The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

LGA Announces New Chair Following General Election Result

In the wake of the recent General Election, significant changes have been announced within the Local Government Association (LGA). Cllr Shaun Davies has officially stepped down from his position as LGA Chair, following his successful election as the new Member of Parliament for Telford.

The LGA Labour Group has moved swiftly in response to this change, with elected officers unanimously nominating Cllr Louise Gittins as the new LGA Chair. Cllr Gittins, who assumes her role immediately, brings a wealth of experience to the position. She has been the Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council since 2019, having served as Deputy Leader since 2015. Her tenure as a councillor began in 2011, and she has chaired the LGA’s Children and Young People policy board since 2022.

Cllr Gittins expressed her enthusiasm for her new role, stating, "I am excited and honoured to be taking up this important cross-party role on behalf of councils of all types and political colours across the country. We are entering a period of huge change but also opportunity, and my immediate priority is working with the new government on a fundamental reset of the relationship between central and local government, one of trust and mutual respect."

Cllr Gittins emphasised the critical role of councils in addressing national challenges, highlighting the need for a sustainable and long-term financial solution to the £6 billion funding gap facing councils over the next two years. "As we have set out in our Local Government White Paper, it is councils which hold the local levers to the national challenges facing the new government, whether it is building more affordable homes, reducing homelessness, improving care for adults and children, or boosting inclusive growth," Cllr Gittins noted.

Cllr Gittins also welcomed the election of many new MPs with local government backgrounds, believing their firsthand experience with local pressures will prioritise the future of local services.

The Rural Services Network looks forward to Cllr Gittins' leadership and her efforts to strengthen the relationship between local and central government, ensuring the sustainability and effectiveness of local services across the nation.

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