NALC Chief Executive's bulletin
Keeping playgrounds open
Play England and a group of academics, scientists, play experts and charities have written an open letter calling on local authorities to put the wellbeing of children first and keep playgrounds open. This has been sparked by some local authorities in England closing children's playgrounds despite government guidance that is specific about keeping them open. You can also read more about this in a recent article in the Observer.
Every Mind Matters campaign
Health and wellbeing have been a theme of NALCs work over the last year or so, and mental health, in particular, has never been more important. Public Health England has launched the Better Health – Every Mind Matters campaign to support the nation's mental wellbeing with the message that "when things aren't so good out there, make inside feel better". The campaign encourages people to create a free NHS-approved Mind Plan. Resources to help you support and promote the campaign include images for social media, Embedding Instructions: Your Mind Plan, and web banners.
A well-attended meeting of the Rural Coalition this week met with Lord Gardiner, Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to press several important issues including funding streams such as the new levelling up fund recognising the needs of rural areas, and delivering the vital priority of better broadband. He noted these points and reported that the first rural proofing report was nearly ready for publication. He also stressed the importance of community during the pandemic and the need to build social infrastructure and encourage more people especially younger people to get involved building social fabric, an aim which NALC wholeheartedly supports. The NALC chairman, Cllr Sue Baxter, has written to the minister to follow this up, seeking his support for this to be addressed in his discussions across government including on the devolution white paper.
The Policies of Belonging
NALCs head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, was at the launch event of The Policies of Belonging report on 19 January, following its publication last week by think tank Onward. You can watch the event back here, including Justin's question to the panel of Danny Kruger MP and Jon Cruddas MP about taking the report forward; among Danny's response he was "all for putting power as locally as possible, but we need communities to call for it", that he "can see a great renaissance in parish councils", but that "we need to have a political culture that gets local people to step up, stand for council…and use the precept to do stuff, rather than keep it down".
Posted: Fri, 22 Jan 2021 16:22 by Alison Robinson