MAY
14

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

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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APR
29

Internal Audit: Not just about the AGAR

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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APR
19

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

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
08

How to prepare new councillors for the future of hybrid meetings and workplaces

AUTHOR: DAVID HALL, DIRECTOR AT CLOUDY IT


With just weeks to go before the May local elections, councils are taking stock of the last 12 months. The biggest change has been the shift to remote working, and among the biggest winners has been local democracy, with online council meetings enjoying far greater participation from both councillors and public than was typical with traditional, face-to-face meetings.

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APR
06

Democracy Club

AUTHOR: PETER KEELING, VOTING INFORMATION MANAGER AT THE DEMOCRACY CLUB


Democracy Club is a Community Interest Company which builds online voter information tools for UK elections. We run the UK’s national polling station finder at WhereDoIVote.co.uk (in conjunction with The Electoral Commission), and a database of UK elections and candidates at WhoCanIVoteFor.co.uk. We’re a small team, supported by hundreds of volunteers. We work openly, and all our data is free to access.

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MAR
15

Why councils are moving away from Zoom in 2021 

AUTHOR: DAVID HALL, DIRECTOR AT CLOUDY IT


How time flies when we’re enjoying ourselves. It’s one year on from the first lockdown when, almost overnight, councils had to switch to virtual meetings. Video-conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Teams went from hitherto obscurity in local government circles to mainstays of the democratic process.

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