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NALC update - from Jonathan Owen (Chief Executive)

Meeting with Locality
The NALC chairman Cllr Sue Baxter met with the chairman of Locality, Mark Law from BARCA Leeds, on 13 November. Issues discussed included the respective recent NALC annual conferences and strategic reviews, the communities agenda including civil society strategy, neighbourhood planning and closer working between organisations. Incidentally, if you aren't already familiar with the My Community website, the portal for community rights information and grant programmes which Locality run for the government, do check it out!

Community transport award and new partnership

Later the same day Sue and Jonathon Owen were pleased to be at the first Transport Planning Day, organised by the Transport Planning Society to celebrate the positive impact transport planning can have on people's lives. They were both delighted that Sevenoaks Town Council won the inaugural People's Award and the chair of the judges, Stephen Joseph, announced NALC's new partnership with the Foundation for Integrated Transport which will help local (parish and town) councils develop business plans for transport schemes.

New legal guidance

The latest legal briefing L09-18 Public Sector Bodies Regulations 2018 covers the accessibility of public sector websites and mobile applications. The regulations came into force on 23 September and apply to local councils, county associations and NALC – but don't panic! The requirement to meet accessibility standards do not apply for existing websites until 23 September 2020, to new websites published on or after 23 September 2018 until 23 September 2019, and for apps, 23 June 2021. While a step in the right direction for accessibility, I'm sure this may still pose a challenge for the local councils sector and NALC are raising this with the government including requesting support. You can read the briefing in full on the NALC website, login required.

Joint Information Governance Group (JIGG)

JIGG, set up by NALC to provide support to the sector on a wide range of information governance issues including General Data Protection Regulation, Freedom of Information, web standards and cyber security, met this week, here are a few highlights:

  • The Group noted with disappointment that the Information Commissioners Office had rejected its application for funding for aspects of its work including research and guidance;
  • Agreement to continue with the production of a short guide for local councils and councillors on information governance supported by additional detailed web resources, Frequently Asked Questions, links to other advice and authoritative guidance on specific matters, and planned for publication in May 2019.

Get involved in #OurDay

Promoting the brilliant work of local councils is an increasingly important aspect of the work NALC do. Get involved in this year's #OurDay on 20 November. This campaign run by the Local Government Association gives everyone who works or volunteers in local public services – including the brilliant local councils – the chance to share their stories through the power of social media about how they improve the quality of life for their communities. Last year the campaign reached more than 31 million people, leading it to be the number one Twitter trend in the UK.

NALC would really like to see as many councillors, clerks, council and county association staff as possible getting involved and shouting from the hilltops about the work you are doing to benefit your communities. You can get involved by simply tweeting about what you are proud of using #OurDay and tagging @NALC and @LGAComms in your tweets. You can find more information and resources to help you via the LGA website.

Tree Charter Day

NALC need your help with work being undertaken with the Woodland Trust, National Union for Students (NUS), and the Tree Council on the Tree Charter and in particular Tree Charter Day on 24 November. There are a number of ways you can do this from hosting or attending a local event to taking a picture of your favourite tree and tweeting it to @NALC and @WoodlandTrust using #TreeCharterDay. NA:C also want to know what you have done over the past year to embed the principles of the Tree Charter and will be publishing case studies in the run-up to next week's Tree Charter Day – send your stories to

Future of local councils survey

Just a reminder that NALC are still keen to hear from local councils, clerks and councillors about our new vision and future role of local councils, so do let me know your views through this short online survey – thank you!

Weather Ready

The Met Office run an annual public information campaign aimed at raising awareness of, and encouraging the public to think about, risks associated with winter weather and the steps they could take to be better prepared. The 2018-19 Weather Ready campaign is being launched next week, please share and publicise the WeatherReady tips and advice on travel, your home and health and wellbeing – thank you.

Posted: Fri, 16 Nov 2018 16:27 by Alison Robinson

Tags: News, NALC, National Association for Local Councils, weather ready, surveys, the future of local councils, tree charter, #OurDay, Joint Information Governance Group, JIGG, legal guidance, accessibility of public sector websites, Transport Planning Day, Locality