LALC eNews 12th January 2024

If any Clerks want to join the Clerks’ eGroup, or any councillors want to join the Councillor eGroup, contact

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This fortnightly newsletter is provided to member councils through the clerk and should be circulated to all councillors. This eNews can also be found on the LALC website under News.

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Training courses are available to book via the portal (login required)

The Training Bulletin is issued monthly, and courses are available to book via the portal. If there is any specific training which you feel would be valuable, and we don’t currently offer it, please let us know and we will investigate. The Training Bulletin can be found on the LALC website

Clerks – when booking training for your councillors, please ensure that their email address is correct. If not, they will not receive the booking confirmation or any joining instructions.

If you update your council email and are already booked on training, please let us know so that we can update your booking to ensure you receive the automatic reminders.

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Current vacancies


Closing date

Edenham Parish Council


No closing date

Addlethorpe Parish Council


11th September

Baston Parish Council


30th November

North Kelsey Parish Council


19th October

Stubton Parish Council


18th November

Fulbeck Parish Council


4th December

Bicker Parish Council


31st January

Skidbrooke-cum-Saltfleet Parish Council


15th February

Barkston & Syston Parish Council


16th February

Vacancy advertising

LALC can advertise your vacancy on our website and in the fortnightly eNews. This is a free service. If you do not have a pre-prepared advert to send us, please complete our Vacancy Template, which can be found in the Members Portal under Document Templates.    

We also offer a paid advertising service, costing £60, which ensures that your advert also appears on Lincolnshire County Council’s website, Facebook, and LinkedIn (in addition to the LALC website and eNews). Please complete the Vacancy Template (as above), ensuring that all requested information is completed, and then contact us at You will be invoiced for this service.

Please note that Lincolnshire County Council require a closing date on their advert, as well as salary information (these are mandatory fields). LCC will remove your advert once the closing date has passed, so please consider the date carefully as you will have to pay again to re-advertise if your vacancy hasn’t been filled by then.

We recommend all councils advertise their vacancy, job details, method of application and up to date contact details on their own website too.

Please let us know when the vacancy has been filled, so that we can remove it from our website/eNews. If your vacancy has not yet been filled and you are continuing to advertise, please let us know of any revised closing date. If you no longer specify a closing date, please let us know so that we can update the vacancy adverts.

The NALC Recruitment Manual (developed as part of the Civility & Respect project) is now available via the portal.  Go into Knowledgebase and click on 'Recruitment Manual' in the 'Employment' menu area. 

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LALC affiliation fees for 2024-25

The LALC Management Committee met on 15th December to agree the budget for 2024-25 and any associated increases.

The internal audit service fees remain the same as for 2023-24 but will be reviewed again next year.

The website management service fee will increase to £18 per hour to cover administration costs.

The Annual Training Scheme (ATS) fee will increase by £10 per band:


ATS fee

With VAT

Up to 250



250 – 500



501 – 1000



1001 – 2500



2501 – 5000



5001 – 7500



7501 – 10000



Over 10000



Non-ATS members will pay £30 (+ VAT) per session, or £72.50 (+ VAT) for a full day (including lunch and refreshments). Non-core training will also cost £30 (+ VAT) per session, or £72.50 (+ VAT) for a full day (including lunch and refreshments).

LALC affiliation membership fee: It was agreed to increase each baseline banding by £10 and to increase the LALC per-elector figure to 7.94p, in line with the NALC figure.





Up to 250


7.94p per elector

7.94p per elector

250 – 500


7.94p per elector

7.94p per elector

501 – 1000


7.94p per elector

7.94p per elector

1001 – 2500


7.94p per elector

7.94p per elector

2501 – 5000


7.94p per elector

7.94p per elector

5001 – 7500


7.94p per elector

7.94p per elector

7501 – 10000


7.94p per elector

7.94p per elector

Over 10000


7.94p per elector

7.94p per elector

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Consultation: Street Vote Development Orders

The government has announced a consultation on the detailed operation of the street votes development order system.

Street votes are an alternative to traditional forms of planning permission which gives residents of a street the ability to propose development on their street, for example, the addition of an extra storey to properties or the building of affordable housing and, subject to the proposal meeting certain requirements, vote on whether the development should be given planning permission.

The deadline for comments is 2 February 2024

For more information and to access the consultation:


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Greater Lincolnshire devolution – briefing events

The full list of the dates of all the events being held on the Greater Lincolnshire devolution consultation across the three authorities can be found on the Let’s Talk Lincolnshire website:

Please note that the Bourne event has been changed.

