Norfolk ALC exists solely to provide advice and support services to its local council members.
The Association is affiliated to the National Association of Local Councils and works within network of affiliated County Associations
Norfolk ALC is an unincorporated membership association, not a public sector body. It is a not for profit organisation funded by member council subscriptions, training fees, contract and project related income to re-invest in membership services.
The Association represents the corporate interests of local councils, providing advice that best suits the council, not any one individual councillor, the clerk or members of the public.
The Association is governed by its members. The Executive Committee is elected from local councils to hold Norfolk ALC to account. The members set policy positions at the AGM and area meetings. This way Norfolk ALC is firmly grounded in grass-roots democracy.
Member councils have ensured Norfolk ALC has a constitution which is up to-date and fit for purpose. Within the comprehensive governance review, it recently completed an overhaul of financial and administrative practices and systems. Benefits include the implementation of safeguarded processes and policy documents which Norfolk councils can access for their own application if so desired.
Norfolk ALC provides a range of high quality, trustworthy and reliable advice services, supporting councils whose budget and precept doesn't run to financing a legal or employment experts.
A close relationship with the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) is an integral part of the membership service and significant sums are invested each year to procure the support of NALC's professional team of specialist lawyers and policy officers. Norfolk ALC is the only authorised provider of NALC's services in Norfolk.
We also have other close partnerships to complement and expand our services for indemnified specialist knowledge.This includes contractual arrangements with a professional HR adviser and collaboration with the Suffolk Association of Local Councils to ensure a wide range of specialist skills and expertise.
The County Officer complements these services and is also trained to offer conciliation support in the resolution of difficult circumstances.
Over 90 of our councils are benefiting from awards under the Transparency Fund managed by Norfolk ALC.This puts Norfolk ALC in the top three Associations in terms of the numbers of councils supported and processed for awards last year. Other initiatives have included our work with councils raising standards, resulting in Norfolk having the second highest number of Quality Councils in the country.
Training and Support
Norfolk ALC is collaborating with Suffolk ALC to provide a new training programme with a broad range of relevant courses. They include training tailored to meet the needs of local councillors and clerks, including the Certificate of Local Council Administration, Word-Press website training and leadership skills.
Norfolk ALC always leads the way with support sessions on new initiatives that create opportunities for councils, such as the Transparency Code funding.
Norfolk ALC holds a series of themed, headline events each year for councillors and clerks at the Spring, Summer and Autumn conferences. Held in a different district area each time they ensure accessibility to members across the county.The Association also holds area meetings in response to any requests for local networking opportunities or for debating topical issues.
Policy and Presentation
The Association speaks with a strong collective voice on policy issues affecting local councils. It actively represents members' interests to the National ALC, who in turn lobby Government on their behalf. It works in partnership with experienced teams across the county network of District, Borough and County Councils and other public service providers. These activities are important in mitigating the effects of Local Government legislation. A recent example of this has been Norfolk ALC's comprehensive response as a representative for local councils, to the consultation process on Devolution. The Association will act as a facilitator in future community consultation processes, such as Boundary changes legislation.
Norfolk ALC worked with Norfolk County Council to provide a platform for free council websites. This pioneering work placed Norfolk ALC and councils at the forefront of the transparency agenda with an uptake of over 200 councils.
The Association has ensured the continuation of this service, free to council users, by investing their own resources in the platform, beyond the original grant support remit.
Additionally, Norfolk ALC is unique amongst County Associations in providing dedicated IT support to councils, which includes remote access of their websites.
Local councils benefit from the information services which Norfolk ALC provides.
The Local Associations Information Service (LAIS) reports and bulletins summarise complex subject matter on legislative changes and national policy initiatives. These refined reports enable councils to stay informed on a broad range of topical issues affecting public services and communities. Member councils also enjoy weekly newsletters and regular email bulletins.
Development and Customised Services
Norfolk ALC offers support in specialised areas for the professional development of council administration and practices. These include tailored consultancy services such as governance reviews; operational appraisals; salary reviews; financial and policy assessments; recruitment services and professional support in dispute resolution.
90% of parish councils in Norfolk are members of the Norfolk Association of Local Councils
For best professional support, a strong voice on local issues and good value for money - it makes sense!