YOUR GUIDE TO LOCAL COUNCILS, THE BENEFITS THEY CAN BRING TO YOUR AREA AND HOW YOU CAN CREATE ONE

Latest News

Tuesday 10 June 2014 | New Community Council Puts Heart Back into Queen’s Park

Thursday 5 June was a historic day for the neighbourhood of Queen’s Park as it was the first meeting of the new community council.

Queen’s Park Community Council is the first parish council to be set up in decades, following the campaigning efforts of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) and local residents to allow parish councils to be established in London.

The last parish council in London was abolished in 1936, making the efforts of residents in Queen’s park momentous.

Twelve parish councillors were elected by residents for their neighbourhood during the 22 May local elections: Ryan Dalton, Joe Fernandes, Emma Jean Sweeny, Musa Ahmed, Julius Anthony Lawrence Hogben, Emma Kerry Morgan, Katie Cowan, Eartha Sweetie Pond, Angela Ruby Singhate, Philip Andokou, Gill Fitzhugh and Susanna Jane Rustin.

During the first meeting on Thursday 5 June, Cllr Angela Ruby Singhate was appointed as chair of the council.

She said: “I am over the moon that we have reached this momentous day here in Queen’s Park, the journey has been exciting, at times challenging and of course extremely rewarding. The feeling in Queen’s park is one of excited anticipation as the QPCC works towards its pledge of community representation and demonstrates its value in being an asset to the local area.

“I am really pleased to have been elected as Chair (man)! Of the new council, having led the campaign for the QPCC – this endorsement means a great deal to me. I am confident that this continuity will support the council’s induction year and I am honoured to be at the helm of this exciting time here in QP!”

The elections coincided with the first Create a Council Week, a new initiative from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) that took place 19 – 23 May.

The aim of the Create a Council campaign is to encourage communities up and down the country to follow in the footsteps of Queen’s Park and Chadwick End and form their own local parish or ‘community council’.

Create a Council Week is set to become the largest celebration of neighbourhood (community, parish, town and village) democracy, inspiring people and communities to join 9,000 other parish councils already working to improve people’s lives across England and Wales.

This initiative follows changes in legislation that make it easier to set up a parish council and fresh investment to help community groups do so.

Parish councils are the most local tier of local government – they’re at the very heart of the community, giving neighbourhoods a voice and helping people feel more involved in the decisions that affect them. And yet, only a third of the population is covered by one. NALC wants to change this.

Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of NALC, said: “The National Association would like to congratulate all those councillors elected to serve in Queen’s Park. We are pleased that these councillors will join 80,000 other people who act as champions for community.

He continues: “A decade ago NALC campaigned to change the law to allow parish councils to be established in London. It was a nonsense people in any other part of the country, in any other city in England, could set up a parish council, except in London.

We got the law changed so people in London could have more of a voice and say over their area; so people in London could also benefit from hyper local democracy and grassroots government; so people could put the heart back into their community through a new parish council.”

NEW COMMUNITY COUNCILS PUTS HEART BACK INTO QUEENS PARK LARGE

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Wednesday 28 May 2014 | Historic first vote for Queen’s Park and Chadwick End

Thursday 22 May was a historic day for two communities in London and the West Midlands, where the first vote for new Parish councils took place.

Residents in Queen’s Park, Westminster and Chadwick End have now elected parish councillors for their neighbourhood.

The following were elected in Queen’s Park: Ryan Dalton, Joe Fernandes, Emma Jean Sweeny, Musa Ahmed, Julius Anthony Lawrence Hogben, Emma Kerry Morgan, Katie Cowan, Eartha Sweetie Pond, Angela Ruby Singhate, Philip Andokou, Gill Fitzhugh and Susanna Jane Rustin.

The following were elected in Chadwick End: Simon Carter, Jeff Davies, Rob Horsfield, Clive Anthony Stocks and Hilary Irene Vaughton.

The elections coincided with the first Create a Council Week, a new initiative from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) that took place 19 – 23 May.

The aim of the Create a Council campaign is to encourage communities up and down the country to follow in the footsteps of Queen’s Park and Chadwick End and form their own local parish or ‘community council’.

Create a Council Week is set to become the largest celebration of neighbourhood (community, parish, town and village) democracy, inspiring people and communities to join 9,000 other parish councils already working to improve people’s lives across England and Wales. This initiative follows changes in legislation that make it easier to set up a parish council and fresh investment to help community groups do so.

Parish councils are the most local tier of local government – they’re at the very heart of the community, giving neighbourhoods a voice and helping people feel more involved in the decisions that affect them. And yet, only a third of the population is covered by one. NALC wants to change this.

Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of NALC, said: “The National Association would like to congratulate all those councillors elected to serve in Queen’s Park and Chadwick End. We are pleased that these councillors will join 80,000 other people who act as champions for community.