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SLCC & NALC leadership teams mark the launch of the new Model Contract of Employment for local councils

SLCC and the National Association of Local Councils (NALC)’s senior leadership teams met in London on 19 December to discuss various issues of strategic significance to the sector. These included workforce development, audit and finance of local councils, and our respective work programmes for 2024.

Both organisations were also pleased to mark the launch of a new model employment contract for local councils. This model contract incorporates Green Book terms, which both SLCC and NALC recommend councils offer to align with the best practices within the local government sector. Offering good terms of employment supports the recruitment and retention of a high-quality workforce and demonstrates that the council is a good employer that values its staff.

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New National Planning Policy Framework

The government has just published the long awaited new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

This key planning document sets out the government’s planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.  It replaces the previous (September 2023) version.

The main provisions of interest to the sector are summarised below:

  • Plan Making – It emphasises that preparing and maintaining up-to-date locally prepared plans (Local Plans, Neighbourhood Plans etc.) is a priority and providing for sufficient housing and other development in a sustainable manner is a main objective of this.

  • Calculating Housing Need – It confirms that the standard method for calculating housing need in a local authority is an advisory starting point but adds that exceptional circumstances will be required for using an alternative method. Local authorities with an up-to-date local plan will no longer need to continually show a deliverable five-year housing land supply.

  • Housing Land Supply Buffers – The 5% and 10% buffers that can be applied to local authority housing land supply calculations have been removed, but where there is a history of under delivery of housing a 20% buffer may be applied.

  • Housing Need – Older people have been added to the list of specific groups for which local authorities must consider meeting their housing need.

  • Neighbourhood Plans – Includes some greater protection for them where proposed housing development conflicts with a neighbourhood plan.

  • Green Belt – The previous requirement that their boundaries should be reviewed or changed when local plans are being prepared or updated has been replaced by that local authorities may choose to review and alter Green Belt boundaries in exceptional circumstances, with changes made through the plan-making process.

  • Affordable Housing/Community-led Development – All references to entry-level housing exception sites or similar have been replaced with community-led developments or similar, (the glossary accompanying the NPPF includes a definition of community-led development, which it is assumed includes town and parish councils). Other text has been amended to encourage community-led development not only in terms of housing.

  • Agricultural Land – Emphasises that its availability and quality should be considered when allocating agricultural land for development.

  • Density of Development – Significant uplifts in the average density of residential development are inappropriate where it would be wholly out of character with the existing area.

  • Design and Local Design Codes – Emphasises the use of local design codes prepared in line with the National Model Design Code as well as beautiful and well-designed places.

  • Planning Conditions – They should refer to clear and accurate plans and drawings.

  • Energy Efficiency – Significant weight should be given to the need to support energy efficiency and low carbon heating improvements to existing buildings, both domestic and non-domestic.

  • Implementation – Where plans reach pre-submission consultation after 19 March 2024, the policies in the new NPPF will apply. Plans that reach pre-submission consultation on or before this date will be examined under the previous version of the NPPF.

View the new NPPF:

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What’s New for 2024

Forthcoming Legislation Changes from 1st April 2024

1. Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Act 2023 – Implementation April 2024

This provides Employees with more rights to request a change to the number of hours they work each week, as well as their start and finish times. It also includes the right to request home working. These entitlements will start from day one of employment. 

This means that regardless of whatever appears in a Job Advertisement, Job Offer letter or Contract of Employment regarding the location of work, working hours or other working time details, a new Employee can submit a request to change these terms from their first day in a job.  At present requests can currently only be made after 6 months’ continuous employment and there is no need for consultation.

The Act also includes an opportunity for workers to submit two requests to make these changes in a rolling twelve-month period.  Currently it is limited to just one request.

Any request made by an Employee will have to be subject to a 2/3-week consultation process. Currently a line manager only needs to meet with an Employee to discuss their request.

The Government has decided to beef up this current entitlement to try and tempt those people back to work who chose to stay at home after lockdown regulations were lifted. The purpose is to make work more attractive to these people and enable them to fit work in around their domestic circumstances.  

Councils do not have to agree to an Employee’s request, there are six statutory reasons for refusal, which are:

  • Additional cost to the business.

  • Damage to customer service.

  • Inability to share work out amongst other staff.

  • Damage to quality of work.

  • Damage to performance.

  • Inability to recruit staff to cover reduced hours.

If, following a period of consultation and a meaningful assessment of the evidence, it can be proven that one or more of the above apply, the request can be rejected.

2. Carer’s Leave Entitlement – Implementation April 2024

Employees who have caring responsibilities for a dependent will be able to request up to 4 weeks unpaid leave in a 12-month period. This entitlement has no qualifying period and will be available from day one of employment.

