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APR
19

The importance of secure email systems and GOV.UK domains for local councils

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AUTHOR: DARREN BRIDDOCK, DATA PROTECTION LEAD AT BREAKTHROUGH COMMUNICATIONS


Almost all local (parish and town) councils now have an official website, as well as official email accounts. An increasing number of councils also provide official email accounts for their councillors as well as for their clerk and other officers. When choosing a domain name for the council's website and emails, many local council websites are appropriately making use of the exclusive GOV.UK domain (for example, ourparishcouncil.gov.uk), with email addresses being linked to that domain as well.

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APR
29

Internal Audit: Not just about the AGAR

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AUTHOR: ELEANOR GREENE, SECRETARY TO THE PARISH INTERNAL AUDITORS FORUM


At this time of year, every clerk is focused on getting their internal audit done and convening a full council meeting at which the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) will be signed. Still, with the right advice, an internal audit is a year-round, positive process.

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MAY
11

Parish Online User Group

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AUTHOR: GRAHAM STODDART-STONES, FOUNDER AND MANAGER OF THE PARISH ONLINE USER GROUP


What is Parish Online? Parish Online is recommended by NALC as a tool to help local councils manage their businesses. Over 1,400 councils already use Parish Online and, if you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you evaluate Parish Online by taking out a free trial. Parish Online is an affordable web-based, map-based information management system which allows councils to access OS mapping, address data and a host of other national datasets. Councils can use these maps as a reference to build their own asset layers (for things like allotments, streetlights and playground equipment). Councils can also use Parish Online to develop their own plans (for instance Neighbourhood Plans, Emergency Plans and Tree Planting Plans).

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MAY
14

How councils are using digital tools to improve efficiency and communication with their communities

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AUTHOR: DAVID HALL, DIRECTOR AT CLOUDY IT


At the end of April, the High Court ruled against a bid by Hertfordshire County Council, LLG and ADSO to force the government into retaining the remote-meeting arrangements introduced in the first lockdown. For many councils, the instruction to return to face-to-face meetings directly after the May elections is a blow, particularly as public engagement has rocketed with virtual sessions. The government, meanwhile, does not intend to resume real-life sittings before 21 June.

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JUN
02

Low-interest rates: maintain your focus

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AUTHOR: MARK DAVIES, RELATIONSHIP MANAGER — LOCAL GOVERNMENT AT CCLA


Amid the events of 2020, a further reduction in the interest on your savings at the bank, building society or National Savings and Investments (NS&I) may well have gone unnoticed. Initially, at least.

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JUN
07

What does the Queen's Speech mean for rural communities?

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AUTHOR: GRAHAM BIGGS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE RURAL SERVICES NETWORK


So now we know the government’s proposed programme for new legislation in the current session of parliament, as well as some other actions the government intends to take that, don’t need new laws or changes to existing laws. But what does it tell us?

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