Local governments in Europe: ALDA and UNPD study visit for Turkish civil servants in UK

Feb 28, 2011

Good governance

A delegation of elected representatives, staff from local authorities and professional managers from Türkiye, participated from the 20th to the 27th of February 2011 at the study visit in England “Local Governments in Europe: responsibilities, competencies and management”, organised by ALDA and UNDP.
The visit sought an interactive approach of the relation between European Union’s Local Authorities and Turkish ones providing to the Turkish participants a view over the local administrative framework of EU countries.

The aim of the project was to train the civil servants and engage them into a critic, positive dialogue with several European local and regional authorities thus strengthening their capacity to implement the administrative reform and a new legislation.
The activity designed was that of a study tour to England (Birmingham-Wolverhampton-South Staffordshire District-Bristol-London) enabling the participants to gain a first experience of European best practices in local self-government through meetings with their European counterparts and seminars on specific topics. Through this project, eight Turkish selected local authorities were subject to increase their capacity and vision in terms of knowledge and good practices. The Turkish local Authorities involved are: Trabzon Special Provincial Administration, Sanliurfa Special Provincial Administration, Nazilli District Municipality, Bandirma District Municipality, Mersin Metropolitan Municipality, Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, Polatli District Municipality, Nilufer District Municipality.

More specifically, United Kingdom International Study Tour was planned to support activities on improvement of land development and planning services in local government and support simplification of approval processes of construction and occupancy licences.
The project was characterised by field visits to Municipalities (Birmingham and Wolverhampton City Councils) with ranging scales, relevant institutions in planning and licenses (the Royal Town Planning Institute, RTPI and the Local Authorities Building Controllers, (LABC) and on site observations. In addition to this, trainers from different EU member countries (Sweden with SALAR, France with AFCCRE and Italy with IPRES) delivered presentations on their national systems.

The first day of the study tour began with a field visit to Birmingham City Council and, especially with the welcoming of Mrs. Antonella Valmorbida, ALDA Director, and the Deputy Lord Mayor of the city, Councillor Michael Wilkes. After the introductory meeting, Sir Albert Bore, representative of LGA – Local Governments Authorities and former President of the Committee of the Regions, delivered a presentation on “Local Government Relationship and Involvement with the European Union”. The delegation was hosted by Wolverhampton City Council and it was welcomed by Cllr Roger Lawrence, member of ALDA’s Bureau.