On 17 October 2018, during Local Democracy Week, we wrote an open letter to Rishi Sunak MP, Minister for Local Government and Lord Porter of Spalding, Chair of the Local Government Association about our recommendations for Government and the LGA about support for councillors. Here is the response we received from Rishi Sunak MP on 31 October 2018:
Councillor David Sheard
Deputy Leader of the Council
Civic Centre 3
Dear Cllr Sheard,
Thank you for your letter of 17 October about the Kirklees Democracy Commission Cross-Party Working Group to which your fellow councillors on the working group were also all co-signatories.
I read with interest the recommendations arising from the work you have been undertaking and how successful you had been in achieving community engagement to help frame your ideas.
This has clearly been an extensive project with recommendations and ideas emerging across a broad range of subjects – promoting active citizenship, reviewing local authority engagement with digital communications, creating a national framework for councillors’ expenses, and more. So, I will ask my officials to get in touch shortly to discuss the report and your recommendations, and to understand what had stimulated it.
As I am sure you are aware, the Committee on Standards in Public Life (CSPL) is currently conducting a Review of Ethical Standards in Local Government, and will report in the early part of next year. This review focusses on examining the structures, processes and practices in local government in England and assessing if they are conducive to high standards. The Government will consider the CSPL report carefully and will publish its response in due course. I have no doubt that several of the issues explored by the Kirklees Democracy Commission will also feature in the CSPL report, its recommendations and the Government’s response to it.
In the meantime, I would like to thank you for bringing the work of the Kirklees Democracy Commission to my attention: councillors’ work in connecting with their community and shaping local services is vital. You are most welcome to share this letter.
Rishi Sunak MP
Minister for Local Government
Read the 17 October 2018 letter from our Working Group:
An open letter to Rishi Sunak MP, Minister for Local Government and Lord Porter of Spalding, Chair of the Local Government Association