NALC update - from Jonathan Owen (Chief Executive)

NALC and BHIB insurance brokers

· To celebrate NALC's strong relationship with BHIB Insurance Brokers, the NALC chairman Cllr Sue Baxter this week wrote an open letter to all local councils about their great commitment to the sector, tailored risk management offer, support to NALC as well as the new role as an Outreach Partner for the Aviva Community Fund.

Council tax levels for 2018-19

· This week the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published headline figures regarding council tax levels set by local authorities which shows LOCAL councils are set to spend an extra £33 million in the forthcoming year to safeguard local services. Responding to the publication of this data Cllr Sue Baxter said: "Local councils are continuing to step up to the plate to deliver an ever growing range of services to meet the needs of their areas, while at the same time being fiscally responsible." Detailed information on precept levels of all councils is due to be published in May.

Neighbourhood planning support programme

· MHCLG have announced that Locality will continue to deliver their neighbourhood planning support programme for the next four years. The new programme – of which £22 million will be available to neighbourhood planning groups including our councils – has many similarities with the existing programme with some changes to grant and technical support eligibility criteria, with the basic grant up to £9,000, additional grants for eligible groups up to an extra £8,000 and technical support available. Applications for the new programme will open on the 3 April 2018, information and guidance notes are now online on a brand new neighbourhood planning website neighbourhoodplanning.org with a range of easy-to-use resources, guides, information, support and advice. The new programme also includes a new quarterly neighbourhood planning newsletter with all the latest neighbourhood planning news, learning and best practice (you can sign-up at the bottom of the page of the new website), and a neighbourhood planning Twitter account. NALC has lobbied hard to ensure local councils can access funding and support to continue to lead the neighbourhood planning revolution so do make sure you make use of this support programme!

NALC events in May and June

· A reminder about two upcoming events and a gentle nudge to book your places to avoid missing out! The free Principal and Local Councils Working in Partnership joint conference with the Local Government Association is on 16 May and the new NALC Study Tour 2018 hosted by Chippenham Town Council will take place on 11 June.

SAAA

· This week the chairman of the Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments Limited, Mike Attenborough-Cox, published his latest communication at the conclusion of the 2017-18 financial year to set out the current position and next stages under the new audit regime for smaller authorities.

Meeting with new local government minister

· And finally, following his very welcome attendance at last week's parliamentary reception, the new local government minister Rishi Sunak MP has written to Cllr Sue Baxter to follow up their introductory get together at the event to arrange a formal meeting next month. NALC will be following up with the minister a range of issues previously raised with the secretary of state including supporting the creation of new local councils.

Posted: Thu, 29 Mar 2018 16:55 by Alison Robinson

Tags: LGA, NALC, National Association for Local Councils, Neighbourhood planning, News, SAAA