November 2023

Newsletter 27/11/2023

27 November 2023


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Mid Sussex Polling District and Polling Station Review

Mid Sussex District Council launched its statutory consultation on the 20 November on the proposed scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places for UK Parliamentary General Elections.

The proposed scheme can be viewed via the attached Public Consultation Document. Furthermore, a dynamic electoral boundary map can be accessed by visiting

The aim of the review is to ensure that electors have reasonable facilities for voting, and that the polling places are accessible to all electors. Every person should be able to vote without any unnecessary barriers.  A polling place should be accessible for those with a disability, having good access, lighting, and provisions for those needing assistance. The location of the polling place within the polling district, and transport links, should be taken into account.

In addition, in its proposal the Council seeks to simplify the Polling Districts (after they had been “split” due to the Boundary Commission’s ward boundary changes in 2022/23), aligning all Districts with Ward boundaries and reducing overall the number of Polling Stations (now proposed to be 67 for Parliamentary General Elections). The proposed scheme has also been devised applying the principle that voters (where possible) should be able to vote at a Polling Place that they are familiar with voting at.

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MSDC Green Spaces Contract

Information from Simon Hughes at MSDC regarding the Green Spaces Contract

Further to my briefing at the parish and town meeting I’d be more than happy give you information on progress with the Green Spaces Management contract.  We have done our due diligence in accordance with the public procurement process and Notification to Award Contract was issued ton the (21 November. This means we have now re-entered a period of Standstill. This will last for 10 days. 

During this time the name of our Preferred Bidder has been released to all those who submitted a bid, but this information remains highly confidential and will not be released into the public domain until Friday 1 December, when Standstill ends. We’ll ensure you are notified along with other parish and town councils.

Mid Sussex Voluntary Action

MSVA E-Bulletin

Workplace Health by Mid Sussex Wellbeing  

To book please email or

Invitation to Councillors and Town Council Staff

MSDC Community Grants

MSDC Community Grants are now open for application. Please see further information below from MSDC

At Mid Sussex District Council we recognise the importance of community projects, and the vital role these initiatives play in the growth of a vibrant community. We are committed to ensuring that local groups feel supported in the delivery of their projects and events. We recognise that distinct groups within the community bring unique perspectives and talents. By providing a platform for all to bid, we embrace the diversity that enriches our district and the potential for grassroots change.

We look forward to collaborating with you.  If after reading the information below, you need any assistance or are unsure of what you need to do or provide, please get in touch with one of the team by emailing

This round opened on 1st November and the closing date is 2nd January 2024.  Information on the website at the following link

The Rural Bulletin

The Rural Bulletin 21 November 2023

Gatcom News Bulletin


Gatwick News

New Gatwick station concourse opens for customers

NALC Chief executive’s bulletin

NALC heads to Yate Town Council for the 2024 study tour 

After the resounding success of the 2023 study tour hosted by Newport Pagnell Town Council, I’m pleased to announce we’ll head to Yate Town Council in Avon for our annual study tour between 21 and 22 May 2024 as part of our work to support larger local (parish and town) councils and share good practice. This unique experience promises a closer look at what makes Yate one of England’s most dynamic towns. Situated in the south-west of England, Yate is located 11 miles north-east of Bristol in the county of South Gloucestershire. Yate boasts a strategic location surrounded by countryside, providing easy access to Bristol and Bath by bicycle, car, or public transport. The town’s rich history dates back over 1,000 years and is mentioned in the Saxon Chronicles and the Domesday Book! The tour promises an array of highlights, including a guided bus tour of Yate Town Council’s youth engagement services, exploring the renowned Armadillo Youth Cafe to understand how the council effectively manages this local youth hub, immersing yourself in the allure of Kingsgate Park, featuring a lake, play area, coronation bench, and outdoor gym, learning about the council’s sustainable management of this vital green space, plus much more. Places are limited to just 11, so please register promptly to secure your spot and avoid disappointment!

NALC calls for tighter land management company regulation 

In our response to the Competition and Markets Authority’s housebuilding market study, we’ve urged the government to tighten up the regulation of land management companies and to make provisions for the regulation of fees charged by management companies to both freeholders and leaseholders of residential properties. This follows years of management companies increasing fees to residents of parished areas to maintain facilities such as children’s playgrounds without carrying out maintenance work in many cases. We also advocated that local councils’ right-to-manage public open spaces and amenities be in legislation, both at the point of delivery and in perpetuity. NALC has received support within the sector from national stakeholders in trying to get local councils first in line, if they choose, to take on new play areas in developments.

NALC Management Board 

NALC’s Management Board met on 21 November 2023, its last meeting of the year and before our committee elections results are announced. NALC’s chair, Cllr Keith Stevens, took the opportunity to thank his councillor colleagues for their contributions over the previous two years. The board agreed on some proposals to improve the way our National Assembly and committees work and provide support to members. The board agreed on an events strategy for the next two years, focussing on a continuation of online events but exploring a national face-to-face conference in 2025, and the introduction of explainer events for NALC’s resources such as advice and guidance. The board also noted progress with developing a national employment contract to be launched before the year’s end and the new website, which we will be launching in 2024.

