Lord Taylor of Goss Moor is to be the new president of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).
A meeting of NALC’s governing body on Tuesday unanimously approved the appointment of the widely respected Liberal Democrat Peer and former Member of Parliament.
Lord Taylor said: "It was a real honour and a privilege to be asked to be NALC’s new president. I was delighted to accept and take up the role at such an exciting time for parish and town councils, as they gain increasing influence in shaping the thousands of local communities they represent and champion.
"NALC is a well-respected organisation with a strong and influential voice, and I'm keen to play my part in taking their work forward as champion of town and parish councils across the country.
"I'd like to pay tribute to Lord Lytton who served NALC and the sector so well over the last decade and a half. He will I know continue to champion parish and town councils in the House of Lords."
Councillor Ken Browse, chairman of NALC said: “I’m delighted Matthew has agreed to take up this prominent and important role, bringing a wealth of experience, influence and expertise to NALC and the sector. My thanks go to Lord Lytton for his dedicated service to NALC and the sector and for his incredible support and help over the last 15 years.”
Lord Matthew Taylor has been a champion of local councils and especially rural communities over many years. In 2008 he wrote the Government Review 'Living Working Countryside' about reforming planning in rural areas, including recommending an enhanced role for parish and town councils which informed the introduction of neighbourhood planning. He was subsequently the founder chair of the Rural Coalition of which NALC is a member, and chair of the National Housing Federation (representing England's not-for-profit Housing Associations) from 2009 to 2015. Prior to entering the House of Lords in 2010, Matthew was MP for Truro & St.Austell for 23 years. He is currently chairing the neighbourhood plan steering group in his own community.