NALC update - from Jonathan Owen (Chief Executive)
Posted: Mon, 19 Jun 2017 09:34 by Alison Robinson
The new government
·Following the General Election the prime minister Teresa May MP has formed a minority government, Cabinet appointments were confirmed at the weekend and ministerial appointments over the last few days. Discussions are still underway with the Democratic Unionist Party over a 'confidence and supply' deal and the State Opening of Parliament and Queen's Speech is expected to take place on Wednesday 21 June. Speculation is there will be a stripped down programme for government with several aspects of the manifesto likely to be dropped.
·Ministerial appointments of interest include Sajid Javid MP and Marcus Jones MP re-appointed secretary of state and local government minister respectively at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), Salok Jarma MP becomes the new housing and planning minister replacing Gavin Barwell MP who lost his seat and became the prime minister's chief of staff, and the new Northern Powerhouse Minister is James Berry MP who takes on the role from Andrew Percy MP who resigned from government. Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth continues as DCLG's minister in the House of Lords, likewise Sir Eric Pickles as Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues and Anti-Corruption Champion.
·The chairman Cllr Sue Baxter has written to the secretary of state to congratulate him on his appointment, asking him for a meeting and inviting him to address our annual conference. Letters to other ministers in DCLG (and ministers in other government departments) as well as shadow ministers will follow once specific responsibilities are confirmed.
·Labour MP Andrew Gwynne has been appointed shadow secretary of state for Communities and Local Government, taking over the role from Teresa Pearce MP. John Healey MP continues as shadow secretary of state for housing.
* Highlights include: councillors receiving a report setting out progress being made with this year's strategic plan; a framework was agreed to lobby the new government during its first 100 days including a letter to all MPs flagging up the role of councils and county associations; the Committee also agreed to change NALC's governance structures.
LCR Summer 2017
· The new Summer edition of the magazine LCR is out, articles include an interview with Angela Rippon, broadcaster and Alzheimer's Society ambassador, who discusses dementia friendly parishes and communities. The returning secretary of state for communities and local government, Sajid Javid MP, speaks about the role of local councils in devolution, housing and planning, with the latter subject explored further through our Neighbourhood planning special on what is the most popular measure to come out of the Localism Act. Our second special in this edition is on activity and the ways councils can help communities stay active and healthy. Other features and articles include an open letter to all English MPs from our chairman Cllr Sue Baxter, reflections on our third Lobby Day held in April and an update on our campaigns. If you want to subscribe to LCR please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with Alan Jones, head of communications at email@example.com
Transparency Fund events and new Good Councillors Guide
· Last week NALC held the first of two Transparency Fund networking events for county associations in London. The event was attended by 13 officers from county associations and included the launch of both the new Transparency Pack – a hard copy manual for county associations to use as part of their work engaging with hard to reach councils – and the new Good Councillors' Guide to finance and transparency, along with presentations from the Hertfordshire county association on their successful work supporting and engaging with councils on transparency and also the policy and development team on the overall delivery of the Fund and its projects. The second event will take place on 29 June in York.
Planning Inspectorate to address annual conference
· The chief executive of the Planning Inspectorate, Sarah Richards, has been the latest prestigious speaker to confirm attendance at this year's Annual Conference on 30/31 October 2017 in Milton Keynes. For councils and other delegates you can book and find out more information including the programme on the NALC website.