News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group - 5 December 2017

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5 December 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

Cllr Nick Forbes told the Treasury Select Committee that the lack of infrastructure investment was one of the principle obstacles to greater housebuilding. Cllr Forbes said: “You can’t just simply build new homes without thinking about access to them, transport arrangements, healthcare, education, all of the issues that support the development of new communities.” Cllr Forbes also said that local authorities should be allowed to borrow freely to invest in housing.(£)

Plans to expand three primary schools in Wolverhampton have been approved by the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet.

South Shields is set to receive a new Metro Station, bus interchange and rail training centre as part of multi-million pound plans to boost the town’s transport infrastructure.

One of Gedling’s most well-known and well-used play parks is to have a £124,000 refurbishment.

Croydon has seen a 21 per cent drop in the number of recorded fly-tips across the borough over a six-month period this year compared with last year.

Work is to get underway on the building of a new community hub at a County Durham village.

A key mile-stone in the creation of new homes in Lambeth as part of the Your New Town Hall project has been reached.

Work is progressing at a pace on the restoration of Bradford’s Grade II* listed St George’s Hall.

Cllr Alice Perry’s Labour NEC ReportNovember 2017.

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

Construction starts on permanent home for Cardiff's newest high school.

News from the Labour Party

Labour has launched a major initiative to work with people and businesses in our seaside towns on a plan to revive jobs, industry and local economies

Sir Keir Starmer MP, has called on the Government to make funding for women’s refuges mandatory, after the Government put in place plans to remove refuges and other short-term supported housing from the welfare system.

National news

A review by the Competition and Markets Authority shows that care homes have been applying unfair charges and over-the-top fees for self-funders.  

Mental health patients are having to wait for up to two years for treatment in parts of England.

Just 199 government-funded social rented homes have been built in the last six months, according to data on affordable housing by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA).

Theresa May faces new crisis after mass walkout over social mobility policy.

Poverty hits more children and pensioners, says charity.

News from the LGA

LGA responds to government’s Green Paper on children’s mental health

LGA responds to Care Quality Commission report on residential detox clinics

LGA reaction to the Competition and Markets Authority care homes market study

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 23 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 three 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 three 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

Plans by Northamptonshire County Council to close more than half of its public libraries have been criticised by readers and authors. Up to 28 of the county’s 36 libraries could be closed.

Lancashire County Council has scuppered plans for a devolution deal for Lancashire after withdrawing support – with business leaders criticising the decision as a ‘missed opportunity’.


By-election results from 30 November 2017

Torridge DC, Torrington
LD  701 [60.2%; +60.2%]
Ind 180 [15.5%; +15.5%]
Con 159 [13.6%; -6.0%]
Grn 76 [6.5%; -15.9%]
UKIP 49 [4.2%; -16.8%]
Lab 0 [[0.0%; -12.4%]]
Ind 0 [[0.0%; -24.6%]]
Lib Dem gain from UKIP

Tandridge DC, Westway
LD 483 [53.5%; +17.5%]
Con 239 [26.5%; -2.5%]
Lab 118 [13.1%; -2.8%]
UKIP 62 [6.9%; -12.2%]
Lib Dem hold

Gosport BC, Bridgemary North Ward
LD 644 [58.0%; +58.0%]
Lab 255 [23.0%; -49.0%]
Con 213 [19.1%; -8.9%]
Lib Dem gain from Labour

Maidstone BC, North
LD 719 [51.4%; +8.4%]
Con 364 [26.0%; +2.1%]
Lab 270 [19.3%; +6.1%]
Grn 47 [3.4%; -0.1%]
UKIP 0 [[0.0%; -16.8%]]
Lib Dem gain from Conservative

By-elections taking place on 7 December 2017

North Devon DC, Newport
Enfield LB, Enfield Highway