Staffordshire Parish Councils’ Association (SPCA) is a membership organisation representing the parish and town councils of Staffordshire, England.
Staffordshire was one of the earliest county associations to be established in the country, being founded in 1939 – prior to outbreak of World War II. Its aim was to facilitate emergency planning during the War, to enable networking, to lobby for PCs and provide legal and other advice to them.
In 1947 the National Association of Parish Councils (NALC) was founded (following work done by National Council of Social Service in 1934), which has a team of specialist legal, policy and financial advisors.
More than 88% of the 180 parish and town councils in Staffordshire are in membership. The members range from the smallest of parish councils with just a few hundred electors to the largest town councils with tens of thousands of electors.
The Association provides training and offers courses on such varied subjects as chairmanship skills, council procedures and accounting and budgeting. It also offers the formal qualification for clerks, the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA).
There are 41 County Associations of Local (parish and town) Councils in England and Wales with some 9,500 parish, town and community councils in membership.
SPCA is committed to-
- Developing real community involvement in local government.
- Enabling a strong voice for local communities
- Encouraging professionalism in the local council sector
- Working in partnership with the voluntary, business and public sectors
SPCA provides –
- legal advice
- policy advice
- publications, circulars, regular advisory notes and good practice guides
- support for staff, especially clerks
All County Associations provide direct advice to their members with the added advantage of being in a position to put that advice into a local context.
The Association developed a Charter with the County Council (in 1995) which was recognised as a model of good practice by the Government.
The Association promotes:
- The Local Council Award Scheme.
- The provision of good quality training for both Councillors and Clerks
- The setting up of new parish councils.
SPCA and NALC can help parish councils, councillors and clerks on all these matters to enable them to become better equipped to serve the community.