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Nalc passwords for National and local.

0 votes
I have been on our local Parish Council since May (2019) at the first couple of monthly meetings Nalc was mentioned so I looked it up on the Internet and saw that they did training courses for councillors and I gave them a call (our local association of local councils also goes as Nalc very confusing at times) a very nice gentleman answered all I wanted to know he said ”that when the Parish council joined they were given two passwords and to contact your clerk to get them so that you could have full access to the Nalc site well that’s what I did but was promptly told “those passwords or only for the clerk and chairman’s use the rest of you don’t have the right to have them let alone use them”.
Since then another colleague on the Parish Council has had a very similar experience but with the local Nalc office through emails having read theses emails myself it has become clear these passwords given to the Parish Council on joining Nalc that one is for National alc site and the other for the local Nalc site these emails go on to say the passwords aren’t normal a problem as must chairmen give out the passwords to councillors.

My question is as the Parish council voted to join Nalc and every year vote on paying the subscription fee as a whole council and knowing that the roll of the chairman is to preside over a meeting to make sure that the meeting runs smoothly etc and cannot make a discussion on his own on behalf of a council as a hollow also doesn’t  have any more power’s than any other councillor (LGA1972) to me this password problem doesn’t seem right voting to join, pay each year etc has been done by the Parish council as a hollow yet the chairman and clerk will not let us have the passwords to have full access to theses sites (Our local Nalc seem happy for the councillors to have this full access but says it’s up to chairman)?

Would I as a council member also be able to record a meeting (for l’m own reference) like the public?
asked by (220 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
There's no reason at all why you can't all have access to the passwords. The NALC (National) site is full of useful information for councillors, especially those new to the role. Your local ALC will provide a reange of training and support services which you will find useful from time to time. I probably shouldn't say this on here, but the NALC password will be the same one your neighbouring parish councils use, so if you have a word with somebody there, they might be able to help you. NALC forbid the sharing of passwords with councils that haven't paid their subscriptions, for obvious reasons, but if your council is a paying member, it isn't an issue.

And yes, you can record the meetings. The rules permit anybody to record for any purpose.
answered by (15.9k points)
Thanks for the answer very much appreciated but I am now wondering whether there is any legal wording in the local government act 1972, freedom of information act or legislation act et cetera that we as councillors could put to our clerk and chairman at a meeting so that they would have no option but to give up the passwords so we can have full access to Nalc are they not with holding information that perhaps should be shared with all Parish councillors and Thereby interfering with the workings of the Parish Council?
There is no legislation for everyday matters such as this. It's left to common sense and therein lies the problem! I suggest you phone your local association and tell them about the difficulties you are having. Tell them that you simply want to access their resources and those of the national association to widen your knowledge as a new councillor. I'm sure they'll provide you with the details.
Hi all
Thanks so much for your answers and replies, this site is a wonderful world of information, so thanks all who are involved.
I’m kind of hoping that perhaps somebody from Nalc would see my questions/actually and give me their thoughts/answers on the above, or even there rules and regulations with regards to passwords/full access etc, least then perhaps we as councillors would know where we stand, then we could maybe approach our clerk/chairman at a future council meeting with some clarity, perhaps then they’ll have no option but to surrender to us these passwords so we Have full access.
Once again thank you all so much for your input into this matter, I look forward to any future answers.
+1 vote
Your chair needs to be reminded that he only differs from any other Cllr in respect of the following other than what may be in standing orders and policies

The statutory duty to chair full meetings of the Council

To act as a counter signatory on the Annual Governance return

The right to unilaterally call an Extraordinary or Extraordinary General meeting of full Council.

The Chairman has no right to have his or her own personal NALC password. Doing so means he/she has allocated him/herself an elevated power over other Cllrs which he/she is NOT entitled to.
answered by (10.6k points)
+1 vote
In my experience, NALC branches will not answer questions from councillors, but only the clerk. They will answer a question from the chairman if it involves the clerk. The resources available to the average councillor are unfortunately somewhat limited. That was an important reason why this site was created. I hope it is proving to fill some of the gaps.
answered by (28k points)
If that is the case then Councils should be questioning whether or not to continue their NALC membership. Cllrs are accountable for their Council just as much as the Clerk is. Councils pay plenty of their precept for NALC membership, and NALC's full  resources should be available to all Cllrs.
I totally agree with what you are saying greame_r, which is why I’m still trying to find out everything I possibly can, after looking at Nalc advertising and information, basically it says for all councils and councillors.
During the initial period after I became a councillor, the chairman and clerk were conniving to manipulate the council by misrepresenting the advice given by the local branch of NALC. We were told that NALC had advised (they had not) that if we did not follow their advice, our insurance would be invalidated and we would be personally liable. The advice we were being pressured to follow was also distorted. It took months and many exchanges to get proof of what had happened and to resolve it, with little to no cooperation from the association.
Oh dear what are we to do? Put up and shut up, do as we’re told by the chairman and the clerk? We’re suppose to work as a collective, all this Just doesn’t seem right, I became a member of the Parish Council with the intention of representing the people of the parish and getting things done on behalf of the people of the parish.
No, fight back, try to recruit good people as councillors and clerk and aim high! Stick to your principles, you know you are right.
As I have pointed out the Clerk and chair have no authority to instruct, supervise or discipline you, or assume elevated powers over you. Ask the clerk for the password. If it is refused ,tell him or her they have no authority to restrict the council password NALC to the clerk and you will inform the monitoring officer of the Principal authority. If they still refuse, do it.

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