He continues: “A decade ago NALC campaigned to change the law to allow parish councils to be established in London. It was a nonsense people in any other part of the country, in any other city in England, could set up a parish council, except in London. We got the law changed so people in London could have more of a voice and say over their area; so people in London could also benefit from hyper local democracy and grassroots government; so people could put the heart back into their community through a new parish council.“

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Tuesday 27 May 2014 | Time to Put the Heart Back into the Community

The first ever meeting of people and groups from across England campaigning to set up a new parish council took place in London on Tuesday 20th May. Tuesday’s event happened in the same week as first ever-historic parish council elections in Queen’s Park, London and Chadwick End, Solihull.

The meeting was part of the launch of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) Create a Council Week that took place 19 – 23 May. The group of community ‘Champions’ gathered around a 2 metre high installation in London’s busy Russell Square, to mark their collective efforts to ‘Put the heart back into their communities’.

The aim of the Create a Council Campaign is to encourage communities up and down the country to form their own local parish or ‘community council’. The week coincided with the historic first vote for new parish councils in London and Chadwick End, West Midlands. Residents in Queen’s Park, Westminster and Chadwick End have now elected parish councillors for their neighbourhood.

Create a Council Week is set to become the largest celebration of neighbourhood (community, parish, town and village) democracy, inspiring people and communities to join 9,000 other parish councils already working to improve people’s lives across England and Wales. This initiative follows changes in legislation that make it easier to set up a parish council and fresh investment to help community groups do so.

Parish councils are the most local tier of local government – they’re at the very heart of the community, giving neighbourhoods a voice and helping people feel more involved in the decisions that affect them.  And yet, only a third of the population is covered by one.  NALC wants to change this.

Stephen Williams MP, CLG minister, said: “ One place that will be having an election in London this Thursday is Queen’s Park which I visited a few months ago and met the campaigners there who’ve successfully set up London’s first parish council for decades, so a really exciting innovation. Whatever happens in the European elections or the district council elections or unitary and met elections on Thursday, there will be a brand new parish election taking place just a few miles away from here in the heart of London. I’d like to congratulate the campaigners who’ve succeeded on bringing that community council in an urban part of Westminster into fruition and to wish all councillors who are elected this Thursday the best of luck for the next four years.

“Parish and community councils and town councils are the closest to the people that they represent, so as far as I’m concerned as the Minister for Localism and Community Rights, they play a vital role in reinvigorating our democracy and citizen participation. One of the things I’m really excited about is the number of neighbourhood plans that have been set in train right across England and parish councils have been at the forefront in getting some of those neighbourhood plans into place and seeing some of them all the way through now to a referendum. We’ve also got hundreds of assets around the country that have been listed as assets of community value and I’d like to thank NALC for the constructive role they’re playing in encouraging communities to come forward with these buildings and pieces of land that is of importance to them and to get them registered so they have some protection into the future.”

Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of NALC, said:  “A decade ago NALC campaigned to change the law to allow parish councils to be established in London. It was a nonsense people in any other part of the country, in any other city in England, could set up a parish council, except in London.  We got the law changed so people in London could have more of a voice and say over their area; so people in London could also benefit from hyper local democracy and grassroots government; so people could put the heart back into their community through a new parish council. I’m particularly excited about London’s first parish council because the last parish council was abolished in 1936, making the efforts of residents in Queen’s park momentous.”

Grant Webberley from the campaign for a Fenton Town Council in Stoke-on-Trent said: “In Fenton; the industry is in decline, there is a loss of amenities, we’re a deprived area and apathy is endemic. The community association recognised the demise in the town and came up with the idea of a town council to give us a voice and help improve the area. NALC has given us lots of information and support. We achieved our aim of triggering a governance review, knocking on doors in every area, networking with people to get our argument across and hear from local people. The funding through the new councils programme has been of great assistance, helping our communications with local people.”

Terry Martin from the Kent Association of Local Councils paid tribute to NALC in organising the event and said: “For a number of years the Kent Association has garnered interest in our non-parish areas. We had a very good meeting with forums in Ashford 3 years ago and the stumbling block was funding and the campaign fell by the wayside. So we were delighted when the Department for Communities and Local Government announced funding for the new councils programme, which we actively support. We went out to explain to the groups what the new councils programme is all about. With our support the community groups in Ashford have now come a long way and we’re pleased to be supporting these campaigns.”

NALC’s key points in the response to the department of Communities and Local Government consultation on using a legislative reform order to make it easier to set up a parish or town council are set out below:

- Support for the measures set out in the Legislative Reform Order
- Support for Government providing additional funding for principal councils to cover the costs of conducting a community governance review
- Call on the Government to ensure free copies of the electoral register are provided by a principal council to parish meetings and groups campaigning to set up a new parish or town council
- NALC expects to be closely involved and consulted in work to review the guidance on conducting community governance reviews
- NALC recommends Government provide further funding for continued activity to create new councils in 2015/16

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Friday 16 May 2014 | The First Ever Vote for Parish Councils

Thursday 22 May sees the historic first vote for new parish councils in London and Chadwick End, West Midlands. Residents in Queen’s Park, Westminster and Chadwick End are just days away from electing parish councillors for their neighbourhood.

