Chief Executive Officer: Alison Robinson
Cranham House (the OPEX
Building), Falcon Close, Green
Farm Business Park, Gloucester

GAPTC newsletter Sept 2018

What you can find in this newsletter:

  • New edition of Charles Arnold Baker on Local Council Administration about to be published
  • The law around giving money to the church
  • A note about the call for election for warded councils
  • Webinar on Local Regeneration
  • Wildlife and habitat information for community planning in Gloucestershire
  • Request for Chairmen email addresses……
  • Requesting advice from the GAPTC team
  • Filing cabinets looking for new home!
  • Report from the Buckingham Palace Garden Party
  • Fuel policy advice charity……

Eleventh edition of Arnold-Baker on Local Council Administration

Arnold-Baker on Local Council Administration (now edited by Paul Clayden) is a complete statement of the law relating to parish and community councils, in the form of an extensive though succinct narrative accompanied by comprehensive statutory materials. 'The yellow book' remains the key text for parish councils and its eleventh edition will be available from SLCC's bookshop from 22nd September with a 25% discount for SLCC members (£103.99).

Power to give money for property relating to the affairs of church… or not! A reminder

At the 2017 AGM, Slimbridge PC requested GAPTC to ask NALC to lobby for a change to the law to allow local councils to provide financial support for church property to be amended (s8 LGA 1894). However, in 2018, they issued a briefing confirming their view that, in general, it was not possible for a council to contribute to the upkeep of church property. We recently clarified whether a PC could contribute to the cost of a shed for the church, as it would be moveable property. The advice was that whether a shed is considered moveable or not is irrelevant, as it will still be property relating to the affairs of the church. We are aware that some councils have been contributing to their local church and to quote solicitor, Nicholas Hancox, who specialises in local government law – 'just because you do it doesn't mean that it is lawful'!

Call for elections warded councils

We have been advising a couple of councils about wording for casual vacancies and call for elections. If your parish is warded, the 10 electors required to have an election to fill a vacancy must come from the ward itself, not from the parish in general.

Webinar on Local Regeneration

Following the publication last year of the Local Regeneration Handbook (available from SLCC), the author, Andrew Maliphant, is running a webinar on Thursday 17th October about Beginning Local Regeneration. Anyone looking to make improvements to the area where they live or work can find more details at

Wildlife and habitat information for community planning in Gloucestershire

Did you know that Gloucestershire has a Local Environmental Records Centre? Gloucestershire Centre for Environmental Records (GCER) has provided wildlife information for over 20 Neighbourhood Development Plans and Village Design Statements throughout Gloucestershire. They hold records and computerised maps for thousands of Gloucestershire species and habitats and regularly supply data for planning consultations, ecologists' reports and a wide range of conservation projects. They also provide bespoke mapping and interpretation, data analysis and training. Do contact GCER if you need maps or other nature-related information to support your community plan.

GCER's existing database, extensive mapping experience and dedicated volunteers mean they can keep costs low; they also have a 'partnership rate' for local councils. Fees for production of sets of maps and other wildlife information range from one to two days' work at £275 per day plus VAT and they can also do small one-off pieces of work for much less. Using GCER also supports your Local Environmental Records Centre and helps to forge links with wildlife enthusiasts in your area. For more information, and examples of previous outputs, please contact Linda Moore or Rob Curtis at; and have a look at the attached flyer.

Chairmen email addresses

The GAPTC Executive Committee Communications Working Group discussed the results and would now like to contact the chairman to councils to conduct a similar survey as we had such a positive response from clerks and would like to gauge opinion from chairmen as well. Please could you send the contact email for your chairman to

Requesting advice from the GAPTC team

If possible please use our online advice system for any requests for advice.

After you have logged in, on the home page you will see a tab for Advice. Click on this and it will take you to Member Support and a form to be completed including subject, the description of the advice needed, the category of the advice request and whether it is low, important, urgent or critical priority. When we have responded to your enquiry you will receive an email notifying you to log in to the website. With this system you will have a record of the advice requests you have made and be able to refer back to them. Of course, if you wish to contact us by phone you are still able to do so, but we cannot always guarantee to be able to help you immediately if our advice line staff are not in the office.

Remember that there is a wide range of useful documents available on the website which can be accessed (after log in) by searching alphabetically or using the search facility.

Filing cabinets looking for a new home

We have 2 lockable metal 4-drawer filing cabinets that are surplus to requirements. They are free but you must collect from our office. Get in touch – first come, first served.

Gloucestershire councillors have tea at Buckingham Palace

From the dozens of councils who applied for invitations to the Buckingham Palace Garden Party, the names of Cllr Mike Hobden from Brockworth PC and Cllr Kevin Wilcox from Southam PC were drawn out of the hat. Here is a report from Mike Hobden and photos from both councillors can be found on our website.

'My wife and I were very honoured to represent Brockworth at what is probably a once-in-a-lifetime event for anyone. Our day started by catching the train from Gloucester to Paddington. The garden party runs to a very strict timetable and we had to queue outside the gates for an hour before we were checked through into the palace grounds and the tea marquee, where the tables and chairs were all laid out in a truly wonderful setting, with a military band playing all afternoon. We started with a very welcome glass of cold lemonade and there were waiters walking around offering tubs of ice cream, which were very welcome as it was a very hot, sunny day. At around 3pm the tea marquee opened and they served cups of tea, beautifully cut sandwiches and the most glorious cakes.

The Yeoman of the Guard then came marching down the steps to form a corridor through the crowds, the band started playing the National Anthem and the royals appeared on the palace steps before coming down onto the lawn and meeting the people. It was the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and the Duke and Duchess of Kent who made their way to the royal tea marquee. After tea they returned to the palace, still meeting and talking to people on the way. I think the thing that stood out was the number of people from all walks of life there, around 8,000 on the day, and the whole thing ran like clockwork."

Fuel policy advice charity

Many people in Gloucestershire are living in fuel poverty; they are living in cold houses they cannot afford to heat. This often has a detrimental effect on physical and mental health which can be made worse from living in cold and often damp houses. Warm and Well, part of the charity Severn Wye Energy Agency, and working in partnership with the local authorities, can offer your communities free impartial advice on: improving the energy efficiency of their home; reducing energy bills; switching energy supplier; insulation, heating systems and funding which can be accessed. Alongside this, they are offering training to frontline staff on Fuel Poverty Awareness – the training is completely free and accredited by CPD. Until March 2020, they have funds to install first-time central heating systems in the homes of vulnerable clients – completely free of charge. For more information visit

Job vacancies

Finally, there are a number of positions for clerks being advertised on our website, so do check from time to time to see the latest vacancies.

Posted: Tue, 11 Sep 2018 08:10 by Alison Robinson

Tags: News, GAPTC, Garden Party, Fuel poverty advice, Advice requests, Gloucestershire Centre for Environmental Record, GCER, Regeneration, elections