Cambridgeshire County Council has funded this work through the Support Cambridgeshire contract with the overall aim of:
Improving the lives of local communities by having vibrant, dynamic and effective Town and Parish Councils in Cambridgeshire.
A number of objectives have been set including:
- To increase the potential of Town and Parish Councils through extending opportunities for networking, shared learning and partnership.
- To improve standards of Town and Parish Councils so they can make the most of current and future opportunities.
- To increase the capacity of Town and Parish Councils so they can plan their futures and unlock the potential of their communities.
Town and Parish Councils are also known as ‘local councils’ as they can include city and neighbourhood / community councils.
Recent legislation, including the Localism Act 2011 and the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016, requires a cultural change in the way local councils operate and respond to new opportunities for their communities. The local council sector in Cambridgeshire recognises the pressure placed upon local councils to respond to change. In order to realise opportunities and improve communities, the challenge is to embrace change through tackling fundamental issues in clerk and councillor recruitment, employment and training; in order to give all local councils a stronger voice and identity as community leaders.
The recently launched Local Council Development Plan will help support the aspirations of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) National Improvement Strategy for Town and Parish Councils (2017-2022) by focusing support for all 238 councils and parish meetings in Cambridgeshire.