Recognition of the 'sectors' professionalism
Formed by Parish Councils --- Run for Parish Councils --- Delivering to Parish Councils
The Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils (GAPTC) is a not for profit membership organisation, representing, training and advising the parish and town councils of Gloucestershire, who form the grass roots tier (or first level) of local government in England.
GAPTC offer members a resource of vital, operational information and facilitate communication at all levels of the parish network - district, county, regional and national.
As a membership association we are unable to deal with queries from the public, but we are happy to make general information available through this website, which helps to increase understanding and awareness about the sector.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Local Democracy, supported by NALC, held its Annual General Meeting on 13 July 2018 at Portcullis House. The NALC Chief Executive was delighted with MPs and peers praise of NALC's work engaging with parliament on a range of issues, and for the excellent support NALC provide to the group as its secretariat.
Other headlines include:
- Highlights of the group's work throughout the year included actively supporting NALC's successful campaigns on the Data Protection Bill and the local government finance settlement, a session on the role of councillors and hosting the parliamentary reception as part of Lobby Day
- Scott Mann MP was re-elected co-chair and has been joined by Trudy Harrison MP, previously a parish councillor in her Cumbrian constituency of Copeland; Karen Buck MP, Lord Greaves and Lord Lytton continue in their roles as treasurer, vice-chair and secretary
- The group agree on a number of areas to focus on over the next 12 months including promoting the role of local (parish and town) councils in preventing loneliness, housing, highways and footpaths, and continuing the 'toilet tax' campaign as well as hosting another parliamentary reception
National Assembly More »
NALC's own parliament, National Assembly, which brings together representatives from each of the 43 county associations, met on 10 July. Below are a few highlights in advance of the minutes being available:
- Councillors considered feedback NALC have received from county associations on the strategic plan discussion paper and provided further comment on the draft vision, this will be refined before wider consultation with councils and other stakeholders and proposals discussed at the Annual Conference in October
- The assembly welcomed the joint work with the Local Government Association including the One Community guide, and conference, agreeing on this to be the start not the end of the journey to improving relationships between the tiers and the building blocks for further joint work on improvement. Councillors shared some of their own experiences of working with principal authorities and of local government reorganisation
- Progress by NALC's Diversity Commission was noted, councillors shared examples of how they have encouraged more people to stand for election, and the assembly fired the starting gun on our parish elections 2019 campaign
Annual Conference and Spring Conference
Places for the NALC Annual Conference on 30/31 October in Milton Keynes are booking up fast so if you want to be at the sector's biggest and best event of the year then move fast to avoid disappointment! The early bird rates (saving you 25%!) of £195 for members and £245 for non-members ends on 31 July. And at National Assembly, NALC will launch next year's Spring Conference, which will be held in London on 11 February 2019.
Two really good pieces of media coverage this week. It was good to see the rebirth of parishes and the work of Frome Town Council flagged up as positives by John Harris in his article for The Guardian on local government; and the successful campaign to create a town council in Sheerness is told through the eyes of its lead campaigner in this at times emotional BBC Radio 4 story, well worth a listen.
Get involved in NALC's Larger Councils Committee
Nominations opened today to join our Larger Councils Committee. Help them take forward our work supporting larger councils. There are two councillor seats, two clerks seats and a place for a councillor from our Super Councils' Network up for grabs. More information including how to apply are on the elections webpage, closing date is 7 September – good luck!
Government event on communities
And finally, if you want to know what it means to be part of a strong community, and why is it important to feel that your voice matters in the decisions affecting where you live, then please put 7 September in your diary. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) are holding a Communities Conference to launch the start of Communities Week 2018, speakers include James Brokenshire MP, secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Jake Berry MP, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the MHCLG » Less
Fri, 13 Jul 2018 16:32 by Alison Robinson
Unaffordable homes, poor connectivity, skills gaps and health inequalities are combining to create a "perfect storm" that is threatening the future success and prosperity of rural areas, council leaders revealed this week
The LGA set up a Post-Brexit England Commission to examine the challenges and opportunities faced by non-metropolitan England. Its interim report, published at the LGA's Annual Conference in Birmingham this week, sets out the measures needed to address a deepening divide between rural and urban areas of England. More »
At a time of historic change for the country, and with Government's attention and resources focused on delivering a successful national Brexit, the crucial issues faced by communities outside of England's cities include:
- A demographic time bomb with national population projections showing that by 2039 for every 100 working-age residents there will be 53 people aged 65 or older, which will put increasing pressure on health services in rural areas.
- Residents struggling to stay in their local community due to a lack of homes at a price they can afford with the average house price in non-metropolitan England 60 per cent more expensive than in cities outside of London.
- Businesses grappling with patchy mobile and broadband connectivity that cuts off their access to new markets with a recent survey conducted by Amazon revealing almost 40 per cent rated their internet connection speed as poor
- A growing workforce skills gap across all areas, which if not addressed could put at risk 4 per cent of future economic growth across the country - the equivalent to a loss of £90 billion economic output.
