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LEADER funding available for rural projects
In Oxfordshire there are four separate LEADER programmes:
- North Wessex Downs
LEADER is a European Union scheme which provides funding towards projects that create jobs, help businesses to grow and benefit the rural economy. As we head towards Brexit the programme will wind down therefore if you have any projects which potentially fit the criteria we would urge you to contact the relevant LEADER person for your area.
Grants are restricted to 40% of the total project costs for new capital projects but could be higher for non-profits. The Cotswold LEADER Programme will consider grants from £5,000 - £50,000, Oxfordshire will consider £5,000 - £35,000. Most types of organisation can apply.
LEADER is a national scheme with six priorities:
- Support micro and small businesses and farm diversification,
- Boost rural tourism,
- Increase farm productivity
- Increase forestry productivity,
- Provide cultural and Heritage activities
- Provide rural services.
Each of the four areas in Oxfordshire have slightly different priorities which reflect their particular area needs.
James Webb, LEADER Programme Manager, Cotswolds would like to receive more applications across all themes and in particular for:
- Culture and heritage activity – this theme focuses on the promotion, enhancement and maintenance of cultural heritage assets and events where this promotes growth in the tourism economy.
- Rural services – these grants are for projects that aim to alleviate some of the difficulties faced by rural communities, particularly the lack of access to services and the provision of infrastructure. Projects should make a contribution to growing the local economy. They could include, the development of community buildings, public spaces, or cultural or tourism amenities.
The Oxfordshire LEADER priorities are:
- Growing, selling, eating more local food
- Reviving our rivers and canal
- Vibrant villages – this includes village halls, community shops
- Unlocking the potential of woodland
In addition, there is a list of things that can’t be applied for, which are common to all six themes.
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the appropriate LEADER office to check eligibility.
Oxfordshire: Sophie Milton & Kathy Deacon www.oxfordshireleader.org.uk
Cotswolds: James Webb www.cotswoldsaonb.org.uk/grants-and-projects/cotswolds-leader
North Wessex Downs: Dawn Hamblin www.northwessexleader.org.uk
Chilterns: Emma Waters www.leader-programme.org.uk/areas/chilterns.html
now becomes -
Oxfordshire County Council agreed at its Cabinet meeting on 13th March to submit its unitary bid to the Department of Communities and Local Government.
However, Cherwell, West Oxfordshire and Oxford City Council disagree with this proposal. All councils involved have been communicating directly with town and parish councils within their own areas to put their case either for or against.
Four Oxfordshire MP's (John Howell MP, Henley, Victoria Prentis MP, North Oxfordshire, Robert Courts MP, Witney and Rt Hon Andrew Smith MP, Oxford East) issued a press release on 8th February which recognised that the unitary bid was not supported by the majority of the County's MP's and fails the criteria for concensus that DCLG are working to. They feel it is important that district identities are respected and are sufficiently close to local residents and their needs.
OALC are neutral on the unitary proposals; town and parish councils will have to work with whatever shape or form local govevernment might take in Oxfordshire. The current Better Oxfordshire proposals are suggesting an Area Board/Panel approach based around the market towns rather than the previous district council approach. This is modelled on the Wiltshire approach.
Home Truths 2016/7 - The housing market in the South East
Figures are taken from the National Housing Federation Home Truths leaflet. It points out some salutary figures:
- Between 2011 and 2015, there was a shortfall in the South East (which is the counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East and West Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Oxfordshire and Surrey) of almost 90,000 homes, the second highest shortfall in the country
- This has meant that the average home in the region now costs over £338,000 (in Oxfordshire £380,526) – 11 times the average salary of £30,000
- A family seeking to buy an average home would require an income of more than £77,000 to afford a mortgage, making home ownership unattainable for many
- The cost of renting privately is becoming less affordable, with average monthly rents at £959, meaning local people spend almost 40% of their income on rent
- Work is no guarantee that local people will be able to pay their housing costs- in Oxfordshire 30% of Housing Benefit claimants are in work.
Average house price in 20161
Mean monthly private sector rents 2015-62
Mean annual earnings in 2015 3
Ratio of house prices to incomes4
Income required for 80% mortgage 2016 5
Percent of Housing Benefit claimants in employment6
Unemploy-ment rate 2015-67
Total housing association affordable homes 2016 9
Vale of White Horse
- Office for National Statistics,(ONS), small area statistics
- Valuation Office Agency
- ONS, Annual Survey of hours and earnings
- ONS, small area statistics and Annual Survey of hours and earnings
- ONS, small area statistics and national Housing Federation own analysis
- Dept. for Work and Pensions, Stat Xplore
- ONS, NOMIS model based estimates
- DCLG Council Tax base
- Homes and Communities Agency Statistical Data return 2016
Is there anything your parish council can do to help?
- Build affordable housing into a Neighbourhood Plan
- Consider a Rural Exception site – talk to Community First Oxfordshire
- Consider community led housing, using a Community Land Trust
- Housing Co-operatives http://www.cch.coop/
- Co Housing http://cohousing.org.uk/
- Community Right to Build http://mycommunityrights.org.uk/community-right-to-build/
- Custom http://www.nacsba.org.uk/ and self build http://www.selfbuildportal.org.uk
TOE2, Oxfordshire’s independent environmental funder, believes that energy efficient community buildings which are well insulated, effectively heated, with good lighting and facilities will stand out as welcoming, energy-saving community spaces.
Following the four year ENRICH programme (Energy Reduction in Community Halls) funded by the Patsy Wood Trust, TOE2 continues to support community buildings that wish to become more welcoming while reducing costs and cutting carbon emissions. How can TOE2 help you?
- We can put you in touch with the Environmental Information Exchange (EiE), who can provide bespoke energy audits. EiE staff are experienced in auditing community buildings; they will visit your building and then produce a written report with specific no-cost, low-cost and higher cost recommendations. Audit costs can be recouped by making energy efficiency improvements.
- TOE2 and other grant makers will use energy audit reports to guide funding decisions. TOE2 can offer grants of up to £5,000 towards implementing energy audit recommendations. These might include; cavity wall insulation, ceiling insulation, replacement windows and doors, LED lighting, replacing inefficient heating systems. Funding applications are considered four times a year.
- A free Energy Guide “Managing Energy Use in Your Community Building” is available as a hard copy from the TOE2 office or as a pdf on the TOE2 website – http://www.trustforoxfordshire.org.uk/assets/enrich.pdf
- For local shops interested in energy use, the tips sheet ’Managing Energy Use in Shops’ is available on the TOE2 website - http://www.trustforoxfordshire.org.uk/assets/managing-energy-use-in-community-and-local-shops-pdf.pdf
If you are interested in reducing energy demand in your community building, please contact us for more information about ways we might be able to help:
Oxfordshire’s health and care services – The Big Conversation
We all benefit from new medicines and improvements to treatments and surgery which can help to prevent ill health and help us recover quickly when we are ill. They can also mean changing the way we do things. We want to make sure high quality care is at the heart of healthcare in Oxfordshire and this means being prepared to do things differently for the benefit of everyone.
