News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group - 1 August 2017

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1 August 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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Our fantastic Political Administrator, Anthie Zachariou, is leaving to take up a new role for Labour in local government, so we’re advertising for a new member of staff. Please do pass on the job details to anyone you think would be a good fit – the deadline for applications is Tuesday 8th August.

News from Local Labour

Ipswich was praised by John Healey MP when he visited to learn about their approach to building council housing.

Brighton Council has launched a crowd funding campaign to kick-start the repair and regeneration of Madeira Terraces, a section of Brighton’s Grade 2 listed seafront.

Sheffield Labour councillor Ben Miskell’s car was attacked by motorbike yobs while he was inside it, immediately after he attended a community safety meeting called to highlight the problem of motorbike riders.

Islington is the latest Labour council to roll out Bikehangers, a way of providing safe on-street bike storage, following a successful trial.

Birmingham’s Cabinet approved plans to boost local self-build with a package of measures including exclusive bidding for small plots of council land.

Liverpool Council is backing the ‘Tyred‘ campaign, which calls for a change in the law requiring a ban on tyres older than six years on commercial vehicles, and is asking other Labour councils to join them in passing a supportive motion.

Five Lewisham councillors make up the shortlist to become Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Lewisham in 2018.

‘Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company’, a Royal British Legion-backed social enterprise which employs former servicemen and women to produce road signs and other items, are asking Labour councils to consider them for procurement.

And Cllr Richard Watts wins this week’s ‘Dedication to the Cause’ award, after he interrupted his honeymoon to appear on BBC Breakfast to warn there was ‘not enough’ Government funding to cover 30 hours of free childcare.

National news

Unison had a stunning win for its union and all workers by successfully taking the Government to court to scrap employment tribunal fees.

Cladding and insulation used in at least 60 tower blocks has failed a new fire safety test which checked cladding in combination with the foam insulation that was used in Grenfell Tower. Salford Council said nine of its blocks are affected and it has already begun work to remove them.

Police investigating the Grenfell Tower fire say they have "reasonable grounds" to suspect that corporate manslaughter offences may have been committed.

Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, revealed plans to make leasehold law fairer, and to ban the use of leasehold on houses entirely…but Labour’s John Healey MP said it doesn’t go far enough.

Labour’s shadow Housing Minister Melanie Onn MP told The Guardian ‘young people today can’t get the kind of help I did when I was homeless’.

The number of takeaway food shops in England has risen by 4,000 in the past three years, an increase of 8 per cent, according to research by Cambridge University.

Government money set aside for promoting physical activity and healthy eating in schools should not be used to "plug a black hole in funding".

One in four pensioners who are entitled to free care – 48,400 people – are being told to contribute towards their care costs to subsidise gaps in care home funding from councils, according to a report by Age UK.

The Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP, has announced that thousands of mental health workers are to be recruited by the NHS in England in an attempt to end the "historic imbalance" between physical and mental health.

News from Wales

Cardiff is the latest Welsh council to successfully apply to suspend Right To Buy council homes.

Carwyn Jones AM vowed to use Wales’ devolved powers to fight Brexit power grab from Westminster.

News from the Labour Party

Andrew Gywnne MP says the Government’s announcement of the Grenfell Taskforce ‘falls far short of what is needed’.

Jim McMahon MP says broken Tory promises on transport in the North West make devolution even more important.

John Healey MP says the Government’s review of fire and building regulations is long overdue.

Angela Rayner MP warned that over a million children could go hungry this summer, while Mike Kane MP revealed that over half a million children are being taught in ‘supersized classrooms’.

News from the LGA

The LGA responded to the Government’s air quality action plan by calling for a national diesel scrappage scheme, and for councils to be given the power to tackle air quality, not just monitor it.

The ‘Beyond Brexit’ report was launched, with council leaders calling for £8.4 billion in EU funding for UK regional aid to be replaced.

The numbers of homeless children councils are having to house in temporary accommodation has increased by more than a third in the last three years, local council leaders warned.

LGA Chairman Lord Porter says the Government must provide funding to councils replacing cladding.

Opposition Watch

The Tory Cabinet are in a ‘state of civil war’ over Brexit.

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP has been revealed as the bookies second favourite to take over from Theresa May as leader of the Conservative Party.

‘Clueless’ Sajid Javid MP did not know his own Minister had replied to councils asking for Fire Safety cash.

A Tory councillor has been booted off Cannock Chase council after failing to turn up for any meetings in over six months.

Tory leader of Dudley Council has come under fire after handing key scrutiny committee positions to UKIP councillors, despite Labour being the largest opposition party.

Lib Dem run Sutton Council has been criticised by Labour councillor Emily Brothers over a benefits data leak that affected vulnerable residents.

The Tory Government ignored official advice in weakening regulations that made it harder for people to buy the types of dangerous acid used in recent attacks.


There were three by-elections held on Thursday 27 July 2017

Manchester MB, Fallowfield
Labour 861 [76.9%; +5.7%]
Greens 105 [9.4%; -5.7%]
Lib Dem 82 [7.3%; +2.7%]
Conservative 72 [6.4%; -0.8%]
[Trade & Unionist 0 (0%; -2%)]
Labour HOLD

North Dorset DC, Blandford Central
Conservative 310 (36.6%; +16.6%)
Labour 307 (36.3%; +25.1%)
LD Hugo Mieville 229 (27.1%; +0.1%)
[Green (0%; -12%)]
[Independent (0%; -29.8%)]
Conservative GAIN from Independent 

West Lindsey DC, Scotter & Blyton
Conservative 694 [44%; -5.5%]
LD Liz Clews 555 [35.1%; +7%]
Labour 230 [14.6%; -7.8%]
UKIP 100 [6.3%; +6.3%]
Conservative HOLD

There are 6 by elections taking place on Thursday 3 August 2017:

Charnwood BC, Loughborough Shelthorpe
Kings Lynn & West Norfolk BC, St Margarets with St Nicholas
Worthing BC, Marine
Sevenoaks DC, Penshurst, Fordscombe & Chiddingstone
Swale BC, Milton Regis
Thanet DC, Margate Central