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).

Does your Council own a green space which you would like to see protected and enjoyed by local people for ever?  If so, the Open Spaces Society recommends that you consider voluntarily registering it as a town or village green. You can do this, under section 15(8) of the Commons Act 2006, with your county or unitary council, which makes no charge for the application. Once registered as a green, local people will enjoy the right to recreation there, and the space is protected for ever from

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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.

This week, NALC released the Tree Charter case study publication which, captures the stories of local councils who were featured in the monthly Tree Charter newsletter.

Natural England last week published a new Countryside Code to help people enjoy the outdoors as lockdown restrictions ease. A timely publication for rural councils facing the social problems that come with increased  footfall, the accompanying informational posters promote respect for others, protection of the environment, and responsible enjoyment of the outdoors.

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.