National Network: Super councils 

NALC’s national network for super councils met remotely on 15 November 2023 to discuss several items, including our Peer Challenge programme, the work of the newly formed Office for Local Government (OFLOG), and an upcoming survey for the network. The network heard from Luke Trevaskis, the clerk at Morecambe Town Council, about the council’s experience participating in the Peer Challenge earlier this year. The challenge helped the council make the case for ensuring it had the capacity and capability to deliver its priorities, improve brand identity, and enhance communication with residents and other stakeholders. The network also heard from Ruby Dixon from the OFLOG about their plans to develop the Local Authority Data Explorer tool for principal authorities. Additionally, the network discussed an upcoming survey for super councils to shape the network’s future and work programme and also received an overview of NALC’s analysis of council tax levels of local precepting authorities.

Improvement and Development Board 

The Improvement and Development Board met on 16 November 2023, led by its new independent chair, James Alexander. Matters discussed included the future direction and structure of the board, along with the development of a new improvement strategy. Members also received an update on the Civility and Respect Project.

On the blog: White Ribbon Day

I’m pleased to say we’ll be publishing two blogs this week to celebrate White Ribbon Day, which takes place on 25 November 2023. The first blog, written by our communications officer, Daisy Petrow, discusses the crucial takeaways from the White Ribbon conference. NALC attended the White Ribbon Conference in Birmingham on 26 September 2023, where we learnt from the UK’s leading charity engaging men and boys to end violence against women and girls. The blog shares speakers’ essential stories and three key takeaways from the conference. The second blog from UN Women lists 10 ways to end violence against women. Violence against women and girls affects more than one in three women. This is why tackling violence is necessary on White Ribbon Day, the 16 days of activism, and all year round. This blog provides practical tips, advice, and guidance for readers to follow and inspire change.

Martyn’s Law event 

We held a joint event on 16 November 2023 with the Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) to discuss the current legislative status of Martyn’s Law. The panel featured our policy manager, Chris Borg, Shrewsbury Town Council’s chief executive, Helen Ball, and Lauren Renshaw and Christian Stensrud from the Home Office. The event highlighted where the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Draft Bill (formerly Martyn’s Law) is in its legislative journey, outlined the potential actions that local councils might need to adopt if the law is passed and shared practical insights into how councils can contribute to keeping people safe and preventing terrorism in their local communities. Chris highlighted NALC’s concern about the additional pressure the new legislation will place on local council budget and resources, stating, “NALC are particularly concerned that the draft bill’s impact assessment overlooks local councils and only includes principal councils”. The Home Office representatives discussed policy principles, scope, tier requirements, the extensive process of transforming policy into law, upcoming stages, and available support. They reassured councillors not to be alarmed, emphasising that the policy implementation process is gradual, and support is currently accessible and will remain so. Helen noted Martyn’s Law is one of the most significant developments for local councils since the General Data Protection Regulation and will impact everyone and stressed the need for consistent training and support on counter-terrorism.

Out and about 

On 15 November 2023 I attended the Leicestershire and Rutland Association of Local Councils Annual General (AGM) Meeting and Conference. There was a great turnout with an impressive line-up of sponsors and partners. It was good to hear about their excellent work on carbon net zero, liaison with the police and promoting civility and respect. I briefed colleagues on NALC’s work, especially around our parliamentary advocacy during the passage of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill Act. Questions focussed on improving standards and encouraging more people to get involved in local councils. I was able to similarly brief the Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils AGM on 18 November 2023 from the comfort of my home office, and the discussion centred again on how to get more people to stand for election and how to extend the sector into un-parished areas. The AGM also heard about the importance of the armed forces covenant, to which many councils and county associations are signatories. Between 50 and 100,000 veterans in Dorset would benefit from the covenant. And on the same day, Keith and our head of member services, Charlotte Eisenhart, attended the Kent Association of Local Councils’ Annual Conference and AGM. The day’s theme was health and well-being, and again it was good to see the event had a thriving marketplace with organisations and agencies from across the county.

NALC article in The MJ magazine on planning reform 

Following our submission to the government on their local plans consultation, it was good to be invited by The MJ magazine, the UK’s leading weekly magazine for council chief executives, to write an article to share our views with their extensive readership across local government. Through a light-hearted analogy of the 1980s television series The A-Team, our head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, covers the more serious subject of the leadership role of local councils in the planning system, the elements of the kind of planning system we want to see, our views on reform to plan making, and a concluding clarion call on resourcing, support, protection and partnership working. You can read the article on the MJ website (login required).

Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments

The Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments (SAAA) board⁠ met last week on 17 November 2023 and received the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March from auditors Knill James LLP, giving the company a clean bill of health. The accounts will be published later in the year.

LGiU Cllr Awards

NALC’s colleagues at the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), a local government think tank and non-partisan membership organisation, held their Cllr Awards on 16 November 2023 at London’s Guildhall. Sponsored by NALC’s partner CCLA, the awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of councillors from principal authorities. Justin Griggs, our head of policy and communications, was among the wide range of councils, councillors, parliamentarians and other organisations at the event to join the celebrations and extend our congratulations to all the finalists and winners. Of course, the event was simply a warmup to the most important awards in the local government calendar, as next week we’ll be presenting the winners of NALC’s Star Council Awards 2023 at our parliamentary reception! I’m looking forward to returning the invitation to LGiU colleagues and welcoming them, along with representatives of county associations, parliamentarians, stakeholders, and partner organisations, to what will be a fantastic occasion to celebrate our wonderful part of local government.

