NALC Chief Executive's bulletin

Updates on the Civility and Respect Project

The August edition of the Civility and Respect Project newsletter is out now and includes the Civility and Respect pledge, a new Dignity at Work policy to replace the Bullying and Harassment policy, and an overview of the Civility Training programme. The Pledge is easy to sign up for and is designed to help define the right behaviours within councils to prevent bullying and to support councils demonstrating high standards of conduct. NALC are encouraging all local councils to take the Pledge! The Pledge is supported by a Dignity at Work policy, approved for use by both NALC and the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC). Visit the NALC and SLCC websites for the latest updates, details of how your council can sign up for the Pledge and how you can book on to the bespoke civility training.

Financial Times letter on standards

Still on the critical issue of conduct and behaviour, NALC's president, Baroness Scott of Needham Market, and chair, Cllr Keith Stevens, have written in the Financial Times (FT) calling for a reset, urging the new prime minister to implement in full the Committee on Standards in Public Life report on local government ethical standards. A reminder that the FT's big read on local councils and levelling up is still available to read for free on the NALC website, so do check it out.

Rural Coalition letter to Sunak and Truss

And in a letter sent to the Conservative leadership candidates, The Rural Coalition, of which NALC is a member, has called for proper and equitable treatment of rural issues in the debate about the country's future leadership. Eight questions have been put to Liz Truss MP and Rishi Sunak MP that are critical issues of importance to the future of rural areas, ranging from rural proofing urban-focused policies to unlocking the rural economy to ensuring a 'just' transition to net zero for rural areas. You can read more here.

Youth Investment Fund

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced a new £368 million fund to improve youth services, which is open to local councils in those eligible areas. The Youth Investment Fund is designed to create, improve and expand local youth facilities and services and invites bids from local authorities and wards in some of the most deprived areas in England. To help ongoing work on accessing government funding.

Informal meeting on Ukraine

Many local councils are working with others to support Ukrainian refugees displaced by the war. Initiatives to make the journey by those affected as smooth as possible include, among other things supporting volunteers, accessing local networks and facilities, translation services and helping find support and friendship in the local community. NALC's National Assembly – our 'parliament' comprising a councillor representative from each of the 43 county associations – has agreed to hold an informal online meeting on Ukraine on 6 September at 18.00. This meeting will be open to anyone interested in this issue, and you can book your place here. Please publicise this meeting to any other local council or county association colleagues who may be interested. And do let us know if you'd like to showcase your work in Ukraine to policycomms@nalc.gov.uk.

Updated legal guidance

Legal Topic Note (LTN) 40 on local council documents and records has been refreshed and updated to ensure the content is up to date and relevant, with changes including new information on electronic signatures and updated links. You can find this LTN in the member's area of the NALC website (login required).

Elections Act on the NALC blog

Peter Stanyon, chief executive, Association of Electoral Administrators, has written on the NALC blog this week about how a significant change is coming to elections through the Elections Act 2022, with campaigners, candidates and voters from the parish level upwards all affected.

Ministerial responsibilities

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities have recently published the responsibilities of the new ministerial team appointed following last month's resignations. Minister of State Paul Scully MP is the local government minister, including the local government policy, finance and improvement in England. Marcus Jones MP is the housing minister with joint responsibility for the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, with Lia Nici MP the levelling up minister. Of course, this all may or may not change again once the new leader of the Conservatives and the prime minister are confirmed in early September!

And finally…

As Love Parks Week draws to a close, theNALC head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, has celebrated by visiting a green space each day and highlighting issues ranging from assets of community value to the Local Council Award Scheme, from benefits of allotment gardening to neighbourhood planning, and from creating new local councils to NALC's suite of legal guidance

Posted: Fri, 05 Aug 2022 16:36 by Alison Robinson

Tags: Civility and Respect, Department of Levelling Up, Elections Act, Housing and Communities - responsibilities of the ministerial team, LTN40, Love Parks Week, NALC, Standards, Ukraine, Youth Investement Fund, news, newsletter