Latest news

Vacancy: Clerk to Kidsgrove Town Council

Vacancy: Clerk to Kidsgrove Town Council

£30,480 per annum, pro rata (LC2 in accordance with NALC); 30 hours per week

As Clerk to the Council you would be under statutory duty to carry out all the functions and, in particular, to serve or issue all the notifications required by law.  You would be responsible for ensuring that the instructions of the Council in connection with its function as a Local Authority are carried out.

The job will involve record keeping and therefore previous experience of this is essential to this role. You will attend Council meetings as required and be responsible for preparing agendas and where needed act as a representative of the Council.  Other duties will include being responsible for all financial records and the careful administration of these.

You must have excellent communication and organisational skills and be able to work effectively with a minimum of direct supervision when necessary.

The successful candidate will have the CiLCA qualification and an administration or professional qualification.  You will also have good working knowledge of Microsoft Packages such as Work, Excel and Publisher, familiarity with social media would also be beneficial.

For an informal discussion about the role please contact Councillor Sylvia Dymond on telephone number: 07904569665.

Closing date:  Monday, 24 October 2016

You can download an application form as a PDF (151kb) or Word Document (203kb) and email to

You can also download a Job Description (pdf 78kb) and Person Specification (pdf 80kb).

You can also contact Newcastle Borough Council’s Human Resources department on 01782 742265 (24hrs) or email us at quoting post ref no KID10

SPCA Executive and AGM arrangements

Nominations for SPCA Executive and AGM arrangements

Nominations are now being accepted for election of representatives to the SPCA Executive at the Association’s AGM on the evening 5th December. Please ensure that any nominations reach the SPCA office by no later than Friday, 21st October. A copy of the nomination form is attached.

Member Councils are also now invited to put forward motions for debate at the AGM which will be held at Staffordshire Place One, Tipping Street, Stafford, commencing at 6.45pm. The related proposal form is attached.

The calling papers for the 77th AGM, together with copies of the Association’s Annual Report, will be made available in due course.

Transparency Fund

Transparency Fund 2016/17

A further reminder that the Department for Communities and Local Government is still making money available to local councils under the “Transparency Fund” in the current financial year. If a council is required to comply with the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities; i.e. if the gross annual turnover is less than £25,000, and to do so it needs to purchase IT equipment or set up a web site, cash grants are available.

Please note that there has been an important change to the eligibility criteria enabling a greater number of smaller councils to access funding, following NALC representations to DCLG. If a Council’s turnover is usually less than £25,000 but in any one year it exceeds this, meaning they are not eligible to apply for funding, then as long as a council does not exceed the turnover limit three years in a row, they will be eligible; this is a welcome and helpful change and means more councils will now be eligible to apply. Applicants falling under this category should leave the turnover question blank and provide details of its turnover under question 29. The authority needs to state its turnover, mentioning any other grant payments it received or is due to receive, and confirming that its turnover does not exceed £25,000 three years in a row.

Also, a council does not need to have its own website in order to be compliant. Councils may opt to upload relevant information on another organisation’s website, for example, a village website. These councils are also eligible to apply for funding to cover equipment costs (computer, scanner, software), website costs (annual running costs – question 17, and set up costs – question 18), as well as staffing costs, subject to meeting the usual criteria and thresholds.

Applicants are reminded that the purpose of the Transparency Fund is to cover the extra burden incurred by smaller authorities as a result of complying with the Transparency Code. For this reason, the Fund cannot cover the cost of modernising a council’s website or purchasing more modern equipment. For example, as long as a council can upload the necessary information onto their website, even if the website has a basic design, is running on a free of charge platform, and is not mobile compatible, the council cannot claim funding from the Transparency Fund to cover the costs of setting up a new website. Also, if the council already owns a computer that allows them to perform the necessary tasks to comply with the Transparency Code, they may not apply for funding to cover the costs of a second machine. However, if the council uses a member’s equipment (computer and/or scanner) and does not have its own, then it may apply for funding to purchase its own.

It should be noted that towards the end of the financial year, NALC and DCLG will follow up on a sample of applications, asking applicants to submit evidence on how the money was spent. Applicants are reminded that it is their responsibility to hold proof of the way the grant funding was spent.

NALC’s committee considers bids on a monthly basis and the deadline for submitting bids to SPCA to meet the next meeting date is Friday, 21st October.

more news ...