The Parish Council Domains Helper Service points to the Practitioners' Guide for guidance


The Parish Council Domains Helper Service has pointed to the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) recently published Practitioners' Guide for guidance.

Local (parish and town) councils considering moving to a domain but are unsure of the council's obligations are encouraged to look no further than the Practitioners' Guide. In strengthened language for the 2024 edition, the guide states that "community, suppliers and partners will now reasonably expect a local council to have a domain".

It is important to note that it is not a legal requirement. However, using a domain for council business, emails, and website is a sign of good practice, trust and professionalism. Local councils with a domain can benefit from:

  • Robust security measures and monitoring for cyber vulnerabilities by the Cabinet Office.
  • Emails that are immediately recognisable as legitimate and trustworthy by the recipient.
  • Separation of personal and professional communications. Recipients will always understand the capacity in which the email is sent.
  • Administrative control over email accounts for easy management of change (new joiners, leavers, sudden absences) and Freedom of Information and Subject Access Requests.
  • Peace of mind that the council's domain will never be sold to another organisation should it not be renewed on time.

Local councils can read the full guidance about using domains in Section 5.213 of the 2024 Practitioners' Guide. Councils are also signposted to Section 1.26, which states that "every authority should have an email account that belongs to the council and to which the council has access." In February 2024, NALC also issued guidance around the use of email for council business.

The Parish Council Domains Helper Service is available for local councils aspiring to own a domain. Tailored support is available at every step of the process, from initial decision-making and choosing the correct Approved Registrar to setting up your new domain and maintaining good practices. Virtual sessions are accompanied by guides containing checklists, templates, and detailed, practical information.

To register your interest, complete the short form, and the Parish Council Domains Helper Service will send you a welcome pack and an invitation to join one of our introductory sessions. Please note that attending the first introductory session does not obligate you to move to a domain. Councillors and clerks are welcome to come along to learn more. Questions can also be directed to .

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