The creation of the first civil parish in Greater London since 1963 and in Chadwick End has been loudly applauded by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

Campaigners for the Queen’s Park Community Council were concerned their diverse and challenging part of the borough was being neglected and a new, democratically elected body was needed to take action and work with other agencies on poverty, provision of community facilities, isolation of elderly people and anti-social and gang related activity.

Chadwick End residents will now have a greater say about issues in their local area such as: 
maintenance of grass verges, footpaths and public areas, playing fields and children’s playground, maintenance and operation of community facilities, working with the police in traffic calming and crime prevention, preserving the heritage and look of the village through consultation on local planning applications, arranging local arts, entertainment and events.

Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of NALC, said: “As champions for local democracy and community action, NALC has been pleased to support residents in Queen’s Park and Chadwick End in establishing their parish councils.”

“This is a landmark for local democratic politics with communities now at the vanguard of taking action to improve lives and neighbourhoods.”

“I hope to see more new parish councils in England in coming years, giving people a new democratic voice, and joining the tens of thousands already in existence across England already helping take localism to the next level.”

The election for the Queen’s Park Community Council and Chadwick End Parish Council ecoincides with NALC’s Create a Council week, which will take place between 19 – 23 May.

The aim of Create a Council Week (19 – 23 May 2014) is to encourage communities up and down the country to form their own local parish or ‘community council’. The week is set to become the largest celebration of neighbourhood (community, parish, town and village) democracy, inspiring people and communities to join 9,000 other parish councils already working to improve people’s lives across England and Wales. This initiative follows changes in legislation that make it easier to set up a parish council and fresh investment to help community groups do so.

Parish councils are the most local tier of local government – they’re at the very heart of the community, giving neighbourhoods a voice and helping people feel more involved in the decisions that affect them. And yet, only a third of the population is covered by one. NALC wants to change this.

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Wednesday 14 May 2014 | Create a Council Week (19 – 23 May 2014)

Create a Council Week takes place between 19 – 23 May 2014 and is a new initiative by the National Association of Local Councils to encourage more communities to form their own parish council.

The week coincides with voters in Queen’s Park and Chadwick End, all electing a new parish council. Queen’s Park being the first parish council in London for decades!

During the week we’re holding an event for the campaign groups that have been funded by the Create a Council programme so far and celebrating the success of newly formed councils and specifically shining a light on the achievements of Queen’s Park.

How you can get involved:

Look out for information from your CALC, in the coming weeks about how you can support the campaign.

It will be a week of tweeting, taking photographs, contacting your principal authority and spreading the word about the benefits of being a parish council.

The theme of the week is putting the heart back into your community, so we hope that you can all use it as an opportunity to celebrate local projects and achievements.

Keeping in theme, we’ll be touring around the country (London, Kent, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Staffordshire and many more!) with a 7ft heart (Yes, we really do mean 7ft!) to show how different groups are putting the heart back into their community. Keep an eye out for photo’s covering the weeks event.

Use the hashtag #createacouncil and tweet us (@CreateACouncil or @NALC) what you are doing, share pictures, get involved with your community.

CAC heart image

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Monday 9 September 2013 | Government Makes it Easier to Set Up Parish Councils and Invests in Support Programme

Communities up and down the country are being urged to set up more new parish councils, with plans to make it easier and fresh investment to help community groups.

Government minister Don Foster, MP today announced their response to its consultation on making it easier to set up parish councils, alongside news that the Department for Communities and Local Government will be supporting the National Association of Local Councils and County Associations of Local Councils to help campaigners..

As a driving force behind the national ‘Power to the people’ and London’s ‘Create a Council’ campaigns, NALC has welcomed these positive steps, which reinforce Government’s commitment to parish and town councils, as way of giving people a voice, delivering local services and influencing how public money is spent in their area. To register interest in the new support programme, or to request further information on these announcements, please contact chris.borg@nalc.gov.uk

On 27 March 2014, DCLG announced a Legislative Reform Order (LRO) consultation on making it easier to set up town and parish councils.  This consultation focuses on the specific measures DCLG announced in its 9 September 2013 consultation response it was proposing to introduce.

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Please click here for the CLG consultation document/LRO.
Please click here for the NALC media release.
Please click here for the NALC policy consultation briefing.

Please call 020 7637 1865 to find out more about how to create a new local council and the grants available to campaign groups and County Associations under the New Councils’ Programme. Please click here to access relevant grant application forms and information available to 31 March 2013 under the Programme.

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Facebook & Twitter

You can follow the Create a Council Twitter page here.
You can follow the Create a Council Facebook page here.

The website contains information about:

    The role and status of local councils

    How they can be created

    The place NALC and County Associations of Local Councils have in this arena

    Campaigns to create new local councils in London

    New local councils already created outside London

    A resources page with contact details and further information