Princess Anne celebrates 125 years of parish councils

The Princess Royal, visited the National Association of Local Councils’ (NALC) Annual Conference to celebrate 125 years of local (parish and town) councils.

On her visit to the Milton Keynes-based conference, she spent time with councillors, clerks, county association officers and exhibitors to learn more about the work local councils are engaged in and the modern challenges that they face.

In her speech to the sold-out conference, she highlighted the “incredible work” that local councils do and the commitment England’s 100,000 councillors have to their communities, stating on average councillors spend almost 15 million hours a year on council business.

She also touched on the fact that local councils, as the closest port of call for residents, are on hand to solve very local issues, issues such as empowering the younger generation, helping people to connect, access to information and public scrutiny. But praising local councils, she said: “Your level of commitment is incredible, and I’m sure you will find a way of getting over those apparent contradictions.”

Finally, she said: “Thank you for your commitment as councillors to your local communities…You not only have the potential to make a difference to your communities, but you do also make a difference.”

Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC, said: “From today’s visit by her royal highness, I was struck by her knowledge of the challenges facing local councils and her understanding that they address the real local issues. It was also heartening to hear her praise local councils for their innovations, good practice and their partnerships with different organisations.”

National Association of Local Councils (NALC) – article here.

ST EWE Parish Council’s first minutes dated 19 December 1894. The Local Government Act of 1894, which brought civil parish councils into being by separating civil matters from church matters, had just been passed.