Quality Parish Status
There are currently 8,900 parish councils and 70,000 elected parish councillors in England, covering 90 per cent of the country. Although small in size, they perform key functions in their local communities, such as managing parks and allotments, maintaining community halls and investing in community transport projects.
The gaining of Quality Council Status is a clear demonstration of the commitment to the community and the two-way communication required to move forward in an active listening fashion. Make no mistake the work that goes into the creation of the portfolio submission should how the council meets the external demands of the electorate and demonstrates best practice in its methods. This something for all to tackle no matter what size – do it your way!
What does Quality Status involve?
The Council need to put together a portfolio of evidence showing best practice in the following 10 areas:-
1. Electoral Mandate – at accreditation, at least two-thirds of the members of the council must have been elected.
2. A Qualified Clerk – the Clerk must hold either the CiLCA qualification or Certificate of Higher Education in Local Policy.
3. Council Meetings – hold required number of meetings including public participation giving due notice evidence by minutes.
4. Communication and Community Engagement -
i) Satisfying web and IT requirements and at least 4 community newsletters each year.
ii)Selecting 9 out of 17 discretionary requirements demonstrating community engagement.
5. Annual Report – Publish and made freely available by the 30 June of the following year including certain required information.
6. Accountability – copies of the Annual Account and Governance Statement available for viewing.
7. Code of Conduct – demonstrate that the council has adopted the Code and paragraph 12(2) of the revised Model Code.
8. Promoting Local Democracy and Citizenship – council to demonstrate works proactively in the parish with its citizens.
9. Terms and Conditions – evidence of written staff contracts.
10. Training – make a Statement of Intent of commitment to training of councillors and staff.
All of the above can be found by obtaining the booklet “A Guide to Becoming a Quality Council” from GAPTC. The Chief Officer is also happy to address your council in discussing the implications of the above.
Who should demonstrate Quality Status?
Any council who is committed to their parishioners should find the attainment of Quality Status a must. You will use all of your existing skills, honing them with best practice ideas, in gaining this award and a sense of satisfaction of a job well done.
Many of you will be doing a lot of the tasks in the above list already and therefore will find working on your portfolio not too onerous.
The next step
Decide this is the route to go, contact GAPTC who will provide for you a pack containing the booklet, explanatory notes for potential candidates, application form and associated guidance.
Contact: Tel: 01452 883388 Email:email@example.com