Advice and guidance
Promoting parish councils assets
Formed by Parish Councils --- Run for Parish Councils --- Delivering to Parish Councils
The Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils (GAPTC) is a not for profit membership organisation, representing, training and advising the parish and town councils of Gloucestershire, who form the grass roots tier (or first level) of local government in England.
GAPTC offer members a resource of vital, operational information and facilitate communication at all levels of the parish network - district, county, regional and national.
As a membership association we are unable to deal with queries from the public, but we are happy to make general information available through this website, which helps to increase understanding and awareness about the sector.
National Assembly further information
·At last week's National Assembly the chairman of Policy Committee reported on two changes to NALC's role as 'selector' under the Sustainable Communities Act (SCA) where NALC act as the appeals body for rejected parish proposals, funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; this would now be undertaken by the Committee itself rather than a sub-committee, with an SCA 'champion' co-opted to drive forward this work. NALC are pleased to inform you know that Cllr Peter Wilkinson, the Norfolk county association representative on National Assembly, has agreed to take up this role and build on his previous work and experience championing and promoting SCA as chair of the former sub-committee. Peter will attend meetings of the Committee where rejected parish proposals are considered and lead discussions, as well as working with officers outside of meetings to support and promote take-up of this 'barrier busting' legislation. More »
Letter from Sajid Javid MP
·Sajid Javid MP, secretary of state for HCLG, has written to our chairman Cllr Sue Baxter in response to her letter about his keynote speech at the annual conference and has again praised and thanked the sector: "I would like to thank the NALC and local parish and town councils for the work they do. The Government is very aware of the very important services delivered by parish councils and of their role in improving quality of life and well-being of communities, and recognized the role that the NALC plays in helping these small bodies to fulfil their potential." The letter also covers a number of other issues raised with him including the local government finance settlement, council tax support funding, GDPR, creation of new councils, parish poll reform, SCA, transparency fund and the NALC prospectus.
Smaller Councils' Committee
·The Smaller Councils' Committee met on Wednesday, here's a brief summary: Cllr Alison Stevens was elected vice chairman; the Committee discussed the governance review and aims to report its findings to National Assembly in July; the ongoing work programme was agreed along with Committee leads to the various strands of work it will be carrying out; noting the Transparency Fund closed on 12 February and the final grants were being allocated to smaller councils, the fund has been oversubscribed and the Committee supported our efforts to press the government to fully fund the additional burden for smaller councils to comply with transparency requirements; and the Committee also considered what support smaller councils will need in the future to enable them to comply with ongoing transparency requirements.
Meeting with ALCC
·NALC and the Association of Local Council Clerks – the new trade union representing parish and town council clerks – had a constructive meeting this week to look at the national agreement and identify what work needed to be done to enable it to be reviewed. Representatives from ALCC and county associations as well Jonathon Owen discussed how to update the current four job profiles in the national agreement to bring them in line with new legislative requirements and expectations of the sector. There was a consensus that these could be improved, perhaps increased to a matrix of six with better supporting guidance and presentation; it was agreed to discuss these further over the coming weeks and meet again on the 11 April 2018.
NALC/LGA project call for evidence
·Do you have experience of working on a collaborative project with a principal council? NALC are working with the Local Government Association on a new guide to partnership working and want to hear from you! Please email email@example.com or Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
·NALC are currently seeking views on the Department for Transport's consultation on the Major Roads Network so please check out our consultation briefing and get back to email@example.com by 2 March 2018, plus NALC are responding to the DEFRA consultation on waste crime so likewise send your views to Jessica.Lancodfirstname.lastname@example.org by 9 March 2018. You will need to login to access all our documents (just email or phone us here at GAPTC for log in details). » Less
Fri, 16 Feb 2018 17:22 by Alison Robinson
·In the week when we commemorate the Suffragettes – members of women's organisations in the late-19th and early-20th centuries which advocated the extension of the "franchise", or the right to vote in public elections, to women – NALC were pleased that their National Assembly on Tuesday had a long debate about the need to promote diversity and encourage more people from all backgrounds to get involved at local, county and national level. NALC set up a Diversity Commission last year to explore this issue in detail and NALC want to encourage you to support this work by taking or promoting the Councillor Census survey and tell us your thoughts on how local councils and NALC can encourage diversity or any good work you've already done – please get in touch with email@example.com if you need more information or want to get involved. More »
·A few other highlights from National Assembly – which in many ways is the sectors "Parliament" bringing together elected representatives from each county association – included: a well-received presentation by the head of legal services Meera Tharmarajah on the hot topic of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and an update by the head of policy and development Justin Griggs on preparations for the Lobby Day on 20 March taking an important stance in support of Policy Committee through an unambiguous assertion that as the first tier of local government, parishes should be subject to the same rules as the rest of local government, though applied proportionately, and this is set to be the cornerstone of our developing strategic plan and vision for the sector; and confirmation that our annual conference would take place on 30/31 October 2018 in Milton Keynes.
