John Findlay Ceo Nalc

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John Findlay Ceo Nalc

  1. 2. John Findlay Chief Executive Action for Market Towns Convention 2008 Empowerment through community-led planning
  2. 3. The National Association - Who are we, what do we do? <ul><li>National leadership and representation for the first tier of local government in England </li></ul><ul><li>National support and services in areas such as legal, policy, training, conferences and events </li></ul><ul><li>Work with government and stakeholders to support and develop the role of local councils </li></ul>
  3. 4. The parish and town council model <ul><li>8500 local councils in England, £400m+ expenditure </li></ul><ul><li>80,000 councillors </li></ul><ul><li>15 million people in England covered by local councils, 30% of population </li></ul><ul><li>Diverse sector, smallest covering <100, largest >80,000, urban and rural </li></ul><ul><li>200 new local councils created in last 10 years, mostly in suburban/urban areas and towns </li></ul>
  4. 5. What kind of services can local councils provide? <ul><li>Community transport schemes </li></ul><ul><li>Leisure facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Local youth projects </li></ul><ul><li>Car parks and bus shelters </li></ul><ul><li>Crime reduction measures </li></ul><ul><li>Markets </li></ul><ul><li>Open spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Public lavatories and litter bins </li></ul><ul><li>Street cleaning </li></ul><ul><li>Tourism activities </li></ul><ul><li>Traffic calming measures </li></ul><ul><li>Power of community wellbeing </li></ul>
  5. 6. Cross-party view of parish and town councils <ul><li>An established and valued form of local democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing role in urban areas </li></ul><ul><li>Build on the existing local council structure </li></ul><ul><li>Improve capacity to deliver better services and represent the community’s interests </li></ul><ul><li>Existing powers strengthened with new powers </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership working and delegating services, budgets and decisions to local councils </li></ul>
  6. 7. Representation and participation “ Elected representatives remain the indispensable link between the public and decisions. Representative democracy is informed and enhanced by participatory democracy.” - Councillors Commission Report, 2007
  7. 8. <ul><li>Representative democracy : </li></ul><ul><li>LSPs and sustainable community strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Local Area Agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Parish and town councils </li></ul><ul><li>Participative democracy : </li></ul><ul><li>Community involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Community budgeting </li></ul><ul><li>Neighbourhood Charters </li></ul><ul><li>Community anchors </li></ul>Representative and participative democracy
  8. 9. The political framework and background <ul><li>Rural White Paper in 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Local Government Act 2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable Communities Act </li></ul><ul><li>2008: Hazel Blears heralds ‘new era of parish power, a real purpose in modern society, addressing issues that make a real difference to people’s quality of life, important contribution in reinvigorating local democracy, very effective at connecting with local people’ </li></ul><ul><li>Community Empowerment White Paper and forthcoming Bill </li></ul>
  9. 10. Community Empowerment White Paper - principles <ul><li>Reforms designed to shift power, influence and responsibility to local level </li></ul><ul><li>Belief that citizens and communities are capable of taking difficult decisions and solving problems themselves </li></ul><ul><li>The role of the third sector is valued in social and democratic renewal and active citizenship </li></ul><ul><li>Modern definition of democracy a system of government where political power is exercised both through elected representatives; and directly through petitions, referendums or active participation </li></ul>
  10. 11. Community Empowerment White Paper – key points <ul><li>Recognition and support of the first tier of local government </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of QPS and encourage more local councils to achieve Quality Status </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage the creation of new neighbourhood councils </li></ul><ul><li>Right of appeal to the Secretary of State, both for creation and abolition of local councils </li></ul><ul><li>Make the rules on parish polls more accessible and better understood </li></ul>
  11. 12. Community Empowerment White Paper – key points <ul><li>Power for some local councils to make certain bye-laws </li></ul><ul><li>A new duty to promote local democracy for principal authorities </li></ul><ul><li>New tailored guidance on Participatory Budgeting for local councils </li></ul><ul><li>Establishment of a £70m Communitybuilders Fund </li></ul>
  12. 13. In Conclusion <ul><li>Local councils working with community groups and other partners to: </li></ul><ul><li>understand viability of local assets and service provision </li></ul><ul><li>enhance and sustain facilities and services </li></ul><ul><li>organise the precept to maximise community finance </li></ul><ul><li>represent the commumity needs and opportunities in dealing with statutory bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Acting as the facilitator and guardian of a sustainable community-led plan </li></ul>
  13. 14. Further information: www.nalc.gov.uk

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