A whistlestop tour – the return

Once again I’ve not kept a promise to myself to blog regularly. Hence I owe some thanks to some great tweeps like Dave Briggs, Carl Haggerty and Ellie Stoneley for nudging me along recently. So as a quick update since my last post, here’s another rollercoaster ride of events and stuff……

Our Chairman, Councillor Michael Chater, was awarded an OBE for services to local government in the New Year Honours……

……the All Party Parliamentary Group on local democracy met in April to discuss local economic development and the growing role played by parish and town councils which resulted in then applying pressure on the Government for a second round of Portas Pilots, then at their June meeting hosted a discussion on neighbourhood planning featuring contributions from the Housebuilders Federation, Campaign to Protect Rural England and John Howell MP as well as how two town councils were getting on with developing a neighbourhood plan

……’be confident and give it a go’ and ‘learn through doing were my top tips in a talk to my clerk colleagues on using social media and technology to improve communications and community engagement at the SLCC’s conference for larger councils in Chepstow……

……a true gent, champion for rural people and places and force for good – Defra’s Crispin Moor and @talk2crispin on Twitter – sadly lost his battle against cancer and will be sorely missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing ans working with him……

……after years of campaigning by NALC the general power of competence was introduced for eligible parish and town councils who meet certain democratic mandate and training tests……

……our series of three People in action conferences got underway in London, where delegates heard from a range of speakers and talked to each other about how localism is happening in their areas. Places are still available at the final event in Sheffield in September……

……to help our member local councils promote and maintain high standards and meet their obligations under the new Localism Act we published a template code of conduct……

……Question: What do the man from Del Monte, residents in Queen’s Park and Westminster City Council all have in common? Answer: they all say “Yes!” In the case of Queen’s Park local people over­whelmingly said “Yes” to plans to set up a historic new community council to help improve their area. We’ve been backing calls from residents in Queen’s Park to set up the first ever parish council in London and helping them and other areas through our Create a council campaign……

……our project with Campaign to Protect Rural England was a success overall and exceeded many of our targets – we received funding from Government through their supporting neighbourhoods and communities in planning programme – hence we were delighted to receive an extension to our work to be able to currently offer tailored help to parish and town councils……

……LCR is our flagship journal and the new Summer edition has an interview with the Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary as well as features on life as an urban parish councillor, parish councils saving and running libraries, how gadgets and technology can make councils more efficient, getting help with neighbourhood planning, pensions and more……

……our long standing campaign to reform outdated legislation governing payments by local councils looks close to a successful conclusion with Government consulting on changes to the rules……

……we issued a warning about the impact on communities of the Government’s proposals for the localisation of support for council tax contained in the Local Government Finance Bill……

As always there’s plenty more going on at the moment, least not gearing up for the forthcoming party conference season which starts next month. But more on that and other stuff in coming posts.

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