And finally… 

On behalf of NALC’s national network for young councillors, we launched a survey on 17 November 2023 to help shape the network’s future. The survey is designed to provide insight into the experiences of young people within the local council sector and how they would like to shape the delivery of the network. I’d urge you to complete the survey by 20 December 2023 to submit your views, and please share the survey with any young councillors you know!


NALC calls for tighter land management company regulation  – News

Young councillors network appoints new co-chairs and publishes a survey – News (

NALC and LGA joint event explores the role of councillors – News

How local councils can help deliver a decarbonised transport system  – News (

Food insecurity: what can councils do? – News (



Newsletter 20/11/2023

20 November 2023


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Martyn’s Law Update 

I recently wrote a letter on behalf of SLCC to the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, about the progress of the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) draft Bill, also known as Martyn’s Law. We have now received an official response via the Home office, emphasising the government’s commitment to improving the safety and security of public venues, and you may have listened to the King’s Speech on 7 November, where this was reaffirmed. The Home Office is due to launch a further public 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.

Click here to read SLCC’s letter to Rishi Sunak and here to read the Home Office response.

We are continuing to work closely with the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and the Home Office on this new legislation, including a recent meeting with civil servants. Tomorrow we are co-hosting a joint webinar: ‘Martyn’s Law: where are we now’ together with NALC, from 12:00pm to 1:30pm.

Click here for more information about this free event, to view the agenda and book your place.

Practitioners’ Conference 2024

I would like to draw your attention to our upcoming Practitioners’ Conference, sponsored by CloudyIT, which will be taking place at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth on 31 January and 1 February 2024. The conference, which is designed by clerks for clerks and their councillors, will contain a mixture of engaging speakers, interactive workshops and networking opportunities.

Among our many speakers will be Alex Atherton, Leadership Coach and Mentor, on understanding generation Z, particularly recruitment, retention and motivation; Becky Walsh, Personal Development Trainer, on using ChatGPT and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to speed up council tasks (Becky is also carrying out a women’s only session on avoiding burnout and developing a powerful mindset); Jon Evens, Senior Associate at One West, on effective investigation of disciplinary and grievance workforce issues; and Richard Watkins and Allan Wilson, co-founders of Save Our Shropshire, on the delivery of climate change targets.

Please click here for further details and to book your place.


Level 4 Certificate of Higher Education in Community Governance 

If you’re looking to further your career and knowledge within the local council sector, our Level 4 Certificate of Higher Education in Community Governance may be for you. This professional qualification awarded by De Montfort University (DMU), which builds on the knowledge gained in the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA), is available to all local council staff, councillors and county officers, and looks at the way in which people and organisations work together and independently, making decisions for the benefit of a local community.

There are many benefits to signing up to this course. Apart from the quality assurance provided by the esteemed reputation of DMU, as the only provider in England and Wales of sector-specific qualifications for local council clerks, SLCC continues to uphold its commitment to tailored, practical, and relevant learning. By arming council clerks with a deeper and broader set of skills, SLCC enhances their professional standing and employability, thus fostering their commitment to their roles and the communities they serve. The SLCC teaching team consists of educators who are dedicated, knowledgeable, and committed to providing high-quality education in a supportive and student-centred environment.

All students studying for a Community Governance qualification are also now entitled to a 50% discount on any SLCC webinar and Themed Summit.

To find out more email

Ofsted Area SEND Inspection Survey

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are visiting West Sussex, as part of an inspection looking at arrangements for children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25.

They would like to hear from parent and carers and children and young people about the support you get and how this is helping you.

Your views are important to them. They will help inspectors understand experiences of SEND arrangements in your area. The survey will close at 9.00 am on 21 November 2023.

All information can be found on our Your Voices pages at West Sussex County Council: Your Voice: Area SEND Inspection – survey information

John Saull Memorial Lecture

The first John Saull Memorial Lecture will take place on Monday 20th November in the DARTeC Passenger Experience Lab, Cranfield University, Bedford, UK, the event will also be streamed live and recorded.   The memorial lecture is presented by Cranfield Univeristy in recognition of John’s long term role as Chair of the Cranfield College of Aeronautics Alumni Association (CCAAA).For information attendance is free either online or in person, see link below.

John Saull Memorial Lecture

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner News

Op Downsway End of Season Event Meeting minutes

Download the PDF file .

