SALC’s Chief Executive Officer has resigned and we will be wishing him a fond farewell in the new year.
Justin says: “I want to to let you all know that I will be leaving SALC in January 2024 after 10 years with the association.
I doubt I will escape from local government altogether but I am looking forward to pursuing other interests and spending more time with family.
It has been a pleasure to work with so many talented councillors and officers for the past decade and I wish you all the very best for the future. I would also like to put on record my thanks to all the SALC staff and board members for their energy and dedication to our sector; I will be leaving with many happy memories”.
The board of directors thanks Justin for his work and good humour over last 10 years; it will shortly undertake the recruitment process to find Justin’s replacement.
All town and parish councils in Somerset should have received correspondence this week from Somerset Council’s Leader, Cllr Bill Revans, regarding the unitary authority’s financial difficulties and the potential disposal of assets and services within Somerset’s communities. You can download a copy of the letter and list of assets, here.
Thanks to active participation by SALC and the SLCC, Somerset Council’s Policy for Disposal of Assets was amended this week to include engagement with parish and town councils prior to decisions being taken on asset disposal. Therefore, please respond to Somerset Council’s letter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you can.
To help manage its position, Somerset Council wants to know:
Somerset Council will welcome any level of detail that you are able to provide on any items on the list, as well as what information your council requires from Somerset Council to be in a position to decide whether it can help.
Thanks to the SLCC Somerset branch officers for all their hard work in bringing this matter to our attention. The branch has provided a handy spreadsheet version of the table attached to Cllr Bill Revans’ letter thast you can use to clarify your council’s interests should you wish.
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has published a new employment briefing and updated pay scales for clerks and other employees employed under the terms of the model contract or Green Book.
The updated pay rates are applicable from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 and council employers are encouraged to approve and implement this pay award as swiftly as possible.
Read the briefing (login required) on the page Council as Employer in the members’ area.
If you have any queries, please contact email@example.com
In SALC’s August newsletter we touched upon issues of local council websites and email addresses, noting that it’s best practice is for a parish council to have a secure website entirely under its control. We are therefore delighted to be working with Parish Online to bring SALC member councils a 30% discount on new gov.uk websites.
We all know Parish Online for its respected mapping service, but it’s now good news that Parish Online also provides high quality, secure websites with a gov.uk domain that are affordable for smaller parishes.
As well as making your council compliant with the 2023 edition of the Practitioners’ Guide, a modern gov.uk website gives your council a professional online presence that allows visitors to your site to instantly recognise that you’re an official local authority body.
For more information and to get a quote, visit Parish Online and ask for the Somerset Association of Local Council’s discount (SALC active membership is required).
NALC hosts a number of online events through Zoom, featuring a blend of leading organisations and policymakers that give insight into how national strategy on a given issue is developing. All events will consider the significant issues facing communities and provide a new perspective on them.
The full NALC event schedule is available, here, but we think councils might find the two events below particularly useful when considering health & wellbeing:
Reconnecting communities through community transport
27 March 2024 — 12.00 – 13.15
NALC (SALC) member: £30
The provision of community transport has become an increasingly important issue for local councils in recent years. With limited public transport options available in many areas, local councils must step up and support low-cost and sustainable community transport schemes to ensure their communities are connected and can access essential services.
Join NALC at this event, where it will showcase successful community transport programmes that local councils have implemented. NALC will also provide details into the national stakeholder scene and how local councils can collaborate with other organisations to improve transport options in their area.Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about the benefits of community transport, how to establish partnerships and funding opportunities, and how your local council can make a difference in reconnecting your community through transport.
FREE Joint NALC & SLCC event on Martyn’s Law
16 November 2023 — 12.00 – 13.15
NALC and SLCC are organising a joint online event on Martyn’s Law (its full title is the Terrorism [Protection of Premises] Draft Bill), which the government intends to make law before the general election. This free event will highlight where Martyn’s Law is in terms of its legislative journey. You’ll hear about the potential measures local councils will need to implement if the law is enacted, plus take away practical tips about helping prevent terrorism in our local areas to keep our communities safe.
Date and time
Sign up link
Wednesday 29th November 11-12:30pm
Tuesday 5th of December 2-3pm
Heating options and controls
Tuesday 12th of December 11-12pm
Condensation, damp and mould
Wednesday 24th January 11-12pm
Managing bills and suppliers
Wednesday 31st January 2-3pm
Home improvements and draughtproofing
Wednesday 7th February 11-12pm
Effective ways to engage the community
If your council has not yet booked its (2) places at the AGM, we will be grateful if you will do so as soon as you can so that we can ensure the meeting is quorate. Please email your confirmations of attendance with the title “SALC AGM” to firstname.lastname@example.org
To download the AGM meeting papers and details about the meeting, along with guest speakers (as well as the free lunch!) please see the recent news item, here.