Welcome message from the new Chairman
I’m Sam Chapman-Allen and I’m delighted to be the new Chairman of the District Councils’ Network.
I’ve been the Leader of Breckland District Council in Norfolk since May 2019 and a district councillor for over 10 years. I’m a national board member for the Local Government Association, Member Peer, and on the board of the Local Government Information Unit.
I’m a huge believer in the power of districts and other councils who provide district services to make life better for people across this country. The essential services we provide touch every single resident and every single family in our areas. We play a pivotal role in the success of our businesses. We produce one third of the country’s economic output.
Nowhere has this been more apparent than in our response to the Covid pandemic. We delivered Everyone In to get rough sleepers safe and off the street. We distributed £9 billion of support grants to three quarters of a million businesses in shire areas. We played a pivotal role in the humanitarian effort.
It’s been a challenging time for all of us. But we’re emerging from it. And the national focus is turning towards some big strategic challenges: levelling up, economic recovery, net zero and health & social care. These all have big implications for DCN member councils. But they also create opportunities for us to shape the Government’s thinking and to deliver benefits for our residents and businesses.
I’m keen to build on our successes of the last few years. Over the next few weeks we’ll be kicking off new policy campaigns to influence Government on the big issues and to make our voice heard even more loudly.
The DCN is a truly national and cross-party organisation. We draw strength from our ability to work together across political and geographic boundaries. And the same is true of our relationships with other parts of the local government family and a whole range of local partners. Now is the time to be making common cause to magnify our influence.
Watch this space for more details of our campaigns and activity. Please follow us on Twitter @districtcouncil and spread the word about the great things our councils do for our residents and businesses across the country.
Onwards and upwards!