News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group: 14 March 2017

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14 March 2017

Cllr Nick Forbes

News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group

Cllr Nick Forbes
Leader of the LGA Labour Group

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Cllr Nick Forbes: Budget 2017

The budget was a huge missed opportunity to embed devolution principles ahead of Brexit. The extra money for social care has to be seen in the context of the £4.6 billion in funding that councils have lost since 2010 – and the £5.8 billion needed by 2020. 

The crucial factors to now consider are around the funding distribution formula used and what / how many strings come attached with the funding - the LGA must be strong and robust on this over the next few weeks.

What was also clear from the Budget is that the Government are continuing with their ideological push for grammar schools. Labour in local government will have to continue challenging this and winning the ideological battle this ensues.

We would like to hear from you any examples of where free schools or academies are being opened in your areas where they are in direction competition with ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ local schools. Please send your examples to me - This will help us to build an argument showing that money is not being used effectively or in the best interests of our local communities.

You can find the LGA on the day Budget briefing here. If you would like more information on any of the above, please contact 

News from Local Labour

Congratulations to the many Labour councils who won LCG awards. Full list here

£6m Newcastle Central Metro station revamp complete

Improvements planned to make hundreds of homes in Corby warmer

Leader of South Tyneside Council, Cllr Iain Malcolm, says the announcement on adult social care funding 'really missed the mark'. 

London mayor Sadiq Khan welcomes progress made on devolution to London in the Budget. Chair of London Councils Cllr Claire Kober has said it is a clear sign of confidence in London local government to deliver real improvements in public services

Steve Lydon, Leader of Stroud District Council on the council being nominated for prestigious planning industry award 

Out on the campaign trail? Send us your best photos and they may appear in the Labour Group Annual Report.  The photos need to be high resolution and you’ll need to tell us who is in the photo and give confirmation that everyone pictured is happy for us to use it.  Please send them to:

Please share: Be a Councillor booklet and Be a Labour Councillor: A guide for disabled members and local parties

Thank you to all who have shared and tweeted our ‘100 Innovations of Labour in Power’ booklet. Please do keep sharing examples from your councils and include @LGA_Labour in tweets about this or the good work your council is doing.

National news

Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon to ask for second referendum

Self-employed hit by national insurance hike in budget

Jim McMahon MP: A Budget for no-one that ignores the crisis raging outside London

Surrey County Council 'sweetheart deal' row escalates

Barbara Keeley MP: Social care is on its knees. We all have a stake in its future

North East councils say extra social care funding is "too little too late"

Theresa May heads for battle with Tory MPs over Brexit bill

Lord Kennedy: Government ambivalence to council housing is ‘frustrating and disappointing’

Opinion: Councils are facing bankruptcy – is this the end of public service?

Liverpool conference complex is best in Britain for fifth year in a row

Newcastle couple celebrate bedroom tax victory after four year struggle

News from Wales

Cardiff council wants to end rough sleeping in the city by 2020

Neath Port Talbot Council to Invest £2.8m in Highways and Neighbourhood Works

New statistics reveal Flintshire Council has best recycling rate in Wales  

News from the Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn MP responds to the Spring Budget statement in the House of Commons

John McDonnell MP - speech to Labour economic conference

Teresa Pearce MP - more evidence of the Tories secret deal with the leadership of Surrey County Council 

Barbara Keeley MP has written to Sir Jeremy Heywood, the Secretary of the Cabinet & Head of the Civil Service, regarding Surrey and the FOI information around social care funding. Read her letter hereThe BBC South of England are also reporting this on twitter.

The Tories £70bn tax giveaways to the super-rich and big business

Women hit six times harder this Budget by government cuts

Keir Starmer MP - The Tories are talking up a dire future where Britain completely breaks off from our primary allies and trading partners

Labour supports the demand for Orgreave justice - Diane Abbott MP

Jeremy Corbyn MP statement on suggestion of a second referendum on Scottish independence

Scotland is already divided enough – Kezia Dugdale MP

LGA call for submission: Examples of poor mobile/broadband coverage

The LGA are asking for submissions about local connectivity issues for collation in the following online form – form here. 

