NALC reappoints Baroness Ros Scott of Needham Market as president
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) reappointed Baroness Ros Scott of Needham Market as its president at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 24 October 2023.
Two policy motions took centre stage during the AGM, garnering strong support from the attending representatives. The Shropshire County Association of Local Councils led a call for the government to recognise the essential role played by local (parish and town) councils as effective delivery agents of government policy. Representatives voted in favour of opening funding opportunities to direct access, bypassing the need to route funds through principal authorities. The AGM also urged all political parties, with a general election on the horizon, to commit to implementing the proposals by the Committee on Standards in Public Life, which includes the introduction of sanctions for poor behaviour by councillors, with a mandate to enact these measures within the first year of forming the new government. These proposals aim to elevate local councils' standards and enhance public sector accountability. Representatives unanimously voted in favour of the motion. Both motions align closely with NALC's existing manifesto objectives, emphasising the importance of direct access to government funding and strengthening the standards regime governing local councils.
Regarding leadership, in addition to the reappointment of Baroness Ros Scott of Needham Market as president, Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, Cllr Sue Baxter, Andrew Gwynne MP, The Earl of Lytton, and Lord O'Shaughnessy were also reinstated as vice-presidents. The AGM took the opportunity to express gratitude to these leaders for their outstanding contributions to raising NALC's profile and advocating for the local council sector. Baroness Scott, in particular, received praise for her work on the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
Additionally, the AGM approved NALC's Annual Report, which outlined the organisation's accomplishments over the past year and plans. This report provides an overview of NALC's progress and vision for the upcoming year. The AGM addressed financial matters by approving the affiliation fee for the 2024/25 fiscal year. The fee, set at 7.94 pence per elector, with a cap of £2,037 for larger councils, was endorsed by representatives, ensuring the continued operation and support provided by NALC.
The AGM is where representatives from 43 county associations come together to discuss and vote on crucial policy motions, constitutional motions and leadership appointments.