NALC Chief Executive's bulletin
NALC continue to meet with County Officers every two weeks
NALC continue to meet fortnightly with county association officers to allow the sharing of ideas and good practice and ensure shared awareness of the issues and challenges facing county associations and local (parish and town) councils. The focus last week was on building positive relationships and links with the police and Police and Crime Commissioners, which is also an objective in our prospectus. There were some really good examples including Northamptonshire's police liaison project where an identified lead in 160 councils engages with the police, Devon's councillor advocate scheme, topic-based forums in Suffolk and roadshows in Gloucestershire. NALC will be collecting examples and meeting the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners to stress the importance of working with county associations and councils. If you have any examples of good practice please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you know, improving standards and embedding good governance is the cornerstone of the work of NALC and county associations and is central to the Local Council Award Scheme. As well as making a range of materials available to help including good councillor guides, model standing orders and financial regulations, NALC are working with the Society of Local Council Clerks and the Local Government Association to promote civility in public life. NALC are still pressing the Government to support a package of measures to help this work including responding to the Committee on Standards in Public Life recommendations, which is long overdue. One of those recommendations, which NALC supports, is for the re-introduction of sanctions for councillors where behaviour falls short of what would be expected in the first tier of government. There is currently a petition calling for the Government to legislate to enable councillors to be disqualified or suspended for poor conduct which you may want to consider.
NALC sets up a new LGBT+ network
CCLA blog on interest rates
Do check out this really helpful blog post on interest rates from NALC's partners CCLA which encourages councils to "keep their sights firmly on objectives such as security, diversification, and liquidity, despite the temptation to seek higher returns".
Parliamentary Boundaries Review
The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) will publish its initial proposals for new Parliamentary constituency boundaries on 8 June and will be seeking local knowledge to help reshape the map. Parliamentary constituencies are changing to make the number of electors in each one more equal, and the number of constituencies in England will increase from 533 to 543. As part of an eight-week consultation process, everyone will be able to view the proposed constituency boundaries and names online and provide feedback. For more information about the 2023 Boundary Review, visit the BCE website, and for key updates follow @BCEReviews on Twitter.
Record entries to NALC Star Council Awards
This year's NALC Star Council Awards received a record number of entries. Across England, a range of brilliant local councils, councillors and county associations have shown real leadership by looking after the most vulnerable in their communities during COVID-19. Now all of this inspiring work – the services, projects and people – are being acknowledged. Entries are now with the NALC panel of judges, who will whittle them down to the finalists.
Thank You Day — 4 July 2021
A national Thank You Day is being organised for 4 July 2021. The idea is that Thank You Day will be a chance to come together with our neighbours, communities and families, to mark what has happened over the last year, to celebrate the community spirit that got us through and say a big thank you to all those who have helped us along the way. Thank You Day is being supported by hundreds of organisations across the UK, from the Scouts and Guides to Rotary, the NHS, the FA and the Church of England. Events being planned across the country include a special Park Run, a 'Power Hour' mass community tidy up, a Big Lunch, a 'Cheers for Volunteers' event, and a BB-Thank-Q (the nation's biggest ever Cook Out led by Levi Roots). Councils are being encouraged to get involved, by using the opportunity to say a big Thank You to their staff and community and by taking a supportive approach to community activities being held on the day. You can find resources, including a pack for local government here. If you would like to take a lead in this, or just find out more, please email Andrew Dixon at email@example.com.
Community town centres report
The think tank Centre for London has published its Community Town Centres report which looks at how we can reimagine our town centres and how communities can take a more active role in the stewardship of their high street. NALC provided some support to this project given their interest in the community governance models in city areas and the concept of community improvement districts. The recommendation in the report creating inclusive strategies for renewal which can be initiated by a range of bodies, national and local government should fund these strategies, and the government should reconsider permitted development rights and review the powers of councils to intervene in high streets.
Posted: Mon, 07 Jun 2021 10:46 by Alison Robinson