News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group - 8 August 2017

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8 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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News from Local Labour

Lambeth Council is delivering the most ambitious council-led building programme in a generation.

Q&A: Waltham Forest leader Cllr Clare Coghill on the future of her fast-changing borough.

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe elected to lead West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Liverpool City Council is to spend an additional £1 million tackling homelessness over the next two years.

No Laughing Matter is the name of a campaign by Tower Hamlets Council, Tower Hamlets Homes and Tower Hamlets Police to help tackle some of the problems caused by nitrous oxide.

Hackney Council officers are speaking to shopkeepers to ask them to join a scheme to help keep these dangerous substances off the street.

Islington council has installed its first rapid electric vehicle charging point, in what it claims will be the first of one of the ‘largest and most widely available charging networks in the country’.

Labour Local Government Conference 2018 - save the date

The 2018 Labour local government conference will take place on Saturday 3 February with the pre-conference dinner taking place on Friday 2 February. Details of how to book will be advertised in early autumn.

Summer break

We hope you all have chance for a summer break, the bulletin will return in September.

National news

Councils have revealed the huge cost of improvement work to its buildings which have failed fire safety tests.

Most survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire are still living in emergency accommodation, the Grenfell Response Team has said.

The most disadvantaged pupils are more than two years behind their classmates when they sit their GCSEs, according to the Education Policy Institute.

A long-awaited review of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) has been delayed until the autumn, following a rift between the Treasury and the government department responsible for the gambling industry over regulation of the controversial machines.

We must give communities a voice on housing, writes Croydon Central MP, Sarah Jones.

Government plans to scale back electrification of a key rail route will kill off the promised Northern Powerhouse project, Labour has warned.

Up to 3,000 elderly people will not be able to get beds in UK care homes by the end of next year, research commissioned by the BBC suggests.

NHS England has announced a start date for the PrEP trial and the news that the drug has now been procured for the trial.

General election 2017: Brexit dominated voters' thoughts.

Theresa May has said that freedom of movement will end in March 2019.

Labour accuses Tories of treating GP services with astonishing neglect.

The 21st Century Councillor: why we need to invest more in our local representatives.

CPAG and the Living Wage Foundation's new guide Moving to The London Living Wage: A Guide for Local Authorities in London is out today and is available to download nowIt is a practical, comprehensive guide from CPAG and the Living Wage Foundation, which aims to help local authorities in London become accredited Living Wage employers. The guide also aims to help local authorities that are already accredited go even further as Living Wage employers. It includes top tips, local authority case studies and best practice advice for encouraging take-up of the Living Wage among local employers.

News from Wales

A major transport link that will cut congestion, improve air quality and further open up development sites along the River Tawe has opened in Swansea.

News from the Labour Party

Labour has published analysis of overcrowding in English primary schools with more than half a million pupils being taught in super-size classes.

Labour analysis demonstrates £3bn blackhole in Tory spending plans revealing the damage this government’s weak and unstable leadership has done to the public finances.

News from the LGA

Two scams a day reported to councils fighting fraudsters.

NHS Digital carers survey - LGA response.

Sexual health services at tipping point warn councils.

Response to the latest drug-related deaths figures.

LGA responds to latest fire safety test results on cladding and insulation.

The LGA has launched the Housing Advisers Programme to help councils meet the housing need of their local area. Flexible and locally-led, the new programme funds independent experts for up to 20 days, providing bespoke support to local authority projects to deliver homes, reduce homelessness, or generate savings or revenues. Expressions of interest from councils or groups of councils welcome before 12 September 2017. For more information and to apply, email


Inclusion and diversity masterclass event for fire and rescue authority members
26 September 2017 at Layden House, London

Improving the diversity of the firefighter workforce is a key priority of the Fire Reform agenda going forwards and something that we’re keen to show leadership on after signing the MoU on Equality, diversity, behaviours and organisational culture in the fire service.

All members from FRAs are welcome including chairs, and members with responsibility or an interest in diversity and inclusion. This is a free event for councillors and will include sessions from the new inspectorate, HMICFRS, and the National Fire Chiefs Council, alongside training sessions on inclusive leadership and unconscious bias.

