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We welcome the general thrust of the proposals to streamline the way the LGA works. The present committees are too big.
We would also like the LGA to streamline the paperwork, following the changes.
We believe the LGA should concentrate on core local government activities, and represent local government at national level. We agree that it is important for the LGA not to duplicate regional work which is the role of the Regional Assemblies (as set out in circular 356/99).
Regional and sub-regional associations (such as ours) should be used by the LGA to help develop policy. In particular we would be keen to contribute to particular task groups as you suggest.
When Ben Clayden was our regional contact, this Association discussed with him the framework for regional relationships, which resulted in the current arrangements as set out last September. We have reviewed these arrangements and would like to reiterate the following points:-
1. In the case of the South East, the region is too big to allow for one satisfactory electoral college. Together with local authorities throughout the South East we have opted for two electoral colleges, one based on ACTVaR and one for the six county area of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Surrey, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent.
2. In the South East, the LGA should rely on the strong sub-regional associations (ACTVaR, HIOW, Surrey LGA etc.) for pro-active consultation. The presence of Councillor David Sparks at our Annual Meeting is a good example.
3. Where it is impractical to involve each sub-regional association individually, then this Association has agreed with Kent, Surrey and Sussex that we will work on a six-county basis in parallel with the electoral college. An example of this was when the LGA Economic Regeneration Committee met in our area at Crawley, West Sussex. Members from all authorities in the six counties were invited to attend.
|Author:||Nick Goulder, Policy Manager|
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