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Parish and Town Council Training Courses

Training courses for Clerks, Council Officers and Councillors covering all aspects of council communications, community engagement and GDPR/FOI compliance. These sessions are provided in partnership with your County Association.

Parish and Town Council Training Workshops, run in partnership with your County Association

Our training courses for Clerks, Council Officers and Councillors cover all aspects of council communications, community engagement and GDPR/FOI compliance. Each of these courses lasts for between 1.5 and 2 hours long, and are held on Zoom. If you require a bespoke course just for your council, or for an in-person workshop, please get in touch with us.

How to make a booking

To make a booking, browse the courses below or take a look at our training calendar. Once you’ve made your booking, you’ll receive an email confirmation with more information.

 

If you have any questions, please  call our team on 01903 299000 or send an email to email training@breakthroughcomms.co.uk.

Local council communications and community engagement training courses

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Communicating with your community Part 1: Creating a communications strategy

Every local council should have a communications strategy. It should set out its communications priorities, aims and goals. In this session, we will consider how your council could create an effective communication strategy. One that is sustainable and supports your council. A strategy that considers your council’s human and financial resources.

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Communicating with your community Part 2: Engaging with your community

This session will focus on putting your council’s communication plan into action. On how your council could connect with the community it represents. We will consider the ways your councils can communicate effectively and build conversations. We will equip you with tools and techniques to start engaging and getting messages across.

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How councils can engage effectively with young people in their communities

Councils often find it challenging to connect with young people. In this session, we will define "young people." Consider the issues important to ‘young  people.’ Explore effective ways to engage online and offline. We will also offer insights on forming partnerships with local youth organisations.

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How councils can recruit a more diverse pool of local councillors

It is increasingly challenging to find people who are willing to put their names forward either at election time or to be co-opted. We explore effective ways councils and councillors can engage people over time, building up their awareness and interest in the work of the council, in order to better promote and demystify the role of a councillor.

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Get the most from local and regional media

Local newspapers, magazines, regional TV, and radio offer local councils a way to communicate with residents. However, dealing with journalists and the media can be intimidating. In this session we will consider how to establish positive relationships with journalists. How to write impactful press releases. Ensure that your council gets regular and positive coverage in your local media.

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Crisis communications for local councils

A crisis could strike at any point. Anything from flooding to a meeting going viral. There are many ways in which you could find yourself in the eye of the media storm. This session takes participants through the detail of preparing for any crisis. Passing on expert tips and guidance on being prepared. On the effective steps your council could take should the worst happen.

Local council social media and digital communications training courses

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Canva Part 1: Getting started (new!)

Canva is a design tool that can be used for free. It allows you to quickly create posters, newsletters, and other physical documents. You can also create images and videos for social media and websites. This session is for people who have never used Canva before. We will go through the basics and show you how to get the most out of the free version. Our goal is to get you started with Canva and to help your Council to communicate better.

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Canva Part 2: Advanced (new!)

During the session we will focus on the advanced features of Canva. This session is for experienced users of it. In part 2 of our Canva training we will show you how your Council can get more out of it. For instance, creating complex designs and a brand for your Council. We will also cover integrating Canva with social media. There will be a particular focus on creating social media videos and using the scheduling tools.

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Social Media Part 1: Getting started with social media for local councils

Social media is a great tool for councils to use to improve their communication. In this session you will learn the basics and how to get started right. We will focus on creating a social media strategy and the basics of Facebook. Our goal is to share with you time-saving tools and techniques. Hopefully, this will help you and your council to be more confident using social media.

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Social media Part 2: Advanced social media strategies and tactics for local councils

Councils often use different social media platforms to connect with the community. This session explores a wide range of social media platforms. There will be a focus on how to get the most from key social media platforms.  Exploring the ways of ensuring that social media supports your council to achieve its goals and aims. We will also introduce you to social media  advertising.

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Councillors training: Social media skills for parish and town councillors

It has never been more important for councillors to understand social media. In the session we will go through the confusing world of social media  communications. It is designed for both social media users and those new to it. During the session you will learn where to focus your time and effort. We will point out the pitfalls. Consider difficult situations. Most importantly we will help you as a councillor to get the most from social media. 

Local council interpersonal skills and communication skills training courses

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Dealing with difficult people and conversations in our local councils

Handling professional relationships within local councils is critical. However, it can be tough dealing with challenging people and situations. In this session, we discuss practical techniques for managing difficult conversations and situations. 

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Councillors training: chairing council and public meetings effectively

The effective chairing of meetings is a good skill for a councillor to have. This session is for councillors that have been recently elected. It is also aimed at those wanting a refresher. During the session we will consider how to effectively prepare for meetings.  How to get the most out of the meetings you chair and dealing with tricky situations.

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Emotional Intelligence and Resilience in Practice for Clerks, Officers and Councillors

This a practical workshop to help you thrive in your council role. We provide council officers and councillors with an understanding of where our behaviour comes from, we consider what resilience means in the context of our council roles and how to build emotional intelligence. We'll explore council-focused scenarios and how best to respond to each of them.

Local council data protection and Freedom of Information training courses

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Data Protection for councils Part 1: Foundations & theory

The legislative landscape is constantly changing. It is important that councils have the most up-to-date understanding of data protection legislation. They should also have a good grasp of their data protection obligations. This introductory session walks councils through the theory and core principles of UK GDPR and other relevant legislation. We will explain what policies, practices and processes local councils need to have in place.

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Data Protection for councils Part 2: Accountability and lawfulness

This session deep dives into how councils demonstrate accountability with UK GDPR. We consider the different lawful bases for the processing of personal data. We will also delve deeper into how to create the policies and documents required for local councils. We will explore the requirements of the published Privacy Notice, how to create Legitimate Interest Assessments and Data Protection Impact Assessments.

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Data Protection for councils Part 3: Data subject rights and information security

In this session we consider how to deal with data subject rights requests, including Subject Access Requests (SARs). We explore the steps to take to ensure you are compliant. Consider what exemptions may apply. There is also an introduction to information security for local councils and what this means in practice.

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Councillors training: Data protection training for parish and town councillors

It’s important for any councillor to grasp how data protection laws relate to your role. This is true for new as well as longer serving councillors. This session clarifies a councillor’s legal responsibilities to themself and the council. We will guide you on the right procedures and best practice. We will also introduce Freedom of Information and the implications it has for councillors.

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Freedom of Information for local councils: obligations, procedures and exemptions

This course examines the obligations of local councils regarding Freedom of Information (FOI). We discuss the necessary policies and procedures. How your council could ensure awareness among officers and councillors about FOI. Consider the steps to follow when managing an FOI request including the use of exemptions.

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