News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group - 14 November 2017

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14 November 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

Corby has been named the UK’s Great Town for 2018 at the Institute for Urbanism awards, narrowly beating two other Labour-run towns in Milton Keynes and Coventry.

Jeremy Corbyn launched the #MakeHomesSafe campaign demanding the Government stump up the £1 billion cost of installing sprinkler systems in social housing tower blocks.

Councils can help solve the housing crisis – but Government must step up says Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs.

Bristol has joined Southwark, Greenwich, and Tower Hamlets in deciding to publish all developers’ viability assessments, in a bid to increase transparency in affordable housing provision.

Brighton’s planning service has been ‘transformed’ thanks to the leadership of a Labour councillor.

GMB London region recently filmed a short video with some of our GMB local government councillors, asking them important questions on how cuts to local government are affecting local services in their council.

The Guardian has covered how Labour councils are taking on the ‘Big Six’ energy firms by setting up a council-run not-for-profit energy supplier with Islington the latest to set one up.

Unison is inviting Labour councillors to attend the launch of its London Housing Survey event: ‘Housing costs could spark exodus of public service workers from London’, on Tuesday 28 November 2017, 18.00 – 19.30hrs, in Committee Room 15, House of Commons. Confirmed speakers include shadow housing ministers John Healey MP and Melanie Onn MP, and UNISON London Regional Secretary Maggi Ferncombe. To attend please RSVP to Amy Fallon on

Tributes have flooded in for Sunderland Council leader Cllr Paul Watson, who sadly passed away last week aged 63.

Applications open for Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme

In memory of our friend and colleague Jo Cox, Labour Women’s Network and the Labour Party launched the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme last year. Jo was an extremely talented MP who championed women in leadership roles, international feminism and representing issues close to her heart. This programme will create a generation of women who can continue Jo’s fight in parliament, local government and in their communities.

The last cohort included a high number of women councillors, and we would again urge women councillors to apply. Full details of the programme and how to apply (deadline 26th November) can be found online.

Reminder to book: Labour Local Government Conference 2018

The Association of Labour Councillors (ALC) and LGA Labour Group Local Government Conference will take place on Friday and Saturday 2/3 February 2018. 

This event is an opportunity for Labour’s local government family to meet and discuss a range of issues relevant to local government and Labour. In addition to keynote speakers and plenary sessions, there will be a series of policy and campaigning workshops. Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP is confirmed to speak along with many other members of Labour’s front bench team.

The details are:

Friday 2 February 2018, 19.30 – 22.30
Drinks reception and dinner

Saturday 3 February 2018, 09.00 – 17.00
Local Government Conference

The conference will be held at East Midlands Conference Centre, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RJ. To book your place please visit our website.  Please note we are only able to take online bookings with a debit or credit card. Reserve your place now

We are pleased to have a number of rooms on hold at the Orchard Hotel, adjacent to the conference venue on a first come first served basis.  To book please call the hotel’s reservations team on 0115 876 0900 and quote LGA 2/218.  Single occupancy is £95 + VAT, double occupancy is £105 + VAT, bed and breakfast.  These are the same prices as two years ago. Please note this is a non-refundable, non-transferable rate. Rooms not booked by 4 December 2017 will be released, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Newly elected councillors
If you are a newly elected councillor, (i.e. elected for the first time in May 2017 or since in a by-election) you are entitled to a free conference pass. You should have received an email from the ALC explaining how to book your place. If you have any queries please email for further information. If you intend to come to the dinner you will need to buy a ticket for that.

News from Wales

Cllr Debbie Wilcox, the first female leader of Newport Council and the Welsh LGA, has been made a fellow of the prestigious Institute of Welsh Affairs, in recognition of her significant contribution to local government in Wales.

Work on Swansea’s first new council homes in a generation will be completed by Christmas.

News from the Labour Party

Chronic underfunding of social care since 2010 is having a severe impact on local authorities says Barbara Keeley.

New statistics show the Conservatives haven’t given enough attention to social housing - John Healey.

Simon Stevens has rightly set out the stark implications of failing to give the NHS the funding it needs, says Jonathan Ashworth.

Government must guard against using Brexit to undermine hard-won environmental gains - Sue Hayman.

Dawn Butler said the gender pay gap remaining the same for the past three years is an indictment of this Government’s failure.

National news

UK government tensions rise after leak of Johnson-Gove letter to May.

Care 'will take up most of our council tax within three years'.

Record 5m patients will be left on NHS waiting lists without Brexit cash boost, health chief warns.

One in 25 people are homeless in England's worst hit areas.

News from the LGA

Councils forced to sell off enough homes to house Oxford, without ability to borrow-to-build

Safety warning amid worrying smoke alarm 'failure rate'

Almost 60p in every £1 of council tax could be spent on social care by 2020

LGA responds to IPPR report on local authority house-building

LGA responds to Civitas report calling for land market reform

LGA responds to latest delayed transfers of care figures

Councils respond to the Children's Society survey on problems facing teenagers

Opposition Watch

Wandsworth The Tories managed a double Cabinet resignation last week, with Priti Patel following Michael Fallon out of the door after holding secret meetings while on holiday in Israel. 

Lancashire Tories were forced into a U-turn after provoking outrage with their plan to stop paying the Living Wage to over 6,000 workers. 

Tory council, Wandsworth, has been condemned after saying it will charge leaseholders £4,000 for the installation of sprinkler safety systems in tower blocks. 


By-election results from 9 November 2017:
Camden LB, Gospel Oak
Lab 1,144 [57.5%; +10.5%]
LD 510 [25.7%; +18.7%]
Con 303 [15.2%; -2.4%]
EDP 31 [1.6%; +1.6%]
Grn 0 [[0.0%; -15.3%]]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -10.1%]]
TUSC 0 [[0.0%; -3.1%]]
Labour hold
Wandsworth LBC, Thamesfield
Con 1,910 [48.9%; -0.4%]
Lab 1,101 [28.2%; +10.0%]
LD 619 [15.9%; +5.3%]
Grn 275 [7.0%; -9.2%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -5.7%]]
Conservative hold
Fareham BC, Stubbington
LD 1185 [55.2%; +32.4%]
Con 769 [35.8%; +6.1%]
UKIP 117 [5.4%; -37.9%]
Lab 76 [3.5%; -0.5%]
Lib Dem gain from UKIP
High Peak BC, Limestone Peak
Con 261 [53.7%; +3.4%]
Lab 133 [27.4%; +0.6%]
LD 58 [11.9%; +11.9%]
Green 34 [7.0%; +7.0%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -23.0%]]
Conservative hold
Flintshire CC, Buckley Bistre West
Lab 398 [53.9%; +4.8]
Ind 110 [14.9%; +14.9%]
Ind 86 [11.7%; +11.7%]
LD 85 [11.5%; -23.0%]
Con 59 [8.0%; +8.0%]
Ind 0 [[0.0%; -16.4%]]
Labour hold
By-elections taking place on 16 November 2017
Chiltern DC, Penn & Coleshill
Darlington UA, Redhall & Lingfield
Darlington UA, Mowden
Eden DC, Penrith North
Fylde BC, Staining & Weeton
Hartlepool UA, Victoria
Waveney DC, Kirkley
Waveney DC, St Margarets
West Lindsey DC, Sudbrooke
South Holland DC, Whaplode & Holbeach St Johns