‘Martyn’s Law: where are we now?’ webinar

17 November 2023

An incredible 424 clerks and councillors joined SLCC and the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) for their joint webinar ‘Martyn’s Law: where are we now?’ which took place yesterday.

Known officially as the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) draft Bill, Martyn’s Law will enhance public safety by ensuring there is better preparedness for, and protection from, terrorist attacks.

Following the tragic death of her 29-year-old son, Martyn Hett, and 21 other people in the 2017 Manchester Arena terrorist attack, Figen Murray OBE, who spoke at our National Conference in October, has been working tirelessly with the government and security industry to introduce this important new legislation. Yesterday’s webinar focussed on where this key piece of draft legislation is currently at, what it means for the local council sector, how local councils can best fight terrorism in their communities and what SLCC and NALC need to do for the sector going forward.

This awareness raising webinar was hosted by Helen Ball FSLCC, SLCC Director for the Midlands and Clerk to Shrewsbury Town Council, who was joined by Chris Borg, NALC Policy Manager, and Christian Stensrud and Lauren Renshaw from the Home Office.  Helen suggested that this new legislation might be the biggest issue to affect the local council sector since GDPR.

The Home Office representatives spoke about policy principles, scope, tier requirements, the lengthy process behind policy becoming law, next steps and support. They advised clerks and councillors not to panic – the process behind policy implementation is long and support is, and will continue to be, available. They also urged everyone to visit ProtectUK’s Martyn’s Law webpage, as well as the Home Office’s Martyn’s Law Factsheet page, for up-to-date information and advice.

The Home Office is due to launch another consultation on the standard tier (premises with a capacity of between 100 – 799) ahead of the Bill’s introduction. This will ensure that new measures strike the right balance between public protection and avoiding disproportionate burdens on premises.   We urge all our members’ councils to participate in this and we will circulate details about it as soon as we hear more.

Members will remember that SLCC submitted written evidence to the Home Office Affairs Committee during its pre-legislative scrutiny of the draft Bill which included results of a members survey which gave important input to the process. SLCC with NALC will continue their work with the Home Office and other government bodies on terrorism and security issues.  A Task and Finish Group has been established to look at how best to support the sector as this legislation takes shape.

Please note that whereas the webinar was recorded, the Home Office representatives requested, due to internal government protocols, that recording was stopped whilst carrying out their presentation.

Click here to view the recording 

Click here to visit ProtectUK’s Martyn’s Law page 

Click here to access the Martyn’s Law Fact Sheet 

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