We are launching a public consultation on Monday 16 January 2017 and we need to know what you think of proposed changes to:
• The way we use our hospital beds and bring more care closer to home in Oxfordshire
• Planned care at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury (planned care includes tests and treatment planned in advance and not urgent or emergency care)
• Acute stroke services in Oxfordshire
• Critical care at the Horton General Hospital (critical care helps people with life-threatening or very serious injuries and illnesses)
• Maternity services including obstetrics, Special Care Baby Units (this also affects emergency gynaecology surgery).
How you can get involved
The full details of our proposals are in our consultation document at: https://consult.oxfordshireccg.nhs.uk/consult.ti/BigconsultationPhase1/consultationHome or you can ask for a printed copy. Call 01865 334638 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also pick up a copy of the consultation document from any Oxfordshire library.
We will also be holding consultation events across the county. You will be able to talk to clinicians and senior NHS Leaders and share your views about these proposals. Places will be limited according to venue size so please book ahead. We really want to have a conversation with you.
The events will be held on the following dates:
Thursday 26 January: 7pm – 9pm in Banbury
Thursday 2 February: 2pm – 4pm in Chipping Norton
Tuesday 7 February: 3pm – 5pm in Wantage
Thursday 9 February: 7pm – 9pm in Oxford
Monday 13 February: 10am – 12pm in Didcot
Thursday 16 February: 6pm – 8pm in Witney
Tuesday 21 February: 3pm – 5pm in Bicester
Monday 27 February: 10.30am – 12.30pm in Brackley
Thursday 2 March: 8pm – 10pm in Henley
Monday 6 March: 8pm – 10pm in Wallingford
Thursday 16 March: 7pm – 9pm in Banbury
Thursday 23 March: 6.30pm – 8.30pm in Abingdon
The consultation launches on Monday 16 January 2017. You will be able to read more about the proposals by picking up information at your GP practice or on our website:
• Attend any of the events and book your place to receive the full details, including venues
• Receive a hard copy of the consultation document or survey
• Or have any queries
Please call 01865 334638 or email :email@example.com
Open up the toolkit to avoid the floods
A new online “toolkit” has been launched by Oxfordshire County Council which provides a “one-stop-shop” for flooding information and advice.
The new website, which can be found at http://www.oxfordshirefloodtoolkit.com brings together all you need to take action against the potential menace posed by flooding.
First of its kind in Oxfordshire
It is the first resource of its kind in Oxfordshire and builds on the success of the approach in Northamptonshire. The site is also supported financially by Oxford City Council, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, West Oxfordshire District Council and Thames Water.
How to guides – useful templates for parish councils
Visitors can browse through information helpfully organised under headings such as “Am I at Risk?” and learn how best to help themselves through a series of “How to” guides.
For parish councils go to the How to guides…. Tab and click on it, from the three choices on the drop down menu select ‘How to become a flood resilient community’. If you click on the How to …. Create a Community Emergency Plan you will find a useful template. If you click on How to … work with landowners in your community you will find template letters the council can adapt and send to riparian owners to encourage them to clear ditches and watercourses.
The toolkit also explains the different types of flooding with bespoke guides on how to deal with them and, for those responsible for things such as drains and streams running across their land, instructions on how to carry out preventative maintenance.
Interactive illustrations give visual inspiration for ways people can protect their properties and highlight some of the areas that would not instantly spring to mind, such as the garage, air bricks and cable holes.
Preventing the worst effects of flooding
County Councillor Rodney Rose, Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Knowledge and preparation is the key to preventing the worst effects of flooding.
“The county council is the lead local flood authority for Oxfordshire which means that we have taken the idea of the flood toolkit seriously, and we are delighted with the support we have had from our partners.
“There is much that can be done to plan for and deal with flooding so that it affects you as little as possible. Doing your research acting now is far more effective and preferable to clearing up afterwards.
“Even just doing one or two of the things shown on the site such as signing up to a flood alert could make a big difference, but I would suggest people sit down and take some time to go through the toolkit and see just how much they could do to help themselves.
“The county council and partner agencies are playing their part to reduce the impact of flooding through developing and maintaining new and existing infrastructure. But that is only part of the picture – self-help is also needed.”
Find funding and teach the children
Other useful features on the toolkit site include links that could help secure funding for flood related projects and an educational pack for schools.
If you have any questions or queries Chris Brown, Oxfordshire Strategic Flood Risk Management Officer is happy to talk to you, his contact details are:
Mobile 07775 025 240 firstname.lastname@example.org
Oxfordshire County Council, Environment and Economy,
County Hall, New Road,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 1ND
New External Auditors Appointed
On 30 November 2016 the Small Authorities Audit Authority (SAAA) announced the conclusion of its procurement process and the award of audit contracts for five years to the successful external audit firms. For Oxfordshire we have been appointed Moore Stephens.
Responsibilities under the new contracts will relate to accounts for the financial year beginning on 1 April 2017.
It is important to note that for the financial year 2016/17 there are no changes to your existing audit arrangements and you should continue to work with your existing auditors BDO on limited assurance reviews for accounts for the financial year 1 April 2016-31 March 2017.
The new appointments only become effective for the five year period in relation to accounts for the financial year beginning on 1 April 2017. All matters relating to the financial year 2016-17, including the Annual Return for the year 2016-17, should still be sent to your current external auditor.
This is the announcement on the SAAA website http://www.localaudits.co.uk/appts.html
TOE2 – OXFORDSHIRE’S INDEPENDENT ENVIRONMENTAL FUNDER
A few examples of recently completed TOE2 funded projects
Accessing Chinnor: £2,400, Grundon
Nine stiles were replaced by gates during this project. The whole scheme is the beginning of a Chiltern Society initiative which is strongly supported by Chinnor Parish Council to improve access to rights of way in this area. This is in recognition of the fact that Chinnor currently has some of the most neglected and least accessible paths in the South Oxfordshire Chilterns.
Thames Trail Benson to Wallingford path: £5,000, Grundon
This section of the Thames Path is extremely popular and is used daily, being near the centre of Wallingford and a great link for members of the public to Benson, but due to condition of the surface it limits users i.e. pushchairs, mobility vehicles etc, and even people on foot have found it challenging during wetter periods. The path is now much more accessible and is being well used.
Hartslock Nature Reserve: £1,215 S106 funding
BBOWT’s Hartslock nature reserve is a south facing, unimproved, species rich chalk downland hill near Goring. Funding was provided for electric fencing to be set up to enable strip grazing by sheep to prevent grasses outcompeting the rare plants found at this site. Hartslock nature reserve is one of three places in the country to have the Monkey orchid and the only one that has the hybrid of the Monkey and Lady orchid.
