Parish Council Website issue

0 votes

This is a bit of an oddball question, I am aware of 'Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities' (2014 as amended), but our local parish Council has a turnover in excess of £25K, but less than £100K.

An argument is brewing over whether there is a legal requirement for a website and if so where. 

Some councillors (the internet generation) are saying there is a requirement under law, some councillors (the typewriter and carbon generation) are counter arguing that as their turnover is more than £25K then they don't.

Currently, they do have a website, that needs to be updated to make it government compliant and as it has cost implications, it has opened the argument up.

Any input would be appreciated

Down_here


 

asked by (220 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
Odd though it seems, as far as I am aware, there is no legal requirement for a Parish Council with a turnover of between £25,000 and £200,000 to have a website. However, the NALC's view on this is clear, as evidenced by the following statement on the Transparency page of their website:

"Although the transparency codes only require smaller and larger councils to comply, NALC is strongly encouraging all local councils with turnovers of less than £200,000 per year to comply with the transparency code for smaller authorities as a minimum."
answered by (6.4k points)
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OK, this will make life interesting, I can see a right humdinger of a discussion coming up at the next meeting.

Thank you
0 votes
If the parish council has any aspirations of obtaining a Local Council Award (Foundation, Quality or Quality Gold) they would have to have a website to meet the criteria.  So really, it doesn't matter what the Transparency regulations state if they want to improve and progress the parish council for the future, it has to be done.

The issue of transparency for councils between £25k and £200k is a problem but I would argue that the requirements for councils under £25k to have a website should be matched and then some by councils in the next banding.
answered by (5.8k points)
0 votes
Oh well, that was an interesting and very bad tempered meeting, they are closing down the website immediately, there was a majority, just!

I do sometimes despair at this PC, they have no wish to work towards any Award, if they had their way, they would be as welcoming as the PC for Royston Vasey, it means the electorate will find it difficult to find out what is going on.  They are in a very bad place, for example they have publically admitted they even submitted their AGAR for last year yet...

Thanks for your help, but I suspect they are now in self destruct mode.

Down_here
answered by (220 points)
Oh dear, what a mess. This may be one of those situations where public pressure needs to be applied, by raising awareness of some of the issues.
I wouldn't be too concerned about NALC awards which are in the main not known about by residents or valued by  residents. .In effect they are NALC Brownie points to their members for meeting NALC self serving tests - which are in the main given for complying with legislation which PC's should be doing by default..  Will the  Councils publication scheme be amended to take account of the decision.  If not it should be reported to the external auditor.
The awards serve as a useful benchmark to test the degree to which your council is "complying with legislation which PC's should be doing by default." It is true to say that, prior to obtaining an award, the scheme is not known about by residents or valued by residents, but any award recipient that fails to trumpet its achievements is missing a valuable opportunity to silence the conspiracy theorists.

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