NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

Open letter from chairs of NALC, OVW and SLCC

The chairs of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC), One Voice Wales (OVW) and the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) have written an open letter to all local (community, parish and town) councils in England and Wales. The letter reiterates NALC's commitment to work together to lobby on issues that concern us and in providing expert and professional support to the sector, including our joint work on civility and respect. The three chairs also ask councils to budget for membership and invest in training and development.

First newsletter on civility and respect project

The Civility and Respect Working Group has published its first newsletter as part of its regular communications, such as features in NALC's LCR magazine and SLCC's The Clerk magazine to keep the sector updated on developments as the project progresses. The first newsletter includes updates on the Civility and Respect Project mission, project overview, anti-bullying petition, local government call for evidence regarding the abuse and intimidation of councillors, and a bullying and harassment statement. You can read more here.

NALC chair at LGA People and Places Board

NALC's chair, Cllr Sue Baxter, attended a meeting of the Local Government Association's (LGA) People and Places Board this week for a discussion on taking forward their report on working with local councils and on levelling up. In her opening remarks, Sue welcomed the report and stressed the importance of principal councils working with those local councils who were keen to play a bigger role, proposed a number of ideas for joint work to take the report forward, and reiterated the points made in our spending review submission about empowering the sector to help level up communities. It's fair to say, among the more positive contributions, there were also several challenging views expressed by councillors about empowering our sector, including concerns about capability, governance and training. The local government trade journal LGC covered the meeting in this piece, with this follow-up article by Jackie Weaver suggesting "their assistance would be of greater value than their criticism". I'm really keen we continue to develop a positive and constructive relationship with the LGA and Sue is following up the meeting directly with both the chair of the Board and also the chair of the LGA.

Updated legal guidance

The Legal Topic Note (LTN) 5 on parish and community council meetings has been updated and separated into versions for England (LTN 5E) and Wales (LTN5W). This follows legislative changes in Wales as a result of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021. You can find the revised LTNs, along with an extensive suite of over eighty others, in the member's area of the NALC website (login required).

On the blog: Localism Act 10 years on

The Localism Act marked its ten-year anniversary last week since receiving Royal Assent. The NALC head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, has written in the November edition of The Clerk magazine, to reflect on what this landmark legislation aimed to achieve, which key elements affecting local councils have worked well or less well and also, what next. You can also read Justin's article on the NALC blog.

NALC Management Board

The Management Board held its last meeting of the year this week, pending the results of nalc's elections. Councillors reviewed how the board has worked over the last two years and identified some changes for the new board to consider in the New Year. They also recommended that NALC's new committees meet in December to elect their chairs. And they particularly welcomed the conclusions from our external auditors that "adequate systems, appropriate for the size of the Association, appear to be in place for all major aspects of the Association's business and that they are working well".

Elections to NALC Smaller Councils Committee

NALC provided an update on the nomination process for elections to NALC's leadership roles and committees and published information on all nominations on the NALC Committee Elections page. An election is needed for the directly elected places on the Smaller Councils' Committee, which is voted on by smaller councils only. All smaller councils are encouraged to register to vote here so that you can make your vote count and have a say on who represents you at NALC! Once you have registered to vote you will be emailed a link on 24 November when voting opens to invite you to vote for your chosen candidates. The vote then closes on 6 December and results will be announced at the meeting of National Assembly on 8 December. If you need any help or have any questions, please contact nalccommittees@nalc.gov.uk

Last chance to book for Future Communities conference

On the subject of NALC's online events, there's still time to book for what is gearing up to be our event of the year - Future Communities 21 on 2 December. The keynote speakers include Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, president of the Local Government Association, Lord Evans, chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, Mick King, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and Jackie Weaver. This event also provides the chance to discuss and debate the key issues facing communities, network and share good practice and connect with sector-specific suppliers.

Online events in 2022

And one final mention for NALC online events to remind you what's lined up in the New Year. On 26 January the 'Levelling up the nation and our communities' event will focus on the government's levelling up white paper which is due to be published by the end of this year. Speakers include the director of Onward, Will Tanner and the chief executive of Power to Change, Vidhya Alaksen. And 'Working together to make communities safer' is the theme for our event on 30 March with speakers Cllr John Gilli-Ross, chair of Essex Police, Fire and Crime Panel and Caroline Henry, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire. More information on these events and how to book is on our online events webpage.

Posted: Mon, 22 Nov 2021 11:22 by Alison Robinson

Tags: Civility and respect project, Future Communities Conference 2nd Dec 2021, LTN5, Legal Topic Note 5, Localism 10 years on, NALC Management Board, NALCEvents in 2022, Report on working with local councils, Smaller Councils Elections