The Local Council Award Scheme
Parish councils are at the very heart of their communities; giving local communities a voice and making people more involved in the decisions that affect them. Parish councils want to serve their communities well and make a real difference to people's lives.
The new Local Council Award Scheme (which replaces the Quality Parish and Town Council Scheme) has been designed to celebrate the successes of the very best parish councils, and to provide a framework to support all parish councils to improve and develop to meet their full potential. The scheme offers councils the opportunity to show that they meet the standards set by the sector, assessed by their peers, and to put in place the conditions for further improvement.
The Award Scheme has been designed to provide the tools and encouragement to those councils at the beginning of their improvement journeys, as well as promoting and recognising councils that are at the cutting edge of the sector. It is only through the sector working together, to share best practice, drive up standards and supporting those who are committed to improving their offer to their communities, that individual councils and the sector as a whole will reach its full potential.
The scheme was created in 2014 and is managed on behalf of local councils by the Improvements and Development Board (IDB).
There are three levels within the Award:-
As a Quality Parish Council Cranleigh was able to register to be transferred free of charge to the Foundation level of the Local Council Award Scheme for one year. During the year the Council has resolved to work towards the Quality Gold Award.
- The Foundation Award which demonstrates that a council meets the minimum requirements for operating lawfully and according to standard practice.
- The Quality Award which demonstrates that a council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement
- The Quality Gold Award which demonstrates that a council is at the forefront of best practice and achieves excellence in governance, community leadership and council development.
In order to achieve the Foundation Award the Council resolved that it published the following on the Parish Council website:-
The Council also confirmed by resolution that it had:
- Online Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.
- Online Code of Conduct and a link to Councillors' Register of Interests.
- Online publication scheme.
- Online Annual Return.
- Online information about Council Payments.
- Online Calendar of meetings including the Annual Parish Meeting.
- Online minutes for all council and committee minutes for a full year.
- Current agendas.
- The budget and precept information for the current or next financial year.
- Complaints policy.
- Council contact details and councillor information in line with the transparency code.
- Action plan for the current year.
- Evidence of consulting the community.
- Publicity advertising council activities.
- Evidence of participating in town and country planning.
The Council has received official notification that Cranleigh Parish Council has been accepted at the Foundation level of the scheme. This expires in January 2016 when it is hoped that the Council will re-accredit for the Quality or Quality Gold award.
- A risk management scheme.
- A register of assets
- Contracts for all members of staff
- Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
- A policy for training new staff and councillors
- A record of all training undertaken by staff and councillors in the last year
- A Clerk who has achieved 12 CPD points in the last year.