The Association exists to support its members and to offer support and wisdom as required. The Annual Membership Fee of £150, enables us to offer that support.
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Message from The Chairman:
2019 was a significant year in the journey of our Association. In March the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) sought to direct Government Policy to automatically dissolve any remaining Charter Trustee bodies in England. You won’t be surprised to hear that the Government at that time was pre-occupied with other matters, and there seemed to be no appetite for it.
It was perplexing to note that NALC should seek to do this when they did – those of you who know the history of Charter Towns and their hybrid status will be aware of both the similarities between Town & Parish Councils and Charter Trustees, and more importantly, the still significant legal and functional differences.
At our 2019 AGM we anticipated lobbying the MHCLG Secretary of State – Robert Jenrick MP at that time – although those plans were derailed by the proroguing of Parliament. The time will soon come when we will once more approach the Secretary of State, and in the meanwhile an outline letter explaining our Associations views and position will be prepared. Your comments and input will be valued.
Aside from the Parliamentary timetable issues experienced in most of 2019, there are some practical and indisputable ‘truths’ around any compulsory legislation of the journeys into and out of ‘Charter Trustee’ status that politicians of all complexions and stature ignore at their peril: the end result needs to be consensus driven, financially prudent, purposeful, faithfully historic and legal.
For nearly 50 years our Association has had a good and honourable record of supporting Members with their particular local challenges, and we aim to do so for many years yet, especially as the Government appetite for creating new Charter Trustee bodies appears undiminished – in the last 12 months Poole, Taunton and Bournemouth have gained Charter Trustee status in order to smoothly and safely secure the historic interests of their towns.
This will continue to take place as more revisions of local government happen, and such revisions can often initially be based on political changes, without the other attendant forces being considered.