SLCC & NALC Democratic Leadership Meeting

1 May 2024

The SLCC and National Association of Local Councils (NALC) leadership teams held their latest quarterly meeting on 25 April. New members Helen Ball FSLCC, SLCC Vice Chair and Clerk to Shrewsbury Town Council, and David Francis, NALC Vice Chair and Northumberland ALC, were welcomed to their first meeting.

The focus of the meeting was the critical state of local government finance as highlighted by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) whose latest survey reveals that over half of principal councils were facing effective bankruptcy over the next five years. It was agreed that this crisis was already having significant implications for local councils and community resilience which would only get worse over the next few years. It was agreed to work together to raise understanding of this issue amongst clerks and councillors and provide advice and help build capacity to cope with the additional burdens and expectations. We would continue to press government for the non-imposition of referenda principles and access to national grants building on the success of the community ownership fund. We will also work with Local Government Association (LGA) and others to ensure principal councils are working closely with their county associations and councils to help them take on discretionary services in a timely manner. The SLCC is planning a summit event in the Autumn which NALC will support.

The meeting also noted progress on our first joint stand at the LGA annual conference and exhibition from 2-4 July in Harrogate which will raise the profile of the sector with over 1200 delegates from principal authorities. The focus will be on how our sector can help address the challenges facing the country by “working together to build stronger communities.”

Finally, the meeting noted continuing progress on joint events, including youth engagement and possibly encouraging volunteering, and joint initiatives including civility and respect and workforce development.

The SLCC and NALC leadership teams include Adam Keppel-Green FSLCC, SLCC Chair, Helen Ball FSLCC, SLCC Vice Chair, Rob Smith, SLCC Chief Executive and Carl Hearn, Chair of the National Forum and Clerk to Tavistock Town Council, Cllr Keith Stevens, NALC Chair, Cllr Peter Davey and Cllr David Francis, NALC Vice Chairs, Jonathan Owen, NALC Chief Executive. SLCC and NALC reaffirmed their commitment to collaborative efforts to navigate the current financial landscape and foster stronger communities nationwide.

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