Local Council Conference 2023

29th November 2023 - report and materials

Our first face-to-face SALC event since the pandemic was a huge success, taking place at The Hold where delegates took the opportunity to engage with a range of stakeholders, learn about changes linked to their role and connect with others.

Missed it?  Well we recorded all workshops held in the auditorium and these are available to watch using the links below.


Welcome and Keynote Speaker

Peter Aldous Member of Parliament for Waveney and Vice President of SALC


Pop up workshop - Chat GPT


Session 2 - Finding useful data

Use this link to access the slides


Pop up 2 workshop - Climate Action

Use this link to access the slides


Session 3 - Suffolk Highways

Use this link to access the slides

Details of the programme

KEYNOTE SPEAKER - Peter Aldous, Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Waveney & Vice President of SALC

PLENARY SESSION 1 -  Planning update looking at  - Levelling Up and Re-Generation Act and biodiversity net gain presented by Tom Newcombe, Head of Planning and Environment Team at Birketts
POP UP - Unveiling the power of AI - leveraging Chat GPT for parish and town councils - presented by John Fagan from Scribe 

PLENARY SESSION 2 - Finding useful data - Suffolk's Public Health and Communities team  presented by - Natacha Bines, Head of Population Insight,  Rebecca Allen, Head of Public Heath Analytics and Stephen Parsons, Suffolk Office of Data and Analytics Analyst.

POP UP - Community Climate Action -  Joolz Thompson 

PANEL SESSION - Suffolk Highways.  There will be a presentation followed by a discussion panel comprising:

                    Milestone Infrastructure
                    Business Director, Paul Herbert
                    Operations Manager, Clive Burrough
                    Emma Bridges, Social Value and Communications Manager

                    Suffolk County Council
                    Assistant Director of Highways and Services, John Clements
                    Head of Transport Strategy, Graeme Mateer
                    Head of Environment and Strategy, Matt Hullis

                    On behalf of SALC
                    Colin Poole, Clerk at Haverhill Town Council, SALC trainer and internal auditor
                    Lesley Beevor, Clerk at Southwold Town Council, SALC trainer and member of the SALC Board
                    Sally Longmate, CEO, Suffolk Association of Local Councils
                    SALC received over 80 questions from members which have been passed onto Suffolk Highways. The issues                                             were organised into the following themes:

      • pothole repairs

      • flooding and drainage

      • overgrown verges and hedges

      • communication / portal / access to officers

About the venue

The Hold is a new building on Ipswich Waterfront which has flexible spaces for a variety of events and is fully accessible with the latest modern conveniences.    It is also the home of Suffolk Archives, a Suffolk County Council service that collects, preserves and shares over 900 years' worth of Suffolk's rich history.

This space is ideal for SALC's Local Council Annual Conference enabling us to use state of the art facilities in a central location.

Details of how to reach Suffolk Archives - parking/public transport/accessibility (this link takes you to The Hold website).

We would encourage councils to consider sustainable travel options including car sharing.  Why not check with your neighbouring parish or town council to see if they are going to the conference. 


Main sponsors - profile

SALC extremely grateful to our main sponsors enabling us to offer this event to our members.


Birketts is a full service, top 50 UK law firm with offices across East Anglia, London and the South East.  They have more than 1,000 people involved in the business, all sharing a common commitment to deliver the best possible outcome for their clients.    Birketts understand the huge challenges faced by those in the public sector, who are experiencing increased demand against a backdrop of limited resources and budget cuts.  

Visit Birketts website

CCLA Investment Management

Investment markets can only be as healthy as the society and environment that support them.  CCLA's purpose is to help their clients maximise their impact on society by harnessing the power of investment markets.  This means they must provide a supportive and stable environment for their staff, and deliver trusted, responsibly managed and strongly performing products and services to their clients irrespective of their size. 

Visit CCLA Investment Management website


Gallagher is one of the world's largest insurance brokerage, risk management and consulting firms.  Their people partner with businesses across countries and international territories to provide relevant and impactful professional advice.  Regardless of what risk and human capital challenges their clients have, they work hard and utilise industry specific expertise to find the best solution and to deliver it with world-class service.  

Visit Gallagher's website 


Scribe is a leading cloud software provider, serving over 1,000 Parish, Town and Community Councils.  Our user-friendly cloud solutions empower you to manage your council operations seamlessly, regardless of your location.  From financial accounts and cemetery management to venue bookings and allotment oversight, Scribe has the perfect solution tailored for your needs.  With a stellar 4.9 star rating on Trust pilot, our passion for excellence is evident in everything we do.

Visit Scribe's website 

We are grateful to all our sponsors including those joining as an exhibitor.  These contributions have enabled SALC to cover the majority of the costs for this event and kept the cost to local councils to a minimum.  

Exhibitors in the market place


Suffolk Libraries


Cloudy IT


Scribe Accounts

Suffolk Neighbourhood Watch

Babergh/Mid Suffolk Communities Team

West Suffolk Communities Team

Community Action Suffolk

Suffolk Community Foundation

Communities Together (East Anglia)

East Suffolk Council Communities Team

Online Playgrounds

Community Catalysts

Rural Coffee Caravan

Community Climate Action

The Great Collaboration



Gallagher Insurance