On Friday 13 November, the District Councils’ Network was formally launched at its first Assembly meeting in London. At the meeting, Councillor Gary Porter, Chairman of the District Councils’ Network and Leader of South Holland District Council, also announced that the Network is in negotiation to gain access to £2.8 million of the former Association of District Councils’ funds.
Cllr Gary Porter explained: “District councils have a real opportunity to speak with one powerful voice and significantly influence the next government through the District Councils’ Network. The ADC funds will provide the Network with real resources to push forward its programme and support the work of district councils nationwide.
Gary continued: “The funding will also mean the Network can reduce its member subscription fees, from £950 to a modest £150. Member subscriptions will help the essential work of the Network to get underway, whilst we complete funding negotiations.”
The vision and programme for the District Councils’ Network, as set out in its new business plan, was approved at the Assembly meeting. The business plan sets out how the District Councils’ Network will campaign on the key issues of importance to districts councils.
Gary continued: “From influencing national decision makers, and dealing with the unprecedented financial climate, through to tackling difficult issues, such as concessionary fares and pensions, and speaking out on the pivotal role we play at the heart of our local communities, the Network’s role is far reaching.”
The new Assembly also heard how the District Councils’ Network offers council leaders across the country an unequalled opportunity to share, tackle and address common issues. The new programme will principally help to generate much deserved recognition for the important work district councils undertake.
The new programme sets out how www.districtcouncils.info, which already hosts over 200 case studies, outlining good practice and shared initiatives, will be used to better share best practice and information.