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Devolution Online Event - Shared screen with speaker view
Sally Longmate, Suffolk ALC
Good afternoon everyone from what was earlier a very sunny Suffolk.
David Harris
Can someone please let me know what is happening?
Jane Biscombe - Town Clerk
Hello from a still quite windy Weymouth
Staplehurst Office
Yes can't hear any sound?
Good afternoon from a dull Hampshire,
Jonathan OWEN
I can confirm clouds descending in Suffolk! Shame as I'm having the afternoon as leave!
Leah Coney
Cloudy in Alton too!
Jane Biscombe - Town Clerk
I think we are just waiting for the start in a minute or so. I can't hear anything either, I don't think it's started yet
Roger House Vice Chair KALC
Hi from a sunny north Kent
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
still only a red screen
Sally Longmate, Suffolk ALC
David this is a webinar and it will start shortly , we wont be able to see each other or talk but use this function to chat and also ask questions
Holly Westwood
Sunny here in Telford! :)
Kay Kirkham
The sun shines in Yorkshire - yes it does happen sometimes!
Suzanne Smith
Hello from sunny but very windy North Yorkshire
Hi from sunny soon to be rainy Durham
Bakul Kumar
Hello everyone from sunny Bromsgrove
Colin Trudgeon Bishops Clyst PC
What is sun, long time no see in Devon
Jeremy Burton - County Officer Norfolk ALC
Bootiful here in Norfolk !
Paul Hayward
Cliché Jeremy
Peter Cozens
Hi from sunny West Sussex
Katherine Hierons Spennymoor
Hi, it is sunny but very windy here at the seaside in Redcar.
Catherine Young
It's now cloudy in Surrey too.
Adrian Winnington
Hello, from a very Sunny Hunny (Hunstanton)
samantha buchanan
Hello everyone
Cllr John Neale
Hi Justin and everyone, from Farnham Town Council - John Neale
Hello from Leighton-Linslade :0)
Terry Jordan
Hello from Wisbech Town Council (Cambridgeshire)
Elisabeth Uggerloese Bidford on Avon PC
Hello from Bidford on Avon
BHIB Councils Insurance - Luke Perkins
Hi All, I hope you enjoy todays session, if you would like BHIB Council Insurance to be part of your tendering process this year, please email Luke Perkins on enquiries@bhibcouncils.co.uk
Katherine Owen Blachere Illumination
contact details should anyone need us at Blachere Illuminations k.owen@blachere-illumination.co.uk or 07741074479
Pete Astell
Kathy... can you give me your email address...im from Beverley Town Council and are having a Jubilee Event
Mark Davies, CCLA
And just to keep the theme going - CCLA - mark.davies@ccla.co.uk and kelly.watson@ccla.co.uk
Jane Coleman Maldon Town Council
Hi Tom, welcome to Essex from Maldon Town Council, look forward to working with you
Tom Walker
My email which will be monitored when I wind up is tom.walker1@cabinetoffice.gov.uk
Tom Walker
do get in touch
Can you explain devolution more specifically. Are you saying Parishes will be taken notice of when dealing with local matter such as planning
Tom Walker
I want to get to Maldon and other places before I start formally on 19 April.
Stephen Rickitt
Devolution - Mayors and Combined authorities - In N'land we asked DCLG to allocate a local council seat on the North of Tyne Combined Authority or if not that then a clear commitment in the legislation to consult our levels - neither occurred. Our fear was and is the lack of local councils in the metropolitan areas. Can as a start there be a specific duty to consult local council please?
Pete Astell
Will Town and Parishes have devolved power and services, Quality status in 2011 was supposed to allow local councils to do just that but it never happened.
wendy matthews
how do parish councils get included in devolution? In Buckinghamshire where we are the parish councils are totally ignored or acknowledged as having any locus as a partner in this
Jeremy Burton - County Officer Norfolk ALC
From a Parish Council perspective there are a couple of concerns. (1) with more items being devolved to parish councils there is concern that Clerks will not have the knowledge / time etc. to deal with them. Are there any thoughts with Clustering parishes ? (2) How will the additional finance required follow the work to Parish Council level ?
David Harris
How do I know if you have received the question I submitted?
Sally Longmate, Suffolk ALC
I agree Jeremy - there is a huge amount of work to do under the bonnet that is on my radar and I have raised as a member of the Improvement and Development Board under this agenda some months ago.
Nailsworth Town Council
Digital connectivity; increased community involvement and levelling up at parish level includes giving parishes the choice to be flexible with some outdated legislation in the Local Government Act i.e. To legally hold meetings virtually. Covid has shown virtual this can hugely increase public participation, transparency and include different sections of the community as cllrs such as working parents and people with disabilities. How can the Levelling Up agenda help modernise parish ways of working?
Stephen Rickitt
Nailsworth - well said
Michael Ruston
We have had Town Teams (Mary Portas) and Coastal Community Teams come and go, lots of ideas but not much action. Surveys, studies, reports etc.
Nailsworth Town Council
Thanks Stephen. Some of the legislation governing parishes stops us from being as flexible and as modern as we would like.
