerbated by attending the meeting, the need to attend a consultation interview could be a discriminatory practice.

A Council faced with such a dilemma would be wise to make reasonable adjustments to help accommodate the Employee through the process.  This could involve getting an informed medical opinion from their GP, or an independent Occupational Health Specialist, as to what such adjustments could be.  Possible options could be to allow the Employee to be accompanied by an advocate/Union Representative, attend via Zoom/Teams, conduct the meeting in a neutral venue, conduct it at a time of day that is more accommodating to the Employee.  Whichever option a Council choses to use would depend on the medical advice.

Statutory Payment Rates from April 2023

Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)

Statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.

Maternity Pay (SMP)

6 weeks at 90% of average weekly earnings. Then statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.

Adoption Pay (SAP)

6 weeks at 90% of average weekly earnings. Then statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.

Paternity Pay (SPP)

Statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.

Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP)

Statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.

Statutory Sick Pay  (SSP)

£109.40 pw for 28 weeks subject to earnings (average £123 per week)

Minimum Wage from April 2023

Workers aged 23 and over (National Living Wage) £10.42/hour

Workers aged 21–22 £10.18/hour

Workers aged 18–20 £7.49/hour

Workers aged 16-17 £5.28/hour

Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in first year £5.28/hour


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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Parish.UK Network

Most councils will have received an email from the Parish.UK Network, asking you to update your council’s details. We don’t currently know much about this site at the moment however NALC have this on an agenda for discussion at a meeting this week and will be doing further investigation.

We will issue a further update as soon as we receive it from NALC.

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Local Council Elections 2023 Publicity

All parish and town council seats are up for election on 4th May 2023.  The publication of election notices will be issued by the District Council election teams for display in all parishes by Monday 27th March 2023 (at the latest) and nomination papers for all candidates will need to be submitted by 4th April 2023. 

LALC is also offering materials for local councils to promote the upcoming election and to attract candidates who wish to be a councillor based on NALC’s ‘Make a Change’ materials. 

If you would like to purchase A4 posters or A5 flyers LALC will place a bulk order by the end of January 2023 for distribution in early February 2023. 

We will issue instructions on how to order these in next week’s LALC eNews.

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰



I am sure you would have seen through the media, our past, most gracious Queen Elizabeth undertook the lighting of her Principal Beacon at Windsor Castle on 2nd June this year, an honour we will all never forget, especially as it was one of her last official engagements before her sad passing.

However, the important reasons for contacting you are as follows.

(1) To thank you, your City, Borough, Town, Parish or local community, and the many, many thousands of others that supported you again, in taking part in the lighting of the Beacons and associated events, including the Commonwealth Song, Proclamation, Bugle Call and those Pipers and others around the world who took part in this celebration.  We will not see another Platinum Jubilee for many generations to come, so your involvement was even more important, and is now part of history.

(2) We have received so many calls and emails from previous participants, asking if Beacons are being planned to be lit in celebration of the forthcoming Coronation of King Charles III, in June next year. The answer from Buckingham Palace is NO, the reason being, they are conscious that the Coronation will take place less that a year after The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons were lit, and are therefore anxious to ensure that the events planned for May 2023 have a markedly different look to those of June 2022. 

(3) IMPORTANT HOWEVER, it has been agreed that Beacons should be lit on 6th June 2024, as the PRINCIPAL LEADING event led by our communities and organisations etc, in the celebration/commemoration/tribute to D-Day 80, the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy. 

D-Day as you know, was the largest Naval, Air and Land operation in history, so we need to undertake this 80th Anniversary opportunity with great enthusiasm, saying thank you through respect/remembrance/tribute to many hundreds of thousands of souls who sacrificed so much to ensure the freedom/peace we all enjoy today. 

With this in mind therefore, I will be sending an official Guide To Taking Part in D-Day 80 in the New Year, enabling us all to start our planning for this special occasion, involving all areas of our local communities and organisations throughout the UK, Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, many of which, would have had relatives and loved ones involved 80 years ago.

The above logo, developed for D-Day 80 will be available for free use as soon as the Guide To Taking Part has been produced and published in the new year, includes the flags of the Nations involved in the landings on 6th June 1944. This will ensure they receive the correct acknowledgement for the amazing, selfless and important part they played, along with providing the opportunity to become involved in the celebrations/commemorations/tribute in 2024, if they so wish.

