The Local Council Award Scheme exists to Celebrate the successes of the very best local Councils, and to provide a framework to support all local councils to meet their full Potential
All local councils want to serve their local communities and make a real difference to the lives of the people that live there. The scheme offers councils the opportunity to show that they meet the standards set by the sector, assessed by their peers, and to put in place the conditions for continued improvement.
The Award Scheme has been designed to both provide the tools and encouragement to those councils at the beginning of their improvement
journeys, as well as promoting and recognising councils that are at the cutting edge of the sector. It is only through the sector working together to share best practice, drive up standards and supporting those who are committed to
improving their offer to their communities that individual councils and the sector as a whole will reach its full potential.
The scheme was created in 2014 and is managed on behalf of local councils by the improvement and Development Board (IDB).
Councils can apply for an award at one of three levels:
The Foundation Award – demonstrates that a council meets the minimum requirements for operating lawfully and according to standard practice. Waldridge achieved this level in January 2016
In order to achieve the Foundation Award the Council resolved that it published the following on the Parish Council website:-
- Online Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.
- Online Code of Conduct and a link to Councillors’ Register of Interests.
- Online publication scheme.
- Online Annual Return.
- Online information about Council Payments.
- Online Calendar of meetings including the Annual Parish Meeting.
- Online minutes for all council and committee minutes for a full year.
- Current agendas.
- The budget and precept information for the current or next financial year.
- Complaints policy.
- Council contact details and councillor information in line with the transparency code.
- Action plan for the current year.
- Evidence of consulting the community.
- Publicity advertising council activities.
- Evidence of participating in town and country planning.
The Council also confirmed by resolution that it had:
- A risk management scheme.
- A register of assets
- Contracts for all members of staff
- Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
- A policy for training new staff and councillors
- A record of all training undertaken by staff and councillors in the last year
- A Clerk who has achieved 12 CPD points in the last year.
The Quality Award – demonstrates that a council achieves good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement.
The Quality Gold Award – demonstrates that a council is at the forefront of best practice and achieves excellence in governance, community leadership and council development.
The scheme sets out criteria to meet at each level covering selected aspects of the council’s work. Councils can seek to progress through the tiers over time thereby raising standards. Councils of any size can aspire to an award appropriate for their budget and level of activity.
To support transparency, councils achieving an award at any level must use an online facility for publishing documents and information. In all instances the council confirms that the required documents, information and conditions are in place (whether published or not) by resolution in public at a full council meeting. For Quality Gold, councils also provide statements for submission
to the panel demonstrating excellence in their activities. The panel may ask for additional information to check the accuracy of claims.
Waldridge Parish Council achieved Quality
(under the old scheme in December 2010).