Everything changes, all the time. And in the modern world the changes seem to come ever thicker and faster. Which is why it is essential that parish council clerks and councillors keep themselves up to date. How? With training.
Training helps deliver the highest level of service to parishioners and continuous professional development should be encouraged.
It is especially important where individuals have specific areas of responsibility. Councils should think ahead about their needs for the coming year and support this with a training budget.
Not only does training improve the quality of the services and facilities that parish councils provide, but also:.
- Enables councils to achieve its aims and objectives;
- It ensures processes and legislation are duly and accurately followed, such as the challenges presented by GDPR and audit regulations;
- It gives a sense of value and confidence. In offering training, councils are fulfilling their aims to be an encouraging, proactive and rewarding organisation to be part of.
I cannot recommend highly enough the NALC Good Councillors Guide (a copy has been attached to this month’s publication) and, for clerks, the NALC guide to Being a Good Employer (available here https://www.nalc.gov.uk/publications).
Training for new councillors is available from LALC (the Lincolnshire Association of Local Councils http://www.lalc.co.uk/
Clerks should familiarise themselves with the National Training Strategy and share relevant information with councillors.
Councillors are expected to attend ongoing training to keep them up to date with developments in policy and legislation, specifically with regard to finance and planning.
Clerks are recommended to work towards CiLCA (the Certificate in Local Council Administration) and to attend ongoing training to keep up to date with developments in policy and legislation, specifically with regard to audit regulations, data protection and the new GDPR, employment law and planning. Many of these issues are covered in training offered by LALC.
From time to time additional specific trading may be required, to accompany a project for example.
Councillors and clerks are permitted to claim expenses for travel to and from training and clerks are permitted to use their allocated hours to undergo training and claim additional hours should they need to do so.
All of this can sound a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. LALC is there to help and I am always happy to answer specific questions councillors or clerks may have.