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+1 vote
What a depressing day….

After a period of absence I looked in on the SLCC discussion forum only to find it was just the same shockingly unprofessional echo chamber of clerks publicly demonstrating professional ignorance and contempt for Cllrs.
I then treated myself to a speed read of the latest NALC 2024 Good Cllr Guide.
If ever you needed an affirmation of NALC’s inexorable progress towards morphing into the SLCC you need look no further….
by (21.7k points)

4 Answers

+1 vote
The knowledge that we are called cock wombles by a group of colleagues, some of whom don't even have a basic qualification in their chosen field of work, makes creating a professional organisation for those of us who do read the standing orders - read them and understand them - more inviting and necessary by the day.
by (1.9k points)
Is that something you’ve seen / read in SLCC discussion forum?

I’ve certainly seen many examples of gross incompetence for the role of clerk / proper officer / RFO in that forum and many examples of overt contemptuous behaviour towards councils and Cllrs.
It was a real eye opener to gain an insider view of that particular toxic echo chamber.
I knew a clerk several years ago, they were in a Facebook group with other clerks. They called ‘their’ councillors ‘cock wombles’ and shortened it to ‘CWs’ and then some genius began using the term ‘co workers’ to refer to the cock wombles and it was hilarious…
There was a clerk, about this time last year, posting such extremely insulting, unprofessional and abusive comments about their PC in the SLCC forum.   It looked like someone from their council saw the comments and, reading between the lines of what followed, they weren't in the post much longer.......
+1 vote
what is it in the latest Good Cllr guide that makes you think this of NALC?
by (1.7k points)
I've just skim read it myself. OMG I see what you mean. The guide seems to impose a view of what an individual councillor must/must not do that is too restrictive, and possibly challengable. I certainly think it should be challenged. It seems not to recognise that a councillor might find themselves effectively on a council but in opposition. Not does it recognise that a councillor might also be a legitimate whistle-blower. When you compare it to the 2018 guide it is a step change. Against democracy, freedom of expression and accountability. Shocking.
I’m glad you were able to skim read and form your own opinion rather than rely on my interpretation of where it goes astray - especially since I haven’t had chance to re-read and pick out some specific examples yet.
There are specific examples but as it seems we may agree, the general ‘tone’ and editorial style appears to have taken a discernible further swing AWAY from an assumption of support and allegiance with Cllrs / the council towards overt support / allegiance to the clerk.
It is a ‘sense’, an ‘interpretation’, a general ‘feeling’ of a swing which is fairly broadly mentioned and felt across a range of discussion threads both here AND in other proprietary local council discussion forums.

Interesting that whilst central government is currently falling over itself to be humble and apologetic (in the face of ANOTHER public scandal) about bans on whistleblowing and disassociating themselves from those that traduce as a means to suppress and stressing the obvious need for duty of candour - we STILL have NALC actively pursuing that meaningless smokescreen the civility and respect pledge which actually means be damned any Cllr with the temerity to actually expect an answer from a parish clerk.
Where can a former councillor see a copy of the  latest iteration of the Good Councillor's Guide please? Obviously I cannot download one from NALC or my local ALC as I am no longer a serving councillor.but it is such an important publication I guess it can be accessed by electors somewhere?
Reply to Frogface - you 'may' be able to find a rogue copy online somewhere (I just have and will send you a link by PM if you wish) but please be aware that NALC (and SLCC) are intentionally placing these documents behind a paywall so that non-member councils are excluded from access.
Not a very "industry wide" or "representative body" type behaviour in my mind but thems the rules - it is copyright material after all.
The previous version is widely available online through various sources but the latest version is, probably by virtue of its 'newness', not yet widely available on the dark web.  It IS out of owner control already (thanks to 1 particular rather careless council I have found) but it is not yet widely publicly available.

What follows is the text from a post in the SLCC forum dated 9 May 24 which clearly iterates the intent to keep these documents out of public circulation:

With the publication of the new NALC Financial Regulations, we would like to remind all members that documents produced by NALC are not for sharing and, in any case, would be in breach of our Forum rules - see SLCC | Forum Information & Guidelines and our Code of Conduct

One of the benefits of Council membership of the County Associations is access to NALC documents - just as a benefit of SLCC membership is access to our wealth of advice notes and model documents.  But membership has to be paid for.

One of the consequences of a Council's decision not to renew their membership is that they do not have access to these documents.

We would be grateful if this could be remembered and respected.

012 · Last edited on 9th May 2024, 2:49 pm by JANEOLDSADVISOR ·
Thanks for info - I'd be grateful to find a copy online and compare it with the last two editions to see what if anything has been altered or eroded.
I've sent you a PM on this platform - you have to click on your login icon (top right of the page) and it will give a drop down menu where you will see Private Messages
It'll trickle out into general distribution with time );0)
+1 vote

"Once a decision has been resolved by the council, councillors should stand by that decision, as a member of that council. Councillors should not use social media to criticise the council’s decision, even if they voted against it. This is because a councillor’s own personal opinion is not paramount in the collective decision-making process of a local council."

by (1.7k points)
absolute rubbish!
+1 vote
What I find most baffling about the guide is it appears each issue manages to somehow get worse.. I lack confidence in the CEO of NALC and direction it is taking. The extent it wants to control Cllrs is very worrying (wrapped up under auspices of collective responsibility & policy/charters). It seems NALC is death by committee & spending baffling..
by (9.1k points)

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