NALC and SLCC joint event on Martyn's Law outlines potential actions for local councils 


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) held a joint event on 16 November 2023 to discuss the current legislative status of Martyn's Law.

The event highlighted where the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill (formerly Martyn's Law) is in its legislative journey, outlined the potential actions that local (parish and town) councils might need to adopt if the law is passed and shared practical insights into how councils can contribute to preventing terrorism in their local communities.

The panel featured Helen Ball, chief executive at Shrewsbury Town Council, Chris Borg, policy manager at the National Association of Local Councils, Lauren Renshaw, head of communications and engagement and Christian Stensrud, head of events and devolved administration engagement at the Home Office.

Mr Borg emphasised the bill's importance of having a proportionate approach for those within the scope of local councils' premises and events. He highlighted NALC's concern about the additional pressure the new legislation will place on local council budget and resources, stating, "NALC are particularly concerned that the draft bill's impact assessment overlooks local councils and only includes principal councils".

Home Office representatives discussed policy principles, scope, tier requirements, the extensive process of transforming policy into law, upcoming stages, and available support. They reassured councillors not to be alarmed, emphasising that the policy implementation process is gradual, and support is currently accessible and will remain so. The Home Office is keen to hear from small businesses affected by the bill and intends to strengthen communication around the consultation to ensure the bill is straightforward to understand. They additionally encouraged everyone to check the latest information and advice on ProtectUK and the Home Office's Martyn's Law Factsheet.

Ms Ball noted Martyn's Law is one of the most significant developments for local councils since the General Data Protection Regulation and will impact everyone. She stressed the need for consistent training and support on counter-terrorism across the sector before the bill becomes legislation. She remarked, "In a clerks poll by the SLCC, only 7% of respondents had received counter-terrorism training, while 96% said they would welcome counter-terrorism training".

Find out more about NALC's online events 

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