NALC's chairman, Cllr Sue Baxter, held her latest meeting with Luke Hall MP, minister for regional growth and local government, on 19 May, with remote meetings and standards top of the agenda.

It’s not too early to start thinking about how to thank your volunteers for their time and effort and this year, more than ever, they deserve recognition and reward.

NALC chair, Cllr Sue Baxter has penned an open letter to all councillors following the local elections last week.  — read the full letter

Internal audit is a timely subject featured on the NALC blog through a really interesting piece by Eleanor Green, Secretary to the Parish Internal Auditors Forum, who reminds us that

The Community and Countryside Research Unit at the University of Gloucestershire want to hear from residents in rural communities about their use of services since the start of the Covid-19 restrictions in March 2020 and how they expect to use those services in future.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced that a £2.7 million Local Authority Treescapes Fund has now opened for applications.

The Government’s latest support for businesses (and village & community halls) has now been launched and replaces the lockdown grants paid to businesses in 2020/21. Restart Grants are available to village and community halls with a business rates account and are again administered by local authorities.

Warwickshire County Council is the lead authority for the £220m Community Renewal Fund and will receive and assess bids to submit to Government for consideration.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a consultation into improving broadband connectivity to very hard to reach places which closes mid-June. The government wants to ensure that long-term, long lasting gigabit solutions are made widely available across the UK.

NALC will be responding to this consultation and seeks County Associations' and member Councils' views to help form its response. Download the policy consultation briefing PC3-21 Rural broadband from NALC.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a consultation into electronic communications infrastructure, to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage.

NALC will be responding to this consultation and seeks County Associations' and member Councils' views to help form its response. Download the policy consultation briefing PC4-21 Electronic communications infrastructure from NALC.

Campaign To Protect Rural England Warwickshire are seeking two new trustees to help govern and manage the charity.

CPRE Warwickshire are looking for people with a strong interest in the countryside and a desire to protect for the present and the future of all the best characteristics of our county.

Campaign To Protect Rural England Warwickshire are seeking volunteers to help monitor planning applications.

CPRE Warwickshire are looking for people with a strong interest in the countryside and a desire to protect for the present and the future of all the best characteristics of our county.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) announced on Saturday 24th April the launch of two new key neighbourhood planning funds.

The first fund is valued at £2.1 million and called the Bidding fund for local planning authorities in under-represented areas. The aim of this fund is for local planning authorities covering partly deprived or urban areas to apply for funding to kick-start neighbourhood planning groups (where they are currently under-represented).

If you are responsible for street lighting or running a community building, then a recent talk by Clear Utility Solutions hosted by WALC might be of interest.

NALC is calling on local (parish and town) councils to complete its new survey on young people. The survey will explore what local councils are currently doing to support young people in their communities.

The Centre for Ageing Better published its Ageing in a rural place report. With roughly 70% of local councils are in rural areas, the report looks at the specific challenges that rural populations face, such as housing, employment, protection of local buildings and assets, and transport links. Find out more about the Centre for Ageing Better work.

And Be Rewarded - In Time!
Timebanks are a way for people to help others in their community and be rewarded for it – in time. For every hour you give helping someone, you receive one hour back, called a time credit. Everyone’s time is valued equally, so one hour of sharing skills or helping others is recognised by giving that person one hour as a time credit – a community loyalty point.

For the next issue, NALC's Local Council Review would like you to answer three questions about your working relationships with sector and non-sector bodies.

Please respond to the survey by 7 May 2021.

If you aren't currently receiving LCR magazine and would like to find out more and subscribe visit NALC's website.

The Great British Spring Clean campaign 2021 has been launched by Keep Britain Tidy. From 28 May to 13 June 2021, #LitterHeroes across the country are encouraged to get outside and get active, while helping Keep Britain Tidy on their mission to clean up a million miles of UK streets, coastline, parks, footpaths and neighbourhoods.

NALC has issued the following advice.

"There is an official period of mourning up to and including next Saturday 17 April (see Government Guidance). We understand that the period started last Friday 9th April. The period of mourning triggers the provisions of s243 of the 1972 Act.  As a result, these days should be excluded for calculation of time and any timescales that end in this period should be postponed until the first day after the period in accordance with section 243 of the 1972 Act."