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NALC urges Liberal Democrats to back new powers for local councils in Queen’s Speech

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The forthcoming Queen’s Speech must include legislation to give local (parish and town) councils more powers to help them build strong communities, the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has told the Liberal Democrat party at their annual conference.

Attending the party’s autumn gathering of activists, councillors, Members of Parliament in Bournemouth, NALC has been promoting measures needed to support localism and help England’s 10,000 local councils build strong communities that are cohesive, healthy, safe, sustainable and prosperous.

The Liberal Democrat existing agenda for devolution and localism in England already includes policies to strengthen the powers of local government and make it easier to establish local councils. However, NALC is calling for support from the Liberal Democrats for a current bill to provide 100% mandatory business rates relief for public toilets, but which is affected by the prorogation of Parliament, to be included in the Queen’s Speech.

Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “NALC is pleased to work with all the main UK-wide political parties to promote the important and growing role local councils play in building strong communities. The Liberal Democrat party’s policies for devolution and localism are welcome, and I am keen to continue to work together on ambitions which overlap with NALC’s Prospectus for Ultra-localism, such as making it easier to set up more local councils. The Queen’s Speech provides an ideal opportunity to give local councils more powers, including to protect and provide vital local facilities such as public toilets – and I am urging the Liberal Democrats to support us.”

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