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+1 vote
In the last two years our budget for staff costs has doubled in that whilst  we previously had a clerk who did everything we now have 1.5 clerks and are about to appoint a community engagement post who inter alia will maintain the web site.

Is there a formal job evaluation procedure to establish the precise workload for individual PCs appointments . Perhaps I am a cynic but I see this as a part of an NALC/SLCC empire building exercise .

Secondly SLCC have I understand issued advice that PCs should be including an amount in Earmarked reserves for potential Locum  costs .  Should this come under General Reserves as a contingency or is it proper as "savings " under Earmarked Reserves ??
by (3.8k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
But its the council who have made these appointments.  Why lay the blame at NALC/SLCC (or anybody else for that matter).  Surely the evaluation should have preceded the appointment of extra staff.
by (5.7k points)
0 votes
Ultimate responsibility for ensuring all statutory matters are dealt with and the wishes of the council are carried out rests with the council so I agree that the evaluation should be carried out before any agreement to hire (or fire).
I also agree that proper contingency planning dictates that provision be made for periods without clerk cover, for example through accident, illness, etc.  Whilst most parishes can probably manage for a short period of time, the complexities of the job are such that for many parishes a locum may be required and these come at a cost.  You may be able to purchase some insurance cover for absences caused by accident or illness for example so its worth discussing this with your insurers too.
by (10.8k points)
With respect neither of you has answered the question,  Is there a formal job evaluation process or not? Secondly if you are to plan for Locum costs is it proper for contingency planning (general reserves ) or EMR?  This lack of clarity between the two ends up with endless amounts of money being parked in EMR under spurious headings .  That's not proper financially planning . It is IMHO abuse
... and who is to blame for that?
There is no "statutory" evaluation process for parish councils if that's what you mean but if you look at the ACAS website there is generally lots of guidance on how this can take place or your HR consultant, if you have one, can advise.  The SLCC website has some guidance too which is specifically designed for parish councils but I am aware everyone on this site seems somewhat suspicious of the SLCC!  My own personal recommendation is that your clerk keeps a timesheet outlining exactly what he/she does and how long it takes which should give some idea of the range of work required and whether support is needed.
Frankly you can put your locum costs in whatever part of your budget you like.  Again, no statutory guidance on this but an earmarked reserve is simply a reserve built up for a specific project so if you're putting money aside which is specifically identified for a particular project over a period of time, I'd label it as an EMR.  We have a budget line "temporary staff" each year to deal with the unexpected (its a small sum) and this is a potential precept item of expenditure as we're not building up a figure for future use but merely ensuring there's funding should the need arise.
Thanks DBW.  What happens in practice is that when inner sanctums form they realise that they can best protect their power by forming close working relationships with the clerk . In our case we went through the Locum stage when all of a sudden a need for more staffing was decided upon by the staffing committee which of course consists of the inner sanctum and we are all left with a fait accompli.  I am afraid that's how it works on some PCs ,  Aagh well only 3 months to go
The 'staffing committee' must have made their recommendation for additional staff to the PC no?  Or does the staffing committee have a direct delegation to employ?  That would be odd.

If they made a recommendation, and the recommendation was approved by majority, then what you are actually describing really is you not agreeing with the majority vote.
I feel your pain but (unusually) I agree with DBW - the money set aside for the contingency of having to employ locum staff can quite appropriately be set in EMR.

This seems to be a perennial situation where people struggle with the concept of EMR.  Some headers will be cumulative (year on year) for elements such as buildings.  Cost to build (or replace) divided by anticipated life span = annual allocation to cumulative EMR.  Building cost £350 / 100 years life = £3.5k pa EMR for 100 years (excludes compound issues obviously)

Whereas non cumulative EMR would be for the like of locum staff - an anticipated cost which if used would be replaced in the subsequent budget but if not used would either be absorbed into an overspent line or re-set for the next FY.  This one would only 'grow' in proportion to how much the in year cost grew from one FY to the next.

So you can have cumulative EMR and in year allocation EMR - they are just tools for anticipating potential liabilities.

PS, I'm not suspicious of SLCC, I've literally just got off the phone after a qualification and membership query with them );0)

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