NALC Updates for all Councils:
Chief executive’s bulletin
NALC/SLCC meetings checklist
Following the government announcement of further easing of lockdown restrictions from 4 July, both NALC and Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) strongly advise local (parish and town) councils to continue to meet remotely, without the need for face-to-face contact. If the council wishes to consider returning to face-to-face meetings there are a range of issues which need to be addressed before this can take place. This week we jointly published a checklist for holding an in-person council meeting to ensure this decision is made in accordance with relevant regulations and requirements. Further guidance can be found on the NALC and SLCC websites.
Second reading of Toilets Bill
I’m delighted the Toilets Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons yesterday, especially as fast-tracking this legislation to exempt local councils from paying business rates on public toilets was among our asks of the government to help alleviate current financial pressures. Our head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, shared the headlines from the debate on Twitter, you can also read the debate on Hansard or watch again on parliamentlive.tv. Remaining stages in the Commons are on 3 September before the Bill moves to the House of Lords.
Letter from JPAG on accounts and audit
To help clarify a range of queries since the publication of the Practitioners’ Guide, the Joint Panel on Accountability and Governance (JPAG) has written a letter to local councils which you can read here:
NALC National Assembly
NALC’s National Assembly – comprising councillors representing each of the 43 county associations – met remotely on 14 July, here’s a summary:
Keep planning local
Keep planning local was the message to the government in a joint letter from NALC, the Local Government Association (LGA) and other national bodies this week, published by The Telegraph – you can read more here.
Code of conduct consultation and webinars
Staying on the proposed new national code of conduct, a reminder that the closing date to respond to the consultation is 17 August. The LGA is also holding three special online events for local councils, you can register on one of the sessions for free and the dates and codes are 29 July (MMCC2907), 30 July (MMCC3007) and 5 August (MMCC0508).
In and about
A huge congratulations to NALC’s partners BHIB Councils Insurance for scooping two awards at last night’s virtual ceremony for the Broker Innovation Awards. Ashwin Mistry won Director of the Year recognising his achievements in leading the business and the work he does influence the insurance market. The wider team won Digital Broker of the Year recognising their work developing and launching a new online product and brand for freelancers called Create. Here’s a great comment from Michelle South, schemes director: “We are incredibly proud of our achievements, it was great to participate and have a bit of fun at a virtual awards ceremony at what has been and continues to be a very uncertain time, especially when you’re based in Leicester!”