NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

Conservative party conference

The political party conference season came to a close this week with the NALC chairman, Cllr Sue Baxter, and other NALC colleagues in Manchester at the Conservative Party autumn conference. Brexit was again a consistent theme, with much focus on what the Prime Minister has or hasn't been up to, including drinking from disposable coffee cups! The highlight for NALC was their joint event with the Epilepsy Society attended by around 70 people – not bad going seeing as there were another 30 or so events going on at the same time! You can read more in our news stories on teaming up with the Epilepsy Society here and the call for the Conservatives to support local (parish and town) councils in tackling loneliness here.

Technical consultation on local government finance

The government is not proposing to extend council tax referendum principles to local councils in 2020-21. This was at the heart of NALC's engagement with the government on the Spending Round. NALC will be discussing this further with ministers in the coming weeks and responding to the technical consultation published on 3 October, including restating the call for access to existing grant funds and support for improvement.

NALC Policy Committee

NALC's Policy Committee met on 1 October, here are a few highlights:

  • the committee welcomed two officials from Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to discuss the Government's 5G mobile consultation;
  • an update on the Diversity Commission and elections research was welcomed and progress noted
  • outline proposals for a draft campaign plan for 2020 were agreed
  • the committee agreed to re-submit to MHCLG a Sustainable Communities Act proposal from Barrowden Parish Council on building controls
  • Motions were considered from Gloucestershire on rainwater harvesting (and will be factored into climate change campaign), Dorset on social care (we will be pressing the Government to publish its social care green paper), and Avon on Home Zones (building this in to further engagement on the National Planning Policy Framework).

NALC Spring Conference 2020 — sponsored by BHIB Councils Insurance
The NALC Spring Conference 2020 will take place at the Aviva Conference Centre, London on 17 March 2020. The theme of the event will be health and wellbeing and more will appear here in due course – so watch this space!

Healthwatch Conference

The NALC Vice Chairman (Finance), Cllr Keith Stevens, and NALC CEO attended Healthwatch England's conference in Birmingham on 1 October to promote the sectors role in health and wellbeing. Their local role is to find out what people like about health services, what could be improved, and help people find the information they need. They are very interested in making contact with our councils and I would encourage county associations to make contact with their local healthwatch if they have not already done so.

Society of Local Council Clerk (SLCC) Conference

The SLCC conference took place in Leicestershire on 2 October, here are a few reflections:

  • It was their best attended event for some years
  • The chief executive of Sevenoaks Town Council, Linda Larter, took over as president for the next 12 months
  • There were interesting sessions on devolution, the future of councils and climate change; an underlying theme was the continuing need to drive up standards in the sector
  • The NALC presentation included how NALC and SLCC were working together to improve the sector and help it fulfil its potential to build stronger communities

New councils campaign

The campaign to create new councils continues to gather pace with some positive developments this week: the Evening Standard, which has a circulation of nearly 1 million people, plus an even bigger online reach, published a letter from Sue in response to the an article by the Centre for London on empowering the capital's neighbourhoods; in Torbay on 1 October, Devon Association of Local Councils representative on National Assembly, Cllr Ken Browse, spoke at a well-attended public meeting as part of the community governance review consultation; and a new town council for Shipley moved a step closer as Bradford Metropolitan District Council started their consultation.

Tree Charter newsletter

NALC recently published the latest Tree Charter newsletter which includes case studies from East Ilsley Parish Council, Berkshire, Fownhope Parish Council, Herefordshire and Rattery Parish Council. Devon, and details for Tree Charter Day on 30 November in which councils can receive free trees from The Woodland Trust for tree planting events! For more information contact

Posted: Fri, 04 Oct 2019 13:36 by Alison Robinson

Tags: LGF, NALC, National Association for Local Councils, News, Policy Committee, SLCC, conference, conservative party conference, healthwatch conference, local government finance, new councils campaign, tree charter