About me

I am the Head of Policy and Development at NALC. My main role is representing and advocating the interests of local (parish and town) councils at national level on a wide range of policy and development issues. My team leads on our policy, parliamentary and public affairs programme, as well as the improvement and development of local councils through a range of initiatives including QPS and the NTS.

2 comments

  1. Sue Doughty · · Reply

    Local government authorities are often hampered by the need to make payments by cheque but this is done for security and transparency reasons. By the need for a vote on council and multiple signatures it prevents unauthorised payments of taxpayers money. But it is out of date. LGA’s need to use credit cards to buy things under guarantee and to use internet banking and there are ways of doing that if the law would allow. They need to have a credit card that can only be used after a vote approving its use with a maximum amount that can be spent on each use, (preferably one that gives cash-back). Statements must be presented for approval and voted on at each and every meeting.
    And they need to be able to do internet banking and do direct debits with
    council voted approval and several signatures approving each payment on a special form the clerk can present to auditors. This protects council officials and taxpayers to the satisfaction of both while enabling the cost
    effective use of modern financial structures.

  2. In response to your comment Sue, we have for many years argued that the current rules on the way that local councils can make payments are an anachronism which needs to be updated to reflect the modern age. This is one of the reform issues contained in our Manifesto, which can be found at:

    http://www.nalc.gov.uk/About_NALC/NALC_Manifesto_for_the_future_of_local_councils.aspx

    Last year we pressed for the Local Democracy Bill to be amended and strengthened to address anachronisms in the payment/processing rules. Whilst we were unsuccessful we did significantly raise awareness of the problem facing our local councils.

    The payments issues was one of a number of reforms we recently submitted to Government on cutting and reducing red tape to make it easier for our local councils to do their job. The Government have subsequently agreed that reform is needed and we are currently working with officials and the Society of Local Council Clerks on the necessary changes.

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