Mably Way Wildflower Nature Reserve: £2,000, Grundon
This was an unused, overgrown children’s play area. There has been a huge number of the community involved in this Sustainable Wantage project; scouts, beavers, schools. The new wildflower area is now enjoyed by the whole community.
Applying to TOE2 for environmental grants
Our deadlines for grant applications in 2017 are 3 Jan, 6 March, 5th June and 4th Sept.
Green Space Project in the Thame area
Funding is available for access and/or biodiversity improvements at a publicly accessible green space in Thame. The project might include creating or improving wildlife habitats, creating or improving access and rights of way, or purchase of land.
Funding of £6,012 is available for a project that fits these criteria, but applications for sums up to about £10,000 may be considered. Please contact us for further information.
General environmental grant scheme
We welcome application for funding; most grants are up to £5,000 but we can consider larger amounts for exceptional projects. Thanks to Grundon Waste Management and Oxfordshire County Council for supporting the TOE2 grant scheme.
TOE2 invites applications for projects that;
• Promote and improve biodiversity
• Support Oxfordshire’s Low Carbon Agenda through encouraging energy efficiency and the sustainable use of renewable resources in community facilities
• Improve access to green spaces and the countryside
Please contact us to discuss your project ideas.
TOE2 and TVERC Recorders’ Grant Scheme
TOE2 is delighted to invite applications for small projects that improve the quality, quantity and/or coverage of voluntary species recording in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
Applications may be standalone grants to support better recording or they may be linked to a larger biodiversity application to TOE2.
Please contact us or for further information about the Recorders’ Grant Scheme.
Parish and Town Council Liaison Number
As you may be aware, Oxfordshire County Council recently set up a liaison number for Parish and Town Councils. This number is restricted to just Parish and Town Councils to ensure that we can answer your queries as quickly as possible.
For this reason we would encourage all parish and town councils to contact the county council through this number. However, please be aware that only the approved number, as agreed with the parish/town clerk, for each council can be used to call this number. This is to guarantee the quality of the service.
Phone Number: 03452412129 (Available 8.30am-5pm, Monday to Friday)
Community Transport Association
With the reduction in bus subsidies communities are investigating all sorts of possible alternatives. The County Council has introduced the Comet Bus. The Community Transport Association was brought to my attention by Cllr McCullagh, Fringford Parish Council. It is a charity and exists to support its members and to act as the lead UK body for voluntary and community transport. In developing local solutions to national concerns, operators of community transport can respond to both individual and collective needs and drive forward social regeneration in their communities.
If you operate a minibus, a volunteer car scheme, a shopmobility project or a wheels to work project CTA can provide you with advice and support to ensure your transport is operated safely and legally.
The CTA website has a map which has details of all the community transport schemes in Oxfordshire
National State of Nature Report
Wild Oxfordshire write in their latest newsletter:
On 14 September 2016, the State of Nature partnership officially launched their second report State of Nature 2016 at the Royal Society in London. Produced by a consortium of 53 diverse conservation organisations, this report provides a snapshot of the population status of almost 4,000 terrestrial, freshwater and marine species and updates the statistics in the previous and first report State of Nature 2013. A small preview was on Country File last Sunday.
Wild Oxfordshire and partners have been working on a State of Nature for Oxfordshire Report. This will be a document that all can use to communicate the fortunes of Oxfordshire's iconic species and habitats. Wild Oxfordshire members are invited to a workshop on 21st October for an update and to help shape the final document. There will be a county-wide launch in 2017. For more information email mailto:email@example.com
Choose and deliver books to those who cannot get to a library
Oxfordshire County Council has launched a new campaign appealing for home library service volunteers to help less able people in their community by choosing and delivering books to those who cannot get to a library.
Who benefits? Anyone who cannot get to a library, including the elderly and many disabled people across Oxfordshire who need a volunteer to bring library services to their door. They need a friendly face who can stop by once every three weeks to bring them some new books or CDs and stop for a little chat.
Is the home library service really so important? Yes – the home library service brings entertainment, pleasure and human contact to people, where they may otherwise have none.
Could you spare a little time? Schedules can work around you and you can organise the drop off times directly with the people you deliver to, meaning you can fit it around your busy life. Expenses are reimbursed and you can do as many or as few journeys as you wish.
Gracie, 76, Faringdon – volunteer
‘I sat down and imagined how I’d feel if I was totally housebound. I know the importance of having literature and company in my life now I’m living alone, so I thought it’s important to reach out to others who may not have much contact with the outside world. […] It’s fulfilling and very rewarding. The ladies I deliver to are keen to chat and talk about the authors and the plots.’
Edna, 88, Banbury – service user
‘The Home Library Service means a lot to me, it’s a real lifeline. Having reached this age of 88, I hadn’t realised how alone you are. […] It makes me appreciate the Home Library Service more than ever.’
Oxfordshire Comet – transport from your door to destination
We would like to ask for your help in promoting a new, bookable transport service that we are launching on the 11 July, called the Oxfordshire Comet. It has been created to allow people without suitable access to public transport to make the journeys they want, at an affordable price.
The Oxfordshire Comet uses vehicles that normally take children to school and adults to day care centres. We identified the times of the day when they weren’t being used and are making them available to residents. Because we already own these vehicles, we only have to cover running costs, meaning we can keep costs down for passengers.
It can be booked for any type of trip - to meet friends in town, travel across the county, attend an appointment or pop to the shops. It’s been designed so that it is easy to book, with a pre-paid account that can be set up on the phone.
Who is it for?
Oxfordshire residents who don’t have access to suitable public transport. The service is also open to wheelchair users or those with mobility issues.
It is a membership scheme that can be booked by individuals, groups, schools, organisations and local communities.
The Oxfordshire Comet can do one-off journeys, regular and group trips. We can also offer regular routes for local communities (similar to a traditional bus route). We are already in discussions with a number of Parish Councils and other groups over the setting up of such routes. A fund of £200k has been set aside that Parish Councils and other organisation can apply for to trial the Comet service for an initial period.
The 16-seater Comet vehicles are fully wheelchair and pushchair accessible.
Want to know more?
Transparency Code - help towards compliance for small councils
If your council has a turnover of less than £25,000 you need to be publishing information on your website about the financial governance of your council, as required by the Transparency Code.
If you are one of the few parish councils in Oxfordshire that don't have a website and hence cannot fulfill the requirements of the Transparency Code you may be interested to know that there are grants available to help you get a website. An application form is available here and guidance to help you fill in the form correctly is here.
Fringford Village Hall, Cherwell
For all those villages contemplating, planning or working towards a better Village hall we thought you might like to see a film which one of the villagers in Fringford has made of their project, from demolition to completion.
It's on YouTube, but also available on their new website too-http://www.fringford.info/village-hall-construction-project/film-of-the-project/
The Community Information Network is a free local information service for older people in Oxfordshire, run by Age UK Oxfordshire (Charity No. 1091529) in partnership with Volunteer Link-Up (Charity No. 1133530) and supported by Oxfordshire County Council.
