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Speaking recently at the LGRC Local Council EXPO at Chateau Impney, Droitwich, Sue Baxter, Worcestershire CALC Chair and Vice Chair of NALC, the National Association of Local Councils, highlighted the increasing range of responsibilities for local councils around the county; from the more traditional work areas of playgrounds, lighting, street furniture and public facilities to newer spheres of influence over public facilities such as civic halls, cemeteries, libraries and others.

LGRC have recently been closely involved in helping to establish the new Sutton Coldfield Town Council, which is the largest local council in the country by population.

Cllr Baxter’s joint presentation at the LGRC EXPO with colleagues Alan Jones, Head of Communication, NALC (National Association of Local Councils) and Richard Levett, Chief Executive Officer of Worcestershire CALC, highlighted the importance of Local Council Membership of both county and national associations during times of devolved responsibility from county, district and borough councils. Joint membership of these voluntary member based organisations is open to all parish and town councils across Worcestershire, providing professional advice, support and training to the county’s parish and town councils.   By joining NALC (National Association of Local Councils) as well the local county association councils are provided a national perspective on best practice and advocacy support for increasing powers to parishes. NALC are also involved in an ongoing campaign to push for parishes in all Devolution Deal areas to lobby for a seat at the devolution table in their areas.

The first LGRC Local Council EXPO took place on Friday 9th September at The Regent Centre, Chateau Impney, Droitwich Spa and was designed to bring together clerks and councillors with suppliers to view and experience a wide array of products and services that councils need, in one place, on one day.

The event involved some 40 exhibitors representing industries as varied as IT, insurance and software to street furniture, illuminations, digital displays, grounds maintenance, play equipment and public conveniences, as well as trade bodies and inspectorates representing the local council sector.

Nick Randle and Max Goodison, co-directors of LGRC, led the team staging the EXPO. Nick Randle said of the EXPO “We were delighted with the event. It was developed as a unique concept in the sector, one which would allow for a focused one day exhibition dedicated to servicing local councils’ procurement needs. We’ve had very supportive feedback from those attending, confirming that the kinds of demonstrations and talks were extremely useful, including the 21st Century Council Demo, a continuous demonstration feature presenting the latest technology to ensure maximum efficiency of a council’s management, operations and processes.” The Demo featured centre stage in the Regent Conference Centre at Chateau Impney, and ran throughout the day featuring key exhibitors such as Edge IT, RBS Software, Eclipse Digital Media, Hugo Fox and Microshade.

Other EXPO events included talks and demos by AVIVA, Edge IT, LSI Energy, Vision ICT, NALC, Worcestershire County Association, Hugo Fox, ESPO, Barrett Corp Harrington, Local Associations Information Service, Register of Play Inspectors International, and LGRC itself. The event organisers noted that they were honoured to receive an appearance by the Mayor of Droitwich Spa, Councillor Roy Murphy.

Sue Baxter, Chair of Worcestershire CALC, Vice Chair of the National Association of Local Councils, and an EXPO featured speaker, said of the event “It was a really good day, networking with fellow Parish and Town Council and County Association colleagues.”lose