News

May 2024

Newsletter 03/05/2024

3 May 2024

Planning

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Traffic Regulation Order Consultation East Grinstead

West Sussex County Council proposes to make a permanent Traffic Regulation Order that will amend parking restrictions on roads in The East Grinstead Controlled Parking Zone as follows:

West Hill: to remove a single yellow line restriction on the northern side of the road and replace it with a restriction prohibiting waiting at any time (double yellow lines)

Fairfield Road: to remove a pay and display parking bay on the western side of the road and replace it with a parking bay for permit holders 9am to 5pm Mon to Sat except bank holidays

Canteloupe Road: to change the restriction on a pay and display parking bay on the eastern side of the road to permit its use by permit holders in addition to pay and display users.

Railway Approach: to remove a parking bay on the southern side of the road and replace it with double yellow lines.

Below is a link to the TRO Team’s consultation web page, containing plans showing the new restriction, the public notice, statement of reasons for proposing the Order, and the draft Order itself. This is a formal consultation on the above order. If you wish to make any comments or objections to the scheme, please make them by e-mail before 23 May 2024 to Martin Moore Legal Officer: Adur, Arun, Mid Sussex & Worthing – TRO Team  martin.moore@westsussex.gov.uk

https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/traffic-regulation-orders/

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WSALC Meeting Minutes

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Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner

National Stalking Awareness Week

NALC News

NALC event looks at safeguarding local councils from prevalent financial threats  – News

Council of the Year Braunstone Town Council will speak at the Local Government Association Conference – News (nalc.gov.uk)

Meeting between NALC and Society of Local Council Clerks leadership teams

NALC’s chair, Cllr Keith Stevens, and vice-chairs Cllr Peter Davey and Cllr David Francis met their Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) counterparts last week on 25 April 2024 to discuss areas of mutual interest. The focus of the meeting was the state of local government finance generally and what might be the implications for local (parish and town) councils. We agreed to work closely to monitor the situation, provide advice and support and engage with the Local Government Association (LGA) and other national bodies. We noted progress on our respective attendance at the LGA’s Annual Conference from 2 – 4 July 2024 in Harrogate aimed at raising the profile of the sector with over 1,200 delegates from principal authorities, which this year will include our first joint stand in the exhibition. Our focus will be on how our part of local government can help address the challenges facing the country by “working together to build stronger communities”. The meeting also discussed other joint initiatives, including a joint event on youth engagement, the Civility and Respect Project and workforce development.

Meeting with trade union Association of Local Council Clerks

Keith and I were joined by our new Management Board workforce lead, Cllr Bob Blezzard from the Isle of Wight Association of Local Councils, to meet with Linda Hedley, general secretary the Association of Local Council Clerks (ALCC) trade union, on 25 April 2024. We heard about the development of the trade union since 2016 with its membership now standing at around 1000 local council clerks and other officers. We discussed matters of mutual interest including promoting civility and respect in the workplace and involving the union in our workforce work, agreeing to meet regularly, at least twice a year.

Hertfordshire Sports and Physical Activity Partnership Conference

Promoting our councils’ role in health and wellbeing has been one of NALC’s campaign themes for several years, with plenty of resources on our website and several events held. Which is why it was good to be invited to join around 60 delegates from local councils across Hertfordshire at the Hertfordshire Sport and Physical Activity Partnership (HSP) conference on active ageing on 26 April. With the number of UK over-50s standing at 21 million people and set to grow dramatically over the next few years, our society and policies need to change now to keep up with this radical shift. Local councils can help in many ways, especially as increasing physical activity is key, with the World Health Organisation estimating around 3 million deaths across the globe can be attributed to inactivity. I shared with delegates what NALC, county associations and councils were doing across the country, and it was encouraging to hear so many examples of good work by Hertfordshire’s councils.

Larger Councils Committee 

The Larger Councils Committee held its in person meeting for the year at NALC’s offices in London on 30 April. Here are a few highlights:

  • The committee noted the update from Management Board on its work plan and asked for cyber security to be included in our work on artificial intelligence (AI). Additionally, they requested that resources from the Study Tour be shared more widely and the number of places increased in future years. They also suggested that consideration should be given to start times for the National Network: Super Councils, as part of an effort to get more councillors involved.
  • A discussion took place on artificial intelligence and its application to larger councils, including what it means in local government terms, how it impacts the operations and service delivery of larger councils now and in the future.
  • The committee were joined remotely by Jennifer Bevan, finance advisory network advisor at The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), who gave a presentation on financial resilience in local government, speaking about the pillars of resilience, risks and warning signs, best practice and the way forward.
  • Updates were also provided on the work of the Martyn’s Law Steering Group and our national networks on coastal communities, climate emergency and super councils.