The report argues that these challenges can only be met by passing down greater powers to local areas while national government gets on with delivering a successful Brexit.
This includes giving all councils the ability to borrow to build new affordable homes, devolving funding and control over under-performing national skills and employment schemes to local areas, handing councils legal powers to ensure all new build homes are connected to future-proofed digital infrastructure and plugging the adult social care funding gap which will reach £3.5 billion by 2025.
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the LGA's People and Places Board, said:
"Rural areas face a perfect storm. It is increasingly difficult for people to buy a home in their local community, mobile and broadband connectivity can be patchy, and people living within rural and deeply rural communities face increasing isolation from health services.
"If Britain is to make the most of a successful future outside of the European Union, it's essential that our future success is not confined to our cities. Unless the Government can give non-metropolitan England the powers and resources it needs, it will be left behind.
"This report outlines to Government a firm offer from councils in non-metropolitan areas, to play a greater role in building thriving, connected and healthy communities. It represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for non-metropolitan England to not only improve public services, but deliver a resurgence in rural England's economy as well."
1. 'Non metropolitan England' is an expression that captures the large and small towns, the villages and hamlets, the coastal communities and the rural and the deeply rural areas in which 62 per cent of the English population live. The LGA's Post-Brexit England Commission launched in February 2018 and issued a call for evidence to inform the findings of this interim report. Since then it has engaged a broad coalition of stakeholders with an interest in the future of non-metropolitan England. It will publish a final report next year.
2.The interim report set outs the key challenges holding back the success of towns, villages, rural, deeply rural and coastal communities of non-metropolitan England. They include:
- Housing - The scarcity of affordable housing in rural areas is a real problem, with earnings in non-metropolitan England significantly smaller than in urban areas. Across non-metropolitan areas, the average house price is currently 60 per cent more expensive than that of cities outside of London. Recent changes to viability assessments have also diminished the amount of affordable housing available. The Government should let all councils, across the country, borrow to build new homes, and allow councils to adapt local discounts for Right to Buy flexibly.
- Social and Demographic - Following Brexit, a key challenge for non-metropolitan England will be providing the jobs and opportunities to entice working age people to their areas to deliver dynamic economies. With 83 per cent of total population growth is occurring in cities, rural areas face real challenges. As a first step towards tackling adult social care, government must urgently tackle the funding gap the sector faces.
- Infrastructure - In rural areas across England, the length of time it takes for people to access employment hubs via public transport is almost double the length of time it takes in urban areas. Local roads funding lags significantly behind the funding provided for national trunk roads and motorways. The Government needs to address the nation's local roads repair backlog, which will take more than a decade and £9 billion to clear. This report calls for the development of a local industrial strategy to be put in place for each area and for more infrastructure to be developed.
- Digital - Only 60 per cent of rural premises can receive an outdoor 4G signal from all operators, which falls to a small 19 per cent for indoor coverage. Councils want to see statutory backing to ensure all new-build buildings are connected to local digital infrastructure, and are future-proofed. They also want to see Ofcom to ensure mobile coverage data information is accurate and reflects the consumer experience.
- Skills - The growing skills gap across the country is increasingly stark. By 2024, there will be a shortage of 4.2 million skilled people in the UK to meet the demand for high skilled jobs and a surplus of more than 6 million people with low skills. Failure to address this challenge puts at risk up to 4 per cent of future economic growth – a loss of £90 billion economic output, with the average worker £1,176 a year worse off.
3. At the Annual Conference, the LGA is publishing a series of papers aimed at helping build the case for long-term, sustained investment in local government, ahead of next year's Spending Review. The papers – covering housing, planning and homelessness, funding, improving schools, Brexit, the future of non-metropolitan England, and adult social care – also set out the positive outcomes for the country of investing in local government.
Moving the conversation on
We have published a series of papers, commissioned by LGA boards, which start the new thinking around building the case for long term, sustained investment in local government as well as laying out the positive outcomes this would deliver for the country.
Fri, 13 Jul 2018 10:02 by Alison Robinson
Last night the North Cotswold cluster meeting took place, James Brain (Planning officer) attended.
He has forwarded links related to planning that you may be interested in:-
- the Inspector's reports can be accessed here form the Council's website https://www.cotswold.gov.uk/residents/planning-building/planning-policy/latest-planning-policy-news/; and
- the Residential Land Availability report (showing the number and location of new homes built over the past year) https://www.cotswold.gov.uk/media/1602822/residential-land-availability-monitoring-statistics-april-2018-v2.pdf
If you have further questions relating to the local plan or the community infrastructure levy please contact James -James.Brain@cotswold.gov.uk
Wed, 04 Jul 2018 15:35 by Alison Robinson