Carbon Monoxide – Alarms Save Lives

Carbon Monoxide awareness week 20-26 November see link for further information.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms save lives


NALC committee election voting is closing soon

A final call for all larger and smaller local (parish and town) councils to vote for the Larger Councils Committee and Smaller Councils Committee. This year, we are using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system for all elections, and to vote, you will need to pre-register your council to vote. Those details will be submitted to UK Engage, and a voting link will be issued. Larger councils can find more information about the candidates for direct councillor and clerk vacancies and pre-register to vote on the NALC website. Smaller councils can find out more about the candidates for the three direct committee seats and pre-register to vote by visiting the NALC website. All councils must register by 20 November 2023, and voting will close on 22 November 2023, with results being announced at the National Assembly meeting on 29 November 2023. For any enquiries on the committee elections, please get in touch with NALC at

NALC and LGA joint event explores the role of councillors

This week, on 14 November 2023, we held a joint event with the Local Government Association (LGA) that explored the role of local councillors. The sold-out event showed how community members could be the voice of their community by standing for election as local councillors. It provided a valuable opportunity to learn more about councils, especially local councils, and the role councillors can play locally. The expert panel featured Jane Biscombe, the clerk of Weymouth Town Council, who stressed the importance of representation, stating, “Our communities are diverse, so our councils should represent this”. Cllr Katharine Keats-Rohan of Wallingford Town Council and South Oxfordshire District Council spoke about her journey to becoming a councillor and said, “There are three things a councillor can be: a negotiator, facilitator, and catalyst”. Cllr Chidi Nweke of Epping Forest District Council talked about working in local government and said, “The reward of being a councillor is unmeasurable”. I’m grateful to Virginia Ponton, the Be a Councillor adviser at the LGA, for hosting the event and, in her opening, highlighting so powerfully the benefits of being a councillor! You can find out more about how to become a councillor and our Make A Change campaign on the NALC website.

New local government minister in Cabinet reshuffle

In his Cabinet reshuffle this week, the prime minister, Rishi Sunak MP, appointed Simon Hoare MP as the new local government minister. Tweeting about his appointment, the North Dorset MP commented that he had previously served as a parish, district and county councillor, “so it’s nice to be home”. NALC’s chair, Cllr Keith Stevens, has already offered his congratulations and will further engage with the new minister. The former local government minister Lee Rowley MP has been promoted to minister of state for housing following the sacking of Rachel Maclean MP. Michael Gove MP continues as the secretary of state for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. In other changes, Steve Barclay MP replaces Terese Coffey MP (who resigned) as the new secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Richard Holden MP, a former co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on local democracy (for which NALC runs the secretariat), has become the new chair of the Conservative Party. The Institute for Government has an excellent live blog and diagram on all the moves.

National Network: Young councillors

NALC’s national network for young councillors met on 8 November 2023. It appointed Cllr Lewis Anderson (Horinglow and Eton Parish Council), Cllr James Cantwell (Sutterton Parish Council) and Cllr Elliot Jayes (Minister on Sea Parish Council) as co-chairs. The network reviewed our survey on the network, which we have now launched, and I’d be grateful for your help in ensuring the survey reaches as many young councillors as possible. The survey aims to gain insight into the experiences of young councillors within the sector, with responses helping us to improve the delivery of future sessions and help the co-chairs focus on the aims of the network. The network also discussed how to improve engagement with other tiers of local government, spoke about local councils’ involvement with housing associations and the difficulty of managing housing costs for young people, increased representation of young councillors in NALC and county associations, and made links with youth bodies such as Duke of Edinburgh Award and National Citizen Service. You can find out more about the network on the NALC website.

Finance and Scrutiny Committee

NALC’s Finance and Scrutiny Committee had its last cycle meeting this week on 14 November 2023. Matters considered included the half-year management accounts, reports from officers on progress with the website/IT development project, and expectations for the events and sponsorship compared to the budget. It was noted that the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) had approved the committee’s recommendation for the 2023/24 affiliation fee as 7.94 pence per elector with a cap of £2,037.

On the blog: Transport Planning Society

This week’s blog from the Transport Planning Society (TPS) talks about how local councils can help deliver a decarbonised transport system. Now in its sixth year, the Transport Planning Day on 13 November 2023 focused on planning and providing for a rapid and equitable transition to a decarbonised transport system. The blog stresses that the best thing you can do is to encourage more people in your community to walk, cycle, and use public transport. The blog lists several ways to make a plan to apply for government funding for transport. Read the blog to find out more!

Out and about

Staying on transport planning, I was pleased NALC had been invited to attend the Transport Planning Day. We also worked with TPS to produce The Good Councillor’s Guide to transport planning and are building links to help raise the profile of local councils. NALC’s head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, was at the event, which included sessions on transport systems, infrastructure and mobility, and equitable transition to net zero. Check out the TPS posts on X (formerly Twitter), which captured headlines from the event. NALC’s senior solicitor and legal manager, Jane Moore, attended the Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) Governance Conference in Sheffield on 10 November 2023 as a guest of the president. The conference included presentations on culture and leadership, AI opportunities and the role of the monitoring officer. I’m really pleased to have developed close links with LLG and continue to work with them on issues such as our campaign on remote meetings. NALC’s head of member services, Charlotte Eisenhart, joined the Warwickshire and West Midlands Association of Local Councils Annual Conference and AGM in Stratford-Upon-Avon on 15 November 2023. She spoke at their AGM about our work supporting and promoting local councils, and the event had a thriving marketplace with representation from a wide range of organisations plus workshops on topics ranging from festive lighting to council finances, community engagement, and much more.

Fortnightly meeting with county officers

At this week’s meeting between NALC and county association officers, we were joined by Annie Child, the new chief executive officer of the Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments (SAAA), which was an excellent opportunity to reflect on the relationship between auditors, local councils, county associations and how those are working well and where they could be improved. We were then joined by NALC national partners, WorkNest, who gave an update on their work with local councils that require support related to disciplinary and grievance matters to help us all consider how we all work with councils on those issues.

