Today (29th January), NALC has re-launched its Direct Access Scheme.
The Direct Access Scheme (DAS) was introduced in 2001 to compliment support from county associations and existing guidance. Its aim is to speed up requests for advice usually of a technical nature and requiring assistance from NALC.
DAS is delivered in partnership with participating county associations and is aimed at larger councils in membership with either an electorate of over 6,000 or annual budgeted income / spend over £250,000.
The Scheme was subject to a fundamental review in 2015 and the number of councils on the Scheme increased from 260 in 2015 to 600 in 2016.
DAS serves as yet another reminder why it is important to be member of the national and county associations. NALC is the only dedicated national body serving and representing the interests of local councils as bodies corporate.
The Scheme has gone from strength to strength over the last 15 years and everyone (NALC, County Associations and Direct Access councils) benefits for the following reasons:
Councils receive faster advice and guidance from NALC;
Councils receive direct access to NALC’s staff in the Legal, Policy & Communications teams on a wide range of subjects;
Councils also directly receive NALC Briefings, weekly NALC e-newsletter, fortnightly DIS Extra, Legal Topic Notes, weekly Chief Executive Bulletins, Training, Development updates and other bulletins of significance which are issued on a whole range of issues including Legal, Policy, Training, Development and Communications;
Direct Access applies in relation to all services provided at national level by NALC (with the exception of publications, which should still be accessed via a larger council’s relevant CALC); &
Direct and quick access to the members’ area of the NALC website with unique and individual log-in details. This will allow a council easy and timely access to a wealth of information, advice, guidance and toolkits which will help it in its essential day-to-day service delivery and community representation work.