NALC online event on trends in local government finance 

NALC hosted an online event on emerging trends in local government finance on 25 April 2024. Our expert panel featured Annie Child, Derek Kemp, Cllr Graham Oakes, and Steve Parkinson who shed light on current financial challenges and provided practical insights for local councils to navigate them efficiently. The discussion centred around safeguarding local councils from financial threats anticipated in the coming years. Steve Parkinson highlighted concerns about councils depleting their reserves, leading to inevitable council tax increases due to risky financial strategies and inadequate decision making. Derek Kemp emphasised the importance of reserves in financing council services and referenced The Practitioners’ Guide as essential for determining reserve policies. Annie Child introduced the Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments (SAAA) and provided tips for a successful audit. And Cllr Graham Oakes showcased Yeovil Town Council’s success in preserving various services. Find out more about NALC online events.

Joint NALC/One Voice Wales/SLCC online summit on youth engagement – Save the date! 

I’m really excited to be joining forces with our colleagues One Voice Wales and SLCC on a joint summit on youth engagement on 18 July 2024. This all-day online event will examine the many different aspects of engagement with young people by community, parish and town councils in England and Wales. More information and a booking link will follow, but for now, save the date!

On the blog: Maternal mental health

This week’s blog post, written by Charlotte Eisenhart, NALC’s head of member services, emphasises the importance of supporting maternal mental health, particularly during and after pregnancy. Charlotte highlights the alarming statistics of maternal mental illness and its impact on mothers and fathers, emphasising the need for community support. She urges local councils to address this issue, suggesting practical steps such as providing information about support services, ensuring accessible outdoor spaces for families, installing baby changing facilities, funding local support groups, encouraging businesses to be family friendly, and conducting surveys to understand community needs better. By rallying community support, local councils can play a significant role in combating the stigma surrounding maternal mental health and creating a supportive environment for families. Read the blog to find out more!

Fortnightly meeting between NALC and county officers

This week’s meeting between NALC and county officers included an update on the new updated edition of the Good Councillor’s Guide that is due out soon. The meeting received updates on NALC’s work including the latest quarterly report and the creation of new councils (where getting the boundaries right was emphasised). There was also a discussion on topics for future meetings based on priorities identified by county officers.

Long-Term Plan for Towns webinar

I was pleased that NALC was asked by the chair of the government’s new Towns Unit, Adam Hawksbee (who is also deputy director of the think tank Onward), to help organise a well-attended webinar on 24 April on the Long-Term Plan for Towns for our local councils in the 75 areas which will receive funding. In September 2023, the Prime Minister launched the Long-Term Plan for Towns as part of its levelling up programme, selecting 55 towns across Great Britain to receive funding. At the Spring Statement, the Chancellor confirmed additional funding worth £400 million to extend this programme to an additional 20 towns, bringing the total investment to £1.5 billion. Adam hosted the webinar, and in his introductory remarks, he thanked NALC for our support before going on to remark that he was unashamedly a champion for local councils, citing Onward’s Double Devo report, which makes the case for empowering our councils. He spoke in depth about the programme’s guidance, timescales, and support before taking questions from attendees (which included colleagues from SLCC), on issues ranging from monitoring and evaluation, involvement in Town Boards and sharing good practice.

New resources added to NALC’s banking webpage

Following a recent meeting held by Chris Borg, policy manager and LINK, which is the coordinating body that assesses all bank branch closures and recommends banking hubs in areas that meet set criteria, two useful LINK resources have been added to the dedicated banking page on the NALC website. The LINK community request scheme can be used by local councils and others to put in a request for either an ATM or a banking hub. And the LINK Cash Locator shows all current places to access cash for free and which will be of use to local councils who want to identify the nearest ATM provision and free cash access for residents in their area.

And finally…  

Today the local and mayoral elections take place in several parts of the country, including elections for many of our local councils! Good luck to everyone standing for election, and for those of who have decided to stand down, thank you for your service to your communities.

Gatcom News

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East Hoathly and Halland Neighbourhood Plan

The Examiner’s Report for the East Hoathly with Halland Neighbourhood Plan has now been received and is available to view on Wealden District Council’s Neighbourhood Planning page here. Wealden District Council will now consider each of the Examiner’s recommendations and the reasons for them and the Neighbourhood Plan will be modified to ensure that it meets the basic conditions. A formal decision will then be made by Wealden District Council on whether the Plan can progress to Referendum. Our website will be updated when a decision has been made.

The Planning Policy Team
Planning Policy, Wealden District Council
Council Offices | Vicarage Lane | Hailsham | East Sussex | BN27 2AX  http://www.wealden.gov.uk

Ninfield Neighbourhood Plan

The Examiner’s Report for the Ninfield Neighbourhood Plan has now been received and is available to view on Wealden District Council’s Neighbourhood Planning page here. Wealden District Council will now consider each of the Examiner’s recommendations and the reasons for them and the Neighbourhood Plan will be modified to ensure that it meets the basic conditions. A formal decision will then be made by Wealden District Council on whether the Plan can progress to Referendum. Our website will be updated when a decision has been made.

The Planning Policy Team
Planning Policy, Wealden District Council
Council Offices | Vicarage Lane | Hailsham | East Sussex | BN27 2AX  http://www.wealden.gov.uk