Local Councils in England were given a General Power of Competence (GPC) in the Localism Act 2011, Sections 1-8. This means that Councils, once adopting the power, no longer need to ask whether they have a specific power to act. The General Power of Competence Localism Act 2011 S1 (1) gives Local Authorities including … local councils “the power to do anything that individuals generally may do as long as they do not break any other laws”. It is a power of first resort. This means that when searching for a power to act, the first question to ask is whether you can use the General Power of Competence. To find the answer, you ask whether an individual is normally permitted to act in the same way.
Sometimes a Council can do things that an individual can’t do such as creating bylaws, raising a precept or issuing fixed penalty notices but it must do so using the specific original legislation. The General Power of Competence does not mean the Council can delegate decisions to individual Councillors. This is a procedural matter that remains enshrined in law.
Alvechurch Parish Council first adopted the General Power of Competence at the March Full Council Meeting in 2020 and has since reconfirmed its eligibility at the May 2023 Annual Council Meeting.
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|General Power Of Competence|
Alvechurch Parish Council has achieved a national peer reviewed accreditation of Quality Gold Status.
This recognises that Alvechurch Parish Council is at the cutting edge of good practice in governance, community engagement and council improvement, going beyond its legal obligations in continuously seeking opportunities to improve and innovate. Currently, nationally, there are only 52 Councils, including Alvechurch now, that have been awarded ‘gold’ status, out of approximately 10,000 Parish and Town Councils. This is approximately 0.5% of Councils with quality gold awards which puts it into context exactly what your Council has achieved!
Chairman, Marc Worrall, stated, “I am delighted that Alvechurch Parish Council has been accredited as a Quality Gold Council and very proud the work being done in our Parish is considered an excellent example to other local councils in Worcestershire and across the country. It’s important to note that only one other Council in Worcestershire has been given the same award.”
He went on to say, “A well-deserved thanks is due to our Clerk, Jayne Smailes and Cllr Paul Edwards, as they were instrumental in preparing and submitting our application.”
In his letter to Alvechurch Parish Council, the Chairman of the National Association of Local Councils, Keith Stevens said . . . . “As chair of NALC, it is with great pleasure that I confirm that Alvechurch Parish Council has achieved the Quality Gold Award. Receiving the Quality Gold Award is an excellent achievement showing that your Council achieves good practices in governance, community engagement and council improvement. Furthermore, this award shows that your council has gone above and beyond the legal obligations; you lead your community and continuously seek opportunities to improve and develop even further. Therefore, the council is to be congratulated immensely. I want to express my sincere thanks to Jayne Smailes, for her hard work submitting the Quality Gold Award application and the additional work throughout the assessment process. My expression of thanks is also given to Alvechurch Parish Council. Your service to your community and supporting your Local Council Award Scheme application are recognised and reflected in your achievement.”
As background information, the Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS) has been designed to celebrate the successes of the very best local councils and to provide a framework to support all local councils to improve and develop to meet their full potential. The scheme offers councils the opportunity to show that they meet the standards set by the sector, assessed them by their peers, and put in place the conditions for continued improvement.
The scheme has been designed to 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 their full potential. There are three levels of award; Foundation, Quality and Quality Gold.
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. Quality Gold councils provide leadership for their communities, bring people together, and have excellent business planning processes, ensuring value for money as well as constantly seeking new innovations and opportunities to improve. They highlight the very best we, as a sector, can achieve for our communities.
Dated: Nov 2023. The award is held for 4 years after which time the Council will be required to reapply.