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Jackie Weaver to headline at NALC Future CommunitiesConference 2021

ChALC is delighted that our very own Jackie Weaver has been confirmed as one of the three headliners at this year's NALC Conference. Jackie will be joining Mick King (Local Government and Public Services Ombudsman), and Lord Evans (Committee on Standards in Public Life) who
will centre around three main themes; NALC's #MakeAChange campaign and diversity, public services, and civility and standards.

Jackie became an overnight viral sensation early in 2021 when footage of a council meeting, where she was standing in for the clerk, was shared extensively across social media. A trained counsellor, her calm approach and no-nonsense sensibility in the face of a difficult meeting has been much applauded and admired and – when not working as the ChALC Chief Officer – she continues to share her advice and wisdom across the airwaves and digital spectrum. Jackie is also an ambassador for Compassion in Politics .

Future Communities 2021 which takes place on 2 December 2021, will focus on why local (parish and town) councils are pivotal to building back stronger and better and shaping thriving, resilient future communities.


The ChALC Staff Team are really excited that ChALC has been named a finalist in the National Association of Local Council's (NALC) Star Council Awards 2021.

We are in the running for the County Association Project of the Year award. This is for the work we did last year to capture and showcase the amazing stories from local councils responding to the challenges of Covid-19.

In addition, ChALC is absolutely delighted that Adam Keppel-Green, clerk, Knutsford Town Council and Chris Shaw, clerk Northwich Town Council are finalists for the Clerk of the Year award, and that Cllr Nathan Pardoe, Mayor, Winsford Town Council is a finalist for the Young Councillor of the Year award.

Please see here for the full list of finalists and to read their entries.

The winners and runners-up for the Awards will be announced at an online ceremony in October

Coronavirus Update for Councils

Step Four of the Government's Roadmap has now been implemented from 19th July 2021.

There will no longer be limits on gatherings inside and outside and on social distancing. However as cases continue to rise the government is urging caution and personal responsibility.

NALC has advised that Councils may wish to bear in mind the following points :

  • There will no longer be limits on gatherings inside and outside – this means there will be no limits on members of the public attending council meetings subject to e.g. building capacity;
  • Social distancing will end (that is, keeping two metres' distance from others) in council premises;
  • The instruction to work from home where possible ends. However the Government does not expect an immediate full time return to the workplace;
  • There will be no mandatory requirement to wear face coverings in places where they were previously required. Councils can ask but cannot compel staff, councillors and the public to wear masks or provide proof of vaccination or COVID negative tests;
  • Councils will continue to owe corporate duties – e.g. as employers to council employees and to users of council premises as occupiers of premises.
  • An employer's duty of care is to protect the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this and make sure that employees are protected from anything that may cause harm, also by controlling any risks to injury or health that could arise in the workplace.
  • Councils as occupiers of land owe duties to visitors to the land to take care that the visitor will be reasonably safe when using the premises for the purposes for which they are invited or permitted by the occupier to be there.
  • NALC continues to advise councils to undertake risk assessments and implement measures accordingly.
  • Outside of formal risk assessments councils should also consider what reasonable measures they can take to balance the end of social contact restrictions with the ongoing COVID reality – e.g. continuing to livestream meetings so that the public do not have to attend in person to view proceedings, considering working from home requests;
  • Councils can continue to provide hand sanitiser in buildings and for use in council meetings, carry out extra cleaning of premises, avoid printing papers and agendas, ensure rooms are well ventilated (doors and windows open) and seek to maintain social distancing/ one way access where possible;
  • Where councils hire halls from others, they may have contractual obligations to comply with (e.g. requiring masks to be worn on the premises subject to specific exemptions).

Every council will have to decide what is appropriate for them given their own specific circumstances.

Local Council Award Scheme Success!

The NALC Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS) has been designed to celebrate the successes of the very best local councils and to provide a framework to support all local councils to improve and develop to meet their full potential. The scheme offers councils the opportunity to show that they meet the standards set by the sector, assessed them by their peers, and put in place the conditions for continued improvement.

ChALC are pleased to report that three Cheshire councils have recently had their Awards confirmed by NALC.

  • Somerford and Holmes Chapel have been re-accredited at Quality Gold.
  • Goostrey- which already has a Foundation Award – has been awarded at Quality.

Well done to all involved!

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