Inspiring Professionals; Empowering Councils and Communities

Thank you to everyone who attended the National Conference 2023.

A selection of photos from the conference are available here.

Save the date – The 2024 conference will take place at Leonardo Hotel and Conference Venue Hinckley Island, Leicestershire on 8 and 9 October 2024. Booking will open soon.


Sessions on offer...

Tilly Lockey

Tilly is a multi-talented, hardworking rising star who has proved herself time and time again.

Developing state-of-the-art bionic arms with Open Bionics which she wears every day, receiving Humanitarian awards in New York, most recently winning a talent competition, ‘Got What It Takes’ and performing to an audience of 20,000 at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend, all with a thriving online presence across all social platforms.

Making a name for herself since she was 2 years old, overcoming her own battle with meningitis, and losing her hands but coming through with an admirable mindset, her past doesn’t define her at all.

Raising awareness and public speaking her whole life passionately, she is now turning that leaf, all focused on the future and sparkles at all it could bring… Singer, Actress, TV Host, Presenter, Model, Social Influencer, Advocate, and Speaker… you name it, this girl will achieve it!

Tilly is not only an inspiration but has a unique confidence and drive that pushes her to want to achieve her dreams. She is determined to confront and beat any obstacle in her way.


From tragedy to legislative change

Figen Murray OBE
Explaining the personal impact of losing a family member to a terrorist attack and how the decision to not succumb to anger and hate led to activism for positive change.

Figen Murray is the mother of Martyn Hett, who at 29 years of age was tragically killed alongside 21 others at the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in May 2017. Since the Manchester Arena attack, Figen has been working with the Government and the security industry to make the tangible changes that can help ensure no other family has to go through what hers has. She is the force behind Martyn’s Law (Protect Duty), a legislation requiring publicly accessible locations to improve security against the threat of terrorism. Her ambitions to better understand counter terrorism saw her achieve a distinction in a counter terrorism master’s degree from the University of Central Lancashire. Figen’s dedication and work in counter terrorism saw her awarded an OBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honours List.

Local councils and their uneasy relationship with the planning system

Andrew Towlerton, SLCC National Planning Advisor
Local councils have an important and arguably growing role in the planning system, but for many clerks, their experience of engaging in it is not an easy or straightforward one. In this session, we look at how councils and clerks can best approach and deal with the planning system. It will focus on those topics which clerks have told us they wish to know more about or face the greatest challenges such as transport, commenting on planning applications, the provision of infrastructure and affordable housing. It will also provide advice and tips on how they can best maximise their influence and impact on the planning system.

Get your council heard nationally

Malcolm Smith, Senior Education and Engagement Officer, UK Parliament
Discover how UK Parliament operates and develop an understanding of how to help your council and community. Build relationships with MPs and Lords, influence questions, debates and legislation, link with All-Party Parliamentary Groups and work with select committees to scrutinise national policy. The UK Parliament Education and Engagement outreach service works to engage children and community groups with the work of the UK Parliament and get their voices heard.


Parish councils: the future of the sector

Alistair Jones, De Montfort University
The status of politicians and politics has plummeted as a result of the actions of a former Prime Minister and many of his government ministers. Yet there is much positive news that is often glossed over below that national level of politics. The Levelling Up agenda has seen local government and parish and town councils attempt to be more proactive in delivering services for their communities. Should this be the point in time where there is a push to parish all of England? Or is there a lack of interest where parish councils do not exist, and a lack of capacity where they do? What might the future hold for the sector?

Alfie Moore

Alfie Moore is a BBC Radio 4 presenter and comedy writer with his distinctive niche as a recently retired police officer.

He offers an innovative and unprecedented insight to the world of modern policing, skilfully interwoven with comedy moments from his own twenty years on the beat – where dealing with everyday incidents has generated a host of hilarious stories that you ‘just couldn’t make up’. He served with both Lincolnshire and Humberside forces, in roles including front-line response, Neighbourhood Sergeant and Detective Sergeant in the Public Protection Team. Alfie was seconded to the local force Drugs Unit and the Regional Counter Terrorism Team.

Alfie writes and presents his own hit BBC Radio 4 comedy series ‘IT’S A FAIR COP’ – with a seventh series on air in Autumn 2022. Television appearances include: Show Me the Funny, Bizarre Crime, Confessions of a Copper and guest presenter on Channel 5’s CCTV crime series Caught on Camera.
Alfie is a regular at the Edinburgh Festival and is currently touring his solo stand-up comedy show, ‘FAIR COP UNLEASHED’, to sold-out venues across the UK. He has also supported Rhod Gilbert, Sarah Millican, Russell Kane and Milton Jones on their national comedy tours

Khidr Suleman

Khidr Suleman is the Domains’ Governance Lead at Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), which is part of the Cabinet Office.  HIs particular area of focus is the domain: working to create a safe and secure operating model for all users. To this end, Khidr’s most recent projects have been developing new standards of operation for Domain Registrars and overseeing the pilot project to help Parish Councils more easily navigate the process of adopting the  Khidr’s ambition is for every Parish Council to enjoy the benefits and safety of working within the domain.

Asked about the SLCC National Conference this year, Khidr said, ‘I’m most looking forward to coming out from behind my desk and meeting Parish Council Clerks in person.  I’m excited to be talking about and listening to Clerks’ every-day working experiences and ideas for change.’

Outside of work, you’ll find Khidr either enjoying a round of golf at his local course or getting ready for the swearing in ceremony to become a magistrate.

Lighting the way forward for the next 50 years

Katherine and Garry Brown, Blachere Illumination
Blachere Illumination is celebrating 50 years in the business – join Katherine and Garry Brown for an interactive session on festive lighting and how Blachere can work with budgets of any size. Products from Blachere Illumination are not just available for Christmas – they have a popular summer range and Eco Responsible products as well.

Feedback from the 2022 delegates

‘This was a lovely conference, efficiently organised and run as always.’

‘I liked that there was plenty of time to talk to colleagues as for me this is so valuable.’

‘The conference was really superb and the speakers were excellent.’

National Conference 2023 is generously sponsored by Blachere Illumination.

For expert advice visit

Blachere Illumination are the sponsor of National Conference 2021