NALC update - from Jonathan Owen (Chief Executive)

Local Democracy

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Local Democracy, supported by NALC, held its Annual General Meeting on 13 July 2018 at Portcullis House. The NALC Chief Executive was delighted with MPs and peers praise of NALC's work engaging with parliament on a range of issues, and for the excellent support NALC provide to the group as its secretariat.

Other headlines include:

  • Highlights of the group's work throughout the year included actively supporting NALC's successful campaigns on the Data Protection Bill and the local government finance settlement, a session on the role of councillors and hosting the parliamentary reception as part of Lobby Day
  • Scott Mann MP was re-elected co-chair and has been joined by Trudy Harrison MP, previously a parish councillor in her Cumbrian constituency of Copeland; Karen Buck MP, Lord Greaves and Lord Lytton continue in their roles as treasurer, vice-chair and secretary
  • The group agree on a number of areas to focus on over the next 12 months including promoting the role of local (parish and town) councils in preventing loneliness, housing, highways and footpaths, and continuing the 'toilet tax' campaign as well as hosting another parliamentary reception

National Assembly

NALC's own parliament, National Assembly, which brings together representatives from each of the 43 county associations, met on 10 July. Below are a few highlights in advance of the minutes being available:

  • Councillors considered feedback NALC have received from county associations on the strategic plan discussion paper and provided further comment on the draft vision, this will be refined before wider consultation with councils and other stakeholders and proposals discussed at the Annual Conference in October
  • The assembly welcomed the joint work with the Local Government Association including the One Community guide, and conference, agreeing on this to be the start not the end of the journey to improving relationships between the tiers and the building blocks for further joint work on improvement. Councillors shared some of their own experiences of working with principal authorities and of local government reorganisation
  • Progress by NALC's Diversity Commission was noted, councillors shared examples of how they have encouraged more people to stand for election, and the assembly fired the starting gun on our parish elections 2019 campaign

Annual Conference and Spring Conference

Places for the NALC Annual Conference on 30/31 October in Milton Keynes are booking up fast so if you want to be at the sector's biggest and best event of the year then move fast to avoid disappointment! The early bird rates (saving you 25%!) of £195 for members and £245 for non-members ends on 31 July. And at National Assembly, NALC will launch next year's Spring Conference, which will be held in London on 11 February 2019.

Media coverage

Two really good pieces of media coverage this week. It was good to see the rebirth of parishes and the work of Frome Town Council flagged up as positives by John Harris in his article for The Guardian on local government; and the successful campaign to create a town council in Sheerness is told through the eyes of its lead campaigner in this at times emotional BBC Radio 4 story, well worth a listen.

Get involved in NALC's Larger Councils Committee

Nominations opened today to join our Larger Councils Committee. Help them take forward our work supporting larger councils. There are two councillor seats, two clerks seats and a place for a councillor from our Super Councils' Network up for grabs. More information including how to apply are on the elections webpage, closing date is 7 September – good luck!

Government event on communities

And finally, if you want to know what it means to be part of a strong community, and why is it important to feel that your voice matters in the decisions affecting where you live, then please put 7 September in your diary. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) are holding a Communities Conference to launch the start of Communities Week 2018, speakers include James Brokenshire MP, secretary of state for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and Jake Berry MP, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the MHCLG

Posted: Fri, 13 Jul 2018 16:32 by Alison Robinson

Tags: AGM, Annual Conference, Communities conference, Larger Councils, Media, NALC, National Assembly, National Association for Local Councils, News, democracy