Follow us on Twitter

Policy and Procedures

0 votes
I apologise if I sound naive but I joined our Parish Council 18 months ago.  I have a experience in the Police sector where we had policy and procedures coming out or ears.

I recently asked a questions about standing orders and FR and you kindly helped me.  Our standing orders are not compliant and I am pushing that  forward.  My questions is, we are a large parish precept of over 90K , 2400 residents etc .  I have asked the clerk what polices and procedures we have and review dates.  To my knowledge, I have not missed a meeting we have discussed them , WHAT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES  should we  have.  I have of course asked for copies, but to date nothing has been forthcoming

Thank you
by (1.3k points)

5 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
The SLCC published a list entitled "Wonderland Parish Council" with about 50 policies and other documents a small parish council might be expected to adopt. Needless to say, I doubt whether anybody actually has!

As a starting point, go through your Clerk's contract of employment, which will cross reference numerous other policies and procedures relating to the clerk's employment. Visit the Templates section of the NALC website (login required) or ACAS to find up-to-date templates for each of these policies.

Further policy templates are listed on the NALC page, so pick and choose those most relevant to your operations, some of which will be legal requirements (data protection, management and record-keeping, health and safety etc), so do those first. Add a couple to every agenda and you'll soon be fully compliant.
by (40.5k points)
selected by
0 votes
I will start the ball rolling and let others add to the list

You should certainly have the following

GDPR policy

Freedom of Information request policy.
Approval for expenditure procedure

Process for access to Council Electronic Information in absence of the Clerk

Grievance policy

Disciplinary policy

over to the rest!
by (30.3k points)
Thank you    We best get started then...... I have not seen any of those.
Thank you
I have received confirmation today we do not have any of those policies in place; nor do we have an Health and Safety Policy.  Apparently with health and safety we do not need one if we do not have 5 employees plus.  We have three, clerk, crossing patrol officer, and cleaner.  However we do have 8 councillors and contractors, so I will question that.  Is that correct  Ann
0 votes
I think its a case of thinking about what your council actually does and make a policy to suit your needs.

There is a danger that you end up with so many policies that in the end no one bothers to read them all, except the author of course.

You could try..

Open Space & Play Ground Policy

Grants Policy

Co-Option Policy

Complaints Procedure Policy

Fixed Asset Policy

Parish Awards Policy

Training Policy

Document Retention & Disposal Policy
by (4.5k points)
Thank you  We are going to be busy...
0 votes
Most councils “cut and paste” from other councils- do this with caution to make sure it fits your council

Don’t make them too complicated as it will tie you up in knots especially if any cross reference with each other

Policies need to be reviewed annually
by (5.9k points)
When it comes to reviewing policies its a good idea to stagger the policies reviewed by a couple of months, rather than do the lot in one sitting. Keep the same schedule for the following years.
Been there so many times, it seems everytime there is a new council they have to change something and the way and how policies are reviewed is the no 1 choice
In our case it was change of Clerk. We have policies coming out of our ears now. Looks good on the website I suppose.
Problem is we do not have any.....
0 votes
I have spoken to the clerk this morning and she has downloaded a lot from NALC.    I have asked that we progress. She tells me its ok they are not adopted as 'we still have them' so no issues with GDPR etc as we actually have them now, just not adopted.

I am also informed we do not need a Health and Safety Policy as we do not employ 5 people.
We have our own purpose built offices and meeting room which the public have access to (pre Covid), I find they totally bazaar.   I checked websites of other parish councils (some a lot smaller than us with  a clerk and cleaner; they have an Health and Safety Policy .............
by (1.3k points)
It goes without saying that a policy is not the council's policy until the council has adopted it as such.

There is an exemption from a formal health and safety policy for employers with fewer than five employees, but the NALC recommends that all parish councils have a health and safety policy regardless. Different legislation applies to your building if it is being used by the public. Go to the HSE website and print out the Village Hall Checklist, which includes all of the issues you need to cover in your health and safety assessment of the premises. The fire risk assessment is a legal requirement, as are the signage, extinguishers, alarms etc. Your local fire service can assist you with these issues and will give a more reliable assessment of the requirements than a fire extinguisher company, as they tend to over-equip a building.
One thing every Council should have ( but probably doesn't) are risk assessments for all the activities that staff carry out.  If any member of staff has an accident serious enough for the health and safety  executive to investigate, you would in serious trouble if there wasn't one for the activity the staff were undertaking. On health and safety policy you must have one for any number of employees, but it must be formally recorded as a document for five or more employees. For less than 5, the HSE would expect all employees to be able to quote it almost word for word. If they couldn't, the HSE might argue that you don't have one, unless the employee told them they had "forgotten it" and were believed. That is why it is best to have one regardless of the number of employees.

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Google Analytics Alternative