News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group - 28 November 2017

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28 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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Join our team

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. For more information and to apply.

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

News from Local Labour

Cllr Nick Forbes comments on the devo deal and transport boost for North of Tyne.

Cllr Andy Hull of Islington and 21 other London Council Finance Leaders write to the standard: Budget will do nothing to tackle the funding crisis facing councils in London.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council have launched ethical debt collections to save public funds by ending the use of bailiffs for council tax collection, and helping residents avoid debt in the first place.

Labour can take Tory 'crown jewel' councils next year, says Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Labour in Ipswich have condemned Suffolk council for failing to set aside money in the budget for tackling gangs.

Unison are inviting Labour councillors to attend their ‘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

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

As speeches go, ‘the one given by Debbie Wilcox to kick start the latest gathering of council leaders was all guns blazing’.

Pembrokeshire council tax 'could go up by 10%'.

News from the Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn MP new living wage analysis and Scotland speech in full.

Sue Hayman MP responding to the Lancashire floods.

The Tories need to stop dragging their feet and give Greater Manchester Police the resources they need – Diane Abbott MP. 

The Budget offers no plan to fix the housing crisis - John Healey MP.

National news

BBC Budget 2017: What it means for you. 

Almost 100,000 households in England are priced out of the property market each year due to a shortage of affordable homes to rent or buy. 

Caroline Abrahams, Director of Age UK, says the “health and wellbeing of some of our most vulnerable citizens is increasingly at risk” after the Budget included no funding for social care. (£)

UK economy faces 'longest fall in living standards in 60 years'.

The Government’s Starter Homes policy, announced in 2014, has failed to deliver a single home, analysis by the Independent has found.

News from the LGA

Full briefing: LGA responds to Autumn Budget 2017

Budget 2017: councils react to no extra children's services funding

Budget 2017: councils respond to announcement of new funding for NHS

Budget 2017: LGA responds to greener transport measures

Budget 2017: LGA responds to Universal Credit announcement

Budget 2017: LGA responds to cultural development fund announcement

Budget 2017: LGA responds to housing measures

Budget 2017: LGA responds to devolution deals

Councils ready for winter with 1.5 million tonnes of salt stockpiled

LGA responds to changes to broadband speed advertising guidance 

Free peer training to help drive local improvement – care, health and wellbeing systems

The Local Government Association is holding a peer training event on Tuesday 23rd January 2018 in London for elected member peers such as health and wellbeing board chairs and public health & adult social care portfolio holders interested in being part of a peer challenge team helping system leaders with locally driven improvement.

A team of peers are invited by a system to spend up to 3 days ‘holding up the mirror’ to the opportunities and challenges that the system is facing.  They talk to a range of people and highlight things that could be improved.  Peers champion change and recognise the achievements of places they are invited into, spending 3 days on-site undertaking interviews, focus groups and visits. Before they leave the peer team delivers a constructive but challenging feedback session to local leaders and stakeholders.

The peer challenge approach is well established within local government as a proven improvement process.

The system wide care & health peer challenge is funded by the Department of Health through the LGA’s Care & Health Improvement Programme.

For further information please contact  or phone 07909 534126.

To register your place on the training day, please contact

Opposition Watch

Stoke-on-Trent council called ‘callous’ as they propose £1,000 fines for homeless people sleeping in tents.

"The Lancashire Combined Authority is truly dead" - Lancashire County Council and Ribble Valley Council leaders walk out.


By-election results from 23 November 2017

Cotswold DC, Grumbolds Ash & Avening
Con 420 [64.7%; -6.8%]
LD 136 [21.0%; -7.5%]
Lab 93 [14.3%; +14.3%]
Conservative hold

Dover DC, St Margaret’s at Cliffe
Con 750 [70.5%; +17.7%]
Lab 314 [29.5%; +7.6%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -25.4%]]
Conservative hold

Herefordshire UA, Bishops Frome & Cradley
Grn 471 [45.3%; +13.9%]
Con 299 [28.8%; -39.8%]
LD 251 [251; +24.1%]
Lab 19 [1.8%; +1.8%]
Green gain from Conservative

Leicester UA, Eyres Monsell
Lab 556 [53.2%; +10.6%]
LD 320 [30.6%; +23.1%]
Con 170 [16.3%; -1.9%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -25.8%]]
Grn 0 [[0.0%; -6.0%]]
Labour hold

Neath Port Talbot UA, Bryncoch South
PC 525 [49.5%; +4.5%]
Lab 306 [28.8%; +4.5%]
Con 105 [9.9%; -9.5%]
LD 92 [8.7%; +3.3%]
UKIP 33 [3.1%; +3.1%]
Grn 0 [[0.0%; -5.8]]
Plaid Cymru hold

Stockton-on-Tees UA, Parkfield & Oxbridge
Lab 727 [54.7%; +2.2%]
Con 409 [30.8%; -1.1%]
Ind 156 [11.7%; +11.7]
LD 37 [2.8%; -2.9%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -9.9%]]
Labour hold

Stroud DC, Chalford
Con 751 [45.2%; +13.1%]
Lab 421 [25.4%; -2.3%]
Grn 342 [20.6%; -7.4%]
LD 146 [8.8%; +8.8%]
Conservative hold

Wakefield MB, Wakefield West
Lab 1118 [49.6%; +0.6%]
Con 933 [41.4%; +11.2]
YP 156 [6.9%; +6.9%]
LD 46 [2.0%; -4.1%]
Labour hold

By-elections taking place on 30 November 2017
Maidstone BC, North
Gosport BC, Bridgemary North Ward
Tandridge DC, Westway
Torridge DC, Torrington