Requests can be made for the whole 4 weeks, or 1, 2, 3 weeks, or single days of half days. 

Councils can refuse to allow the Employee to take specific dates due to business reasons but must provide a mutually agreed date within one month of the original request.

Failure by Councils to facilitate these requests would be a breach of statutory rights and could result in claims for Unfair/Constructive Dismissal, at an Employment Tribunal. 

Statutory Payment Rates from April 2023

Shared Parental Pay (ShPP)

Statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.
Maternity Pay (SMP)

6 weeks at 90% of average weekly earnings. Then statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.
Adoption Pay (SAP)

6 weeks at 90% of average weekly earnings. Then statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.
Paternity Pay (SPP)

Statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.
Parental Bereavement Pay (SPBP)

Statutory rate of £172.48 or 90% of employee’s weekly earnings if lower.

Statutory Sick Pay  (SSP)

£109.40 pw for 28 weeks subject to earnings (average £123 per week)

Minimum Wage from April 2023

Workers aged 23 and over (National Living Wage)               £10.42/hour

Workers aged 21–22                                                               £10.18/hour

Workers aged 18–20                                                               £7.49/hour

Workers aged 16-17                                                               £5.28/hour

Apprentices under 19, or over 19 and in first year                £5.28/hour


Chris Moses LLM Chartered FCIPD is Managing Director of Personnel Advice & Solutions Ltd.  He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and has a Master’s Degree in Employment Law. 

If you have any questions regarding these issues please feel free to contact him on (01529) 305056 or email

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Climate action reaffirmed in North Kesteven

The policies and plans set out by North Kesteven District Council in active response to climate change have been re-affirmed by councillors as they signal their clear intent to support residents to both greater environmental and financial sustainability.

Through Members’ unanimous support of a motion brought to the Council for consideration at their meeting on Thursday, October 12, councillors reaffirmed that the policies set by the administration over recent years, in relation to sustainability and carbon net zero 2030 targets, remain their priority.

These include an aim for the Council’s operations to be carbon net-zero by 2030, to continue supporting the District in becoming carbon net-zero within the same timescale and the adoption, promotion and participation in a range of initiatives that progress that ambition.

The Council’s plans and strategies are aligned to UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 – a global to-do list delivered locally.

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No Council Tax Referendum Principles for 2024/25

The government has set out its intentions for the Local Government Finance Settlement (the ‘Settlement’) for 2024 to 2025. Whereas there is a proposed core council tax referendum limit for local authorities of up to 3%, once again there is no council tax referendum principles for mayoral combined authorities or town and parish councils for the upcoming financial year.

The proposed Settlement measures are subject to change following a current government consultation and subsequent review, with the final Settlement due to be published soon.

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“Hear Our Voice” Conference - Lincolnshire Strong Voices - 2nd February 2024

The “Hear Our Voice” conference from the Lincolnshire Strong Voices group, is running on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner to hear the voice of young people across Lincolnshire.

 Young people from across the county have been engaged in this project, having their voice heard on local issues, safety and policing. The conference will provide an overview of the activity undertaken, as well as the opportunity to hear directly from members of Lincolnshire Strong Voices about their work. In addition, there will be a chance to network and opportunities for wider discussion with professionals and the Lincolnshire Strong Voices members on how the voice of young people can be enhanced within your area of work.

Places are still available to attend this free event, with registration available at:

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Who’s taking your waste?

Whether you’re having a clearout to make room for new toys, throwing out your Christmas tree, or simply disposing of household waste, remember that your waste is your responsibility. 

This means you must ensure all your household rubbish is disposed of properly and legally. 

Don’t get caught out using an unlicensed waste carrier! Take reasonable steps to check that anyone you use to remove waste from your property is authorised. 

 Check that a waste carrier is legally registered on the Environment Agency’s website:

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Winter risks: is your council prepared?

Clear Councils (previously BHIB Councils) have put together the following tips for dealing with winter weather.


Rain, snow, ice and wind can all put extra strain on buildings and increase the chances of damage – both externally and internally. During the winter months it is recommended that you increase the frequency of property inspections to make sure there are no problems and to identify any issues early.

You should pay extra attention to the more ‘at-risk’ areas such as roofs, gutters, chimneys and water pipes.

Protect against slips and trips

Less daylight during winter, wet leaves on the ground and the potential for ice patches all contribute to an increased risk of slips and trips. As this risk is foreseeable during the winter months, it is vital that councils take steps to minimise any accidents as much as possible.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides detailed guidance for reducing the risk of slips and trips in winters, including activities such as removing wet and decaying leaves, providing adequate lighting, dealing with rainwater and gritting key access routes.