The CIN is delighted to be able to introduce the Community Information Network Directory – a new online search tool to enable people to find out about the fantastic variety of opportunities that are available to older people and carers in Oxfordshire.
The Directory is free and simple to use and features a wide variety of activities, support and opportunities to help people to live life to the full. There are over 1,700 items listed so far, from exercise classes to IT classes and singing groups, lunch clubs, WIs, mobile libraries and many more. If you know about an opportunity that isn’t currently listed, there is also the ability to submit a new item.
To browse the Directory, click on the Community Information Network Directory link or you can access it via Age UK Oxfordshire’s website at www.ageuk.org.uk/oxfordshire.
If you know of a person who is unable to go online to use the Directory, they can simply call the Community Information Network on 0345 450 1276 and we can make a search on their behalf.
Open Spaces Society new tool-kit to save open spaces
From the Oxfordshire Nature Partnership Bulletin:
“The Open Spaces Society has published an open spaces tool-kit for communities to protect their green spaces, and has called on planning authorities to respond positively to requests to save local spaces.
The tool-kit has three handbooks:
- How to win local green space through neighbourhood plans
- Community assets and protecting open space
- Local green space designation.
The society has called on the English local planning authorities to be proactive in designating land as local green space (LGS) through neighbourhood plans.
Wild Oxfordshire offers free talks to parish councils that are interested in conserving or enhancing their local biodiversity.
Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006
Local authorities are charged with ‘having regard to the purpose of conserving biodiversity’. This duty is relevant in many aspects of a council’s work. For instance, for a parish council the requirement to assess planning applications may involve informing the district council that hedgerows or trees could be impacted or lost; or perhaps your council might own or lease land that could be managed for its biodiversity value.
County and District Councils have had training to help them comply with the Act but parish councils have not. To fill this gap Wild Oxfordshire has been enabled for some years to offer short talks to parish council meetings on the reasoning behind the Act and the many ways it can have positive impact on their local communities.
Many parish councils are taking on the additional work of preparing neighbourhood plans to focus local development in mutually agreed locations and density. Most development tends to decrease biodiversity, but, if considered carefully right at the beginning of the process there could be a net gain that will support the community to be more self reliant in future and create a healthier space in which to live.
Follow up signposting and occasional updates are part of the service, as well as specific advice if requested. You can contact Cynth by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01865 407034.She works part-time, 3 days/week so please forgive any slight delay inresponse.
Cynth Napper, Community Officer, Wild Oxfordshire www.wildoxfordshire.org.uk
Parish Transport Representative - Is there one in your parish?
ORCC and Oxfordshire County Council established a network of Parish Transport Representatives (PTRs) in 1986 to give communities in wards, towns and villages a means of voicing their needs and concerns about local transport in their patches.
The administration of the PTR network is undertaken by the County Council and PTR meetings are held at County Hall three times a year. The meetings provide an opportunity for officers to keep PTRs up to date on issues of which they need to be aware in fulfilling their roles. The meetings also provide an opportunity for officers to gain feedback from PTRs in relation to general issues of policy and practice.
There are PTRs in 188 parishes and towns, leaving a large number of parishes, towns and wards without a PTR, which means that it is unlikely that transport issues are being represented in your community. One of the roles of the PTR is to publicise existing local public transport services and support any community transport scheme in their area or even to initiate suitable community transport services in the wake of changing public transport provision.
If you are aware that your community does not have a PTR then it would be great if you could step up to be that person or help to drum up a volunteer that can take the role on for the community.
If you would like further information on the role of the PTR then please get in touch with ORCC by emailing email@example.com or call 01865 883488
“Safeguarding children is everybody’s responsibility”
Safeguarding children means taking steps to promote their welfare and to protect them from harm such as abuse and neglect. It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that children are kept safe. Oxfordshire communities are a key resource for raising awareness of safeguarding and protecting children and young people. The more informed local members of the community are on safeguarding issues, the more they can help the prevention agenda and help to identify when there are possible risks to our children.
Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB)
Children can only be kept safe properly if services and organisations work together. Local Safeguarding Children Boards were established by the Children Act 2004 to help make sure this happens.
Known locally as the Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board (OSCB), the Board is the means by which organisations come together to agree on how they will cooperate with one another to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Its remit is to scrutinise and monitor this co-operation, and to ensure that local agencies co-operate and work well to achieve this.
Contact your district board representative to find out more:
Oxford City Council
Cherwell and Northants District Council
South and Vale District Council
West Oxfordshire District Council
Expectations for your organisation
Your local parish council should consider, if appropriate, having in place:-
- A Safeguarding Children Policy and procedure for raising a concern or making a referral to children’s social care;
- A basic level of understanding by members of signs of abuse and neglect, and know how to contact their designated safeguarding lead within the district council.
How to report a concern about a child
Oxfordshire County Council, Thames Valley Police and other partners have recently opened a new Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH). This is the main ‘front door’ for children’s social care, and is made up of professionals from social care, the police, health, early intervention and others.
To make a new referral or report a new safeguarding concern, contact the MASH on 0845 050 7666. Referrals to the MASH can also be made using the MASH Enquiry Online Referral Form.
For children who are already open to social care:
- Oxford City 01865 328563 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- South (Vale of the White Horse and South Oxfordshire Districts) 01865 323041 or email@example.com
- North (Cherwell and West Oxfordshire Districts) 01865 323039 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Radcliffe Hospital (for antenatal concerns or children in hospital) 01865 221236
- Emergency Duty Team (for out-of-hours calls) 0800 833 408
No Names Consultation
If you are a safeguarding lead and you are unsure whether you should make a referral, or you just want some advice, you can call the assessment team numbers above and ask for a No Names Consultation. A social worker will be able to advise you if you need to make a referral or not, based on the information you give them, without having to divulge a name. If you are advised to make a referral, the social worker will talk you through the process.
Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)
The sexual exploitation of children and young people has been identified throughout the UK, in both rural and urban areas, and in all parts of the world. It affects boys and young men, as well as girls and young women. It can have a serious long term impact on every aspect of their lives, health and education. It damages the lives of their families and carers, and can lead to family break ups.
- Sexual exploitation is where a young person under 18 receives ‘something’ (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, gifts, money) as a result of performing, and/or others performing on them, sexual activities.
- Child sexual exploitation can occur through use of technology, for example the persuasion to post sexual images on the internet/mobile phones with no immediate payment or gain.
- In all cases the person exploiting the young person has power over them by virtue of age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources.
- Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationship being characterised in the main by the child or young person’s limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.
Signs that may indicate child sexual exploitation;
- Going missing from school/home/care placement
- Associating with older people/adults
- Isolation from family/friends/peer group
- Physical symptoms including bruising/sexually transmitted infections
- Substance misuse
- Mental health problems
- Unexplained possessions, goods and or money
Oxfordshire has a multi-agency strategy in place to protect young people from CSE. If you are concerned about a child and think they may be involved in, or at risk of, sexual exploitation, please contact the Kingfisher Team on 01865 335276. They offer confidential support and advice on sexual exploitation. The team is made up of police, the NHS and Members of Oxfordshire County Councils; Childrens Social Services.