Local government finance settlement and council tax referendum principles
·Following an extensive debate by MPs about the funding of local government, the final settlement was approved by the House of Commons this week, including the multi-year deal not to extend council tax referendum principles to this sector.
·But while it was a real achievement to secure this multi-year deal – which was recognised and praised by the National Assembly on Tuesday including Sue's vital advocacy with ministers – NALCs work on this issue isn't done! it's important to keep our finger on the pulse of what's happening in the sector, especially on significant precept increases, both to know what's going on around the country and in case of media or government interest. Soplease could let us know about significant increases and reasons (for example onward devolution) as well as how you have engaged with residents. Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org
New legal guidance
·This week NALC published on the NALC website (login required) new legal briefing L02-18 Reporting personal data breaches. This explains the new obligations under GDPR which require councils and parish meetings to keep an internal record of all personal data breaches and to report, in certain circumstances, breaches to the ICO and to an individual affected by a personal data breach.
Keep Britain Tidy
· NALC met with Allison Ogden-Newton, chief executive of Keep Britain Tidy to hear how many parish and town councils have supported their work to eliminate litter, improve local places and prevent waste. NALC is pleased to support this year's Great British Spring Clean from 2-4 March 2018 which is a great community campaign with a simple aim: to bring people across the country together to clear up the litter that blights our towns, villages, countryside and beaches. The campaign wants to inspire 500,000 people to get outdoors, get active and help clear up the rubbish that lies around us. Last year around 300 of our councils supported the campaign through organising and supporting litter picks and it would be great if more registered and took part this year. You can find out more, access a range of resources and sign up to support the campaign on their website.
Chairman at District Councils Network conference
· This morning the NALC chairman Cllr Sue Baxter spoke at the District Councils' Network conference as part of a plenary panel on transformation in local government. Sue spoke about the opportunities and challenges that partnership working with parish and town councils can bring to the transformation agenda, highlighting examples of parishes doing more around health and well-being, housing and economic development, highlighting financial pressures such as onward devolution and council tax support funding, as well as calling on principal councils and other bodies such as the police and NHS to work closer with the sector.
· NALC recently responded to the Cabinet Office Freedom of Information Code of Practice consultation and the Labour Review of Social Housing, they will shortly be responding to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government consultation on Park Homes, and are planning to respond to the Department for Transport's consultation on the Major Roads Network so please get your views on the NALC consultation briefing to email@example.com by 2 March 2018. You will need to login to access all our documents (just ask GAPTC for log in details).
Royal Garden Parties
· NALC would like to thank county association colleagues for identifying local councillors to be invited to this year's Royal Garden Parties through NALC's allocation; over 200 names have been submitted to the Palace and invitees will hear direct from the Palace approximately 6 weeks in advance of the garden party. » Less
Fri, 09 Feb 2018 17:05 by Alison Robinson
Cotswold District Council will be holding training sessions for Parish Councils and Ward Members in respect of the Planning Enforcement function of the Council. The aim of these sessions will be to help District and Parish Councillors better understand the purpose of planning enforcement, the powers that are available to the Council and when and why these might be used.
In turn, they hope that you will be able to share this information with your neighbours and constituents and build a greater understanding of the processes and procedures involved in the enforcement function within your communities. More »
These sessions have been timed to coincide with the refreshed Local Enforcement Plan which is available to view on: - http://www.cotswold.gov.uk/residents/planning-building/planning/planning-enforcement
Depending upon the amount of interest that is received, CDC anticipate holding one session at the District Council offices in Cirencester and another one at the Moreton Area Office.
Please indicate whether you would be interested in attending one of the training sessions and if so, whether you would like to attend the Cirencester or Moreton event (so that CDC can monitor numbers and make sure they make the most effective use of resources). Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the level of interest is ascertained, CDC will propose some dates and then fix a time(s) that suits the majority.
Please respond by email as soon as possible and by no later than 16th February.
If CDC haven't heard from you by then, they will assume that there is no appetite for a training session.
Scott Britnell Senior Planning Enforcement Officer Cotswold District Council
Tel: 01285 623 085
Email: Scott.Britnell@cotswold.gov.uk » Less
Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:19 by Alison Robinson