NALC update - from Jonathan Owen (Chief Executive)

LCR interview with Rishi Sunak MP

Last week, Marie Dill, LCR editor met with Rishi Sunak MP to talk about local (parish and town) councils. Just one of the encouraging things he said regarding the sector was: "It's an incredibly exciting time to be in what I would call ultra-local government. We're creating more [local councils], and they are doing more things, which impact their communities, and I think people are in general more interested in what's happening in their local area. So my vision is that all of that continues, that we have more local councils doing more ambitious and innovative activities, and people feeling really good about the place that they call home." Rishi will be talking more about his vision for the sector at next month's Annual Conference, and you can read his full interview in LCR Autumn, so subscribe today, if you don't already!

Star Council Awards

Last week the judging panel met to decide who should be crowned the local council sector's community champions of 2018! The shortlist will be officially announced this week, with winners being unveiled at the Annual Conference. It is worth mentioning that the judging panel was impressed by the quality of the record number of nominations this year, stating: "The competition was hotter than ever this year. It is great to see NALC's Star Council Awards grow year-on-year. This year's Council of the Year award will be decided by YOU – voting opens on next week, so make sure you vote!

Management Board

NALC's Management Board – whose 11 councillors from across the country oversee the work of NALC – met on 11 September 2018, some of the highlights include:

  • Considered a range of internal management and performance matters, noting progress on reviewing and delivering our strategic plan
  • Pleased to hear that a legal briefing clarifying the trading position within the general power of competence would be issued, which should encourage more local councils to become eligible
  • Supported a motion to the Annual Conference from the Worcestershire Association of Local Councils, calling for greater encouragement and support for councillor training
  • Agenda items for a meeting with the Society of Local Council Clerks at the end of the month, including joint action to promote good governance and a discussion of how to clarify our respective roles to ensure they are complementary

Parish elections PR

NALC's new analysis on women's representation in local government shows more women are getting involved with their community through their local council than in larger principal authorities. NALC have kick-started the parish elections campaign to encourage more people to stand for election as local councillors in May 2019.

Larger Councils Committee elections

Nominations to the Larger Councils Committee closed last week with five nominations received for four councillor places and four for two clerk seats – online voting will open next week. Congratulations to Cllr Sandie Webb of Chippenham Town Council and Cllr Richard Parry of Sevenoaks Town Council, who were automatically elected as the two nominations for the two Super Councils' Network representatives.

Technical notices

Last week Jonathon Owen participated in the second confidential teleconference with the government to receive an update on the latest tranche of papers on preparing for a no deal Brexit (though the expectation is that there will be a deal) published yesterday. Of particular interest to local government are on ERDF, ESF, procurement and data protection – it is understood that these essentially continue with current arrangements for the transition period. The most significant papers for local councils on citizen's rights and elections are still to be published and no timescale has been given.

Government publishes updated model byelaws

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has undertaken an exercise to bring model byelaws up-to-date including accompanying guidance. Read the full story

And finally...

NALC's legal team have been nominated for Governance Legal Team of the Year in the Local Government Lawyer Awards 2018. The nomination focusses on the specific project undertaken relating to standing orders and in providing niche and technical legal advice and guidance to local councils ranging from cemeteries and war memorials to planning law and pensions. Fingers crossed!

Posted: Wed, 19 Sep 2018 14:20 by Alison Robinson

Tags: AGM, Annual Conference, Larger councils, Legal, NALC, National Association for Local Councils, News, byelaws, parish elections, quality, star councils