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Helen Edwards appointed President of Lawyers in Local Government

Helen Edwards, Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer at Norfolk County Council, has become President of Lawyers in Local Government (LLG) following the organisation’s annual general meeting this week.

Rachel McKoy, Assistant Director of Governance and Monitoring Officer at the London Borough of Hounslow, has become Vice President by automatic succession, while Aneeka Sarwar, Solicitor at City of Bradford Council, has become Deputy Vice President following an open application process.

The AGM also saw confirmation of the following appointments:

  • Michelle Rowe as Branch Representative Director.
  • Helen Lynch and Emma Harrison as the National Lead Representative Directors
  • Kieran McGaughey and Rochelle Tapping as the Membership Directors.
  • John Purvis as the Junior National Lead.
  • Fiona Anthony as the Training Director.

Edwards told the AGM that during her period in office LLG would continue to push its ‘Golden Triangle’ campaign, which stresses the key role of monitoring officers in upholding standards within local government, and their ability to work closely with the CEOs and Section 151 Officers at local authorities.

She said: “We were delighted to see the Government committing to full statutory protection for monitoring officers and we will endeavour to ensure that we are involved in the work the Government will be undertaking to bring that into lawful effect.”

Helen Edwards 1 resizedEdwards (pictured right) said LLG remained disappointed in relation to the lack of sanctions for breaches of the Code of Conduct, but added that the Government “did not completely close the door on that, committing to  engage with sector representatives to ‘seek views on options to strengthen sanctions to address breaches of the code which fall below the bar of criminal activity and related sanctions but involve serious incidents of bullying and harassment or disruptive behaviour’.”

LLG will look to be actively engaged in those discussions, Edwards said.

The incoming President also said that one of the key themes she would like to focus on in her presidential year was the opening up of access to the legal profession “to really champion equality, inclusion and social mobility”.

She said: “We will work with other stakeholders to enable the start of what I hope will become a legacy, of supporting individuals from all backgrounds to forge a successful career in law.

“We will be continuing with our National Graduate Recruitment Campaign, which will overlap with this theme. We also have our Work Experience Week taking place from the 4th July, and there is still time to sign up your authority to participate with that.”

Edwards also paid tribute to the work of her predecessor as President, Quentin Baker, Director of Law & Governance at Hertfordshire County Council.

Baker told the AGM that LLG had secured some excellent wins over the last 12 months, including in particular the judicial review along with ALACE on the Exit Payment Cap regulations and the Government’s commitment to bring in full statutory protection for monitoring officers.

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