NALC keynote speaker becomes prime minister


Rishi Sunak MP, a keynote speaker at a National Association of Local Councils' (NALC) annual conference and cover star of its former magazine, LCR, has been appointed as the new prime minister.

As a previous local government minister, Mr Sunak forged positive links with NALC over the years and praised its work and that of local (parish and town) councils.

Speaking at NALC’s Annual Conference in 2018, he paid tribute to “the people who are dedicated to improving people’s lives every single day through their hard work and dedication”, calling it “parish power in action”.

He commented on NALC: “That’s why NALC is so important. Helping to sew together that patchwork so it can become greater than the sum of its parts, raising the bar, inspiring people across the country – and shaping the future. So, thank you for everything you do.”

In an interview with NALC’s former magazine, LCR, the same year, he said: “It’s an incredibly exciting time to be in what I would call ultra-local government. We’re creating more [local councils], and they are doing more [inspiring] things that impact their communities. So, my vision is that all of that continues, that we have more local councils doing ambitious and innovative activities, and people feeling good about the place they call home.”

Two of NALC’s big parliamentary wins were achieved with the aid of the new prime minister. During his time as a local government minister, he was instrumental in securing changes to the Data Protection Bill, which exempted local councils from being required to appoint a data protection officer. Then as chancellor of the exchequer, he continued to support the sector’s concerns over business rates on public toilets in April 2021, delivering the 2018 Budget commitment to exempt local councils through legislation. Both successful campaigns by NALC have saved the sector millions of pounds.

Cllr Keith Steven, chair of NALC, said: “We would like to congratulate Mr Sunak on becoming the new prime minister. Additionally, we thank him again for taking the time to get to know and understand our sector and for his encouragement and support throughout his time as a local government minister and then as chancellor of the exchequer.

“The country faces enormous challenges, and as a former local government minister, Mr Sunak will recognise the crucial role of councils at all levels in helping tackle them. The need to come together and work together for our communities has never been greater. I look forward to working with the new government on Mr Sunak’s reaffirmed commitment to the 2019 manifesto, including levelling up and supporting local communities.”

Read his speech at the NALC Annual Conference in 2018

Read his LCR interview

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