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Documents

Displaying 301 to 330 of 399

A Guide to Understanding Procurement

In order to ensure the best use of public money we need to be smarter in how we procure the things we need. Where another public body has a contract we can use, it meets our requirements and offers value for money we should use it. Where there is none then we may need professional advice on how to let our own.

This toolkit is designed to give general advice and provides signposts to other public buying organisations who have contracts we can use and bodies that can provide professional procurement services and tendering support.

A simple checklist highlights the common issues and pitfalls we need to address and there is also advice on preparing specifications and complying with legislation.

Wed, 01 Apr 2015

The General Power of Competence

Local councils in England were given a 'general power of competence' (GPC) in the Localism Act 2011, sections 1 to 8. This paper explains the freedom granted by the general power, the criteria to be met before a local council can use it and some restrictions on using the power.It notes the CiLCA questions and pass criteria (see also the Portfolio Guide 2012) and some useful weblinks.The power does not apply to parish meetings or to local authorities in Wales.

Thu, 01 Jan 2015

Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities

1. This Code is issued to meet the Government's desire to place more power into citizens' hands to increase democratic accountability. Transparency gives local people the tools and information they need to hold local public bodies to account.

2. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 sets out a new audit framework for local public authorities which are currently covered by the Audit Commission regime. Under the new audit framework smaller authorities, including parish councils, internal drainage boards, charter trustees and port health authorities, with an annual turnover not exceeding £25,000 will be exempt from routine external audit. In place of routine audit, these smaller authorities will be subject to the new transparency requirements laid out in this Code. This will enable local electors and ratepayers to access relevant information about the authorities' accounts and governance.

3. The Government considers that publication of the items in this Code will provide the local electorate and ratepayers with a clear picture of the activities of these smaller authorities. Most of this information is already produced by the majority of smaller authorities with a turnover not exceeding £25,000, and the Government therefore considers that compliance

Mon, 01 Dec 2014

Open and Accountable: A Guide

Government is currently implementing increasing transparency and scrutiny requirements. The most high profile change is the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 which came into effect in August 2014 and brought in the public right to report from local council (and principal local authority) meetings.

The law gives the public and press the right to report, which includes filming, blogging, photographing and use of social media at council meetings (including committees), in most circumstances, although not for legitimately confidential items. Councillors can also report from the meetings but must take care not to disrupt the meeting and in the interests of natural justice, should still be listening to and participating in the debate so that they can make informed decisions.

Whatever form of reporting is used, editing and re-use (retweeting, republication etc) of the result is readily possible. However, councils will be aware that reports from meetings in written form including tweeting and blogging have been fairly commonplace for some time. Covert filming and audio recording have not been unknown either. Now, the difference is that such reporting activities will usually be conducted overtly and councils will be preparing themselves properly for facilitating and managing this reporting, in anticipation that the likelihood of reporting has risen.

Mon, 01 Dec 2014

Using Social Media at Council meeting: Guidelines

The right to record, film and to broadcast meetings of the Council, Committees and Sub Committees is established following the Local Government Audit and Accountability Act 2014. This is in addition to the rights of the press and public to attend such meetings.

1. The Council will make the Council chamber available to the public 15 minutes before and after meetings for the setting up and removal of any filming equipment.

2. Members of the public are permitted to film or record meetings to which they are permitted access, in a non-disruptive manner and only from public areas.

3. Meetings or parts of meetings from which the press and public are excluded may not befilmed or recorded.

Mon, 01 Sep 2014

Grants making policy

This grants making policy is to be used as a gruidline, councils should consider the powers that underpin the grant making process.

Tue, 01 Jul 2014

Cornwall Code of Conduct (2014)

Model Code of Conduct Document for Town and Parish Councils in Cornwall (Updated 2014)

Wed, 01 Jan 2014

NALC Template Allotment Garden Tenancy Agreement Guidance

The purpose of this guidance is to help a council use/edit NALC's template allotment garden tenancy agreement. NALC's template allotment garden tenancy agreement incorporates the most important statutory rights conferred on a council and tenant in respect of the letting of an allotment garden.

Fri, 01 Nov 2013

FOI Policy for Handling Requests

Within 20 working days of receipt of your written request the Council will:

  • confirm to you whether or not it holds the information
  • advise you if a fee will be charged
  • provide you with the information (after any relevant fee has been paid) unless an exemption applies (see 'Exemptions' paragraph below).

Sun, 01 Sep 2013

An Introduction to Borrowing by Parish Councils

'This fact-sheet summarises the arrangements for lawful borrowing by local (parish and town) councils.

1. A parish council may borrow funds but will normally require the formal written approval of the Secretary of State.'

Sun, 01 Sep 2013