The Government will extend the audit period for lasy year's audit. Summary info here
NALC legal advice on holding meetings remotely
NALC's Legal Team has issued advice on how councils can hold meetings without the council physically gathering.
LEGISLATIVE CHANGES FOR COUNCILS DURING THE EMERGENCY - posted 3 April 2020
The Statutory Instrument which will bring in the temporary governance arrangements has been published by Government. NALC Legal is preparing guidance which will be issued next week.
Furloughing and the Job Retention Scheme
ERNLLCA has produced a briefing paper for member councils on this topic. It can be found on the Advisory Notes page within the Members section of the website.
All councils should have received this letter from PKF Liitlejohn. If not, please contact them asap.
Parish Clerk vacancy at Goodmanham Parish Council
See Vacancies page for more information
LATEST UPDATE 29 March
NALC has updated its dedicated webpage on the coronavirus. This includes useful national resources for supporting your community: See the updates below:
The fast-tracked Coronavirus Bill was considered by the House of Commons on 23 March and House of Lords on 24/25 March. It has now received Royal Assent and is an Act of Parliament.
Provisions of particular relevance to local councils are on the postponement of local elections and local authority meetings. NALC is pressing the Ministry for Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to work with them on any subsequent regulations.
We don’t have the time-frame for those at present but will keep you updated.
The ERNLLCA office has been closed due to the current situation.. We are setting in place some temporary systems and we will be able to pick up and respond to emails. Our voicemail will be checked daily but email enquiries would be preferred. We hope to set up a temporary phone number to take us through the coming weeks. More to follow in the coming days.
We understand the frustrations many of you are voicing about the lack of definitive advice about holding meetings and NALC is pressing for clarity for our tier, please check www.nalc.gov.uk It does seem that the Bill going through Parliament, to bring about changes, does include parish and town councils - so, that's good news!.
As soon as we know about any changes to the legal position, we will tell you.
WORKING FROM HOME
Our colleagues at Parkinson Associates have produced a fact sheet for those who may have to work from home during the present crisis. It can be accessed here
ALL TRAINING EVENTS UP TO THE END OF MAY HAVE BEEN POSTPONED. WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF REFUNDING THOSE COUNCILS WHICH HAVE PAID FOR PLACES.
If the Government declares an
emergency and control measures are put in place limiting public gatherings, the
problem will arise of how councils can meet to make decisions. We await
advice from NALC on this but many councils already have committees, and their
powers could be reviewed and extended to include more in the way of agreeing
expenditure. This is a decision which the council has to make, a
committee cannot extend its own powers. Additionally councils are
reminded that the Local Government Act 1972, section 101, allows a council to
devolve most decision-making to the Clerk. Councils may wish to consider
putting such a resolution in place for the duration of any emergency, should
one be declared”.
Clearly there are some decisions
which can only be made by council e.g. agreeing the year-end accounts; agreeing
the AGAR; applying for borrowing. We await guidance from Government on
how such matters can be handled.
Councils will hold their annual
council meetings in May, if these meetings cannot go ahead please remember that
the current Chairman of the Council remains in that position until a new
Chairman is elected.
In the absence of a directive from
Government, those councils with offices that are accessible by the public
should consider if public access should remain in place.
As regards ERNLLCA, all planned
training events have been cancelled. This will be kept under review but
it seems unlikely that any training will be delivered for some time to
come. Our office is located in a public building and we have not been
given any information about closure however we may have to stagger when staff are
in the office to minimise contact between the team. Obviously we will not
be able to attend any meetings for the foreseeable future nor will we be able
to receive visitors. It is unlikely that the district committee meetings
will go ahead.
NALC has set up a Coronavirus page on its website www.nalc.gov.uk/coronavirus
In the event of the office being closed, our status will be displayed on the ERNLLCA website www.ernllca.info
Community Governance Prospectus
The Society of Local Council Clerks has launched its Community Governance Prospectus which is an advanced qualification for local council officers who work with local communities.
The qualification has a number of benefits including being;
• Unique - targeted at local council officers
• Flexible - allows for specialist topics to be studied facilitating work-based learning
• Part-time - allows students to get a qualification while they work and features three 24-hour study days each year
• Supportive - student support is offered throughout the course in the form of an online learning environment, as well as a professional, experienced teaching team
Students can gain a Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE): Community Governance (Level 4), Foundation Degree: Community Governance (Level 5) or BA Hons: Community Governance (Level 6).
SLCC is also now providing the Community Governance course through De Montfort University (DMU), who were awarded Gold in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework and are an internationally recognised centre of excellence on local government.
2019 NALC Financial Regulations
The latest version of Financial Regulations (together with a guidance note) are available from the Model Documents section of the Members' Pages.
Borrowing by parish and town councils
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has issued updated information and guidance on borrowing by councils. Please refer to the Members page to access this information.
Councils which are not members of ERNLLCA should contact the Association at email@example.com if they wish to borrow.