Find out more
Community members can become more involved through:
- Multi-agency training – free face to face courses where you can meet other professionals working with children;
- Short online courses - these can be found at http://www.oscb.org.uk/training.html, including Safeguarding Everyone and Safeguarding Children from Abuse by Sexual Exploitation;
- Letting local groups working with children know that they can link in to Area Safeguarding Groups and sign up for the OSCB’s Newsletter.
Please visit our website for information about safeguarding training, policies and procedures, and to find useful resources and information to help protect children and young people: www.oscb.org.uk.
Oxfordshire County Council have developed a template Parish Council Safeguarding Policy it is in the Members Area of this website in the OALC Briefings, other guidance etc section
Census statistics for small parish councils and parish meetings
OALC has had it brought to our attention that it can be difficult for small councils to obtain basic statistical information from the census from ONS. There are 33 parishes in Oxfordshire affected by this. OALC has written to ONS expressing its concern. The 2011 census information is available on a postcode basis which unfortunately doesn't always fit with parish council boundaries and therefore estimates have to be built up from postcode data. ONS have provided this spreadsheet with their estimates for the 33 villages with unpublished data.
"Simple parish estimates built from postcodes
This is done by adding together all the published postcode level estimates for the census in each parish. This will provide estimates of males, females and households in each parish - for the 33 unpublished parishes in Oxfordshire, and also for the already published parishes.
However, please note that for the parishes for which 2011 Census estimates are already available, these estimates may be different to those already published, as they were derived using a different methodology. The alternative (derived method) estimates are aggregated from postcode estimates, whereas those previously published parish estimates have been aggregated from output area, in compliance with the National Statistician's policy for publishing official statistics for any UK geography.
Also it is important to note that postcodes fit only approximately with parishes, but we have fitted them as best we can.
How to derive parish estimates built from postcodes
1. 2011 Census estimates of the number of males, females and households for each enumeration postcode were published in June 2013.
2. ONS Geography has published a lookup file of 2011 Census enumeration postcodes in England and Wales linked to the 2011 parishes in which they were located. The lookup file can be downloaded from the Open Geography portal here => 2011 enumeration postcode to 2011 parish lookup.
Note that the 2011 Census enumeration postcodes are only those postcodes that were recorded during the 2011 Census as containing one or more usual residents.
2011 Census enumeration postcodes have been assigned to the parishes by plotting each postcode's centroid (the grid reference location of the most central address in the postcode) directly in to the parish boundaries.
More information about the lookup file can be found here.
3. Aggregate the postcode estimates for each parish as shown on the postcode to parish lookup file.
4. You now have "alternative" parish estimates, including for those parishes previously unpublished. "
The demographics of councillors
Two years ago the Intergenerational Foundation published the results of its research into town and parish councillors in a report How the Localism Act hands power to older generations.
Its Executive Summary made sobering reading:
- Local councillors are getting older and are now 14 years older than the average UK adult.
- Few younger people become councillors. Whilst under-35s account for 32% of the adult population in England, fewer than 5% of councillors are under 35. Worse still, the under‐25s hardly ever get elected to their parish council as only 1 in 200 parish councillors is under 25.
- Older people are heavily over‐represented. Over-65s account for 20% of the population, but they make up 40% of local councillors.
These findings have been reinforced by the LGA census of councillors published in June 2014. The LGA findings refer more to district rather than parish councillors but nevertheless reflect the same sort of demographic – 89% white, 67% male and 44% are over 65 years in age.
How important are these findings? In a representative democracy is it important to have all ages and backgrounds reflected on our councils? Or are councillors sufficiently empathetic to be able to know, understand and argue for the needs of all age groups? I would like to think the later but just in case I am wrong have a long hard look at your council.
What is the composition of your council? Could it be more diverse? What are you going to do about it?
At your next council meeting, or the one after, I suggest an item is put on the agenda reflecting on the composition of your council looking forward to elections next year. Would your council be more balanced if you could encourage more women to be councillors, would it be more reflective of your community if you could persuade some younger people to stand? If it would, how can you encourage younger women, for example, to stand for election? Can you have a stall at the school Christmas Fair? Leaflets in school book bags? More social media?
OALC support programme for those doing CiLCA 2015
Are you thinking of undertaking the CiLCA 2015 professional qualification?
If so, do you know that OALC offer a mentoring scheme to help support you during the time you build up your portfolio?
Trish Ingham has been asked by OALC to deliver a mentoring scheme for Clerks (or Assistant Clerks or RFOs ) who are about to register for the CiLCA 2015 with SLCC. Trish is not only our locum she is herself CiLCA qualified and has 8 years’ experience as Town Clerk and RFO. She is also an experienced Internal Auditor.
The mentoring programme Trish will be delivering will consist of 16 hours spread over 8 to 9 months. There will be an introductory hour and a half which will be supplementary to the main programme and this will be followed by 8 two hourly mentoring sessions (usually 1 a month or thereabouts) at which a review will be taken of your portfolio work so far and agreement on the work to be completed for the next mentoring session. This work will then culminate in a review of the whole portfolio before submission.
The introductory session will be for all candidates (unless there is a really large uptake) and the mentoring sessions themselves will be for two or three students, as we have found that students seem to enjoy working with each other and discussing ideas.
The cost for this will be £200 plus VAT for member Councils or £300 plus VAT for non -members.
CiLCA 2015 must be completed a year after registration and we offer this support to encourage candidates to complete the portfolio within the year
If you would like to participate in the mentoring scheme please contact the OALC office either by phone or by e mail email@example.com . Your contact details will then be passed onto Trish who will contact you directly to discuss the start date. Please also contact the OALC office if you have any further questions about the mentoring scheme or about CiLCA 2015.
Employment advice service for OALC members
Oxfordshire Association of Local Councils is pleased to announce a new employment advice service available from 7th July 2014. Queries regarding staff issues within the council such as terms and conditions, employment rights, sickness absence, annual leave, maternity etc can be answered by our new Employment Advisor.
This service, which is available free of charge to all members councils, will be provided by Bethan Osborne.
Bethan will be writing a monthly employment briefing which will go in the Members Update and be placed in the Members Area of the website too.
In addition a consultancy service for more complex issues relating to employment disputes, restructuring, organisational change, recruitment and selection will be available through OALC at competitive rates.
Bethan is an experienced personnel and human resources professional. A member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; until recently she has been the National Employment Advisor for the Society of Local Council Clerks which has given her a unique understanding of our sector.
Five year Management Plan for the Chilterns AONB
The plan has been published by the Chilterns Conservation Board, which has responsibility for protecting and promoting the Chilterns. It was put together with the help of many local organisations and communities, including parish councils, wildlife trusts, the National Trust and the Chiltern Society.
