NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

Toilets Bill

The Non-Domestic Rating (Public Lavatories) Bill had its Second Reading in the House of Lords on 10 July. This is the legislation which will provide mandatory relief from business rates and save around £6m and safeguard 4000 public conveniences; as you know this has been one of our key campaigns. The Bill received cross-party support and Lord Bourne and Baroness Pinnock specifically mentioned local (parish and town) councils and NALC.

Independent review of the local government audit

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have launched an independent review of a local government audit, with Secretary of State, James Brokenshire, stating earlier this week that this was a strategic priority for his Ministry. The review will examine the existing purpose, scope and quality of statutory audits of local authorities in England and the supporting regulatory framework, and will be led by Sir Tony Redmond. NALC will be engaging closely with the Ministry and review team to feed in our sectors experience and views.

National Assembly

NALC's National Assembly met on 9 July, here are a few highlights:

  • councillors agreed on a number of minor changes to governance including the appointment of a vice-chairman with responsibility for member services;
  • it was agreed to recommend to the Annual General Meeting an affiliation fee for next year of 7.2p per elector, capped at £1840;
  • as part of the review of this year's local elections, NALC held an extensive discussion session and will be issuing a survey shortly

Smaller Authorities' Audit Appointments (SAAA)

The SAAA Board met on 9 July and noted that the number of AGAR returns received already was encouraging but agreed to urge all councils to ensure they submitted their return as soon as possible. The Board also received its independent auditor's report for the year ended 31 March 2019 which concluded there were no issues to be addressed.

Blog post by Professor Jane Wills

NALC have published a short blog post by Professor Jane Wills from the University of Exeter outlining the conclusions of her report into growing local councils in Cornwall which, amongst other things, "found an ambition to deliver for the community that in future could involve the councils acting more as hubs around which a local network of public, private and voluntary sector organisation would coalesce. Clerks and councillors could identify opportunities to support new initiatives and engage people around the environment, youth services, activities for older people and economic development." You can read more here. If you would like to submit a blog post of around 500 words on any subject then please get in touch!

VE Day 75

The government have announced 8 May 2020 as a Bank Holiday to ensure as many people as possible can celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. You can find more information including how to get involved here

And finally...

Love Parks week started 12 July and runs to 21 July. You can find out more information here and do tweet using the hashtag #LoveParks, and don't forget to tag @NALC too.

Posted: Sat, 13 Jul 2019 10:56 by Alison Robinson

Tags: AGAR returns, Love Parks, NALC, NALC Assembly, National Association for Local Councils, News, SAAA, VE Day 75, growing local councils, local government audit, toilets bill