A PROSPECTUS FOR ULTRA-LOCALISM
England’s 10,000 local councils are perfectly placed to be the front line in rebuilding community cohesion in divided Britain, and addressing the issues of austerity and local public service delivery. As democratic, accountable and transparent grassroots bodies, local councils can bridge these gaps by engaging with people directly in the neighbourhoods in which they live, to rebuild community and make decisions about and invest in local economic, environmental and social prosperity. Ultra-localism is the only way to rebuild community and local services in an age of division and austerity. A prospectus for ultra-localism sets out how the government and parliament can work with NALC to support local councils and help communities to help themselves.
Lobby Day is a day in Parliament where county associations and local councils meet with MPs to promote local councils and build relationships.
NALC has a rich history of running awards, so we were delighted to reintroduce an awards scheme in 2015 which was made possible thanks to our category sponsors. The awards was a huge success as we were inundated with nominations of excellent quality and our finalists and winners provided a fantastic example of the work of the sector.
IMPROVEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
All local councils want to serve their local communities as best they can and make a real difference to the people that live there. There are a range of local and national improvement and development programmes that exist to support local councils to achieve their ambitions.
CREATE A COUNCIL
Local councils are the firsttier of local government – they're at the very heart of the community, giving neighbourhoods a voice and helping people feel more involved in the decisions that affect them. They take localism to the next level by giving people a democratic voice that goes beyond just voting in elections. And yet, only a third of the population is covered by one. NALC want to change this and see more of England join thousands of local councils already in existence.
Local councils have a hugely important role to play in the onward and macro-devolution agendas.
THE TRANSPARENCY FUND
NALC has been chosen by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to administer a £4.7m fund to support the transparency legislation, which is now in effect. Funding and guidance is available to assist smaller local councils with complying with the code, which is now compulsory.
PARLIAMENT AND POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT
NALC works to provide a strong national voice and positively influence the external environment on behalf of the local council sector, supported by our network of county associations and local councils. One of the main ways that we do this is through our policy, political and parliamentary work, which provides a framework for policy determination, developing information and evidence on parish issues, and working to influence government and other decision makers.
The Diversity Commission was launched by NALC to support the growth of diversity in local councils. Local councils work for their community and are shaped by the community. With this in mind, the commission has begun work to look at ways for local councils to encourage every member of their community to get involved with what happens locally.
WORKING WITH... LARGER AND SMALLER COUNCILS
Larger: As well as operating a Larger Councils Committee, which voices the policy views and interests of larger councils with an electorate of 6,000 or more, or annual budgeted income of £250K. NALC is developing a raft of other services for this size of council nationally. These services are: A Super Councils' Network; Direct Access Scheme (providing direct access to mainly legal services) and delivery of a one-day event for larger councils.
Smaller: As well as operating a Smaller Councils Committee, which voices the policy views and interests of smaller councils with an electorate of less than 6,000, NALC is developing a raft of other services for this size of council nationally. The focus of the Committee in 2016 are as follows: Rural issues; internal management and administration and capacity and development issues