Officers will use this information to inform conversations with Openreach and provide Ofcom with an overview of the issues councils face. If you would like a hard copy of the form, please email Daniel Shamplin-Hall.

News from the LGA

LGA responds to Law Commission report on DoLS

LGA responds to campaign for better transport report about bus funding

LGA responds to Openreach announcement

LGA responds to new RAC Foundation report on road bridges

Budget 2017: LGA responds to social care funding

Budget 2017: Councils respond to £690 million competition to tackle urban congestion

Budget 2017: LGA responds to 5G and broadband announcement

Budget 2017: Councils respond to education funding announcement

Budget 2017: Councils respond to business rates announcement

The LGA have published a guide for councillors and officers working to build a stronger dialogue between councils and residents called ‘A guide to mainstream conversations’

News from outside organisations

UNISON: Careers, Education, Information, Advice and Guidance in Schools –Short Survey Help Please

We are doing a survey of secondary heads/leadership teams in England about the impact the devolvement of the duty to deliver the careers advice in England to schools has had on the quality, type and access to careers provision for young people. It would be a great help if you could forward this to any secondary heads

The research seeks information from secondary head teachers.  The survey should take no longer than 15 minutes to complete.  The answers are confidential with no uniquely identifying information about the head teacher or school.  The research findings will be used to inform government and stakeholder policy.  The link is here

Just Fair: The UK is one of the most economically unequal countries in the developed world, but the government is still not using all available tools to tackle inequality. For years it has refused to bring into force section 1 of the Equality Act 2010, which requires public bodies to have due regard to how their decisions affect socio-economic inequalitiesThe Equality Trust and Just Fair have recently launched the joint campaign #1forEquality to demand the government brings section 1 to life. Public support for the commencement of section 1 from Labour councillors (as well as Mayors and Mayoral candidates) would increase pressure on the government and send a strong message about Labour’s commitment to greater equality at a local and national level.

To support this campaign, please get in touch with Lucy Shaddock ( or Koldo Casla (

Opposition Watch

Surrey council leader 'had gentleman's agreement' with ministers

Tory minister: We should apologise to voters for breaking manifesto promise on National Insurance

George Osborne to make £650,000 working four days a month at Black Rock

‘Douglas Carswell's Ukip Future To Be Decided On March 27’

Tory candidate sparks row after likening Camden to war zone


There were 4 by-elections on 9 March 2017:

Harrow LB, Roxbourne
Labour 1554 [62.8%; +13.7%]
Conservative 533 [21.5%; -0.5%]
LD 240 [9.7%; +0.7%]
UKIP 148 [6.0%; +6.0%]
[Independent Labour Group 0 [0.0%; -19.9%]]
Labour hold 

Broxbourn BC, Waltham Cross
Conservative 650 [41.0%; -3.5%]
Labour 646 [40.8%; -14.8%]
UKIP 200 [12.6%; +12.6%]
LD 89 [5.6%; +5.6%]
Conservative gain from Labour

East Herts DC, Hertford Castle
Conservative 593 [49.0%; +8.2%]
Labour 207 [17.1%; -2.9%]
LD 188 [15.5%; +15.5%]
Green 157 [13.0%; -4.7%]
UKIP 65 [5.4%; +5.4%]
[Independent 0 [0.0%; -21.6%]]
Conservative hold

Stratford-on-Avon DC, Red Horse
Conservative 476 [53.4%; -9.0%]
LD 266 [29.8% +20.3%]
UKIP 93 [10.3%; -4.8%]
Green 58 [6.5%; +6.5%]
[Labour 0 [0.0%; -12.9%]]
Conservative hold

There are 3 by-elections taking place on 16 March 2017:

Newcastle-upon-Tyne MB, South Heaton
South Ribble BC, Watton-le-Dale East
Breckland DC, Saham Toney