Following extensive consultation, a new five year Management Plan for the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has been published by the Chilterns Conservation Board. A Framework for Action 2014 - 2019 analyses the issues facing the Chilterns countryside and its communities and contains a wide range of detailed policies and actions to tackle them during the coming years. Fromdealing withtree diseases threatening our woodlands to caring for historic buildings, supporting the economy of Chilterns towns and villages and much else, the new Plan is an essential source of guidance for everyone whose activities influence the AONB.
More details here
Fix my Street
The County Councils 'Fix my Street' is the best way of reporting pot holes on line.
People can take photographs of potholes and upload them online with location details.
The council's contractor pledges to fix potholes within 28 days, 24 hours in an emergency or four hours for the most severe category once reports have been verified.
Saving your village pub
The villagers of Great Haseley have secured the future of their pub, The Plough with help and advice from The Plunkett Foundation and funding from the South Oxfordshire LEADER project.
Other villages are doing similar fantastic work - The Seven Stars at Marsh Baldon reopened at the end of March 2013 . The Plunkett Foundation have a lovely article on their website about the work to reopen The Seven Stars, the community raised £146,000 through community shares in just two months which enabled them to buy the pub.
As well as the Plunkett Foundation have a look at the Pub is the Hub website. Pub is The Hub operates as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation dedicated to offering advice and support to licensees, rural pubs and community services. Initiated by HRH the Prince of Wales, it facilitates projects by encouraging and helping licensees and communities to connect and share their experiences and work together to support and sustain their local services.
Getting your village pub listed as an Asset of Community Value may give your community a window of opportunity to consider putting in a bid if it is likely to be sold on the open market. Consult your district council who will hold the asset register. Consider whether your council is eligible to use the new Power of General Competence which may enable it to give a contribution towards the costs. In the Members Area of this website in the section OALC Guidance there is a briefing paper on the Power of General Competence.
Community First Oxfordshire (ORCC) also have a useful guide to community ownership of pubs
Community Safety Partnerships: your route to getting your concerns in front of the Police and Crime Commissioner
The Police and Crime Commissioner for the Thames Valley is Anthony Stansfeld, he is a Conservative District Councillor from Hungerford, West Berkshire. He recently met representatives from the Voluntary and Community Sector, the purpose of the meeting was to investigate the best way to ensure good communication between the PCC and the Sector.
The Police and Crime Commissioner outlined his main priorities as set out in the refreshed Police and Crime Plan for the Thames Valley 2013 -2017.
- Drug addiction
- Child abuse
- Rural crime
Thames Valley is a huge geographical area covering Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. This creates logistical difficulties in that a lot of statutory and non-statutory bodies would like to have access to the PCC in particular to press their case when, in particular, voluntary groups will be tendering to supply services to the police rather than receiving a grant as at present. The Police and Crime Panel which scrutinises the functions of the PCC has only 20 places on it, of which 18 are elected from the 18 local authorities within Thames Valley, there are 2 co-opted members but none from other sectors.
It therefore appears that there is no easy direct route for the Voluntary and Community Sector to access the ear of the PCC. Obviously, town and parish councils are not third sector they are local authorities and a tier of local government but our voice also tends not to be heard. At the meeting it became clear that the best way to get information placed before the Police and Crime Commissioner was through the Community Safety Partnership of your district council. It also became clear at the meeting that there was widespread ignorance of who was on Community Safety Partnerships, what they did and what their role is. Take a look at the website of your Community Safety Partnership (links below), if your council has concerns about policing in your area either speak to your Neighbourhood Action Group (NAG) if you have one or channel it to your Community Safety Partnership.
A Local Nature Partnership for Oxfordshire
Local Nature Partnerships (LNPs) are being established across all counties of England in order to take a strategic overview of the delivery of conservation work. The government’s Natural Environment White Paper (July 2011) and The Lawton report (Lawton 2010) both identified a need for our natural environment to be better managed and joined-up in order to safeguard its future health.
Working partnerships bringing together organizations and individuals from a wide range of sectors including health, business, education and conservation, were considered to be the best way to delivering these aims. Taking a strategic overview of all these sectors should enable a LNP to look for opportunities for integrated action to benefit the environment previously being missed and challenges that were not being addressed.
Oxfordshire Nature Conservation Forum (ONCF) has been working with partners (primarily from conservation organizations and local government with bodies such as Natural England and the Environment Agency) to increase the quality and quantity of the natural environment of Oxfordshire for nearly 20 years. Its aims have been to help safeguard, maintain and enhance the biological and geological diversity of the county, as well as encouraging people from all sectors to enjoy, understand and become involved with conserving the natural environment. ONCF bid for funding from the £1m pot of money held by Defra. More information on the Defra web site
Forty eight LNP’s across the country have been recognised and have received some initial funding, the idea being that the partnerships become self-sustaining.
To investigate what role an LNP could play in Oxfordshire ONCF have organized a series of meetings, primarily with hub organizations who will in turn be able to communicate the outcomes of these meetings to a wider partnership.
Please contact Hilary Phillips, Biodiversity & Partnership Officer, ONCF. firstname.lastname@example.org
Two very worthwhile publications that you might not be aware of:
Community and Parish Guide to Biodiversity (BBOWT, Oxon CC, TVERC, 2012)
Biodiversity and Planning in Oxfordshire (BBOWT, Oxon CC, TVERC, 2014)
Model Parish Council Emergency Plan
How can small communities cope with emergencies when outside assistance from the emergency services is delayed?
Nearly all emergencies affecting communities will be dealt with routinely by joint response of the emergency services, local authorities and the major utilities. However, there may be rare occasions when circumstances, such as extensive flooding, storm damage or deep snow delay the arrival of outside assistance, and the community will need to help itself. It will do this more effectively if it has a plan.
This guidance has been created to assist communities to develop their own plan. The template can be adapted to fit a community’s own needs. To download a template and associated guidance go to Oxfordshire County Council’s website.
Are you ready?
Do you know what to do in an emergency? With valuable information, hints and tips for individuals, households and businesses, with a handy ‘fill in and keep’ section for your personal emergency contact details, this booklet provides everything you need to deal with an emergency. Published by the Thames Valley Local Resilience Forum, the booklet is easy to read and helps families, individuals, communities and businesses prepare for hazards including hot weather, flooding, snow, ice etc and how to respond to some incidents.
Download your copy of Are you ready?(PDF).
Countryside Access: A Parish Guide
This new guide from Oxfordshire County Council to improving access to rights of way can be downloaded here
Cotswold AONB Conservation Board: Guidance on Roadside Management for Parish Councils
An abridged version of the Board’s position statement on The Management of Roadside Verges has been developed specifically for use by parish councils and other groups managing rural roadside verges in and around villages in the AONB.
Click here to view the guide on the AONB website, along with rest of the Board’s full position statements.
The enewsletter of the Cotswold AONB can be viewed here
Chilterns AONB Conservation Board
The latest e-newsletter from the Chilterns Conservation Board can be downloaded here as can the latest Commons Network e-newsletter.