Protecting your staff

It is also important to assess how the cold weather might affect your staff – and to take reasonable steps to manage this.

Some extra considerations need to be made for those working outdoors – including those gritting or clearing leaves at your premises. These include:

  • Providing suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • Providing a warm area for rest breaks

  • Ensuring workers have a means of summoning help or assistance if working alone

  • Briefing staff on the health effects of working outdoors in cold weather and what symptoms to look out for

Protecting buildings from frozen and burst pipes

Frozen pipes are a particular risk in cold temperatures, and an escape of water can cause major damage. Here are some tips to help protect your buildings from the risk of burst pipes in the colder weather:

  • Insulate all pipes in unheated areas like sheds, garages, outbuildings etc.

  • If you have thermostatically-controlled heating systems in your buildings, these should be left on permanently on a minimum temperature setting of 4°C

  • Turn off the water supplies and drain the pipes in any building that will not be used over the winter months

  • Make sure you repair any dripping taps – usually it is as simple as replacing a washer

Guidance from the HSE is also available to help protect your employees’ when working outdoors:

What to do if you have a burst pipe

If the heating system stops working or makes a loud banging noise then it could be a sign that a pipe is freezing. If that happens you should:

  • Turn off the water supply at the main stop tap

  • Contact an approved plumbing and heating engineer straight away

  • If your pipes freeze over, do not use a naked flame to try and thaw them

Winter checklist for councils

It is important for town and parish councils to have a thorough winter maintenance programme which is fit for purpose, and should:

  • Include an equipment plan (e.g. shovels for gritting)

  • Identify who is responsible for each task

  • Detail the follow-up procedures for snow removal

  • Lay out your communications plans with the wider community

  • It is also important to regularly review your winter programme to make sure that it evolves with the weather so you are well prepared to manage the risks ahead.

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Lincolnshire County Council - Lorry Watch Scheme

Our Lorry Watch scheme helps you report the misuse of weight restricted roads by heavy goods vehicles (HGV) in Lincolnshire.

HGVs are not allowed to travel along certain unsuitable roads. This is because they can create safety hazards for other road users and pedestrians.

You will need:

  • name or number of the road

  • date and time of sighting(s)

  • vehicle registration number

Once we receive your report, we will then assess if the vehicle is over the weight restriction for the road. We will then take the necessary action.

All Lorry Watch submissions are followed through to conclusion but we will not comment on individual cases.

Read more:

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Lincolnshire County Council agree initial 2024-25 budget proposals

This year, the council expects to spend almost £650m on providing a wide range of vital services, including:

  • £305m for adult care and community wellbeing

  • £114m for children’s services

  • £49m for highways

  • £25m for Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue

The council has managed to find around £9m in savings by reducing bureaucracy and streamlining operations through the use of new technology. However, it faces £61m in additional cost pressures from rising prices and increased demand for services, such as adult care, child protection and school transport.

As a result, there is a proposed 4.99% increase in the authority’s share of the council tax, which equates to an extra £1.44 per week for a Band D property.

Members of the public can share their views on the proposals by completing the survey available at

Any feedback will be considered by the executive at their meeting on 6 February, when final proposals will be agreed. These proposals will then be put before the full council at their meeting on 23 February.

Read more:

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LCC are recognising community heroes

If you know a local person or organisation that goes the extra mile – this is your chance to help us celebrate their work at the Good Citizens Awards. We would like to hear about individuals, pairs and groups who make a real difference to their communities through volunteering – so please get in touch with your nominations.

The kind of unpaid work we would like to hear about includes: 

  • Making sure neighbours are cared for

  • Raising funds for charity

  • Organising community events

  • Supporting good causes 

  • Looking after the environment

There are four categories:

  • Citizen of the Year

  • Young Citizen of the Year (aged 21 or below)

  • Community Group of the Year

  • Couple/Pair of the Year.

Winners will enjoy a VIP day out at the Lincolnshire Show with a guest, as well as being awarded a framed certificate at a presentation hosted by the chairman of Lincolnshire County Council. The closing date for entries is Friday 3 May 2024.

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Fields in Trust – Green Space Index 2023

In the 1930s, Fields in Trust created its first guidance to planners on how much open space there should be based on a population size, to ensure there is as equitable access as possible and that every community can reap the benefits.  Revised in 2015, this guidance sets a minimum recommendation that for every 1,000 people there should be approximately 2.4ha of accessible green space.

