NALC update - from Jonathan Owen (Chief Executive)

GDPR update

·NALC's published their new GDPR toolkit last week, prepared on our behalf by law firm Winckworth Sherwood, which is available to member councils and county associations on the NALC website.

·The Data Protection Bill continues its passage through the House of Commons on Monday and NALC have produced a short briefing to MPs to highlight concerns, as well as writing to the digital minister Matt Hancock MP.

Local government reorganisation in Dorset

·Sajid Javid MP announced this week he will implement proposals to reorganize local government in Dorset. In the Written Ministerial Statement the secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government says he has: "…decided to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, that locally-led proposal to replace the existing nine councils across Dorset – two small unitary councils of Bournemouth and Poole and the two tier structure of Dorset County Council and the district councils of Christchurch, East Dorset, North Dorset, Purbeck, West Dorset, and Weymouth and Portland by two new councils.These new councils are a single unitary council for the areas of Bournemouth, Poole, and that part of the county of Dorset currently comprising the Borough of Christchurch, and a single unitary council for the rest of the current county area".

· The Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils are working hard to raise the profile of this tier of local government in these local discussions and is stressing that parish and town councils must be consulted on any future changes and respected as the most local tier of local government in Dorset. Hopefully this decision may also pave the way for the creation of new parish and town councils in areas such as Weymouth.

Finance Committee

·The Finance and Scrutiny Committee, chaired by Peter Davey of Essex, had its second meeting of the year on 27 February, here are some key points: the Committee discussed its work programme and the importance of setting out NALC's corporate governance framework clearly, as part of this councillors agreed to recommend a new Treasury Management Policy to the Management Board; there was a likely positive position in NALC's finances at year end, slightly above the budgeted small surplus; and the Committee had an initial discussion of NALC's forward budgets.

Input to working group on localism

·Last week the head of policy and development, Justin Griggs, gave evidence to a working group established by the Liberal Democrats' Federal Policy Committee to look at the Party's policies in the areas of devolution within England, local government, and community organising – this was a useful opportunity to promote the Prospectus for Ultra-Localism and highlight examples and case studies of great work by local councils.

New LGA report on planning

· The Local Government Association's new 'Planning Positively through Partnership' report which stresses the need for partnership in the planning system and among its six valuable points of learning to help get things right says: "It is important to actively involve communities and parish, town and ward councillors at an early stage of the planning process". This guidance may be helpful to you in your own engagement and discussions with your local planning authorities!

Posted: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 11:08 by Alison Robinson

Tags: GDPR, LGA, Local Government Association, NALC, National Association for Local Councils, News, data protection, finance committee, local government reorganisation, localism, planning