To all parish and town councillors in England
As chairman of your national body I wanted to be among the first to congratulate you, whether you are a new or returning councillor. I wish you the very best of luck in the years ahead as you take up civic office to support and develop your community.
You are now part of a successful, effective and growing national movement. A movement of 80,000 councillors contributing over eight million volunteer hours a year, with 9,000 local (parish and town) councils investing around one billion pounds to make our communities better, improve quality of life and give local people a voice.
Local councils in England are the backbone of local democracy and are of increasing importance. Over 200 new councils have been set-up over the last decade, with local councils continuing to expand their role, taking on new responsibilities and services from other authorities and organisations.
I am proud to serve you as the chairman of NALC, and I will seek to do three important things on your behalf:
raise our profile amongst Parliament, civil servants and the media to ensure we get the recognition and respect we deserve, whilst encouraging more people to get involved;
support your county association of local councils (CALC) and work together to deliver high quality services and provide the tools you need to help you serve your community;
campaign on behalf of the sector and promote our manifesto goals for a stronger local democracy, fairer funding and more powers.
In return, I would ask you to do three things to help me:
act as a positive advocate, engaging with MPs and local media, letting them (and NALC) know of all the great work you are doing to improve your local area;
get involved with your CALC and NALC, by working together we can ensure we have a strong local and national voice; use our services, attend conferences and training, and give us feedback on how we can improve;
sign up for the Local Council Award Scheme, which helps us demonstrate to government, principal authorities and the general public that we are an efficient, effective and well-run part of local government.
I wish you all the best in your endeavours over the next few years and hope to meet some of you at local and national events and visits.
If you want to find out more about our work, including our events, initiatives we run and support and the help and advice we can provide, please visit our website: www.nalc.gov.uk
Councillor Ken Browse
Chairman, National Association of Local Councils