May I also take this opportunity to thank you once again for the amazing role you and your community/organisation, played in the great success of the Platinum Jubilee Beacons and its associated events this year, and to wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and New Year.

My warmest regards,

Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR


D-Day 80

6th June 2024

Telephone: + 44 (0) 7737 262 913 


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Old LALC website switched off

Please note that the old LALC website is in the process of being switched off and all training must now be booked via the new CRM.

For any clerks who haven’t received their access, or are having issues logging in, please contact us as soon as possible.

For those clerks who have already got CRM access, please ensure that contact details for your council and councillors are kept up to date, including any change of Chair. We regularly receive emails from ex-Chairs or ex-Councillors asking to be removed from our mailing lists and so would appreciate it if clerks keep their own council/councillor information up to date where possible. 

The eNews is also available on the public-facing website each week under News. Let your councillors know.

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

UK Prosperity Fund and Rural England Prosperity Funds

LALC has just been commissioned to provide three workshops for parish and town councils in East Lindsey, South Holland and Boston Borough Council areas to provide information about the grant funding parishes can apply for over and delivered over the next two financial years until March 2025.  

We are currently finalising dates, venues and times – these are expected to be in late January/February.  

Grant funding priorities are expected to be focussed on: 

Business ideas linked to health and well-being, food production, tourism, culture and the arts, transport, environmental businesses and the digital sector

Social enterprises, i.e. businesses which have a social purpose and make a profit in a way that directly benefits society

Projects on the Lincolnshire Coast which help more people between 16-64 to become economically active

Projects which bring imaginative new activities and adapt buildings to breathe new life into town centres

Programmes for smaller places which will improve and widen the use of community buildings including village halls

Projects which increase the availability of decent broadband connectivity in rural places

Focus on challenges of rural economy that could diversify and sustain farm/rural business incomes

Need to upgrade/improve failing community infrastructure to tackle deprivation

Support innovation to increase productivity.

꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

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.
꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰꙰ ꙰꙰꙰

Local leadership through challenging times

Throughout what has undoubtedly been a challenging year, I have been struck by how the first tier of local government – England's 10,000 local (parish and town) councils – has provided stability and support to our communities.

Over this period and indeed before then, you have helped keep our communities and the country running. This is why I want to use my open letter to thank you all for everything you have done and will continue to do.

Ensuring what you do is better understood and recognised is at the heart of my role as your chair. As I set in my first open letter in January 2022, my priorities have been to ensure local councils are recognised and respected as the first tier of local government, champion good governance in local councils and highlight their role and potential to the media, public and other national bodies. You can read more on how we've been doing that in NALC's latest Annual Report.

A week is a long time in politics, as the saying goes. So much has happened in the last twelve months since being elected as NALC's chair.

No one could have predicted the events that have unfolded, creating so much uncertainty and instability for us all. Learning to live with COVID-19. The war in Ukraine. Turmoil in our national politics. The sad death of Queen Elizabeth II. Rising costs of living. And the ever-present climate emergency.

Your leadership – whether in our neighbourhoods, villages, and towns in rural or urban areas – is helping us deal with these events.

Since stepping up as part of the COVID-19 response, I know many local councils have continued working with local partners to help those who need it. I have been pleased to see your essential role rightly recognised and praised by the government and others.

Your outpouring of support and solidarity for Ukraine reminded me how we must cherish and champion, and never take for granted, our freedom and democracy. At our special meeting about Ukraine earlier this year, some of you shared what you are doing to help, such as organising donations and supplies.

It was deeply saddening to hear the news of the late Queen's death, and we conveyed our sincere condolences to the Royal Family. I am grateful to you all for your important role in Operation London Bridge and subsequent local events, once more stepping up and a reminder of the part you play in our national story. The King's coronation will provide a much happier occasion on which we can bring people together.

Providing warm spaces, supporting the lonely or vulnerable, sharing information on available assistance and targeting your grant funding are just some ways local councils are helping our communities deal with the cost-of-living crisis.

Lastly, tackling the climate crisis is another big challenge that local councils are increasingly addressing. A growing number of councils have declared a climate emergency and are taking forward an action plan of projects and activities.

As I look ahead to what I sincerely hope will be a more stable, prosperous year, I will need your help to champion and drive change in our crucial part of local government.

