Benefits of Membership

BALC will only give advice to Parish and Town Councils in membership of the Berkshire Association. The Benefits include:

  • Access to advice for procedural, technical and legal queries by telephone, e-mail or letter during normal office  hours. (The Association has a policy that advice will be given to the Proper Officer of the council (clerk) and to the Chairman of the Council if the query concerns the clerk or in exceptional circumstances where the clerk is not available and by prior arrangement). 
  • Sector Advice is available from BALC , through the full time County Executive Officer to member councils on any matter which relates to your Council.  The BALC CEO is CiLCA qualified and has 18+ years experience in the sector, including many as a Clerk to a busy Parish Council.
  • An element of the Membership fee affiliates councils to the National Association of Local Councils and BALC is able to access the services of the NALC Legal Team for more complex legal enquiries.
  • BALC is fortunate to retain its own HR and employment advisor, Bethan Osborne and a VAT and Finance Advisor, Steve Parkinson (of the Parkinson Partnership LLP)
  • A regular BALC e-newsletter is sent to all members which contains advice and information relevant to all Parish and Town Councils.
  • BALC Advice notes are prepared on specific topics and issues. 

 

The BALC Executive Committee ensures that the Association is led and directed by representatives of member councils.

If your Council is not a current member of BALC and you would like to know more, including the cost of the membership fee, please contact the BALC Executive at balcexec@balc.org.uk. 

BALC Membership

Benefits of membership

Advice
For small councils, membership of BALC can be an invaluable source of help and advice on legal, financial and procedural matters. BALC will respond to individual enquiries from the clerk or chairman. If complex legal matters are involved, the query will be forwarded to the team of solicitors at NALC. For larger councils there is Direct Access to NALC who have a service tailored to the needs of councils with an electorate of more than 6,000. BALC has an HR and Employment advisor which member councils can have access to as part of their membership.

Regional and national links
Town and parish councils constitute the first tier of elected local government. BALC is part of a recognised network of county associations which come together in the South East Region County Associations Forum (SERCAF).

Access to training
BALC offers training which is specifically designed to meet the needs of town and parish councils and includes training for councillors, chairmanship skills, finance, planning and a variety of other topics. Unitary authorities also offer some training, usually on the Code of Conduct. Please look at the Upcoming Events on the front page for training events and book on line to attend.



Updates
Membership of BALC provides access to email updates on central government initiatives, legislative changes, changes in pay scales and good practice. BALC provides access to the NALC Legal Topic Notes (apply to BALC for password) and reference documents on its own website. Through BALC your council receives the magazine Local Council Review and can subscribe to the Direct Information Service. Membership subscription is calculated on electorate.

Further information
If your Parish Council is interested in becoming a member and for further information please contact Jayne Kirk, County Executive Officer:

Telephone: 0118 9880 226.

Email: jayne.kirk@balc.org.uk

Address: BALC, Wyvols Court, Basingstoke Road, Swallowfield, Berkshire RG7 1WY

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