The Local Councils of Wiltshire and Swindon play a vital role in the effective management of local community affairs and in encouraging and supporting locally based community initiatives.
Community First helps Local Councils by providing low cost insurance, as well as key advice, assistance and secretariat support to the county-wide Wiltshire Association of Local Councils (WALC). WALC is a membership organisation with over 85% of Local Councils in Wiltshire & Swindon in membership.
Community First helps WALC provide specialised support services to Local Councils including;
Providing support and advice to council clerks and chairmen in the day-to-day business of running a council, this includes a direct-line service for members and access to legal advice from the National Association of Local Councils
Providing training for council members and clerks on a wide range of administration, legal, procedural and community topics
Producing and disseminating a county circular, which includes a newsletter, legislation and policy updates, information on consultations and other issues relevant to the sector, to local councils in WALC membership
Organising conferences and seminars on new legislation and best practice
Lobbying regional and national government in support of local issues
Providing the secretariat to the Accreditation Panel for the Local Council Award Scheme
Working with local councils to develop beneficiary services such as cost saving insurance
Providing the secretariat to the WALC Executive Committee
Local Councils in local life
Local councils are local authorities spending public money, which work to the law and within a system of procedures. They are bound by Local Government Acts and subject to employment law, the Freedom of Information Act and audit. They have a set of powers and duties, provided by laws such as the Local Government Act 1972, to which they work.
Local councils are at the core of many thriving communities. The Localism Act has brought local councils and local communities to the fore and in order to achieve the best for communities, local councils must be in a professional mind set. Communities and the groups and protagonists within them will be better served by their local councils if they understand the way in which they work and their remits, roles, responsibilities and restrictions. This will lead to better and more productive relationships and collaboration.
Community First has produced a number of guidance sheets for communities and community groups on the ways in which local councils work and the laws which govern them. These can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Pointing the Way to Local Representation - the benefits of having a local council produced by South West Conference of Local Councils' Associations of which Wiltshire Association of Local Councils is an active member.