I'm confident that more local councils will step up and be inspired by the examples of others to work together, not in isolation, and to use the resources available from NALC and county associations.

Doing so will ensure our sector remains current and relevant, especially to our residents. Of course, it remains vital that we all act as advocates for parish power and the good we can do, especially to Members of Parliament, principal authorities, and other agencies.

I am also clear that changing the culture and getting more people involved has never been more critical to improving civility and respect in our sector. I want to urge every council in the country – every councillor, every council officer – to be part of that change. To get involved in the Civility and Respect Project, sign the pledge, adopt the policies, attend training courses, and encourage your peers to follow.

Such support will send out a strong message and help evidence to the government that the standards regime must be strengthened, including sanctions for poor behaviour. Of course, you can also demonstrate your commitment to good governance through the Local Council Award Scheme.

If you have elections in May 2023, my plea to you is to redouble your efforts to get people to stand and promote the change local councils can make. Please ensure local elections are on the agenda for your council meetings, that you are budgeting for election costs, and that you plan to encourage people to stand. To help you, NALC has a wealth of resources on the Make A Change webpage, and county associations are also there to help.

Remember, you can stay up-to-date on many topics I have covered and more on our website and social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and by subscribing to our mailing list to receive our newsletters and weekly bulletins. You can also connect with other councils and councillors through our national networks.

One final word of thanks. It never ceases to amaze me what our councils and sector can achieve when we work together. All of us – councils, councillors, clerks and council staff, NALC, county associations, the Society of Local Council Clerks. And our partners BHIB Councils Insurance, Blachere Illumination, Breakthrough Communications, CCLA, Utility Aid, WorkNest and many others.

Over the year ahead, let's keep doing just that and coming together to help build stronger communities.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

NALC Chief executive's bulletin


An open letter to all councillors

This week, our chair, Cllr Keith Stevens, penned an open letter to all councillors. He reflected on the year gone — the challenges we've faced as a sector and thanked local (parish and town) councils for continuing to step up. From our part in the COVID-19 response, showing our solidarity for Ukraine and our crucial role in supporting Operation London Bridge and subsequent local events after the news of the late Queen's death to helping our communities deal with the cost-of-living crisis and tackling the climate crisis. Keith set his priorities for the year ahead and the importance of working together and not in isolation to help build stronger communities.

Community outreach event

On 14 December 2022, we held another one of our popular online events. This week's event focussed on community outreach and public service delivery. A huge thank you to the brilliant speakers Cllr Stuart Dunn (Coxhoe Parish Council), Cllr Jim McKenna (Cornwall Council) and Heather Wills (Local Government Association), for extolling the benefits of taking on youth services, providing best practices from Cornwall and setting out how to overcome barriers to taking on a more significant role including through devolved services. Their advice to councils was that nothing is impossible, to have a sensible conversation, and regular communication is key to mutual understanding. Our next online event takes place on 25 January 2023 and will look at local councils and community engagement. Please find out more about our upcoming online events.

Save the date — 3 March 2023!

On 3 March 2023, we'll hold our first in-person conference since 2019 at the America Square Conference Centre in London. As you know, this was the original venue for our Empowering Communities, but it became a fully online conference due to the train strikes. Please put this date in your diary, and more details, including the programme and how to book, will follow in early January.

Informal National Assembly meeting on elections and the coronation

I know many local councils (nearly two-thirds, to be precise!) will look forward to elections in May 2023 with the added excitement of the coronation of His Majesty The King. An exciting time for the country and many councils will be planning celebrations and activities. Balancing these activities with local elections next year will be a unique challenge for many councils with their already stretched capacity. NALC’s National Assembly comprises a councillor representative from each of the 43 county associations – has agreed to hold an informal online meeting on elections and the coronation on 17 January at 6 pm. This meeting will be open to anyone interested in this issue (book your place). Please publicise this meeting to any other local councils or county association colleagues who may be interested, and let us know if you’d like to showcase your plans for celebrating the coronation to NALC at

International Women's Day

NALC will celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March 2023, and we want your support! We're creating a group video to celebrate women's achievements in the local council sector to encourage and inspire more women to stand as councillors. Find out more about how to submit your video.