Headline findings:

  • 6.1 million do not have a park or green space within an accessible ten-minute walk from home – in the East Midlands this is 490,402.

  • The average provision of green space per person nationally is 30 sqm – in the East Midlands this is also 30 sqm.

  • The total amount of green space nationally is 198,134 ha – in the East Midlands this is 14,853 ha.

  • Only 6% of green space is legally protected.

  • With a growing population we estimate that 4,000 new local green spaces in a variety of sizes and functions would need to be created by 2033 just to maintain current provision levels.

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North Kesteven has again been identified as one of the happiest places in the UK

The Office of National Statistics findings published in late November placed it first out of 308 council areas for how happy people said they were at the time; and third overall when four factors were combined. As well as being ranked first for happiness, the District was marked highly for a sense of satisfaction with life (36th), feelings that things done in life are worthwhile (54th) and low levels of anxiety among residents (6th).

In all cases there is an uplift from the position reported in the previous year – which runs contrary to the overall national picture of increasing dissatisfaction – and completes a 12-year run in which North Kesteven has been placed in the top 5% of all English councils on all four measures.

The ways people connect with and contribute to the communities where they live, how safe and well-supported they feel and their satisfaction with the services they receive inevitably feeds into this sense of happiness. These are guiding principles in the development of the Council’s ever-evolving strategic plan for how it invests in, serves and shapes North Kesteven as a District of Flourishing Communities.

In December North Kesteven was highlighted within the top ten safest places to live based on levels of violent crime, has been in the top ten safest places for nine successive years and in July North Hykeham was heralded as Lincolnshire’s safest town. During 2023, the District was also counted within the top ten places to build a house.

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Government Flood Recovery Framework scheme

The government has announced that as of 6 January 2024 financial support will be available to eligible areas in England affected by ‘exceptional localised flooding’ from recent Storm Henk.

The funding, announced by Michael Gove, Communities Secretary, and Steve Barclay, Environment Secretary, is available through the Flood Recovery Framework scheme, which is used ‘in exceptional circumstances to support councils and communities following severe flooding.’

Further details on eligibility and how to apply is available through principal councils.

Read details of the scheme here (

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SAAA AGAR Process Survey

Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments (SAAA) is running a project to consider the digitalisation of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) process, and what benefits or challenges this would bring to customers and suppliers. They have engaged RedQuadrant to support the review.

Within the project, SAAA are keen to hear from clerks in England to understand their perspectives on the process, including what changes they would like to see. As part of this, they have created a short survey aimed at those who use the AGAR process.

The survey is a mix of (12) open and closed questions which should take around 10 minutes to complete. It will be open until 22 January 2024.

Take the survey:

If you have any questions, please contact or

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NALC launches the Local Council Award Scheme criteria review consultation

NALC has announced the launch of a consultation as part of the Local Council Award Scheme (LCAS) criteria review. LCAS celebrates the successes of the best local (parish and town) councils and provides a framework to support all local councils in improving and developing their full potential. As part of continued improvements to the scheme and a commitment to raising standards in local councils, NALC is seeking views on how the scheme's criteria and guidance can be improved.

NALC encourages councillors, county associations, clerks, other interested parties, and those already involved with the scheme to put forward their ideas and suggestions by participating in the consultation. It will then help inform improvements moving forward. The consultation closes on 20 March 2024. If you have any queries, contact NALC at

Complete the survey:

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LALC data validation survey

Just to clarify why we’re asking for councillor contact details:

  • Sometimes when the clerk registers a councillor on training, they mistype the councillor’s email address. This means that the automatic registration confirmation and reminder emails to the attendee fail to send. If we hold the correct councillor email detail in the CRM then we can resolve this, ensuring that the attendee receives the correct notifications.

  • In the event that a clerk resigns and there is a delay before the council can recruit a replacement, we often have to deal with the Chair/Chair of Personnel Committee.  

  • We sometimes get contacted by councillors other than the Clerk/Chair/Chair of Personnel Committee and have to respond to their enquiries – even if it is just pointing out the usual communication channels.

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NALC gives evidence to Parliamentary inquiry on the Office for Local Government  

This week, we submitted written evidence to a Parliamentary committee conducting an inquiry into the Office for Local Government (OFLOG). In our response to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, we have again called for an extension of OFLOG’s remit to include local councils. Local councils, as the first tier of local government in England, are responsible for spending nearly £1 billion of council tax on a wide range of hyper-local services, as well as having a wider community leadership and place-shaping role. Our response also proposes a range of data themes which OFLOG should publish on local councils, propose piloting with some larger local councils, and highlight the need for investment in sector improvement.

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