NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

LGA chairman joins NALC online event panel

Cllr James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA) will join NALC's online event, Leaders' talk: Building back stronger communities on 25 August 2020. Cllr Jamieson will talk about LGA's latest Re-thinking local campaign, reassessing what we want from local areas, public spaces and communities, having the right tools and resources so councils can deliver on the ambitions of their diverse communities, and how tiers of local government can re-think local to work more effectively together — register your place today.

Funding increase for neighbourhood planning

Housing secretary, Robert Jenrick MP this week announced funding to help communities in urban and deprived areas plan their local neighbourhoods will almost double. The government grants to individual neighbourhood planning groups in both areas will increase to £18,000. NALC would encourage local (parish and town) councils in those areas to use the funding to get started on neighbourhood planning to help rebuild communities.

New County Councils Network report

NALC are pleased to welcome the release of the County Councils Network Making Counties Count report, which examines the economic and cultural case for devolution and local government reorganisation. It stressed that local councils have a crucial role to play, ensuring local accountability and participation.

Planning consultations

Last week the government issued three new planning consultations on:

Please let NALC know your views at policy.comms@nalc.gov.uk by the deadlines.

DEFRA roundtable

As normal business resumes, NALC joined members of the Rural Coalition to discuss with senior civil servants the Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) submission to the government's comprehensive spending review.

NALC stressed the importance of rural areas not being overlooked in the financial settlement and the need to level up to access good jobs, homes, education and services by removing barriers — such as putting in place fairer funding, tackling structural weaknesses of some rural economies and their over-dependence on specific industries, capitalising on opportunities for green growth, and strengthening the hand of rural institutions and civil society (which is where local councils play such an important role).

NALC will prepare a submission to the spending review in time for the government deadline of 24 September — find out more about the process.

Free webinar for clerks — LGA consultation on model code of conduct

Following a series of online consultation events, including last weeks hosted by NALC chairman, Cllr Baxter, the LGA is hosting a webinar for local council clerks. This webinar will provide clerks with the opportunity to find out about the background and reasoning behind the drafting of the consultation version of the LGA's Model Member Code of Conduct. Attendees will be invited to ask questions, give their opinions and make suggestions for alterations to the draft code.

Local Council Award Scheme review

As the Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS) reaches its five-year milestone, NALC will be conducting a review if its criteria. As part of the process, NALC are encouraging clerks, councillors, county associations and panel members to complete the survey. The results will be used to make improvements to the scheme. The survey will close on 14 September 2020. For more information or enquiries, please contact NALC at linda.hammond@nalc.gov.uk.

Welcome to the new triage coordinators

There are two new additions to the NALC team. Debra Platt and Judith Mashiter who have taken up the role of LCAS triage coordinators. They will be supporting local councils applying to the new national award scheme panel to make sure that they are putting in the best application they can and maximising their chances of achieving the award on their first application. Judith and Debra are both experienced local council clerks and will bring a valuable perspective to the LCAS team.

And finally…

You might be interested in this article by the Yorkshire Post, which sets out the secretary of state's views on strengthening local councils. Robert Jenrick MP said "one of the lessons from the pandemic is the need for really active community involvement with town and parish councils playing a crucial role in the decisions that matter to local people from parks and leisure and markets and running high streets. All of those things should be done at the lowest possible level so that they can be most responsive to local people's needs

Posted: Fri, 14 Aug 2020 09:39 by Alison Robinson

Tags: LCAS, Local Council Award Scheme, NALC, News, neighbourhood planning, planning consultation