Always know where your important documents are kept so you can refer to them when necessary.
You are advised to have your own copy of:
- a schedule of meetings for the coming year
- the council’s standing orders
- the council’s financial regulations
- contact details of councillors and the clerk (but note, only contact the clerk during working hours)
- the budget for the current year
- the minutes of meetings that took place during the previous year.
You will also find it useful to refer to the following (if they exist).
- A map of the parish
- Local council’s development control and planning policies
- Your council’s statement of community engagement
- Your council’s communication strategy
- Policies for equal opportunities and health and safety.
- Your council’s publication scheme for the Freedom of Information Act
- Procedures for emergencies
- Grievance and disciplinary procedures
- Bullying and harassment (dignity at work) policy
The clerk will keep the following documents; we suggest you ask to read them.
- Risk assessment policy
- Assets register (list of property)
- Insurance policies
- The cash book for recording receipts and payments
- Schedule of council charges and fees for services and facilities
- Partnership agreements
- Planning documents (including the parish plan and/or neighbourhood plan) for the locality
You might also need to know:
- the population of the parish and how the population is made up
- how much an average household pays in council tax to the local council
- contact details of principal authority councillors
- contact details of local organisation
If your council doesn’t have all this information; it can be assembled over time. However, a few items, such as the financial regulations, are essential however, and must already exist.