Weekly message from Michelle Beaumont, Company Secretary (Joint)

As I sat down to write this introduction, with a very large coffee as, like most of you, I have had a packed week, I realised my last newsletter began with an upbeat message about emerging from lockdown 3.0. It seems appropriate then that as you read this we are now entering  Stage 4 of the Governments roadmap. I hope you will all be able to enjoy the easing of restrictions as we move towards a (hopefully) quieter period and can get some much needed rest.

The weather is looking good and I am very excited that after having a manic couple of months at Spelthorne where we completed our first cycle of Committee meetings after moving to a Committee system in May, an extraordinary meeting of one of those committees (yes already!) and Full Council last week, I will be heading off to stay with one of my closest  friends who lives in Cornwall for a couple of days – needless to say, there will be copious amounts of ice cream and wine consumed, and a bit of running thrown in for balance!

Well done Dudley!
You may already have seen via social media that our democratic services colleagues at Dudley Borough Council won the Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) governance award on Thursday. Our congratulations to Steve Griffiths and his team for a fantastic achievement and for flying the democratic services flag so well. It was a good night for Dudley as their Monitoring Officer, Mohammed Farooq, also won the Inspirational Leader award. Congratulations to Mohammed and to the Council’s Chief Executive, Kevin O’Keefe, who has been a good supporter of ADSO over the years.

Constitution Clinic Friday 23 July 12 – 2.30pm
The LLG are running a ‘constitution clinic’ workshop with the following objectives:

  • To give monitoring officers and others an opportunity to share their experiences and identify potential solutions.
  • To share some examples of constitution reviews, challenges, and successes to stimulate debate.
  • To provide an evidence gathering opportunity to inform the support that CfGS and LLG can provide to the sector.
  • To begin a dialogue which promotes constitution reviews as an opportunity to engage more widely about how governance should work at the council.
  • To begin the process of developing a source of good examples of well drafted constitutions & options for clauses which can be accessed via the LLG website.

Whilst the LLG can’t promise to resolve every issue, it is likely through the chat and follow-up they will be able to share knowledge and learning, provide peer support, and offer helpful responses.

To join the workshop please email jack@llg.org.uk for joining instructions.

Training Bursaries
I am delighted that, thanks to the efforts of the Board and South West Councils, the ADSO bursaries offer is now live. Bursaries are being made available to Councils with learners with ADSO membership who wish to undertake either the Certificate or Diploma programme but are unable to do so because of the overall cost.  In each financial year, a total of £5k is available between the two programmes:  £3,750 across the Certificate programme and £1,250 across the Diploma programme.  ADSO and our main Sponsor Civica are funding this initiative. This will apply to those Learners taking the ADSO Certificate starting in March 2022 and Diploma in October 2022.

Regional meetings
It’s been good to see so many regional meetings taking place over the last few weeks. They are the lifeblood of ADSO and attendances are increasing in many areas. If you haven’t attended your regional meeting yet, try it out. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed. They are all held virtually so there is no travelling involved.

ADSO awards: DEADLINE 30 July!
The ADSO awards deadline is fast approaching – please don’t miss this opportunity to ensure that your colleagues are recognised for their fantastic achievements (she says rather sheepishly still needing to complete her own nominations – sorry John, it is on the list!).

There are three categories, Learner of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Distinguished service award with the full details on our website here.  We know everybody has been very busy, but the process has been streamlined and it won’t take you long to submit a nomination. Remember the tremendous feel-good factor we all had after last year’s awards. We need that same warm feeling more than ever this year.

That’s all for this week folks. Have a great week, enjoy those new freedoms but continue to stay safe!

Michelle Beaumont, Company Secretary (Joint)


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