NALC update - from Jonathan Owen (Chief Executive)

Star Councils 2017 deadline extended!

· NALC have extended the deadline for entries to NALC's Star Councils 2017 to 14 August 2017! This is in response to requests from a number of councils and county associations for more time to complete their application. More information on the six categories, the simple and quick process of making a nomination and previous winners is on the NALC website. Shortlisting will take place in mid-September and the winners and runner's up will be invited to join us at the annual conference for a special awards reception. So please make sure you take advantage of this important opportunity to give local councils and county associations the recognition they deserve by nominating them for a Star Councils award!

Rural Coalition

·The Rural Coalition met last Tuesday at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, here are a few highlights: the chair Margaret Clark thanked all members for their input to the rural statement and good practice case studies (which include Forest Row Parish Council in West Sussex and Uppingham Town Council in Rutland) – which attracted significant media attention including coverage in several national newspapers – and to the Bishop of St Albans for hosting the well-attended launch event in the House of Lords; a discussion on maintaining momentum on the statement and its four policy priorities and it was agreed members would identify promotional opportunities to such as events, publications and party conferences as part of an ongoing communications plan; the House of Lords Select Committee on the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act had published a call for written evidence by 11 September 2017 and it was agreed the Coalition would submit evidence based on the rural statement and press to give oral evidence; officials from Defra attended for part of the meeting and gave an update on ministerial appointments and responsibilities (reporting Lord Gardiner's brief includes rural ambassador and rural affairs, rural life opportunities, broadband and mobile) and their priority work streams of improving the rural evidence base for use by other government departments, policy issues of broadband, mobile, schools funding, industrial strategy and local government finance, and rural proofing including at national, sub-regional and local government level (they would be seeking meetings with the Local Government Association and NALC to discuss in more detail).

Transparency Fund

· Last week 138 applications from smaller councils to the Transparency Fund were approved totalling £94,155, this takes grants awarded in 2017/18 so far to £282,472.

Posted: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 12:57 by Alison Robinson

Tags: NALC, News, Rural Coalition, Transparency Fund, star councils