For more information please contact:

Planning Advisory Service – Event for Planning Peers
24 October 2017, London. 

Councillor peers are a key part in delivering the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) programme of support to local planning authorities. We recognise that the most powerful and valuable work PAS delivers is through our experienced councillor and officer peers so we are delivering an event in London on 24 October to support and develop our councillor peer network.

The objectives of the event are to:

  • Hone peers’ skills: Using practical examples from recent engagements, understand the ‘what and how’ of delivering PAS support, the key skills required, and what makes for a successful peer engagement.
  • Hone peers’ knowledge: looking at key elements of the Housing White Paper and the wider challenges that local planning authorities are facing.

We’ll also share with attendees the opportunities we have for working with councils and a timetable of when councils will be likely to require the support to be delivered.

The event will be for peers with a high knowledge and experience of planning; ideally with the recent experience of planning policy production, planning committee processes or leading planning services.

Flexibility & Variety

  • Our programme of work for 2017/18 and beyond will include:
  • Planning Service Peer Challenges: involving three consecutive days on site plus pre work
  • Planning Committee Reviews: viewing a couple of planning committees.
  • 1 day or evening training sessions
  • 1 day problem solving / identification sessions
  • Improvement work spread out over 3 or 4 days working with small teams of officers and/or the planning committee.  

Interested Peers

If any of your planning peers would be interested in supporting the delivery of the PAS programme, being brought up to date with PAS core peer support opportunities, learning the key principles of successful peer-led work and hearing about the key planning topics they can book online now.

If any councillor peers have any questions about PAS’s work or their suitability please contact:

Opposition Watch

Cheshire East Council has apologised after “serious errors” were made in its air quality readings from 2012 to 2014.

A Tory district councillor has been removed from her seat after failing to attend a single meeting in six months.

Ruth Davidson ridicules Theresa May by running through a field of wheat.

David Cameron under fire after sign reading 'Calm down dear it's only a recession' spotted in his country home.

Lord Sugar says Boris Johnson and Michael Gove should be in prison over Brexit 'lies'.

Trial of former Tory turned Ukip MP moved out of Essex.


There were 6 by-elections held on Thursday 3 August 2017

Thanet DC, Margate Central
Labour 454 [57.5%; +47.1%]
Conservative 190 [24.1%; -1.8%]
UKIP 52 [6.6%; -17.8%]
LD 33 [4.2%; +4.2%]
Independent 24 [35; +3%]
Green 23 [2.9%; -9.3%]
Independent 13 [1.6%; +1.6%]
Labour GAIN from UKIP

Swale BC, Milton Regis
Labour 573 [53.8%; +25.1%]
Conservative 255 [23.9%; -9.8%]
UKIP 151 [14.2%; -14.7%]
LD 86 [8.1%; -0.5%]
Labour GAIN from UKIP 

Charnwood BC, Loughborough Shelthorpe
Labour 595 [45.5%; +5.8%]
Conservative 591 [45.2%; +0.1%]
LD 93 [7.1%; +7.1%]
UKIP 29 [2.2%; +2.2%]
[Green 0 (0%; -15.3%)]
Labour HOLD 

Worthing BC, Marine
Labour 1032 [47.4%; +33%]
Conservative 846 [38.8%; -10.8%]
Lib Dem 246 [11.3%; +1.1%]
Green 55 [2.5%; -7.3%]
[UKIP 0 (0%; -16%]
Labour GAIN from Conservative 

Sevenoaks DC, Penshurst, Fordscombe & Chiddingstone
Conservative 438 [58.8%; +5.5%]
LD 253 [34%; -0.2%]
Labour 54 [7.2%; +7.2%]
[Green 0 (0%; -12.9%)]
Conservative HOLD 

Kings Lynn & West Norfolk BC, St Margarets with St Nicholas
Conservative 253 [36.2%; -6.6%]
Labour 210 [30%; -3.1%]
LD 173 [24.7; +24.7%]
Green 63 [9%; -15.1%]
Conservative GAIN from Labour

There are no by elections taking place on Thursday 10 August 2017.