House of Lords Committee Land Use report recommendations

NALC, alongside other civil society organisations representing the environment, housing, heritage, farming, and the countryside, has written a letter to five government ministers to support the report's main recommendations of the House of Lords Committee Land Use report. The letter highlights the need for a Land Use Framework for England to be genuinely cross-government and cross-issue, to facilitate local community and business engagement, and to bring together, and make more accessible data to support better land use decisions.

NALC updates support materials for the Sustainable Communities Act

We've recently updated our materials aimed at helping local councils make proposals under the Sustainable Communities Act (SCA). The updated webpage explains the purpose and background of the SCA and how local councils wanting to make direct proposals to the government can make that happen. The updated toolkit highlights past local council proposals and provides guidance for councils wishing to make future submissions.

Civility and Respect Project updates

The Civility and Respect Project's board had their final meeting of the year this week, reviewing progress and planning for the future. The board reflected on the diverse array of excellent support made available to councils, encouraging civil and respectful behaviour across our sector, with the additional backing planned for delivery in the new year. There is still more work to be done to support those councils with issues which affect the performance and reputation of councils. The board members agreed that initial plans continue to work together to progress solutions in this area and embed the work started this year. Through the project, we recently revised the Local Government Association (LGA) Code of Conduct supporting guidance to better reflect the sector's needs. The previous guidance was beneficial but wasn't tailored to the nuances of local councils. The project team has worked with Hoey Ainscough Associates Ltd to revise the guidance to precisely reflect the needs and situations relevant to local councils.

Fortnightly county officers call

This week’s regular meeting between NALC and county officers was held on 14 December 2022. This more informal meeting rounded off the year by discussing our highlights of the last year, priorities for 2023, and personal, family, and career changes. We also discussed developing new communication channels and events, local elections, policy development and recruiting new people into their team and IT improvements. The meetings will resume in January 2023.

Local Council Award Scheme

Congratulations to the latest local councils to be accredited under the Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS). 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 accredited councils at the Quality Gold level are Ware Town Council in Hertfordshire (Quality Gold level). And Angmering Parish Council in West Sussex, Bishampton & Throckmorton Parish Council in Worcestershire, Cottenham Parish Council in Cambridgeshire, Grayshott Parish Council in Hampshire and Willington Parish Council in Cheshire at the Foundation level. Well done to everyone involved. You can learn more about the scheme and how to apply on our website.

Local Government Boundary Commission for England

The Local Government Boundary Commission for England (LGBCE) is responsible for conducting reviews of local authority electoral arrangements through electoral reviews. Charlotte Eisenhart, head of member services, and I met their chair, Professor Colin Mellors OBE, and the wider team to brief them on NALC's priorities and recent developments in the sector. We also agreed to work together to improve local councils' awareness and engagement with their work, and they will join one of our regular meetings with county officers in the new year. Please get in touch with NALC at with your views on how LGBCE's engagement with the sector can be developed.

Neighbourhood planning

In his keynote speech at NALC’s Annual Conference in 2018, Rishi Sunak MP said: "When it comes to neighbourhood planning, for example, parish councils are now leading the way. From helping to make buildings reflect local tastes and preferences to directing development to preferred sites, neighbourhood plans have been transforming communities – and helping to alleviate our housing crisis in the process”. This is why I was pleased to see that now, in his role as prime minister, he is still a champion of neighbourhood planning. During last week's prime ministers' questions he stated, "we are protecting the green belt, we are investing millions in developing brownfield sites, and we are providing support and protection for local neighbourhood plans." In 2023, as part of NALC’s big theme on housing, planning and neighbourhood planning, we will be holding more events and providing additional resources on planning, and I would encourage more local councils to consider facilitating a neighbourhood plan for your community as they are going to continue to be an essential part of the planning system and way of providing more homes.

On the blog: Utility Aid

Finding ways to reduce costs, reduce energy consumption and become greener is more crucial than ever due to the energy and cost-of-living crisis. Ruaire Glackin, head of net zero and energy management at Utility Aid, has written a blog to provide practical steps you can take to reduce your energy consumption.

And finally…

This is my final bulletin of 2022! I want to thank county associations, local councils, councillors, clerks, and council staff for all their hard work throughout the year. As well as our partners, BHIB Councils Insurance, Blachere Illumination, Breakthrough Communications, CCLA, Parish Online, Utility Aid, and WorkNest. I wish you and your family good health and happiness. Have a Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous New Year.