NALC welcomes government's Civil Society Strategy
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has welcomed the government’s Civil Society Strategy, stating local (parish and town) councils will have a key role in many aspects of its proposals.
NALC has identified key roles, which include; supporting sustainable community spaces such as village halls, promoting innovation in democracy and encouraging people from all backgrounds to get involved, boosting the take-up of community rights, and supporting local economic growth.
NALC is particularly pleased that the government has listened to its call to support onward devolution to communities and looks forward to working with the government to help deliver this commitment.
The strategy includes the government's wish “to go further and devolve more power to community groups and parishes. As proposed by NALC and the Local Government Association there are opportunities for onward devolution of service delivery and decision-making beyond the large regions to smaller geographies. The government will explore with NALC and others the option for local charters between a principal council, local councils, and community groups setting out respective responsibilities. This could include joint service delivery or the transfer of service delivery responsibilities to local councils, parishes or community groups, the transfer of borough council assets to local councils, or from councils to parishes, and the opportunity for councils or parishes to cluster, that is to form a consortium with sufficient scale to commission or deliver larger service functions. There are also useful models in other parts of the public sector – notably health and social care systems – which are building formal alliances with the local social sector to co-deliver services.”
The strategy also showcases the work of the Cornwall Association of Local Councils and the work it has done with Cornwall Council to make a success of double devolution.
Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “As the Civil Society Strategy states, Global Britain is rooted in Local Britain. England’s 10,000 local councils are already playing a big role in supporting their local communities to help themselves: maintaining vital services and community spaces, supporting networks to tackle loneliness and promote wellbeing, and encouraging people to get involved.
“NALC believes they can do more and I look forward to working with the government on many aspects of this extremely important agenda to build cohesion and strong, resilient communities in these challenging times.”