NALC update - from Jonathan Owen (Chief Executive)

BHIB insurance brokers

·NALC's newest major commercial corporate partner, BHIB insurance brokers, continues to make positive strides into the local council sector since entering this market in last month. Last week the NALC chairman Cllr Sue Baxter and BHIB hosted an instructive focus group made up of local councillors, clerks, and county association officers to discuss some of the major risk management areas that effect local councils, as well as what improvements can be made to insurance policies and well as what is missing from councils' risk management policies. BHIB continue to be listening and learning from councils and county associations at both national events – such as the NALC annual conference and larger councils conference – along with regional groupings of county associations and local county associations events. To find out more about BHIB, please visit their website at https://www.bhibinsurance.co.uk/bhibcouncils/

Debates in Parliament

·NALC briefed numerous Members of the House of Lords on the impact of the Data Protection Bill and GDPR on local councils in advance of Tuesday's second reading of the Bill, and the NALC CEO (Jonathon Owen) was pleased this had led to several offers from Peers to put down amendments to get the sectors concerns debated and considered. Although there is a request for help to CALCs and local councils, as they have asked NALC to gather more information on the cost of compliance with GDPR, such as appointing a Data Protection Officer, in advance of Committee Stage (date to be announced but in the next few weeks) – please email Ben Hudson, policy and projects officer at ben.murray@nalc.gov.uk or give him a call to discuss further on 020 7290 0314.

· There were two debates held on gypsies, travellers and unauthorised encampments, instigated by Wendy Morton MP who met with the NALC chairman Cllr Sue Baxter at the recent Conservative Party Conference to discuss the impact on local communities including in Sue's area. The government are looking into this issue further and a number of MPs are pressing for an inquiry. Again any information that can be shared based on your own experience such as: how do you engage with the gypsy and traveller community? what works well and less well in terms of engagement and community cohesion? what is the impact of illegal encampments on the community? and on facilities/services provided by parishes? the scale of mess left behind and coats of clearing up? what new powers do agencies including parishes need? is appreciated. Again please email ben.murray@nalc.gov.uk

Larger councils conference 2017

·The last major NALC event of the year - the popular conference for larger councils - is on 13 December 2017 in London and will focus on what local councils can do to create dynamic environments that encourage local economic growth to thrive and succeed. Themes covers by this one-day event will centre on local economic development, community led housing and planning, accessing funds and grants and the well-being of communities. Learn how to be 'place shapers' bringing the private, voluntary and public sectors together to bring about positive, inclusive economic growth for local people. For more information and how to book please visit the event page on NALC website

·And don't forget if you want to play a role in influencing this work you can do this by standing in the elections for the Larger Councils' Committee.

DCLG Communities Partnership Board

· Last week Jonathon Owen attended the first meeting in this Parliament of the Communities Partnership Board which is convened by the Department for Communities and Local Government to help shape its communities and devolution agenda and advise ministers on future policy development for the voluntary and community sector including meeting the challenge of Brexit. Items considered included: an update from officials on DCLG activity in which they confirmed Jake Berry MP was the communities minister, he had previously supported former minister and secretary of state Greg Clark MP as his parliamentary private secretary during the passage of the Localism Act, and was personally very committed to this agenda including devolution and is very supportive of parishes; consideration of an issues and ideas paper by the Board's new co-chair Tony Armstrong from Locality with ideas for reinvigorating both the Board and the 'communities' agenda; a workshop session to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the communities agenda over the next 2/3 years; a brainstorm to identify key priorities for a new communities strategy; the session concluded by identifying key issues for a joint work plan.

Community governance course

· Finally, a big plug for the community governance course which is an advanced and tailored qualification for local council officers. At the recent meeting of the Improvement and Development Board the message was that we need to raise awareness of the course, which builds on CiLCA and leads to a Certificate of Higher Education in Community Governance: Local Council Management.

Posted: Wed, 18 Oct 2017 14:34 by Alison Robinson

Tags: BHIB insurance brokers, Larger councils, NALC, National Association for Local Councils, News, Training, community governance degree, community partnership board, debates in parliament, risk management