And finally…

Coming up this Autumn and Winter, our colleagues at Communities Prepared (a national community resilience programme run by the charity Groundwork) are offering discussion sessions to accompany courses in their online learning space. Community Emergency Planning Part 2 and Community Emergency Troubleshooting are designed to support anyone who is developing an Emergency Plan and has previously attended the Community Emergency Planning Part 1 Workshop. As the weather gets darker and colder, the team will also be running discussion sessions covering what community volunteers can do in the event of a flood or utility failure in their local area. You can register with Communities Prepared for free-to-access resources, self-led learning modules and these discussion webinars. These sessions are repeated regularly, and more will be announced for 2024. If you have any questions on how Communities Prepared could help you or the communities you work with, please contact them at

Rural Bulletin

Rural Bulletin 14 November 2023

Gatcom News

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Children, young people and the built environment – Levelling Up Committee launches inquiry

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has today launched an inquiry looking at how better planning and building and urban design in England could enhance the health and well-being of children and young people (see news item).

The cross-party group of MPs are likely to explore about how children and young people use outside public spaces and have the freedom and ability to move around their neighbourhoods and have the opportunity for unsupervised play.

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, said: “It’s important for children and young people’s mental and physical health that they have access to spaces to play and to socialise.

“In our inquiry, we want to find out more about how children and young people experience outdoor spaces in towns, cities and rural areas across England. What policy interventions from local and central government could help to deliver streets, estates, villages, neighbourhoods and parks that enable kids to enjoy active outdoor lifestyles and engage with others?

“Planning and development should not be indifferent to the interests of young people. Stories of developers disregarding promises to deliver earmarked spaces for children highlight flaws in the current approach to the built environment. The Committee’s inquiry will want to examine how children’s needs are being met by the current planning process.

“We’re keen to hear from urban planners, charities, children’s rights groups, health professionals, councils and others about the examples of policy and good practice across the country which are improving experiences for children and young people.”

The Committee’s inquiry on the built environment, principally concerning landscape architecture and urban planning, will look at local and national government planning policies, guidance and delivery.

The key questions for the inquiry are included in the full terms of reference (which are listed further below).

Evidence sessions for this inquiry are likely to begin in Spring 2024.

Children, young people and the built environment – inquiry terms of reference

The Committee welcomes written evidence on the terms of reference outlined below.

The closing date for submissions is Tuesday 2 January 2024.

The experiences of children and young people of their built environment

  • How do children and young people experience outdoor spaces in towns, cities and rural areas across the country? For example, their streets, estates, villages, neighbourhoods and parks?
  • How do these experiences vary across income, race, gender, age?
  • How easily can children and young people travel to outdoor spaces and schools? How has this changed over the years?

The planning system

  • How well are children and young people’s needs currently met by the planning process in terms of policy and guidance?
  • How are children and young people’s views and voices heard, considered and acted upon in the planning system if at all?

Best practice and evaluation

  • Where are the examples of policy and good practice that are improving children and young people’s experiences in the built environment, either directly or indirectly, in the UK or internationally?
  • How are these outcomes measured? For example, through economic or health and wellbeing indicators?

Cross Government working

  • How does the relationship of children and young people with the built environment overlap with policy areas beyond the work of DLUHC, such as public health, transport, policing and net zero?
  • Are government departments working together to address children and young people’s needs in this respect?

Shared ownership inquiry – Levelling-Up Committee publishes written evidence

The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has today published an initial tranche of 10 written evidence submissions for its shared ownership inquiry.

The submissions have been received from a range of individuals and stakeholders, including organisations such as the National Housing Federation, Great Places Housing Group, Shared Ownership Resources, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Rentplus, and the Housing Ombudsman (see full list of evidence submissions).

The written evidence submissions cover a range of issues relating to the costs and affordability of shared ownership, difficulties around increasing shares, and matters concerning complaints, property condition, charges and estate management.

The LUHC Committee will publish further written evidence submissions in late November, ahead of the opening public evidence session in early December.

The shared ownership model enables people to buy a share in a property, usually from a Housing Association, and pay subsidised rent on the rest. Sometimes known as ‘part buy, part rent’, shared ownership requires a smaller deposit and mortgage, making it, in theory, a more affordable route into home ownership.

The LUHC Committee’s inquiry will examine the challenges associated with shared home ownership schemes, including barriers to achieving full home ownership and whether shared ownership is genuinely an affordable route to owning a home.

The Committee is also likely to explore challenges around reselling, affordability issues such as service charges and maintenance responsibilities, and questions around mortgage availability and the limited range of providers.

See the shared ownership inquiry full terms of reference.

The LUHC Committee’s inquiry will be focussing on the Shared Ownership scheme in England.

Newsletter 13/11/2023

13 November 2023


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Remembrance Sunday

I would like to thank you for inviting me to join the Remembrance Sunday Parade and Service in East Grinstead yesterday. It was an honour and a privilege to represent the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard, at such an important and special event. 

The service was extremely moving and it was wonderful to see not only everyone involved in the Parade, but also the residents of East Grinstead both young and old, come together to remember those that sacrificed their lives for our future. 