For Funding News please click here
For details of current consultations please visit our Consultations page.
Job Vacancies & Jobs Wanted
If your council would like to advertise a vacancy please ensure you supply all the information in this template and email to email@example.com
There is no charge to member councils if they wish to advertise vacancies here
posted 30th March 2017
Enthusiastic Clerk/RFO for Milton Parish Council, Vale of White Horse
Location: Home initially, but office may be provided later.
Hours: 15 Hours per week
Pro rata salary, based on national salary scale, dependent on experience and qualifications (such as CILCA)
Any necessary training will be given.
Mobile telephone supplied.
Petrol Allowance. Working at home allowance.
The successful person will:
- Meet with the chair to set the agendas and attend and minute meetings.
- Advise councillors ensuring all actions comply with current legislation.
- Deal with enquiries and correspondence appropriately.
- Be responsible for all payments and record keeping.
- Ensure website is up to date.
- Maintain Parish records regarding the cemetery and its users
- Be an enthusiastic, friendly and outgoing person who is organised and has a sense of humour.
How to apply Please contact Zena Hoskins (Chair) for more information firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline Friday 28th April 2017
Interview date By personal arrangement.
posted 22nd March 2017
Parish Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer Vacancy
Applications are invited for the position of Clerk/RFO to Minster Lovell Parish Council on a permanent basis. This is a part-time position for 10 hours per week, working from home and to include some evening meetings. Parish Council meetings are held on the third Monday of each month.
The Council manages allotments, play areas and highway verges and organises an annual fun day and Service of Remembrance (with village churches).
The Clerk provides administrative support to the Council and, as the Responsible Financial Officer, will be required to manage the council finances. Duties include:
Procedures - Managing the monthly meetings of the Council including preparing the agenda, taking the minutes, advising Councillors on procedural/legal matters and progressing actions. There may also be some attendance of meetings for Committees.
Planning - Ensuring planning applications are considered by the Council and submitting responses to the local authorities in accordance with timescales and policies.
Finances - Managing the Parish Council’s finances, preparation of quarterly financial statements, payment of invoices, banking, end of year accounts, submission of accounts for internal and external audit, VAT reclaim, preparing for budget review and precept determination. MoneyManager 7 is used for financial accounting.
Administration - Dealing with correspondence, drafting the Village News and public notices. Candidates must possess a high standard of oral and written communication skills, be proficient in Microsoft Office software (particularly Word, Excel and Outlook), be capable of working independently without supervision and have the ability to deal with a range of issues. Experience in a similar role or knowledge of local council would be an advantage. Experience of website maintenance preferable - training will be provided if necessary.
NJC SCP salary scales LC2 26-29 (£23,398 – £25,951 pro rata) depending on experience. Office and telephone allowances payable.
Closing Date for Applications: 21st April 2017
Please contact the Parish Clerk for more details and a Job Description of the role
Katherine Doughty – email@example.com (01993 709189)
posted 17th March 2017
Epwell Parish Council Information about the post of Clerk to the Parish Council
This is a part-time position for on average 4 hours per week, working from home, and to include some evening meetings, including bi-monthly Parish Council meetings, usually held at 8 pm on the first or second Monday of every other month, starting in January. There are a few other meetings, such as the Annual Parish Meeting and very occasional meetings to deal with urgent/difficult matters.
The Clerk provides administrative and clerical support and technical advice to the Council and acts as the Responsible Financial Officer running the Council finances.
- Managing the meetings of the Council, including preparing the Agenda, taking the minutes, checking the minutes with the Chairman, distributing minutes, acting on decisions made and generally monitoring the work of the Council. Similar duties apply to the special meetings such as the annual parish meeting or meetings convened to deal with an urgent issue.
- Ensuring that planning applications are considered on a timely basis and submitting comments to the District Council.
- Managing the Council’s finances as the Responsible Financial Officer. This involves preparing regular accounts, banking payments, bank reconciliations, payment of invoices, end of year accounts, submission of accounts for audit, VAT reclaims, preparing for budget review and for setting the precept.
- Managing contracts and suppliers, which will include services such as grass cutting around the parish, provision and distribution of salt/grit, maintenance of drainage grips, cutting back vegetation, inspecting highways, cleaning road signs and such other goods and services as may be required from time to time by the Council.
- Dealing with a variety of correspondence and public notices. Ensuring the village website has up to date Epwell Parish Council information including what the Transparency Code requires.
- Maintaining the key Council documents such as the Asset Register, Standing Orders, Financial Regulations, Code of Conduct, Parish Council publications and information.
- Liaising with OCC, CDC and neighbouring Parish Councils about matters of concern to Epwell Parish Council
- Dealing with incoming material from CDC, OCC, OALC and elsewhere and distribute the information to Councillors.
- Keeping up to date with the regulations concerning Parish Councils (OALC monthly update is useful)
- The Clerk reports to the Parish Council via the Chairman
Candidates must possess a high standard of oral and written communication skills, be proficient in Microsoft Office software (particularly Word and Excel), be capable of working independently without supervision and have the ability and confidence to deal with a range of issues. Experience in a similar role or knowledge of local council work would be an advantage but not essential.
Training courses are available and will be paid for by the Council. A dedicated computer, scanner and printer will be available.
The initial rate of pay is £10 per hour and is based on the SCP 18 to 22 range.
For more details including how to apply contact Chris Hurst on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01295 780118.
Closing date for applications is April 14th
posted 16th March 2017
GREAT AND LITTLE HAMPDEN (BUCKINGHAMSHIRE)
Vacancy for Clerk and RFO
Location: Home based and Great Hampden Village Hall
Hours: 3 hours per week
£salary (range) & other key benefits 18-22 SCP £9.299 to £10.632 per hour depending on qualifications and experience
A vacancy has arisen for the post of Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer to Great and Little Hampden Parish Council. The role involves 3 hours per week working from home, including a minimum of one evening meeting every 2 months. Managing a council with a budget of £3,000, the ability to work on one’s own initiative is essential along with excellent administrative, communication and IT skills, as the role involves maintaining the Council’s financial records, organising meetings, taking and producing minutes and dealing with correspondence.
Access to transport and internet connection is required.
This role includes administration, agenda preparation and minute-taking at meetings, advising Parish Councillors on procedural and legal matters.
Candidates must possess a high standard of oral and written communication skills, be proficient in Microsoft Office software (particularly Word and Excel), be capable of working independently without supervision and have the ability to deal with a range of issues.
Previous experience in a similar role or understanding of local government would be beneficial.
How to apply
To apply please contact the clerk for an application form.