Adrian Oldman
Agree with Nailsworth. No need to be wholly in person. Now JRMogg has gone, so hopefully, will the stubborness
Alison Robinson - Gloucestershire
Generalities are fine, but we want more information on the specific opportunities for our sector. If this information is not yet clear it would be good to know the timeline for the detail, that way we can work proactively with local councils to prepare appropriately.
rural areas are high focus for environmental and greening campaigns but at city level they are not important. rural parishes are too far away from city centres that decisions being made do not actually relate to the best interest of those rural areas. So when will devolution get to us.
there are a lot of strong parishes but er are not heard
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
The white paper described much of the dysfunction in local govt., but failed to give solutions. Left behind Britain has received some funding, but often it has been hijacked by 'the elite', and only projects that fit their agendas. If we look at Margate, across the bay from here, they have received at least £200m in the last 20 years, but little of the funding has reached the grass roots.
Lance Allan
What needs to be done to persuade non-parished areas to consider having a parish council as well as making it easier to create parishes where there is a wish?
Richard Noon
Can some of these conversations be framed around a shift towards pre-1972/74 Local Government Act? i.e. devolution from Local Authorities to Parish and Town Councils. Give Parish's responsibilities, assets back to those that were UDCs. Most of the 'Big Society' danced around it and made communities and Parish/Town Councils battle it out, whilst actually making communities better positioned to react to deliver agenda items e.g. Asset Transfer than Parish Councils were.My view - unroll the 1974 act, bring a version of UDCs back and give that responsibility to them to manage - where Parish/Town Councils want it. Local is better - Power to Change have been brilliant at supporting and enabling those journeys towards empowerment locally - we're a direct benefactor of their efforts. They have a wealth of data to support these conversations too. Local Authorities don't represent all their local communities. Town and parish tend to do better at generating the local voice.
Justin Griggs, NALC
Please post your Qs in the Q&A as you c an vote for Qs to move them up the list
we have trouble recruiting parish councillors because most residents feel they have no power
Paul Hayward
For a start, sweep away archaic 1972 rules and devote parliamentary time to enable PC's and TC's to be 21st century compatible.
Lance Allan
Democratic accountability can be improved through giving responsibility to parish councils through devolution. Should cover small and large fairly - not just devolution to largest towns.
Is Will Turner floating the possibility of Town Councils taking on part of the planning & placeshaping agenda from larger Planning Authorities.
Sally Longmate, Suffolk ALC
Denise, in Suffolk we are considering a campaign around this and working with local peers and our Vice Presidents on this. It is an issue I agree.
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
The education part of the paper was nonsensical. Kent has a two tier education with a lot of NEETS in some Districts, yet Dorset is to receive additional help, when it has some of the highest per capita incomes in the UK
Nailsworth Town Council
Yes Paul! Please stop kicking this into the long grass.
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
We don't need Shire Mayors, I remember Redcliffe -Maud, lets do that.No more popoulists on white horses talking bunkum!
Belinda Bawden Lyme Regis
Richard Styles - I'd be astonished if Dorset had high per capita incomes unless you focused on Sandbanks!Please could you say where the figures come from?
Michael Ruston
If we want to improve our parishes and towns, do we not need to be more ambitious, decide our priority projects AND BE PREPARED TO INCREASE PRECEPTS so we are putting our hands in our own pockets first, build and improvement "pot" before expecting grants from District/ County Councils and Government.
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
Its higher than here in the SE coastal rust belt. Look up the DPI in Thanet and parts of Dover. Weymouth and Portland might contain deprivation, but Poole and Sandbanks? I worked there for years and the levelling up could be done internally.
Alison Robinson - Gloucestershire
The tools to understand how to deliver are key. When will we get information at a deeper level?
Paul Hayward
Council tax increases hurt those on lowest incomes. So, even if SLA's choose to increase precepts, the pain is felt hardest by the poor. Why not look at taxing higher earners and use that tax revenue to support SLA's without expecting them to precept it. Oh, hold on, that was CTSG's.....
Adrian Winnington
I am concerned that the imposition of another tier, of county "mayor", will take important decision-making even further away from local councils.
Sally Longmate, Suffolk ALC
East Suffolk has a great model for sharing data around deprivation, for example, across communities and get them and other stakeholders to decide what needs addressing in areas and implement those. It enables the community representatives to understand the demographics -v- perceptions and focusses funding in the right places for the right purpose
Paul, it is important to remember that the average parish council tax is only 70 something pounds a year, i.e. £6 a month. Even a 10% increase in council tax equates to 50 p a month. Parishes need to recgonise that freezing their precepts to protect parishioners actual has negligible impact, and I'd argue actually only hurts local people...….
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
We are not a community group, Parish Councils have a statutory structure and something called democracy, be it ever so weak sometimes.
Nailsworth Town Council
Improving democratic accountability in parishes needs to include improving the code of conduct of members and making their behaviour accountable – so that things can be done in the right way.
