Wednesday, 29 April 2009

WALC Rugby Branch Meeting - 28 April

On Tuesday evening I attended the AGM of the Rugby branch of the Warwickshire and West Midlands Association of Local Councils in Pailton. The purpose of WALC is to advise parish councils in Warwickshire and the West Midlands on issues or problems they may be encountering, and to offer a range of services and assistance to local councils, including training seminars and workshops. Each county in England has its own association, and collectively these affiliate to the National Association of Local Councils. The Rugby branch comprises 35 parish councils in the Rugby borough area, and meets usually every 2/3 months to receive updates on current and future issues, and to discuss areas of common interest. Other organisations will also use these meetings to meet with the parish councils collectively and share relevant information. At last night's meeting, discussions with the following guest speakers were held:

  • Simon Warren, Chief Executive of Rugby Borough Council, on how parish councils and the borough council can work more closely together;
  • Phil Ward, Rural Housing Enabler at Warwickshire Rural Community Council, on the role they can play with parishes in helping to providing affordable housing to local residents unable to buy property at an open market value; and
  • Stephen Marks from Rugby Borough Council, on the different types of grants that were available to parish councils to apply for to help fund projects in their area.

There was then a general discussion on a number of different subjects of interest to parish councils. Of particular interest to me were the proposals for the launch of the new 'Rural Link' bus service taking place in May (I'll blog about this in more detail another time because it is of particular interest to people living in Barnacle), and outline details from Warwickshire County Council concerning road signs to discourage lorries from using unsuitable village roads. Again, I will post more about this once I have more information.

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