NALC to host Scotland’s local government minister on fact finding visit

Scotland's local government and community empowerment minister Marco Biagi is to visit the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) during a 'fact finding' visit on 28 July 2015.

Marco Biagi, Member of Scottish Parliament for Edinburgh Central, has requested a meeting with the national body for England's 9,000 parish and town councils and is to meet its chairman Cllr Ken Browse to hear at first-hand about NALC’s work and how its national role makes a difference to parish and town councils.

Scotland does not have the parish council model of grassroots democracy and community governance. Instead it has 1,200 community councils - composed of elected volunteers from the community - whose primary purpose is to ascertain and express the views of the community to the local authority and other public bodies.

Community Councils can also undertake a range of other activities including fundraising, organising community events as well as environmental and educational projects.

Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of NALC said: "I'm delighted the minister has asked to visit our office and meet with us to find out more about parish councils and our work at NALC.

"There is much Scotland can learn from England's localist powerhouse, where parishes are giving people a voice and and structure for taking action to improve our villages, towns and small cities.

"Devolution north and south of the border presents an enormous opportunity to empower people and places and I look forward to discussing our experience and ideas with the minister next week."

NALC is calling for devolution to the parish level as part of the Government's approach to decentralisation, pressing for more power to be handed to local communities through a 'parish deal."

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