< Governance Toolkit

The original Toolkit was created in October 2005 by a group of Monitoring Officers and Solicitors from the East Midlands Branch of the Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors. It was designed primarily as an aide memoire for Parish and Town Council Clerks to help ensure good governance. It also met the authors’ vested interest as an essential reference source for Monitoring Officers in their roles charged with promoting high standards of conduct within Town and Parish Councils.

The second version of the Toolkit set itself out to meet these needs in a more comprehensive way. Designed to be practical as well as informative; guidance notes could be down-loaded and given in leaflet format to parish councillors and template documents and forms can be “customised” by the clerk. Always intended to be an electronic document to make it freely available, its content was accessible through a series of interactive menus from which the user could choose to view the entire document or a specific section; this has not changed.

“Version 2” was launched at the Annual Monitoring Officers Conference in London on 2 February 2006 and was made available on websites and through wide distribution as a CD. It was well received across all sectors, winning the Municipal Journal Legal Achievement of the Year Award 2007.

This version is the third edition, now revised, updated and produced as a partnership between the National Association of Local Councils, the Society of Local Council Clerks, the Standards Board for England and the Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors and is endorsed by the Local Government Association.

As a fully parished part urban and part rural authority, Milton Keynes Council is recognised as having been at the forefront of parish council initiatives for many years. It has continued that tradition by providing organisational support to the team of authors and undertaking the editing and production of this edition of the Governance Toolkit, for which the partner organisations wish to express their gratitude.

The Governance Toolkit is primarily intended for use as an easy reference guide for:

  • Town/parish clerks and councillors;
  • Those interested in becoming a parish councillor;
  • Principal councils wanting to establish parish councils in their areas;
  • Monitoring Officers.
  • At its heart, the Governance Toolkit intends to contain the things a parish clerk really needs to know and do. In this, it should be as much a signpost document to other material as a comprehensive source of reference in its own right. It is also a “living document” which will continue to be altered, amended and updated as necessary.

    A primary consideration in producing the Governance Toolkit, throughout its development, has been that it should be readily accessible and available to all.

    Copies and adaptations for commercial use or profit are prohibited without the prior consent of ACSeS, LGA, NALC, SLCC, SBE, Milton Keynes Council, to whom all rights are jointly reserved ©.

    Governance Toolkit – Team

    ACSeS (Association of Council Secretaries and Solicitors)

    Kirsty Cole
    Newark & Sherwood District Council (Past President)
    Paul Cox
    Rushcliffe Borough Council
    Barbara Ding
    East Northamptonshire Council
    Tony Kilner / Phillip McCourt
    Policy and Development Milton Keynes Council
    (3rd Vice President)
    Geoff Pook
    Rutland County Council


    NALC (National Association of Local Councils)
    Meera Tharmarajah – Head of Legal Services
    SLCC (Society of Local Council Clerks)
    Alan Harrison National Legal Advisor
    Standards Board for England
    Anissa Kheratkar Policy Advisor
    Anne Rehill Senior Policy Advisor
    Milton Keynes Council
    Heather Baker Community Services Officer
    Caroline Godfrey Community Liaison Manager


    The information contained in this document is designed as a general guide to the law and practice. It is not intended to provide comprehensive legal advice and where there is a particular circumstance it is recommended that advice is obtained from NALC, SLCC or a legal professional.

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