Government move to allow councils to send agendas electronically welcomed

 

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Published 14th March 2014

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has told the Communities and Local Government Committee that the Government plans to legislate to allow councillors to be sent agendas for council meetings electronically.
It was raised during the Committee’s #AskPickles evidence session that councils are currently required to send councillors meeting agendas in hard copy. A number of Twitter users, including several parishes, had submitted questions asking the Government to change the law so that councils could send agendas electronically, something for which SLCC has been pressing for several years.
Commenting, Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said:

“I was surprised to learn that councils in the 21st Century are prevented by law from sending out electronic copies of their agendas. Judging by the number of tweets we received, however, this is certainly a matter of concern for those working in local government.  We hope to run another #AskPickles session within a year.”

CAMBRIAN RAIL SERVICES

DSCN0169 A report from the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth Rail Liaison Committee has been prepared with regard to the implementation of an enhanced rail service on the main Cambrian Lines.  The Implementation group is meeting with the Minister on Wednesday 12th March in Cardiff after which it is hoped the Minister will make a statement on the train services to be provided on the line.

HEALTH CONCERNS IN NORTH WALES – 21.2.2014

   The Association at its meeting held on Friday 21st February expressed great concern about the state of Health Service delivery in North and Mid Wales. There is a Study to take place in Mid Wales lead by Prof Marcus Longhurst.  The Association has set up a working group for North Wales to try and achieve a similar objective.

WATER BILL 2014 – 8.2.2014

Flooding in Wales has become a big issue in the past few years.  The Water Bill is making its way through the House of Lords and is expected to be law soon. This reflects an agreement between Government and the Insurance Industry to provide insurance for properties at High Flood Risk with a restriction on premiums being charged.

Clause 27. This part provides a placeholder clause to address the availability and affordability of insurance for UK households at high risk of flooding. This clause will be revisited during the passage of the Bill with the intention of enabling the Government to meet its commitment to secure new arrangements following the expiry of the current voluntary agreement (the Statement of  Principles) between the Government and the insurance industry.

Concern as been expressed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors regarding commercial property. A statement from the RICS reads:

‘We are concerned that the exclusion of certain commercial properties from the Flood Re proposal will leave parts of the sector unable to access affordable flood insurance.’

TOURISM CONSULTATION – 7.2.2014

DSCN0100 The Welsh Assembly in seeking views on how Tourist support is to be delivered in Wales.  A summary of the consultation with a suggested response is included in the documents and consultation section of this web site.

The Association has sought comment via the Web Site and a submission has been made.

NEW PLANNING BILL FOR WALES – 1.2.2014

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The proposed new Planning Bill for Wales has been published for consultation.

The Association will be discussing the document at its meeting to be held on Friday 21st February in Connah’s Quay.

You can see the draft response to the consultation for consideration at the above meeting under the ‘documents’ section of this web site.

LOCAL COUNCIL RE-ORGANISATION – 31.1.2014

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The Williams Report has now been published with many changes proposed to the structure of Local Councils.
The County Council alterations have taken the headlines but there is more!

Recommendation 27 suggests that there are two many Town and Community Councils and they should merge or enlarge to create a smaller number.

This subject is of great importance to local residents in each Community and the Association will be considering these proposals in great detail as they unfold over the coming few months.

SPECIAL MEETING TO DISCUSS HEALTH – 30.1.2014

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The Association met together on 24th January and on its agenda was the problems being encountered with the Health Service in both North and Mid Wales.  The meeting agreed to postpone full discussion until a Special Meeting to be held at Connah’s Quay on Friday 21st February 2014.  The Association will also be seeking a meeting with the Health Minister on the subject.