NALC update - from Jonathan Owen (Chief Executive)
Posted: Fri, 04 May 2018 16:07 by Alison Robinson
Annual conference 2018
· This year the NALC conference will be debating the future of the sector in post-Brexit Britain and some important issues around that including devolution of powers, financial challenges facing community councils and the changing role of community councils in delivering local services – this has already received media coverage in LocalGov and Public Sector Executive. The conference will take place on 30 and 31 October 2018 in the Double Tree Hilton, Milton Keynes and our packed programme will include speakers such as government and shadow ministers and national bodies, as well as a range of practical workshops.
Star Councils 2018
· This week NALC also launched NALC's Star Councils 2018 which celebrate the positive impact local councils, councillors, county associations and clerks make to their communities, recognising the achievements of the local council sector. Deadline for nominations is Friday 17 August 2018, with the awards ceremony taking place at the annual conference dinner on 30 October.
· In last week's bulletin it as reported that the Government had put forward an amendment to its own Data Protection Bill to exempt all parish and town councils and parish meetings in England and community and town councils in Wales from the requirement to appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) under the General Data Protection Regulation. This amendment will be debated by MPs next Wednesday which is when the Bill will have its Report Stage.
New legal guidance
· The new legal briefing L06-18 on data protection legislation for public authorities provides an update on the Data Protection Bill. This is available by logging on to the NALC website, and it will be emailed to clerks next week.
Neighbourhood planning event
· Those of you who are already neighbourhood planning will be interested in a free Neighbourhood Planning HIVE event on Wednesday 6 June. The University of Reading is researching participation in planning and have organised the event specifically for those in the later stages of plan development (e.g. post pre-submission) and it will bring together groups from all over the country to share their first hand experiences of the process. This will enable groups to not only learn from others but also to help enhance neighbourhood planning in the future. Places are limited and a pre-qualification questionnaire will be required.
New secretary of state
· And finally, James Brokenshire MP has been appointed as the new secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government; the MP for Old Bexley replaces Sajid Javid MP who was moved to lead the Home Office following the resignation of Amber Rudd MP. The NALC chairman Cllr Sue Baxter has already tweeted James Brokenshire to welcome him to his new role, as well as Sajid Javid thanking him for his support, which she will be following up in writing. In an interview with the Local Government Chronicle after his appointment the new secretary of state said: "I am looking closely at the sustainability of local government moving forward and where devolution and unitary authorities can seek to make a difference then I do want to advance that agenda." He also spoke of how "local government is in my blood" – he is the son of the late Peter Brokenshire who served as chief executive of Epping Forest District Council followed by Greenwich London Borough Council before he joined the Audit Commission as a director.