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Local council sector prepares for first conference of its kind in Cambridgeshire

14 September 2020

Local councillors and local council clerks in Cambridgeshire are set to unite in a virtual conference as they show their resilience in the face of the effects of COVID19.

For the first time ever, the annual Cambridgeshire Local Councils Conference, aimed at the hundreds of local councillors and clerks from city, town and parish councils and parish meetings, will be held entirely via the medium of online videoconferencing.

This follows a period of huge demand upon local councils in the County as they have worked alongside communities helping them manage the impacts of the pandemic.

Funded by Cambridgeshire County Council and taking place on Friday 23 October, the virtual conference will be themed around how local councils have adapted so far and how they will further evolve in the future. It will run between 9.15am and 3.30pm.

Presenters at the event include Cambridgeshire County Council, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils and Cambridgeshire ACRE. In addition, there will be video case studies capturing examples of good practice shown by several Cambridgeshire parishes.

Online workshops will also allow participants to learn more about Technology for the Future; Future Emergency Planning; Strengthening a Town or Parish Council offer to its residents; Enabling and Supporting Volunteering; Improving Collaborative Working between Clerks and Councillors; and Managing and Maintaining Community Assets.

In addition, twenty organisations who provide support to the local council sector will be showcasing their services in a specially designed online marketplace.

Kirsten Bennett, from Cambridgeshire ACRE, said: “Never has this event been more important to the local councils of Cambridgeshire. Communities have been hit hard by the pandemic, and while we had already intended to run this as a physical conference, its purpose is even more pertinent in light of everything we’ve seen play out in recent months.”

Cllr Steve Criswell, Chair of Cambridgeshire County Council Communities and Partnership Committee said “This will be a very timely and valuable conference, run via a bespoke online platform, and opening up our audience to as many opportunities to network, learn, share opinion and understand good practice, as if they were all in one physical venue.”

Henry Clark, Chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils said: “The conference timetable will cover many important topics across the themes of adapting and evolving and will help local councillors and their clerks to continue to develop plans to ensure their local community thrives.”

If you are a councillor, interested in becoming a councillor or work with local councils then you can book a free place at https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/conf20/. If you are unable to attend on the day, you will be able to watch the event on demand for up to 30 days afterwards, so long as you have registered.


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