NALC’s Making Localism Work conference showed how by using existing and forthcoming strengthened powers, communities and councils can get in the driving seat to make their places better.
Throughout England, parish, town, community, neighbourhood and village councils (local councils) work towards improving community life and providing more focussed services at a local level. They are the most local tier of local government, closer to the community than any other tier of local government. Local councils provide a voice for communities, helping people to feel more involved in the decisions that affect them.
This conference examined the practical implications of localism. It looked into the practical details of key areas that councils have to face on a day-to-day basis now and in the future.
Steven Williams MP, minister, department of Communities and Local Government, said: "I have been impressed by the positive way in which local councils have grasped the opportunity to take control of the localism agenda. As the tier of local government closest to your communities, local councils have a crucial role to play in our vision for localism and the Big Society.
“Local councils provide communities with a democratically accountable voice and a structure for taking community action."
Cllr Ken Browse, chair of NALC, introduced the conference by saying: “Local (parish and town) councils will face enormous opportunities and challenges over the coming years within the complexities of local government and localism. The Government must understand that we need more local democracy with more powers coming to local people and communities. We have a chance now to for those in power to commit to citizen-led action, which protects local assets and services and delivers responsive services based on local priorities. ”
Jonathan Owen, chief executive of the National Association of Local Councils, said: “Local (parish and town) councils working closely with people is the only way to deliver real and effective community action. We want more local democracy and more powers to devolved down to local councils and communities to enable more citizen enabled action."