I would be grateful if you could pass on my warmest thanks to everyone that made me feel so welcome especially the Parade Marshall, Flt Lt Hudson, and the Town Mayor, Cllr Visser, and to those that had meticulously planned the whole event and gave up their time to ensure it went so smoothly. 

With thanks and best wishes,

Julia Aisbitt DL JP


Christmas Jumper Day – 7 December 2023

The town council will be signing up for Christmas Jumper day on Thursday 7th December.    This is annual and in aid of Save the Children, please wear your jumper, take a pic and send to Sarah M so that we can add them to the newsletter.    There will be a text code which we will share closer to the date.  Thank you.

About Christmas Jumper Day 2023 | Save the Children

WSCC Active Travel Consultation

In March on behalf of WSCC,  MSDC published a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). This focuses on our key population centres and areas of growth, identifying where the greatest benefit could be achieved through new and improved active travel infrastructure.

West Sussex County Council have now developed the County-wide LCWIP and Active Travel Strategy based on all the LCWIPs from across the County which addresses the longer, more strategic connecting active travel routes needed from 2023 to 2036. This has been published for consultation and is open, until 11.55pm on 15th November, for your comments and feedback on the routes they have identified as high priorities for the next decade.

This Council at its meeting in September agreed to write to the WSCC Leader emphasising this Council’s concerns over the lack of active travel networks between our towns.

Given the importance of active travel in achieving our commitments to net zero I would encourage all of us to respond to this consultation. Further information and the consultation survey are available on the WSCC website , where you will find the Active Travel Strategy and County wide LCWIP .

I would be extremely grateful if you could share this with you network to secure as much feedback as possible.

Louise Duffield – Director of Resources and Organisational Development Mid Sussex District Council

WSCC Budget 2024/25

WSCC Budget 2024/25 – find out more and have your say

Budget consultation survey link

MSDC Town and Parish Liaison Group

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Download the PDF file .

MSDC Cost of Living Report

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Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner News

London Gatwick Annual Public Meeting

This year, London Gatwick’s Annual Public Meeting will take place on Wednesday 6 December, in the Ascot Suite of the Hilton Hotel at London Gatwick’s South Terminal. Welcome refreshments will be available from 13:30, with proceedings starting at 14:00. The annual meeting is an opportunity for members of the local community to hear more about the wider noise mitigation initiatives and operation of London Gatwick, and a chance to ask questions of industry partners. There will be noise monitor demonstrations, as well as the latest information on our newly opened STEM centre.  Places are available on a first come first served basis. If you wish to attend, please email

Gatcom News

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Voter ID – Levelling-Up Committee Chair writes to Government on voter turnout concerns

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee has today written to Baroness Scott of Bybrook OBE), Minister in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to raise concerns about the impact of the introduction of voter ID on some voters and on the capacity of local council electoral staff to manage the voter ID requirement (letter available here).

The Chair’s letter refers to figures from the Electoral Commission report which showed voter ID had a significant impact on some people’s ability to vote at the local elections in May 2023.

The Committee’s correspondence states that while the Electoral Commission’s post-poll report (published in September) noted 14,000 people were recorded as being unable to vote due to the requirement for voter ID, the Electoral Commission has warned they believe the actual number to be far greater.

The Electoral Commission’s initial analysis of the local elections found 4% of people did not vote as a result of the voter ID requirement. In correspondence on 12 September to the Committee, the Electoral Commission confirmed that based on the local election turnout figures, 4% of non-voters was equivalent to 740,000 people.

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, said: “The Electoral Commission have found that voter ID had a significant impact on some people’s ability to vote at the local elections in May. The Government needs to spell out how it will act on the Electoral Commission’s recommendations and the steps it will take to ensure the proportion of those unable to vote due to voter ID is not considerably higher at a future general election.

“It is particularly concerning that the Electoral Commission found unemployed voters and disabled voters were more likely to be unable to vote due to the voter ID requirement. The Government should set out what it will to do to change this and to ensure specific groups of individuals, including unemployed or disabled individuals, are not disproportionately impacted by this requirement in future elections.”

The Chair’s correspondence calls for the Government to confirm if it plans to expand forms of accepted ID. The letter also highlights concerns about the recruitment and retention of electoral staff, a long-standing problem but which, evidence suggests, has been exacerbated with the roll out of voter ID.

The Levelling Up Committee has been reviewing the implementation of voter ID in connection with the local elections as part of its inquiry into electoral registration.

The Council have been advised by MSDC that they have booked a separate room to deal with voter ID before the public get in to the polling station proper for next years police and crime commissioners election, when the general election is called this will require further discussion. 


The Kings Speech 2023

On Tuesday 7 November, during the State Opening of Parliament, His Majesty The King opened the 2023/24 Parliamentary session, setting out the Government’s legislative plan ahead of the next general election. The speech covered three key themes of strengthening society, growing the economy and keeping people safe, with 21 separate Bills announced. There are several areas of relevance to local government including proposed legislation on restricting the sale of tobacco and vaping products to young people, creating a legal framework for self-driving vehicles, supporting renters, and digitalising local traffic regulation orders. The legislative programme also includes proposals aimed at protecting public premises from terror attacks through the Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill, also known as Martyn’s Law, which NALC wrote to the prime minister about last week. The government has also announced that ahead of introducing the Bill in Parliament, there will be a further consultation on the Standard Tier to ensure the Bill’s measures strike the right balance between public protection and avoiding undue burdens on smaller premises. This consultation is welcome as NALC’s written evidence to the Home Affairs Committee set out our concerns about the impact of the legislation on our councils. We will of course be responding to the consultation and engaging further with the government and Parliamentarians in both Houses on the Bill and wider legislative programme.

