NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

NALC statement to the government response on standards

The NALC chairperson, Cllr Keith Stevens, has set out in a statement his bitter disappointment at the long-awaited response by the government to the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) report on local government ethical standards. Keith was also quoted in this story by the Local Government Chronicle. Throughout the CSPL's original inquiry, NALC and others had pushed for the standards regime to be strengthened to address poor behaviour, including the reintroduction of suspensions for councillors. Subsequently, this was a recommendation made in their report, alongside many others that NALC called for. While the government has said it does not support this proposal, it has committed to engage with the local government sector to seek views on options to strengthen sanctions to address breaches of the code of conduct which involve serious incidents of bullying and harassment or disruptive behaviour. As part of NALC's work through the civility and respect project, NALC will be engaging with the government further on this issue alongside continuing to make the case for other changes needed to strengthen the standards regime.

NALC Lobby Day

Civility and respect were also among the key issues raised in Parliament this week through the annual parliamentary engagement day, also known as Lobby Day. Many county associations again taking part and meeting with their MPs to build links and raise the profile of local (parish and town) councils and the issues they face. Keith was in Parliament for several in-person meetings with MPs, while our president, Baroness Scott of Needham Market, hosted an online briefing for Members of the House of Lords. Through this engagement, NALC explained the part our councils are playing to tackle the climate emergency and the support they need to do more, highlighted the civility and respect project and a call to strengthen the standards regime, and continued to press for councils to have the flexibility to hold remote meetings. You can find out more in our news story and also on social media via @NALC, @nalcchiefexec, @nalc_chair and @JustinGriggs.

Local elections 2022

Around 1000 local councils have elections in May and to help them and county associations encourage more people to get involved and stand for election as councillors, our #MakeAChange campaign resources have been updated. Read more here.

New legal guidance

NALC have updated the procurement thresholds in Legal Topic Note (LTN) 87 (Procurement). The UK government has issued these thresholds for the first time since Brexit and we have also removed EU references that are now not relevant to the content. While the LTN gives a basic overview, procurement is a niche area for which councils may need to take specialist advice when dealing with procurement matters. And we have also published a new LTN 89 (Sustainable energy and electric vehicle (EV) charging), an area causing much interest to local councils. The LTN gives a broad overview and sets out the position for local councils and their powers in respect of generating or selling electricity, providing EV charging points on council premises including car parks and selling electricity back to the National Grid. Both LTNs can be found in the member's area of the NALC website (login required).

Posted: Mon, 28 Mar 2022 12:09 by Alison Robinson

Tags: Civility and Respect, LTN 87, LTN 89, LTN update, Legal Topic Note update, Lobby Day, Local elections 2022, Make A Change campaign, Standards, procurement