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Strengthening local democracy at the heart of local communities

Strengthening local democracy at the heart of local communities

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) on 15 May 2015 boosted its commitment to stronger local democracy after the recent national and local elections this month.

It is easy to forget that after an historic, unprecedented and unpredicted national election there were thousands of local elections at parish and town council level on 7 May 2015 as well.

NALC is encouraging and supporting these new and returning councillors to be effective, efficient and ambitious leaders in their communities. NALC's chairman Councillor Ken Browse has written directly to all these councillors calling on them to make a significant difference in their local areas by being strong local advocates connecting people to power. Please read here for our letter to all new and returning councillors.

The National Association in return will continue to provide a strong national voice for this local council sector. In terms of a stronger local democracy, NALC will be looking to undertake further research in this sector's elections to gather a national picture to highlight how strong and alive is grassroots democracy at the moment. This has never been done before.

NALC wants to work with local communities to encourage more people to become councillors. As well as making it easier for people to stand and serve on parish and town councils. So we are promoting contested local elections throughout all parish and town council seats as an essential element of vibrant local democracy.

NALC is hosting a Councillor Horizons event to welcome new ambitious councillors looking beyond their council borders, to further emphasise this call to action. For more information on this event, please read here .

Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of NALC, said: "Local councils are the backbone of local democracy in England. 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. These councils are showing that they are more than capable of playing a full part in the upcoming devolution agenda."

Time to celebrate the new wave of local democracy
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