NALC briefing on the national salary pay scales 

We have published a new employment briefing on the national salary pay scales for clerks and other employees who are employed under the terms of the model contract or Green Book terms. The briefing includes updated pay scales in line with the 2004 NALC and the Society of Local Council Clerks national agreement for the sector. These pay rates are applicable from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024. You can find the briefing under the Employment section of the Briefing webpage in the member’s area. If you have any queries, please contact your local county association.

NALC committee election voting is open!

County association representatives on NALC’s National Assembly can now vote for the vice-chair (member services) post and for NALC’s Management Board. We are also calling for all larger and smaller local (parish and town) councils to vote for the Larger Councils Committee and Smaller Councils Committee. This year, we are using the Single Transferable Vote system for all elections, and to vote, you will need to pre-register your council to vote. Those details will be submitted to UK Engage, and a voting link will be issued. Larger councils can find more information about the candidates for direct councillor and clerk vacancies and pre-register to vote on the NALC website. Smaller councils can find out more about the candidates for the three direct seats on the committee as well as pre-register to vote by visiting the NALC website. All councils must register by 20 November 2023, and voting will close on 22 November 2023, with results being announced at the National Assembly meeting on 29 November 2023. For any enquiries on the committee elections, please get in touch with NALC at

Extra tickets were released for the sold-out funding event 

We’ve released extra tickets for our sold-out online event on winning strategies for the funding game on 15 December 2023. This event aims to showcase these exceptions and provide information on why it makes sense from a funder’s perspective for local councils to be able to apply for such funds. You will hear from experts and local councils that have successfully secured grant funding. They will share their experiences and tips on navigating the current funding environment and increasing your chances of success. Please find out more and register your place for this event, and check out our other upcoming events.

On the blog: The Health Foundation 

This week’s blog is from the Health Foundation. The blog provides recommendations for what councils can do to tackle food insecurity in their communities. Affording and accessing enough nutritious food to lead a healthy life should be possible for everyone, but this is not currently the case in the UK. Local government has a crucial role in building healthy, thriving communities. The building blocks are interconnected; any missing or weakened threaten the whole structure. Preventing food insecurity is an important cornerstone that will help shore up the health and resilience of everyone in a community. Read the blog to find out more!

Celebrating 75 years of the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Association of Local Councils

It was good to join colleagues from the Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Association of Local Councils and local councils from across the county and city at their 75th anniversary event and Annual General Meeting on 1 November in Aylesbury. NALC’s head of policy and communications, Justin Griggs, joined the celebrations where he presented the Long Service Awards to Councillors at the Excellence Awards before giving a short speech which culminated in a toast to local councils and the continued development and support offered by the county association.

Local Government Strategy Forum 

Our senior solicitor and legal manager, Jane Moore, attended the Local Government Strategy Forum in Cheshire between 1 and 3 November 2023. The packed event had a varied programme, including presentations and group sessions looking at improvement and more efficient ways of working across local government, particularly within budgetary constraints. The event also heard positive stories on housing regeneration projects and organisational transformation, including the use of digital technology, with high-level speakers from principal authorities across the country.

Swimming Pool Support Fund 

Recipients of the Swimming Pool Support Fund were announced by the government this week. Local councils were eligible to apply via their principal council, which is why as part of our direct funding campaign I am keen to find out more about the sector’s engagement with this funding stream. We’ve already reached out to some local councils we are aware of that run a swimming pool, but please get in touch at

National Network: Super councils

Our next national network meeting for Super Councils will take place on 15 November 2023. The agenda includes an update from officials from the Office for Local Government including their consultation on the next set of draft metrics, a presentation from Luke Trevaskis from Morecambe Town Council on lessons learned from their recent peer challenge, and NALC’s annual analysis report on local council precepts. They will also discuss a network survey designed to provide insight into the super councils and how they would like to shape the delivery of the network in the future. The meeting will also include an open forum where members can share best practices and issues they are facing and receive mutual support.

And finally… 

Are you weather ready? The Met Office has recently launched its WeatherReady winter campaign, which focuses on weather challenges and tips for the public. Local councils can find a full range of resources in the Met Office’s online partner toolkit, including top tips in seven languages, social media posts, email signatures and printable posters.

Stakeholder Update Gatwick Airport Station

Gatwick Airport Station

Rural Bulletin

Rural Bulletin 7 November 2023

Gatwick DCO Relevant Representation Process update

Following our News Flash Item on 29th October we have now heard from the Planning Inspectorate with their revised procedure for submitting a representation for the Gatwick DCO process.

Note particularly if you submitted your representation on the 29th by email as a result of the website failure then you must re-submit using the online form.

