Annual General Meeting 2018
GAPTC CEO, Alison Robinson, GAPTC President, the Right Rev Christopher Hill and former GAPTC Chairman, Stephen Hirst
Expert, local training giving clerks and councillors the skills they need
Promoting good practice
A LCAS visit to Eastington PC
Celebrating creativity and innovation
South West Challenge - promoting local council values
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.
Meeting with housing minister
The NALC chairman, Cllr Sue Baxter, and head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, met the housing minister, Kit Malthouse MP, last week, primarily to discuss neighbourhood planning.
- Sue welcomed his engagement with NALC and the Hampshire Association of Local Councils, in particular through Lobby Day, outlining the important role of local (parish and town) councils in building strong communities and potential to help government and the country tackle the challenges it faces, but to make the most of this opportunity NALC will need help from principal councils and government, particularly through the Comprehensive Spending Review
- NALC is a longstanding supporter of neighbourhood planning but wants neighbourhood plans to be given more weight and protection, Sue highlighted Where next for neighbourhood plans?, which had previously been sent to the minister
- Sue pressed for greater involvement in the supporting programme run by Locality, and for this to be opened as soon as possible, but also requested parallel direct work with NALC and county associations to promote and support neighbourhood planning
- Issues the minister raised included refreshing and renewing neighbourhood planning including slimming down the process (you can read more in his LCR article!), relationships with principal authorities and tensions with neighbourhood planning groups, the challenge of getting communities feeling more in control of development while balancing the overarching need for more housing, and local councils directly or working with others to provide housing
- It was agreed to work together on visits to councils and a roundtable to learn from our councils about their neighbourhood planning experience, and involvement in the review of neighbourhood planning including research which is due to be tendered shortly
On the neighbourhood planning support programme, the government did anticipate opening for grant and technical support in early April but due to the local elections were restricted by the pre-election period. This may affect qualifying bodies including local councils looking to claim from the programme in the current financial year, which was raised with the minister, but more information on the 2019/20 support programme is expected soon. More »
Lords report on the rural economy
NALC were pleased to see a House of Lords Select Committee back NALC's call for a rural strategy in their report on the rural economy and also support our longstanding policy objective on council tax referendums! Hugely welcome also was the recognition of the role of local councils in supporting local economies where the report said: "Town and parish councils should be encouraged to use their discretionary powers to promote local growth through strategic investment, asset management and service delivery". Sue attended a roundtable event on 1 May hosted by the Committee's chairman Lord Foster for stakeholders to discuss the report.
LCR Spring 2019 and renewals
The latest edition of LCR is now out. Discover a whole range of articles, from our cover star Dr Jane Martin of the Commission for Standards in Public Life, who talks candidly about the Local Government Ethical Standards report. Plus read what housing minister Kit Malthouse MP says about the future of housing in the Neighbourhood Planning special, how devolution has impacted one local council and the top tips to becoming a better recruiter… and so much more!
Additionally, information on renewing your LCR subscription has been sent out, so look out for it. Renew your subscription by 28 May to keep receiving this information-packed magazine. If you don't already subscribe to LCR go to www.nalc.gov.uk/lcrmagazine, for more information.
Just to let you know Charlotte Eisenhart joined NALC this week as our new head of member services – welcome Charlotte!
VE Day 75 plans announced
Organisers of VE Day 75 next year have announced more details of planned activities taking place over the weekend of 8-10 May 2020, and are encouraging all local (parish and town) councils to get involved. You can read more in our news story here including the letter to all local councils.
Historic England review
Local councils with an interest in heritage may be interested in a tailored review of Historic England which is currently being undertaken by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This is the first review of Historic England to take place since the organisation was split into two separate bodies in 2015: an Arm's Length Body operating under the name Historic England, and a charity called The English Heritage Trust (trading as English Heritage). There's an online survey or email views to email@example.com by 9 May. » Less
Posted: Tue, 07 May 2019 11:54 by Alison Robinson
Judicial review outcome
The court has concluded a decision by Slough Borough Council to abolish two parish councils was flawed and should be quashed. The recent judicial review case of Britwell Parish Council v Slough Borough Council has given us some helpful guidance on the interpretation of the law and government guidance on community governance reviews. Well done to all colleagues involved in supporting the parish councils, especially colleagues at the Berkshire Association of Local Councils. You can read the court judgment in full here, NALC will be updating their legal guidance in due course. More »
The Telegraph article on local elections
Some of you will have seen The Telegraphon 23 April about the forthcoming local elections and reports of councils struggling to fill seats. They used a quote from NALC: "We are pretty upfront about the challenges that the forthcoming local elections faces, given what's happening in Westminster and the fact people lead such busy and changing lives, but it is far from doom and gloom. We already have across the country more than 100,000 people, local heroes, who are spending their time and energy helping their communities. This should be celebrated and recognised more. But reform is needed to the whole local election process and better collection of national data, and NALC will continue to press the government and other organisations such as the Electoral Commission on these. Local councils are actually becoming one of the most important parts of local government as they are closest to the people and covering the issues that really matter in a time of real disenchantment. They are the only growing part too as several are created each year."
Over the Summer NALC plan to undertake another review of the local elections in tandem with the Diversity Commission.
There's still time to tell NALC your views on two consultations which are underway on audit and highways. Next week we will be responding to the National Audit Office Code of Practice consultation, you can read more in our news story but do get your skates on and send comments by close of play on 30 April to firstname.lastname@example.org. NALC will also be responding to the Department for Transport consultation on Traffic Commissioners, more time on this one and again views to Chris by 11 June 2019, click here to read the news story. We recently submitted a response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee Inquiry into Local Government Finance, log in to the members' area of the NALC website here for the response.
Please note you need to contact GAPTC if you don't have the separate NALC website log in details.
Borrowing approval guidance
This week NALC have added to the Development Tools section of the member's area of the website five really helpful documents which local councils should refer to when submitting an application for borrowing approval. These include a presentation from Shafi Khan, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to the recent county officers finance day, a handy tips sheet, a hints and tips note, a resident questionnaire, and a template cash-flow forecast table.
CiLCA Trainers Forum
The NALC policy officer, Jessica Lancod-Frost, attended the latest Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA) Trainers Forum held in Birmingham yesterday. Over 25 recognised CiLCA trainers came together with Elisabeth Skinner and Di Morgan from the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) and experienced trainer Kim Bedford to discuss a range of issues including the latest report from the awarding body Ascentis, linking CiLCA to the Local Council Award Scheme, quality assurance of training and how to handle multiple referrals for the same module.
Management Board minutes
Posted: Fri, 26 Apr 2019 12:35 by Alison Robinson