NALC calls for Oflog remit to include local councils
The National Association of Local Councils has called for the Office for Local Government's (Oflog) remit to include England's 10,000 local (parish and town) councils.
Currently, the scope of Oflog – which is part of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – only includes district and borough councils, city councils, county councils, unitary councils, London boroughs, metropolitan boroughs, and combined authorities (including those led by elected mayors).
In Oflog's recent invitation for views on the organisation's next steps and proposed next set of draft metrics, NALC's took the opportunity to set out its position on Oflog and its development over the longer term, including:
- NALC supports the overall rationale and approach to setting up Oflog to provide authoritative and accessible data and analysis about the performance of local government and support its improvement.
- NALC wants to strengthen the accountability and transparency of local councils and put them up for more scrutiny to increase their effectiveness and drive improvement.
- In the medium term, Oflog's scope and functions should expand to cover local councils.
- There is also a need for comprehensive and readily available data on local councils in a single place to understand performance and support improvement.
- Improving effectiveness could be accelerated by increased investment and support from existing investment in sector support for local government improvement.
- Data themes for inclusion in Oflog's metrics for local councils could include local elections, neighbourhood planning, Code of Conduct complaints, sport, leisure, recreational services, parks and green spaces, finance, and audit. As a first phase, finance data on reserves should be piloted with NALC's national network for super councils.