Important Update from the Planning Inspectorate

As you will be aware, due to a technical fault with the Planning Inspectorate’s online Relevant Representation form, users were not able to make submissions on the final day of the representation period. The fault has now been resolved, and we apologise for any inconvenience this caused.

As a result of the premature closure, the Applicant has extended the period for submission of Relevant Representations until 23:59 on Sunday 19 November 2023. You can submit a representation and register as an Interested Party by navigating to the project webpage of the National Infrastructure Planning website:

If you previously submitted a representation via email due to the website fault, you will need to resubmit this via the online form by the above deadline in order for it to be valid.

If you have already submitted a representation via the form, please do not resubmit it unless we have contacted you directly about your submission.

If you are unable to complete a registration form online and would like to register your interest, please call the helpline on: 0303 444 5000 to request a paper form. Please note the deadline above for receipt of the completed form by the Planning Inspectorate. For further advice please see Advice Note 8.2: How to register to participate in an Examination. You can also check our step by step guide to find out more about having your say about a national infrastructure project.

Gatwick Airport Northern Runway Project Case Team  The Planning Inspectorate

Helpline: 0303 444 5000

West Sussex County Council to appoint full-time Chief Executive

A full-time chief executive is to be recruited by West Sussex County Council as it concludes a highly successful local leadership partnership with its neighbour, East Sussex.

Becky Shaw has been chief executive of both West and East Sussex County Councils since January 2020, in an innovative partnership set up by their leaders Cllr Keith Glazier (East Sussex) and Cllr Paul Marshall (West Sussex).

The partnership has seen both councils thrive and deliver important services for the residents, businesses and communities of both counties which are now well run with strong, stable and transparent governance, management and business planning and ambitious to meet the priorities of the people they serve.

Given the importance of strengthening and deepening local relationships and the range of opportunities and challenges facing both councils, the councils have decided now is the right time to increase the senior officer capacity and for West Sussex to recruit a new chief executive, with Becky Shaw returning to East Sussex full time once the new person is in place.

The working relationships between the councils and with local partner organisations were strengthened during the pandemic and those strong foundations are helping the councils respond to the challenges of cost of living rises, recruitment and retention and the increased demands for council services.

The county councils will continue to work closely together supporting economic growth, promoting the Sussex visitor economy, working with the NHS, lobbying for the needs of East and West Sussex to be understood and met by Government and other bodies and making the very best use of resources.

Cllr Paul Marshall said: “West Sussex County Council is in good shape to face the significant challenges and uncertainties ahead and we are proud of all the team has achieved since 2020. We are grateful for the significant contribution Becky and the East Sussex team have made to West Sussex and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership once we have recruited a new chief executive.”

Cllr Keith Glazier said: “The local improvement partnership between us was the first of its kind between upper tier councils. It has been very effective and will continue to evolve. I know the timing is right for this next step with strong foundations and huge ambition and we look forward to carrying on working well together.”  

Becky Shaw said “The role at West Sussex is a great opportunity for the right person to lead the officer team at the thriving and ambitious county council.  It has been a huge privilege to work across both councils and I am very proud of all we have achieved. The teams in East and West Sussex share a huge ambition for local people, businesses and communities and I know will continue to go from strength to strength working closely together on common issues. I look forward to being part of it.”

Newsletter 06/11/2023

6 November 2023


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NALC reappoints Baroness Ros Scott of Needham Market as president – News

NALC to speak on empowering local councils in tackling climate change – News

NALC takes steps to regulate fees for residential properties   – News

Smaller Councils Committee focuses on committee elections and key initiatives – News (

The benefits of fixing energy costs – News (

NALC Events

Democracy in Action – 14 November 12.00-13.15

Link for tickets

Martyn’s Law – where are we now? – 16 November 2023 — 12.00 – 13.30

Link for tickets

Making the planning system work for local councils -22 November 2023 — 12.00 – 13.15

Link for tickets

An introduction to the Local Council Award Scheme – 12 December 2023 — 12.30 – 13.45

Link for tickets

Winning strategies for the funding game -15 December 2023 — 12.00 – 13.15

Link for tickets

How local councils can benefit from the levelling up agenda – 31 January 2024 — 12.00 – 13.15

Link for tickets

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of social media in the local council sector – 28 February 2024 — 12.00 – 13.15

Link for tickets

Reconnecting communities through community transport -27 March 2024 — 12.00 – 13.15

Link for tickets

Network Rail

Kent and Sussex Strategic Planning Newsletter

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner News

SPCC – Ensuring we are all Safer in Sussex (

Gatcom News

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Rural Services Network

RSN Rural Funding Digest

National Health Service & Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association Elizabeth Cycle Project EG

For information regarding the long awaited cycle improvement scheme between Elizabeth Crescent and Meridian Way (private road). WSCC Highways Officer Nick De Sousa has advised they aim to start Mon 6 November 2023.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission have installed a new marker in the Mount Noddy Cemetery to mark the graves of WW2 which are in the currently closed Queens Road Cemetery.  QRC is hoped to be reopened for the public to visit but in the meantime those wishing to pay respects to all of East Grinsteads War Victims can do so in Mount Noddy.

MSVA E-Bulletin

MSVA E-Bulletin

Community Led Support – Prevention Assessment Team Information

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Download the PDF file .

GTR update on ticket office proposals

GTR update on ticket office proposals