Download core training programme for councillors

Welcome to your new role as a local councillor and thank you for stepping up on behalf of your community and offering your time, skills and support to the town or village where you live.   A local council has a number of duties, roles and responsibilities which offer lots of opportunities to make a difference, you are now part a layer of the public sector often referred to as the grass roots  – it is truly hyper-local and closest to the taxpayer. 

Your clerk is likely to have provided you with information about your council including copies of core documents such as standing orders, financial regulations, committee structures and an outline of what “business as usual” looks like - use this link to view the administrative council year.    You may have also had a look at your council’s website and know what local services (if any) it runs and the regularity of meetings. 

We believe all councillors should undertake training about the sector - did you know that decisions made are as a whole council (making teamwork essential), that as a councillor you sign up to a Code of Conduct and that the council is an employer involving numerous responsibilities prescribed in law.

Training for councillors should sit alongside existing skills and knowledge that you bring to the sector, and by fully understanding your role you will be able to quickly get involved and contribute to the effectiveness of your local council.

As a member of SALC your council (through your clerk) receives information, guidance and support - via our member portal, newsletters, forums and networks.    SALC is a not-for-profit organisation and have been around for over 70 years with approximately 97% of town and parish councils in Suffolk choosing annually to be in membership.  We also take on the role of representing local councils both locally and nationally which can result in lobbying for change or leading on projects and initiatives that require enhancements so that they are better translated for the needs of local councils.   Take a look at what the membership offer provides by using this link to our dedicated page and find out more about how we operate by using this link to our governance page, we have councillors like you on our Board helping shape and influence our work for example. 

The subscription you pay to SALC contributes to some but not all of our running costs – we get a small grant from Suffolk County Council (and East Suffolk Council to specifically support one of their projects) and generate a small income from training and our internal audit and payroll services.  We work hard to keep costs low and, where we can, we commission free workshops from specialists as it is in our interests that Suffolk councils are well informed and up to date with recent legislative changes.   Your fee includes membership of NALC, the National Association of Local Councils, who help develop sector-specific legal topic notes, guidance alongside lobbying government for change on behalf of the sector take a look at their website by using this link.

We also provide a number of networks – area forums (where you can meet up with other councillors and share ideas) and topic-based forums, such as our climate forum, which was created at the request of councillors and clerks wanting to learn from others about local action - take a look at our communication and network page here.   There are also national networks run by NALC, such as for women and young councillors for example.