NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

Provisional local government finance settlement

The provisional local government finance settlement was published on 13 December and the government has confirmed it's plans in the technical consultation not to extend council tax referendum principles to local (parish and town) councils for 2019-20. The key section from the consultation paper on the settlement published alongside the statement says: "The government has decided to continue the deferral of setting referendum principles for town and parish councils subject to the conditions above, but encourages parish councils to continue this downward trend, and will keep this area under active review". You can read the statement here or watch again here.

This will be the second year of the three-year deal announced earlier this year and a direct result NALC's extensive lobbying through our flexible and diverse funding campaign. It is important to note that since the Localism Act 2011 introduced the power for government to set council tax referendum principles, NALC has campaigned successfully each year against their extension to the 'local council' sector, a significant lobbying achievement! The NALC chairman Cllr Sue Baxter will be meeting the local government minister, Rishi Sunak MP, in the New Year, where this and other local government finance matters, along with a wide range of other issues, will be discussed.

BHIB Councils Insurance

Along with other colleagues, this week the NALC CEO (Jon Owen) visited BHIB Councils Insurance in Leicester to discuss their partnership and issues affecting the sector. BHIB shared one story about how one of our local councils avoided a potential disaster by undertaking a routine, yet comprehensive, inspection of their playground equipment, finding razor blades taped to the sides of a children's slide. Fortunately, a case such as this is rare, but it highlights the important role local councils play in their community. You can read the full story here.

Other issues covered included NALC's big conversation on the future of local councils and the development of BHIB's new cyber product which NALC will link into their work on information governance.

Spring Conference 2019

Places are filling up fast for NALC's Spring Conference in London on 11 February 2019. The theme of the event is 'making the future happen for local councils', with a brilliant programme of plenary and workshop sessions covering audit, partnership working, communications, health and well-being, community benefit from development and youth services, plus some of our Star Councils winners.

NALC visits Councillor of the Year

Last week, Ben Murray and Rajiv Dudakia from the NALC policy and communications team paid a visit to Star Council Awards 2018 Councillor of the Year, Cllr Nick Penny, to see first-hand the impressive work he is doing at Coleford Town Council and to record a video for our elections campaign. The Town Council have delivered a number of ambitious projects including building a new park, which includes a football pitch, skate ramps, dirt tracks, and water features, working closely with the young people and surrounding residents in the community. Look out for the video in due course, in the meantime find out more about our elections campaign here.

Committee on Standards in Public Life

The Committee on Standards in Public Life have announced they will be launching the report of their inquiry into local government ethical standards on 30 January 2019, and NALC have received a confidential briefing on the headlines. The NALC chairman Cllr Sue Baxter also met the local government minister, Rishi Sunak MP, along with colleagues from the Society of Local Council Clerks, to brief him on the issues and concerns that were raised in our submissions to the inquiry such as a single code of conduct for all local government, sanctions, and training and development.

And finally

Last week's bulletin covered the new employment briefing on salary scales, which is in the members' area of the NALC website. Unfortunately, the weblink to the briefing was incorrect, this has now been updated.

Posted: Mon, 17 Dec 2018 15:51 by Anita Sach

Tags: BHIB, Coleford Town Council, Committee on Standards in Public Life, Councillor of the Year 2018, FOD, Forest of Dean, NALC, Spring Conference 2019, financial settlement, lobbying, news, salary scales