Hot News - last updated 19th December 2016

 

Please find attached below a message from Jonathan Owen, the Chief Executive of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) where he is sharing the government’s decision not to extend Council Tax referendum principles to parish and town councils in 2017/2018.

 Colleagues,

 Council tax referendum principles have not been extended to parish and town councils in 2017/18.

 The secretary of state for communities and local government has just announced the provisional local government finance settlement for 2017/18 in the House of Commons, an extract from his speech is below:

 “[Town and parish council] play an important role in our civic life.   We have decided that we will defer our proposals this year, while keeping the level of precepts set by town and parish councils under close review.  I expect all town and parish councils to clearly demonstrate restraint when setting increases that are not a direct result of taking on additional responsibilities.

 I am also actively considering with the sector ways to make excessive increases more transparent to local taxpayers.”

 A further update including more details will be sent out later but I wanted to let you know about the announcement right away.

 Jonathan Owen

Chief Executive

NALC 

  _______________________________________________________________________

DCC Highways and DAPTC Working Together Options DCC Highways and DAPTC have produced a document to help you decide on how you can deliver non-essential highway maintenance.  The document can be found here.



The 2015/16 DAPTC Annual Report is available to view here.

DAPTC 201516



IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR VISITORS TO THE DAPTC OFFICE

The building in which DAPTC is based is no longer open to the public, therefore please contact us during our opening hours to arrange a mutually convenient time if you wish visit the office for business.


PENSIONS AUTO-ENROLMENT

The law on workplace pensions has changed. Every employer with at least one member of staff now has new duties.

NALC and SLCC have together produced a document to help resolve any misunderstanding or confusion on this subject. The document can be viewed here. (Please sign on to the website first as this is in the members area). For members of SLCC, further information is available on their website.

The pensions auto-enrolment affects ALL town and parish councils (even the smallest parish) as all local councils are employers and must at least register when asked to and provide the Department of Work and Pensions with certain information.

Even if the clerk to the council does not wish/is not eligible to join a scheme or is already in one, the council, as an employer needs to consider pension obligations for future employees.

This subject should be on the agenda for your next meeting if it hasn't already been discussed, since your council may need to investigate the type of pension scheme the clerk (as a local government employee) is entitled to join ie the Local Government Pension Scheme, or if this is too expensive, to look into an alternative scheme).




FUNDING AVAILABLE TO HELP SMALLER PARISH COUNCILS COMPLY WITH THE TRANSPARENCY CODE

Make a bid for funding from the DCLG to help your Parish Council to comply with the new Transparency Code regulations. Please find below all the documents that you will need to help you apply. You cannot apply for any funding if you are a Parish Meeting and if you are a council have has an annual turnover which exceeds £25,000 you do not need to comply with the new regulations, but should continue to complete your external Annual Audit.

Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities

L02-15 Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities with a turner not exceeding £25000

L05-14 Transparency Code for parish councils with an annual turnover not exceeding £25000

Transparency Fund Application Form (Excel Spreadsheet)

Guidance Notes for the Transparency Fund

Here are also a link to the Transparency Code webpage on the NALC Website which has further helpful information such as Frequently Asked Questions.

http://www.nalc.gov.uk/our-work/the-transparency-fund