Since the autumn the Parish Council has been re-examining the role of volunteers who carry out community work for them. This was reinforced at Wednesday night’s monthly Council meeting during the public speaking time when villagers made it clear that they would like to see volunteers taking a more active role within areas covered by the Parish Council.
Now for all the legal bit! As a public body the Parish Council has to ensure that the highest levels of safety are maintained at all times. We have a legal and mandatory duty of care to ensure that all volunteers are competent to carry out the work, which must be undertaken in a safe environment. The correct personal protective clothing and equipment must be used according to the task undertaken. A risk assessment has to be carried out, kept and communicated to volunteers to ensure that they work within the guidelines set out. The Parish Council has to be satisfied that volunteers possess adequate experience and depending on the type of work, relevant training or qualifications may be considered necessary. These are all legal requirements set out by our insurance company as well as by national bodies. Fortunately much of it is just common-sense to protect both volunteers and the Parish Council, identifying sensible and proportionate measures to control the risks.
So in plain English, as long as the tasks are appropriate and we all carry out the necessary legal requirements, volunteers are welcomed and we look forward to working together.
Parwich Parish Council