Staplehurst Office
Agree Nailsworth
Jane Biscombe - Town Clerk
Well said Nailsworth
Terry Jordan
In Cambridgeshire we have Town/Parish Councils, District Councils, a County Council and a Mayoral Authority. Most of the services delivered by the Mayoral Authority tend to be ones which had been delivered by the County Council; such as Public Transport, Education and Skills, Strategic Infrastructure etc. It has also taken-on the functions of the former Local Enterprise Partnership
crucial issue Nailsworth - operation of code of conduct and sanctions
Staplehurst Office
Greater requirement for improvings skills and training for members at all levels of local government is critical to levelling up
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
Yes, but not just in Parish/Town Councils. There was a better system of accountability, but it was trashed by a certain SOS of the DCLG
David Harris
Richard Styles shows why I asked my questions which was distorted when asked live to feature rural areas. Weymouth and Portland, when it was a Borough until two years ago had the lowest wages in the country but is now hidden in Dorset with a perception of wealth. We are 20% of the population in the county!
Jeremy Burton - County Officer Norfolk ALC
Parish Councils cannot rely on bids being either successful or unsuccessful as need guaranteed sustainable funding
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
I think the North Pole will have melted before Whitehall gives up anything let alone cash. The UK is a highly centralised system and nothing here changes that..
Roger House Vice Chair KALC
Bid writing takes time and expertise, our Clerk is overworked as it is.
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
Not Mayors, not mega organisations like SELEP, devolve and have tow levels Unitary and Town/Parish
Michaella Biscomb - Kippax Parish Council
We have a good working relationship with our Local Authority but agree that bid writing and project management requires a lot of time and skillset, councillors are busy unpaid volunteers and the Clerk is busy enough. We need some more paid employees to help drive projects forward, we have lots of ideas and lots of opportunities but a lack of time and resource!
Richard Noon
Love the work P2C (and Locality) have done/are doing...they're bang on the nail. it's a narrative that really needs shouting from the rooftops.So many case studies out there.
Holly Westwood
We have the same issue here Michaella!
Roger House Vice Chair KALC
These are all grandiose ideas just like Regional development Agencies, Regional Assemblies and Business Links - where are they now. Unless you have cross party agreement where is the sustainabilty for all this effort.
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
How about joining up on Planning, Bid writing and even project work. Share the load, don't try to do it on your own. Balkanisation is also a problem.
Wendy Amis
Re: the County deals - I've already been pushed back on this - any suggestions on how to get that door opened?!
Nailsworth Town Council
My concern is that devotion will translate into offloading and fractionalising services.
Shelley Parker
You are right, Nailsworth. Public toilets are a good example.
Elisabeth Uggerloese Bidford on Avon PC
Call me a cynic but have we not been her before? How committed is the Government in losing control and devolving power to local councils?
Georgina Edwards, Plunkett Foundation
Completely agree with Ailbhe's point - people who have spare time and money will be more likely to have the capacity to put in applications, particularly when there's a tight turnaround. There's also the issue of time funds and capacity in local government to be able to support community ownership projects which has already been raised in the chat.
Lance Allan
well said Will. keep parish finance independent of gov.
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
Everyone is exercised about numbers, but not about what is finally built and how a new development can integrate with the host community.
Nailsworth Town Council
Allowing self governance means allowing communities to work with their different restrictions and not be beholden to Whitehall for outdated or unworkable legislation.
neighbourhood plan is great but yet again it is only a guide to the higher city council who make the final decisions. weve been told we have to revise our agreed plan to suit city council.
Here on Isle of Wight, our parish and town councils are developing good partnerships with community organisations and have good support from our unitary authority (IW Council). But our energies are energies are increasingly focused on plugging gaps due to reduced funding for statutory services such as health and social care and by lack of means of addressing critical housing crisis
Richard Styles -Clerk Walmer Town Council
Principal Councils are highly partisan and do not cooperate internally let alone externally. It is all about domination of the winning polity.
Michael Ruston
Neighbourhood Plans round West Norfolk focus much more on what parishes don't want and little about being adventurous in expanding housing and business and job opportunities.
how can we contact Will or Alva
Donna Rist LCC
Sharing best practice would be a useful tool over the coming months, thanks
Belinda Bawden Lyme Regis
Here in Dorset, I'm told by experienced experts that over 90% of government and EU regional funding in the past decade goes to the urban area of Dorset where over 40% of the population live in the rural area. Creating unitary authorities has exacerbated the disparity between the rural and urban areas and Dorset Council is in financial difficulty. The LEP also exacerbates these inequities since funding they pitch for is directed as business in the urban area.In the meantime, as others have said, apparent wealth masks huge rural and small town deprivation - massively low incomes, seasonal, zero hours employment and unaffordable housing prices. People are really struggling here yet this is hard to demonstrate with data.
Richard Noon
Katherine Owen Blachere Illumination
Hope to see you all soon in person
Tom Walker
Belinda Bawden Lyme Regis
belindabawden@gmail.com - Lyme Regis town council and Dorset Climate Action Network. Happy to be involved if possible.
Ruth Breidenbach-Roe
Thanks everyone!