News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group - 21 November 2017

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21 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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We’re recruiting!

The LGA Labour Group office is looking for a new Political Adviser, as Uma Kumaran is sadly leaving us to take up a role with the Mayor of London. Our Political Adviser will help provide a strong national voice for Labour in local government, and to support our brilliant Labour councillors across England and Wales. We work in a fast paced, high-pressure environment, advising and supporting the Labour Group councillors and working on a daily basis with councillors, Shadow Ministers, MPs and other senior politicians on a range of issues of importance to local government.

Based in Westminster, we’re looking for someone with experience of working in a political environment, and an understanding of local government, public policy work and parliamentary procedures. Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication skills and a very high degree of political sensitivity. Find our more and apply.

Deadline for applications is 5pm on Tuesday 28th November, with interviews on Friday 8th December.

News from Local Labour

Today is #OurDay – the LGA’s annual social media event, highlighting and celebrating the diverse work carried out by councils up and down the country. We’re encouraging all Labour councillors to take part by tweeting about the great work you’re doing in your local communities today.

Islington is planning to introduce a £2-an-hour surcharge in January for diesel drivers to use 6,500 short-term parking bays across the borough, in a bid to tackle air pollution.

Croydon approve plans for new £1.4 billion Westfield shopping centre in ‘momentous decision’.

Newcastle could get 300 new jobs with ambitious plans for city centre improvement.

Reading has helped disabled, elderly and struggling people adapt their homes to suit their needs so they can live in them for longer.

Bristol has managed to reach its carbon reduction target three years ahead of schedule.

Doncaster is gearing up for winter by adding two new gritting vehicles to its fleet: Welcome David Plowie and Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-Slip Machiney.

Liverpool is backing UNISON’s campaigns on ending the public sector pay cap and promoting dignity in social care.

Camden Labour are asking residents to support their Back Us To Build housing campaign.

How Tower Hamlets is tackling loneliness by connecting over-50s with activities, local services and each other.

Unison is inviting Labour councillors to attend its ‘Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016: The Two Child Tax Credit limit and Rape Clause’ campaign meeting, on 4th December 2017, 12:00 -14:00, Committee Room P, Portcullis House. Confirmed speakers include: Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary; Eleanor Smith, Labour MP for Wolverhampton South West; and Lucy Hadley, Campaigns & Public Affairs Officer at ‎Women’s Aid. To attend please RSVP to

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 yearJo 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

Cardiff and Rhondda Cynon Taf councils are working with The Innovate Trust trialling smart speaker technology to aid supported living.

Newport has given the go-ahead for a £10 million bid to Heritage Lottery Fund to restore the Newport Transporter Bridge.

News from the Labour Party

The Conservatives have no plan to fix the housing crisis - John Healey MP

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, responding to the Scottish Labour leadership announcement

Barbara Keeley MP commenting on the Government’s announcement that they will publish a Green Paper on the long term funding of social care by summer 2018

Government should apologise to those affected by benefits pay out mistakes – Debbie Abrahams MP

Sue Hayman MP responds to reports Government are considering new taxes on plastic waste

National news

Autumn Budget: Hammond urged to invest £7bn in transport for new towns.

Housing associations will be reclassified as private bodies allowing their £70bn debt to be removed from the Government's balance sheet.

Council housing numbers hit lowest point since records began.

Government accused of 'dragging their feet' on social care funding shake-up.

Calls for Philip Hammond to tackle 'callous underfunding' of dementia care from the Alzheimer’s Society. 

News from the LGA

LGA responds to Museums Review report

Welfare reform objectives 'at risk' – warns report

LGA responds to cost of care research

LGA responds to MS Society figures on young disabled adults

LGA responds to Government housing announcement

LGA responds to mortality rate study of health and social care cuts

LGA responds to charity warning that councils can only help children in crisis

LGA responds to the latest housebuilding figures and Communities Secretary speech

LGA responds to social care green paper announcement

Devolve Industrial Strategy powers and funding or risk leaving areas to fail, say councils

LGA responds to iHV call to reverse public health cuts

LGA responds to LGO report on adult social care complaints

Opposition Watch

Chancellor Philip Hammond has been criticised after he said "there are no unemployed people" during a BBC interview.

Four Burnley Councillors have quit the Liberal Democrats and are now sitting on the council as Burnley and Padiham Independent Party.

Theresa May's aide 'stands down' as he calls for Tory chairman to go.


By-election results from 16 November 2017

West Lindsey DC, Sudbrooke
Con 391 [69.6%; +0.6%]
Lab 171 [30.4%; +10.5%]
LD 0 [[0.0%; -11.1%]]
Conservative hold 

Waveney DC, St Margarets
Con 487 [41.7%; +11.8%]
Lab 410 [35.1%; -1.3%]
UKIP 119 [10.2%; -15.8%]
LD 88 [7.5%; +7.5%]
Grn 65 [5.6%; -2.2%]
Conservative gain from Labour 

Waveney DC, Kirkley
Lab 374 [47.8%; +12.2%]
Con 217 [27.7%; +7.1%]
LD 84 [10.7%; +10.7%]
UKIP 78 [10.0%; -9.7%]
Grn 30 [3.8%; -5.1%]
Ind 0 [[0.0%; -15.2%]]
Labour hold

South Holland DC, Whaplode & Holbeach St Johns
Con 541 [78.0%; +21.2%]
Lab 153 [22.0%; +22.0%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -43.3%]]
Conservative hold

Hartlepool UA, Victoria
Lab 479 [53.1%; +10.7%]
UKIP 325 [36.0%; +12.7%]
Con 98 [10.9%; -0.7%]
Labour hold

Fylde BC, Staining & Weeton
Con 401 [73.0%; +8.4%]
Lab 111 [20.2%; -15.1%]
LD 37 [6.7%; +6.7]
Conservative hold 

Eden DC, Penrith North
LD 422 [45.2%; +2.3%]
Con 291 [31.2%; -0.8%]
Lab 155 [16.6%; -8.5%]
Grn 65 [7.0%; +7.0%]
Lib Dem hold 

Darlington UA, Mowden
Con 652 [60.7%; +14.4%]
Lab 285 [26.5%; -5.0%]
LD 111 [10.3%; +10.3%]
Grn 26 [2.4%; -4.9%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -14.7%]]
Conservative hold 

Darlington UA, Redhall & Lingfield
Lab 249 [44.8%; -1.9%]
Con 230 [41.4%; +12.4%]
Ind 46 [8.3%; +8.3%]
Grn 20 [3.6%; -8.9%]
LD 11 [2.0%; -9.9%]
Labour hold

Chiltern DC, Penn & Coleshill
Con 697 [80.6%]
LD 168 [19.4%]
Conservative hold 

By-elections taking place on 23 November 2017

Cotswold DC, Grumbolds Ash & Avening
Dover DC, St Margaret’s at Cliffe
Herefordshire UA, Bishops Frome & Cradley
Leicester UA, Eyres Monsell
Neath Port Talbot UA, Bryncoch South
Stockton-on-Tees UA, Parkfield & Oxbridge
Stroud DC, Chalford
Wakefield MB, Wakefield West