SUPPORT FROM NPTS
Norfolk PTS provides a simple, low-cost support service for parish and town councils in Norfolk. The annual subscription-based service is intended to complement our training provision while meeting the support needs of councils.
SUPPORT AND ADVICE
Telephone and email support is available during office hours.
Direct access to a helpful, friendly and experienced Norfolk clerks, and access to subject experts when you need it.
ACCESS TO RESOURCES
Template/example documents and guidance on when to use them.
We also provide a news feed to help keep you and your council up-to-date and meet all your legal and internal
20% reduction on the cost of our training courses and on the cost of support and development of a new website.
Free networking mornings, facilitated by a fellow Norfolk clerk.
The majority of the support that we are asked to provide is to clerks and we understand that being a clerk often involves working alone, with no team or colleagues for support. Occasionally you need to check how best to tackle a challenge, get advice from others who've encountered an unusual situation, or just discuss your ideas, concerns and options with someone who understands. Norfolk PTS is first and foremost a network of Norfolk clerks. We (Julie, Sara and Luisa) have over 40 years of clerking experience between us, and we're here to help you or your clerk. One of our team can be reached by phone or email between 9 am - 5 pm Monday to Friday.
Sometimes we all have questions, or need advice that requires the input from a specialist profession. We're experienced clerks, but not lawyers or accountants. That's why we've built relationships with people and companies that do have expertise in those areas. Through your subscription to Norfolk PTS you can gain access to specialists in web development, HR, planning, accounting and legal services. Our associates will give you initial advice and guidance, typically around 15 minutes' of their time for free (or we can obtain it on your behalf if you prefer), and - when it's needed - you can engage them further. Perhaps you are undertaking some conveyancing or setting up a new payroll or website. You might need some employment law advice or guidance on dealing with tricky staffing issues. In any of these areas we can connect you with specialists who can help - just talk to us first.
Often councils need to add to or amend their policies and procedures and it can be hard to know where to start. One-size-fits-all model documents can be unwieldy and sometimes inappropriate for your council. Because we work with councils of all different sizes (and have been through the process ourselves more often than not!) we can provide you with template documents that will be appropriate for your council by giving you access to our extensive library of template documents. The topics we give our subscribers access to include allotments, finance, Operation London Bridge, risk assessment, meetings and much more.
We can also point you to the most up-to-date and authoritative news and information but we won't inundate you with masses of information on topics that don't help you with your day-to-day job. We email a newsletter to our subscribers about once a month.
You can also benefit from subscribing to Norfolk PTS by getting discounts on other services we and our associates offer, such as:
20% discount on training courses that you book with us
20% discount on training and support to develop a new website for your council (see below)
free attendance at our regular clerks' networking mornings and networking for chairs/vice-chairs
How much does it cost?
A subscription to Norfolk PTS runs from 1st April to 31st March. The charge is calculated on the basis of 1% of the total value of your council's precept. So a council with a £5,000 precept will pay just £50 per year. For £8,000 it will be £80 per year, and so on. We have capped this figure at £525 for the largest councils, so those with a precept above £50,000 won't pay any more than £525 and the minimum fee is £50 (£40 for parish meetings).
What do we do with our Norfolk Parishes website?
A number of parishes in Norfolk still have Wordpress-based Norfolk Parishes websites, provided some years ago as part of an existing subscription to Norfolk ALC. When councils let their Norfolk ALC membership lapse, they are often quoted hundreds of pounds to retain their Norfolk Parishes website.
If this applies to you, or if you are looking to update your site anyway to something more modern and easier to maintain, we can help. Our associate, Steve Jackman, has assisted over 160 parish and town councils to build new sites using a freely-available platform with no ongoing costs and in a way that can be maintained easily by the clerk.
Steve offers training and support for creating a new website, so moving your site is quick and easy to do. Please email us to find out more or to be put in touch with Steve.
What our subscribers say about us
We asked our subscribers for some feedback; here's what they said:
As Chair of a small, sparse rural Parish Council we also have to face difficult and sometimes legal issues. Knowing that we have the knowledge, experience and guidance of NPTS to assist us gives all of us, councillors and Clerk, a welcome degree of security in dealing with these matters. Additionally, the network meetings, seminars and training provide excellent information on key matters and the opportunity to exchange ideas and practice with colleagues across the county.
Colin, Chair of Thornham Parish Council
I have attended many courses run by NPTS over the years and spoken to all the ladies on many occasions during my 10 years as Clerk and their time working as Clerks also in the Norfolk area. Last year my Council decided to change our support from another subscription organisation to NPTS upon my recommendation that they provide great training, practical, up-to-date advice and are always so very friendly, caring and professional. I would have no hesitation in recommending their support service; last year I completed my CILCA with the help of Julie and she was amazing, I couldn't have passed without her help.
Kate, Clerk to East Harling Parish Council
The support Norfolk PTS gave after the loss of our clerk to Covid was second to none. The chairmanship training was essential for helping the council serve the village as it should, and establish an effective working relationship with your clerk to achieve that. The supportive camaraderie of the networking sessions a boon to access experience to deal with issues you haven’t met before, or are struggling to deal with. You are not alone.
Dan, Chair of Thornage Parish Council
Always helpful, no matter how big or small the request, whether its confirmation, a query or even specialised training, they’re always happy to accommodate and have saved my skin on more than one occasion.
Julie, Clerk to North Walsham Town Council
We have used NPTS as our 'go to’ team since 2018. Their training, guidance and day-to-day advice has proved to be invaluable to our council and has paid for the subscription many times over. The team is so experienced but more importantly they know how to put that information across in the training room - fun, participative and the training sticks. We cannot recommend them highly enough.
Lua, Clerk to Wortwell Parish Council
I’m a relatively new Clerk (November 2019) and NPTS' support has been invaluable to me and the two Councils I work for. Advice is just an email or phone call away, nothing is too much bother so never worry if your problem is small or massive. I have completed all my training with NPTS, including CiLCA. The Clerks' Networking meetings are brilliant a chance to talk to other Clerks, let’s face it no one else understands our issues! All the team are super-friendly and I couldn’t continue doing my job without them.
Melanie, Clerk to Upwell and Welney Parish Councils
Ask for a quotation
Your council may not currently subscribe to any support service, or perhaps you currently pay for a service from another provider. Because adding or changing support is a decision for the council, we can provide you with a quotation that introduces our service and tells you clearly what our fee will be. Contact us to find out more.