By post: 5 Chestnut Close, Medmenham, Marlow, SL7 2SB
By email: email@example.com
Deadline: 5pm Tuesday 18 April 2017 Interview date to be arranged
posted 14th March 2017
TETSWORTH PARISH COUNCIL
Vacancy for Clerk and RFO
Location: Home based and Tetsworth Memorial Hall
Hours: 30 hours per month
£salary (range) & other key benefits:
SCP23 to 25 (£21,268 to £22,658 pro rata) £11.054 to £11.777
A vacancy has arisen for the post of Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer to Tetsworth Parish Council. The role involves 30 hours per month working from home, including a minimum of one evening meeting every month. Managing a council with a budget of £19,000, the ability to work on one’s own initiative is essential along with excellent administrative, communication and IT skills, as the role involves maintaining the Council’s financial records, organising meetings, taking and producing minutes and dealing with correspondence.
Access to transport and internet connection is required.
This role includes administration, agenda preparation and minute-taking at meetings, advising Parish Councillors on procedural and legal matters
Candidates must possess a high standard of oral and written communication skills, be proficient in Microsoft Office software (particularly Word and Excel), be capable of working independently without supervision and have the ability to deal with a range of issues.
Previous experience in a similar role or understanding of local government would be beneficial.
How to apply:
To apply please contact the clerk for an application form.
By post: 5 Chestnut Close, Medmenham, Marlow, SL7 2SB
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: 5pm Tuesday 25 April
Interview date: To be arranged
posted 27th February 2017
Begbroke Parish Council
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer
Work from home but to attend monthly meetings at Village Hall - around 10 per year
32 hours per month. NJC salary scale of SCP 15 - SCP 27 (£8.717 - £12.440/hour - negotiable)
This is a salaried position with a pension in the future
This is an interesting position with a wide range of duties - administrative, statutory and financial as well as liaison with councillors (6) public bodies and organisations. The post holder generally works from home (apart from meetings) with costs paid. A personal computer and printer will be provided.
The Clerk to the Council will be the Responsible Financial and Administration Officer of the Council and as such is under a statutory duty to carry out all the functions, and in particular, to serve or issue all the notifications required by law of a local authority’s Proper Officer. The Clerk will be responsible for ensuring that the instructions of the Council in connection with its function as a Local Authority are carried out - including producing agendas, minutes, reports, annual accounts and corresponding as necessary. The clerk also writes a report for the bi-monthly village magazine.
Hours tend to be irregular to suit the parish requirements. Use of Word, Excel and e mail is important as well as the use of financial software. The applicant must be able or willing to train and use these and similar applications. Relevant training courses are available. Web site management would be helpful. Ability to liaise with representatives of other organisations is important.
Interested persons should initially contact:
Cllr Malcolm Ryder, Chair of Begbroke Parish Council to discuss.
Application Deadline: 1st April 2017
Interview date: To be agreed with candidate
posted 24th February
Woodstock Town Council - Town Clerk Vacancy (LC2)
Woodstock is an ancient market town eight miles north west of the city of Oxford with an active business community and tourism to the nearby Blenheim Palace. Woodstock Town Council is looking for a highly motivated individual with an interest in the local community to become its next Town Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer (RFO).
The Town Council manages venues, cemeteries, play areas, allotments, water meadows, nature reserves and property and is a consultee on local planning decisions.
This role includes administration, agenda preparation and minute-taking at meetings, advising Town Councillors on procedural and legal matters, and supervision of the Council’s four part-time workers.
Experience of local government or parish council work is an advantage (but not essential), as is experience of dealing with the public, working as a team and managing efficient administrative practices. Good computer skills are essential and experience of using a financial package would be advantage.
This position is part-time, 20 hours per week, (five mornings a week and evening meetings twice a month) paid at rates from £14,498 for the 20 hr week (equivalent to £13.941 per hour or £26,822 pa full time) depending on qualifications and experience. A workplace pension is provided.
The job will be based at the Town Hall, Market Place, Woodstock, and will require some evening working (approximately two meetings a month).
Candidates will be expected to hold CILCA (Certificate in Local Council Administration) or be prepared to study for the qualification and obtain it within two years. Training will be provided.
An application pack and supporting information can be obtained on application by post (01993 811 216) to the Town Clerk’s Office, Town Hall, Market Place Woodstock OX20 1SL or by emailing email@example.com
Please use the word ‘Vacancy’ in the email subject header.
The closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday March 17th 2017. Interviews will be held week commencing Monday April 3rd 2017
Woodstock Town Council is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community
Please advise if you need any reasonable adjustments for any part of the recruitment process
posted 13th February 2017
Kennington Parish Council
Advert for a Parish Clerk to the Council
Applications are invited for the position of Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer to Kennington Parish Council on a permanent basis with effect from 1 May 2017.
This is a part-time position for between 22 – 25 hours per week, working from home and to include some evening meetings, including monthly Parish Council meetings.
The Clerk provides administrative support to the Council and is also the Responsible Financial Officer, with the administration of Council finances.
Duties will include:
• Managing the monthly meetings of the Council including preparing the Agenda, taking the minutes, monitoring actions and decisions. There will also be attendance of meetings for committees;
• Ensuring all planning applications are considered at the Planning Committee meetings and submitting responses to the District Council;
• Managing of the Parish Council’s finances, preparing the monthly accounts and reconciliation, payment of invoices, banking, end of year accounts, submission of accounts for external audit, VAT reclaim on a quarterly basis, preparing for budget review and precept;
• Managing a number of village contracts and any other goods and services as may be required from time to time by the Council.
• Dealing with a variety of correspondence and public notices.
Candidates must possess a high standard of oral and written communication skills, be proficient in Microsoft Office software (particularly Word and Excel), be capable of working independently without supervision and have the ability to deal with a range of issues. Experience in a similar role or knowledge of local council would be an advantage but not essential.
Closing Date for Applications: 17 March 2017
Interviews will be held from 20 March 2017
Please contact the Chairman or Clerk for more details and a Job Description
Colin Charlett – firstname.lastname@example.org (01865 326797 or
Anne Feather – email@example.com (01865 421126)
Posted 6th February 2017
Clerk to Greenham Parish Council
SCP 30-34 - £26,822- £30,153 p.a. (pro-rata) depending on skills and experience
Circa 25 hours per week.
Flexible working pattern to be agreed.
Greenham Parish Council in West Berkshire needs a driven, motivated and high performing individual to take on the role of Clerk to the Council and drive the delivery of the Council’s objectives.
Applicants need to be able to demonstrate they have the necessary strategic vision and leadership skills in addition to having previous experience of working in Local Government, including formal Committee work (e.g. agenda preparation, minute taking).
Applicants must also have proven experience of line management of staff, financial management, and strong communication skills with the ability to maintain relations with the public and key external bodies and have a willingness to identify and pursue ongoing personal development opportunities.
Greenham is a very attractive place to live and work and you could help our Council promote its services and uphold a good reputation within the local community. For further information on this role, please download a recruitment pack from www.greenham.gov.uk or write to the Chairman, Councillor Julian Swift-Hook at firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenham Parish Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.
Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 5.00 p.m. Monday 6 March 2017. Interviews are planned for Tuesday 14 March 2017.