NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

Meeting with the new chairman of LGA

The NALC chairman, Cllr Sue Baxter, met with the new leader of the Local Government Association (LGA), Cllr James Jamieson on 16 September, here's a couple of highlights:

  • James is the leader of Central Bedfordshire Council, which is fully parished. James has a good understanding of the sector support required in the role of building stronger communities and place-shaping, especially through neighbourhood planning
  • NALC agreed on a number of areas to address together including sector-led improvement, research and sharing good practice, good governance including standards and behaviours, and regular follow-up meetings between NALC and LGA

NALC Larger Councils Committee

NALC's Larger Councils Committee met on 17 September, draft minutes will be available on the NALC website shortly, here's a brief summary:

  • the Committee noted both its updated terms of reference, and nominations by three clerks for two places, and eight councillors for four places, to serve on the Committee next year, with the elections going live shortly
  • NALC's recent engagement with the government the three main UK-wide political parties through their annual conferences was noted; the Committee particularly welcomed NALC's continuing pressure over government funding
  • proposals for an expansion of the NALC study tour were supported, with Frome Town Council, Folkestone Town Council and Biggleswade Town Council hosting events in 2020
  • a comprehensive update was provided on the development of a draft member services strategy, including recruitment and retention or larger councils, and feedback on the recent pilot peer review at Chippenham Town Council

Meeting with Redmond Review

In July the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced an independent review of a local government audit, and this week representatives from NALC met with Sir Tony Redmond, who is leading the review. NALC took the opportunity to feed in their experiences of the audit regime, which is new and generally working well, but flagged up some issues which need addressing in particular vexatious complaints. Sir Tony also raised with us a number of areas he would like further information on, NALC will be updating their own call for evidence to shape its response to the formal consultation announced this week, and will need input from councils and county associations!

Liberal Democrat party conference

The head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, was in Bournemouth on Sunday and Monday at the Liberal Democrat Party autumn conference. Unsurprisingly all the attention was on their Brexit stance, MP defections and the forthcoming (?!) General Election. The news story has more including our call for measures in the Queen's Speech to give more powers to local councils.

Labour party conference

Justin heads to Brighton on Sunday for the Labour Party conference, so if you are there and would like to help NALC promote the sector drop him a line at

Conservative party conference and NALC event

And the following week Manchester plays host to the Conservative Party for their conference. NALC will be partnering with the Epilepsy Society who have kindly sponsored a fringe event/reception to raise awareness of hidden disabilities and the role local government (including local councils) can play to improve people's quality of life.

The event will take place at the Radisson Blu Hotel (outside of the secure zone but right next to the main conference hotel and venue) from 20.30 – 10.00 with speakers including NALC, Epilepsy Society, Alzheimer's Society, government ministers – and we may even have a special guest or two.

Out and about

It's been a busy week getting out and about at county association events:

  • Charlotte Eisenhart, head of member services, attended the Kent Association of Local Councils' (KALC) annual clerks conference on 17 September; Charlotte gave a presentation on the national context for local councils and took questions ranging from youth engagement to road safety to councillor diversity. It was great to see that the overall theme of the conference was health and wellbeing and that KALC is supporting councils to understand and embrace their roles on this important topic.
  • NALC solicitor, Gurvynda Paddan-White, was at the Yorkshire Local Councils Association conference on 13 September and delivered presentations on the code of conduct and planning including neighbourhood planning; and NALC solicitor Gary Barker attended a Hertfordshire Association of Parish and Town Councils event yesterday and covered a range of legal issues.

Posted: Mon, 23 Sep 2019 09:14 by Anita Sach

Tags: Conservative party conference, Labour party conference, Liberal Democrat party conference, NALC, Redmond Review, larger councils, news