This weekend sees #localgovcamp head back to Birmingham, the location of my very first unconference outing. I will be going along and returning to that scene – both the place and more particularly the people – which helped inspire and enthuse me on the digital front.
I mentioned the interesting, thought provoking and innovative people I met there last year in a previous post, which also included my quest to start blogging more regularly. Well, I tried, and I’ll keep trying, that’s all I can say.
But so as to pull my finger out in advance of the weekend and get the ball rolling again, I thought I’d provide another whistle-stop tour of some NALC and local councils stuff since my last post:
……in February we had a very productive meeting with Local Government Minister Bob Neill MP to discuss the role of local (parish and town) councils in the localism and Big Society agendas……in the past weeks/months I’ve spoken at numerous conferences and events such as an Ideas exchange organised by Westminster City Council for its officers about grassroots local democracy and community action; Kent County Council’s Listening to communities conference which discussed localism and the future of public service delivery; SLCC’s Practitioner’s Conference on Big Society and the role of local councils; and a West Midlands region event for county associations, rural community councils and principal authorities on participatory budgeting……I met with the Managing Director of LGID to put forward proposals for greater collaboration and support (fingers crossed!)……promoting and developing grassroots local democracy in Stoke-on-Trent were the subjects of a blog post I had published on Pits’n’Pots and an interview with 6townsradio……The Stag Community Arts Centre in Sevenoaks held a sponsors and supporters reception which I went to and heard first hand about the enabling role of the Town Council in keeping the facility going with critical support from an army of local volunteers……in April the Government announced that a partnership of NALC and CPRE had been chosen to take forward one of four national projects under their Supporting Communities and Neighbourhoods in planning project……we published new research into community governance reviews……to help our local councils raise awareness and promote democracy in the run up to the local council elections we published a range of useful resources on local councils and getting more people to stand for election……at an event in London our Vice Chairman, Councilllor Hazel Williams MBE, launched our first ever suite of e-learning courses aimed at helping and supporting our local councillors……I was chuffed that the leading local government journal LGC placed me as ‘one to watch’ on their esteemed #LGC50 list of most influential people in local government……following last year’s publication of our Power to the people toolkit on how to set up new local councils, this area of the website recently got a much needed revamp……the new summer edition of LCR, our flagship magazine, features an interview with Local Government Minister Andrew Stunnell MP, along with articles on community broadband and a great example of the Big Society in action in Sussex……and finally the first of our exciting Communities in Action conferences kicks off tomorrow with the Bristol leg and is packed full of timely and interesting plenary and workshop sessions.
So there we are, there’s loads of other stuff I could include but then it wouldn’t be a whistlestop tour!