“Quality Parish” in the slow lane as search for new Clerk begins
Councillors were told at their meeting on October 15 that there is no urgency for achieving Quality Parish status currently. Accreditation could take a year, in parallel with a “seamless transition” to a new clerk.
In order to achieve Quality Parish status the council has acknowledged that improvements are necessary in some areas, minutes show. It will need to demonstrate, for example, that it produces four newsletters a year, and provide samples of minutes and audited accounts for inspection.
The parish is hoping to rush out a newsletter before Christmas and all councillors have been asked to contribute.
Nevertheless the accreditation process, according to Hood, will take a year.
In the mean time, Parish Clerk Roland Hewson – who has reportedly refused to participate in any move to become accredited – has suggested the employment of an Assistant Clerk. Hewson wants to ensure a “seamless transition” when he retires in due course.
… It also behoved the Council to ensure the continuance of the competent management of the authority
The council has already put in place additional secretarial support at the request of the clerk, earlier this year and the combined services already absorb a fifth of the £100K parish budget. There has been no indication on the timing of Mr Hewson’s retirement, or if it is directly related to goal of Quality Parish accreditation.
The parish will consult the Berkshire Association for Local Councils (BALC) for advice on recruitment, and the matter will be addressed when the council next meets on 5 November.
Separately, the parish agreed
- To provide £500 of funding to PCSOs in support of their request use Room 2 in the Village Hall as a base. CVHT will ultimately decide the request when they meet on October 28. The plan would allow them to remain in the parish longer rather than returning to Langley Police Station. No details have been given on what the funding is for.
- To donate £150 to the British Poppy Appeal as per previous years.
- To obtain new quotes for replacement noticeboards in addition to the three previously obtained, and inspect samples.
- To obtain quotations to rectify safety issues following an inspection of playground equipment at Colnbrook Recreation Ground.
The Clerk also reported he had ordered three Christmas Trees as per councillor’s instructions.