NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

NALC Annual Conference 2019

The bulletin from last week is something of an Annual Conference special given this was the obvious highlight, several headlines and reflections include:

  • Some vital statistics which illustrate just how the annual conference has grown into the biggest and most high profile event in the sector's calendar: there were 250 delegates from every single county association area; 40 speakers shared their knowledge, expertise and good practice and insights across 10 workshops and 4 plenary sessions; 35 sponsors and exhibitors (including our headline sponsor BHIB Councils Insurance) were in the expanded exhibition marketplace, which included an entire model village!
  • The main decision taken at the annual general meeting, which comprises up to three representatives from each of the 43 county associations, was to support the National Assembly proposal for a modest 3% increase to the affiliation fee, from 6.99p per elector 7.2p, to invest in services
  • There was a well-attended and productive county officers forum, topics covered included: the Local Government Pension Scheme and changes to pooling arrangements for local councils, using public interest reports as a reference tool when advising councils, the importance of internal audit, engaging with the Armed Forces Covenant, and an updated on NALC's member services
  • In his keynote speech, the new chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), Cllr James Jamieson, launched the new joint Reaching Out guide to helping councils tackle loneliness, and said "local government is stronger when we work together". Plus the Autumn edition of LCR includes an interview where James shares his views on devolution, local councils and more
  • The Princess Royal, Princess Anne attended the conference for a couple of hours where she met attendees, visited exhibition stands, sat in on workshops, before delivering a short speech in which she paid tribute to local councils and councillors
  • The busy workshop programme included the launch of the new The Good Councillor's guide to transport planning, while our excellent closing plenary panel session on climate change saw the conference declare a climate emergency
  • And huge congratulations to everyone whose brilliant work was recognised at the NALC Star Council Awards 2019 dinner and presentations, especially Milton Keynes very own Woughton Community Council who have crowned Council of the Year, receiving a standing ovation in tribute to their former leader Cllr Kevin Wilson who sadly passed away earlier this year
  • Presentation slides are already available on the website, and you can catch up on all the action on our Twitter page or search the #NALCConf19 hashtag. A video of the speech by The Princess Royal will be available along with a full transcript, plus photographs on Instagram.

Rural Coalition

Rural affairs minister Lord Gardiner – who NALC has had several meetings with on issues ranging from housing, transport and health – attended a meeting of the Rural Coalition on 30 October. He also provided an update on the work of the rural affairs board, an inter-departmental group set up to embed the principles of rural proofing in government policy. An early priority for them was to look into rural crime following a meeting with Surrey farmers. The Rural Coalition agreed to prepare a summary of policy objectives to feed into General Election preparations to ensure all political parties were addressing rural issues in their manifestos.

And finally...

As outlined above, the toing and froing, will they, won't is finally over; a General Election will take place on 12 December. As campaigning begins and manifestos start to be written, NALC will be putting forward the priorities set out in our A prospectus for ultra-localism to the leaders of the three main political parties on measures needed to help communities help themselves, in particular parishing the entire country

Posted: Mon, 04 Nov 2019 09:47 by Alison Robinson

Tags: General election, NALC, NALC conference, National Association for Local Councils, News, rural coalition