SALC Newsletter 27th January 2023

SALC has written to Somerset’s MPs in appeal for support on standards

As reported in our December newsletter, the government is being called upon to re-visit its response to the Committee on Standards in Public Life report on local government ethical standards.

Dr Julian Lewis, MP for New Forest East, has tabled an Early Day Motion seeking a review of the government’s response, including the introduction of tougher sanctions to deal with poor behaviour in local councils.

Parish and town councils are urged to write to their MP seeking support for the motion. 

In response to SALC’s appeal to Somerset’s MPs, requesting they add their names to the EDM, we have received just one confirmation of support, from David Warburton. We will update members if we receive any further responses.

You can see which MPs have supported the motion on the government website, here.

What is the website

Clerks have been getting in touch with the SALC office to tell us that a webite called is requesting parish council contact details.

We are not familiar with the site and can confirm that it is not an organisation NALC has worked with. NALC has tried to get in touch with directly, so far without reply. Due to the design of the website, NALC also raised it with their contacts in the government’s digital service who confirm that has no links to the government.

There is no obligation to respond to the communication. It is up to individual councils to decide if they want to provide the information requested but we do not recommend it. It is sufficient that your council’s details are up to date with the district council.

Advertise job vacancies for free on the SALC website

We are very excited that our new SALC website will launch within a few short weeks and want to remind members that job vacancies can be advertised with us for free. 

Right now the following councils have active vacancies:

Croscombe Parish Council is seeking a Clerk/RFO at SCP 13 – 17( £24,948 – £26,845 p.a. pro rata)

Stoke Trister with Bayford Parish Council is seeking a Clerk/ RFO at  SCP 7 – 17 (£20,369 – £26,845 pro rata) 

Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council is seeking an RFO at SCP 30 – 34 from £36,298 – £40,478

Slow Ways – Can you help?

The  Slow Ways project is co-creating the first point to point walking network in Great Britain and the team needs your help!

Slow Ways has 8000 routes over 2500 towns and cities. There are already thousands of people who have walked thousands of Slow Way routes but it isn’t completed yet. Slow Ways is looking for councils that could walk, review, and verify all of their area’s Slow Ways in a single day or week. The project is looking for councils that want to reap the wellbeing and benefits of supporting the PROW network and that can:

  • Assemble a team of 3- 30+ people 
  • Walk all of a town’s Slow Ways this February or March
  • Be able to self-organise and be willing to give feedback

Slow Ways is hosting a series of online information sessions on Monday January 30th:

Contact Slow Ways for more info or to find out about getting involved in another way if you are not able to make one of the sessions next week.

So much for dry January!  


2023 got off to a rainy start in Somerset. Find out how parish & town councils can help with flood prevention and reduction efforts by reading the advice from the National Flood Forum

Get advice on how you can form a Flood Action Group and prepare a community flood plan to report information on flood incidents in your community.

The majority funding for flood and coastal erosion management is through grants from Defra to the Environment Agency. Local councils can potentially access this funding through partnership working. See the Environment Agency website for details. 

Get your staff or community a health MOT

Sometimes it’s hard to convince people who feel healthy to attend a health screen, this is where NHS outreach screening is invaluable.

Health check clinics can be hosted in workplaces, including council offices, and are a great opportunity to offer health checks for staff teams. Additionally, your council might choose to host a clinic in a community space for the benefit of residents.

Outreach clinics can be set up in a private room with four accessible plug sockets, a reasonable size desk and two chairs and a waste basket. Secure WIFI access or ability to tether to a phone. Council hosts must complete health and safety assessment forms and a venue information document.

If this sounds like something that your community would benefit from, then contact Support Officer & NHS Health Check Practitioner, Deborah Peat, on 07376 889261 for details and availability.

Safe & Warm Somerset’s vital advice to help people stay warm

Safe & Warm Somerset is a project by the independent charity Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), supported by local councils.

The team of trained energy advisors offer free, impartial energy advice and support to help people stay warm at home and afford their energy bills. Senior Project Manager Kate Thomas explains how Safe & Warm Somerset can help your community.

We know people are worried turning on their heating because of the cost, but living in a cold home is bad for physical and mental health, especially for those with existing health conditions, older people, children, and anyone in vulnerable circumstances.

The friendly advisors at Safe & Warm Somerset can offer life-changing support to people in your community. You can contact Safe & Warm Somerset for yourself or make a referral on someone’s behalf.

Surviving Winter appeal reaches £1m milestone for local pensioners

Somerset Community Foundation (SCF) is pleased to announce that its 2022/23 Surviving Winter appeal has raised an incredible £150,000 so far, thanks to the generosity of local donors – which pushes total donations to over £1,000,000 since Surviving Winter was first launched in 2010.

Surviving Winter began in 2010 in the SCF office in Somerset when the team was contacted by one of the donors who offered to give his Winter Fuel Payment to help local pensioners struggling with the cost of staying warm and healthy. He wanted his donation to pay for the everyday essentials that most of us take for granted, such as heating, warm clothing and food. From this simple idea Surviving Winter has spread across the country, raising millions nationally.

The costs of running the Surviving Winter appeal are met entirely from Gift Aid contributions, so donors can be confident that their donation will reach those who need it the most. Continued support of our appeal is appreciated.

SALC’s health & wellbeing survey has closed!  

Thank you to the clerks & councils who shared their health & wellbeing information with us through the survey. We are busy crunching the data and will share insights with you over coming weeks.
Wedmore Parish Council is the lucky winner of the £500 prize draw and we are looking forward to hearing what community project the council will support.  

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