REPORTS – From Parish Clerk Catherine Camp
International Conference of Municipal Clerk. Reno Nevada USA 22-27th May 2010
The Clerk was lucky enough to win a bursary for the second consecutive year to cover the cost of flight and conference fees for the International Conference of Municipal Clerks.
This year the conference was held in Reno, Nevada, which took a long time to fly to, and was very cold, being “High-Desert”. The ski resorts around Lake Tahoe were about 30 mins away.
The conference was attend by 650 Clerks, mostly from America but with about 50 attending from other countries worldwide. There were representatives from England, Scotland, South Africa, Bulgaria, Zimbabwe, Holland, Nepal.
There were excellent motivational lectures, which were inspirational. The Clerk attended seminars on Effective and efficient filing
Communicating with different generations
We were also given a tour around the City Hall of Reno which has a population of 225,000 and is managed by 6 Councillors and the Mayor who meet fortnightly. There is no income tax in Nevada, with funds being raised through sales, property, hotel and gaming taxes. The city has an annual budget of $327M.
We also visited the AAA Baseball stadium which the City Council has recently built and holds 9000 people.
It was an interesting city to visit. There are no large shopping centres in the down town area, as this consists predominately of Casinos. All the shops and restaurants are situated inside the casinos.
Institute of Local Council Management Summer Seminar 8 & 9th July.
The Clerk is one of only 43 Fellows of the Institute of Local Council Management. To remain a member the Clerk has to attend regular training and briefing sessions and read policy documents to ensure that I remain up to date with legislation and am able to advise the Council accordingly. The Summer seminar was held at the University of Gloucester and looked at ways of encouraging citizen participation and influence in the democratic process.
Michael Chater the Chairman of the National Association of Local Councils updated us on the views held by the new coalition government.
The Government are keen to promote “Localism” and encourage people in local communities to take control of the things that matter to them, and ensure that money is spent in ways that affect the local area. NALC is holding discussions with Eric Pickles, Secretary of State, to ensure that Central Government are actually talking about letting Parish and Town Councils make a difference locally.
The new Government are seeking to devolve functions over the next 6 months, and we were urged to be open to ways of doing things differently and be prepared to work together with other groups and tiers of government to provide services most cost effectively.
I heard excellent presentations on promoting community events, and communicating more effectively using the current technology available. We also were given presentations on the dissertations submitted by Clerks who have completed the degree in Community Engagement and Governance.
Training Community Engagement
|1. Commitment to training.||This council is committed to training in order to ensure that staff and councillors are able to operate appropriately and effectively for the benefit of the community. Training needs will be identified and sufficient resources will be allocated to provide the necessary training to meet the needs. Staff and councillors are expected to share this commitment to training and will be expected to undertake training appropriate to their role.|
|2. Training Needs||This council acknowledges that it is important to train staff and councillors in order to operate in an efficient, effective and professional manner. Training will primarily focus on specific topics relevant to local government, but other relevant training that will improve service delivery will also be offered, e.g. training on a new piece of software. Training may include:
|3.Identifying Training Needs||Training needs may be triggered in a number of ways; the list below is indicative, but not exhaustive:
|4. Resourcing Training||This council will make sufficient provision in its budget to ensure that staff and councillors are suitably trained to carry out their functions and duties. There will also be sufficient funds set aside for appropriate technical literature and other publications.|
|5. Evidence of the benefit of trained staff and councillors||The benefit of training will be evidenced through, for example:
Adopted on (date).......................... Signed by (chair of meeting).................................
To be reviewed on (date)..........................
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