News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group - 30 January 2018

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30 January 2018

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

Labour council leaders hit back at NEC ruling over housing dispute

Rotherham Council has been given an overall "good" rating following an Ofsted inspection in November

Islington Council launches 23 new council homes and a new community centre

Joint venture between developers Langtree and St Helens Council formed to redevelop coal mine that closed in 1993 could lead to 1,300 more jobs for the area

Manchester Council backs move to stop anti-abortion 'harassment'

Nottingham City Council joins green buildings drive

Redbridge Council adopts international definition of anti-Semitism to tackle discrimination

Cheshire West and Chester Council signs up to the UNISON Ethical Care Charter

Sheffield remains one of the safest places to enjoy a night out for people of all ages – after being awarded a purple flag for the seventh successive year

How Labour councils are reinventing municipal socialism and holding back austerity   

Last chance to book a ticket to 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.

Newly elected Councillors 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

Votes at 16: Wales voting reforms see voting age lowered

Swansea Council wraps up city-wide road repair scheme

Unique employment opportunities for Caerphilly young people, thanks to Council event

News from the Labour Party

The Government is shifting the burden of local government cuts onto struggling families – Andrew Gwynne MP

Labour announces 8,000 new homes for rough sleepers in fresh pledge to end rough sleeping

Crime figures are truly shocking and should put an end to Government complacency – Diane Abbott MP

Barbara Keeley MP responds to the rise in Mental Health Act detentions

Debbie Abrahams MP comment on European Committee of Social Rights report on the UK government’s obligations to meet the European Social Charter

Jonathan Ashworth MP responding to NHS decision to review A&E performance

National news

Baroness Tessa Jowell gave a hugely brave speech on Innovative Cancer Treatment & the NHS

The number of drivers breaking down after hitting potholes has seen a "concerning" rise

Rough sleeping in England has increased for the seventh year in a row, new official figures reveal

Nearly half of all children in London, Birmingham and Manchester are living in poverty

Only three out of 160 social housing towers re-clad after Grenfell fire

More than 1m UK older people risk 'withering away' from hunger

Lift councils’ house building cap, say MPs

Young Fabians: innovation under fire

Young Fabians are undertaking a nationwide study to showcase innovative policy solutions in Local Government during a time of extended austerity that appeal to young voters in the UK:

Local Government is where real decisions are made, and where some of the worst effects of austerity are felt. It is Labour in Local Government that is having to innovate and come up with innovative solutions under fire in order to maintain services.

Young Fabians want to showcase this ability and the hard work you do at a local level. If you have a creative policy solution in action that can be used by other authorities we want to know about it, please get in touch by emailing

The Smith Institute: delivering the renaissance in council built homes events

Our research and that of the TCPA shows that councils are finding new and exciting ways of meeting local housing needs, including setting up local housing companies and new forms of joint ventures.  A lot of the innovations are taking place in the regions, which is why we are holding these seminars (kindly supported by the Nationwide Foundation).

Are we witnessing a step change in the delivery of affordable homes; what level and type of housing delivery are councils planning; are local housing companies the way forward and if so what can learn from experience so far; what can councils do to differently; will the HRA be subject to more reform; and what policy changes could be made to support the renaissance in council-built homes? 

We will be addressing these and related questions at our seminars in March 2018. They will take place in Cambridge, Exeter, York and Manchester.  Attendance is free but places are limited.  Please join us and other housing and local government professionals by registering for one of the events below.

Exeter event: register here 
Confirmed chair: Cllr Peter Edwards (Leader Exeter City Council)
Confirmed speakers: Paul Hackett (Director, the Smith Institute), Henry Smith (Projects and Policy Manager, the TCPA ) plus another speaker TBC
Date and time: 4.30 to 6.00pm on Wednesday 21st March
Venue: E: Exeter Community Centre, 17 St. Davids Hill, Exeter EX4 3RG

York event: register here
Chair: Campbell Rob (Chief Executive, Joseph Rowntree Foundation)
Speakers: Paul Hackett (Director, the Smith Institute), Henry Smith (Projects and Policy Manager, the TCPA) and Jo Boaden (Chief Executive, Northern Housing Consortium)
Date and time: 11.00 to 12.30pm on Wednesday 28th March
Venue: Denham Room, Priory Street Centre, 15 Priory St, York YO1 6ET

Manchester event: register here 
Confirmed chair: Paul Dennett (City Mayor of Salford and Greater Manchester Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Housing, Planning and Homelessness)
Confirmed speakers: Paul Hackett (Director, the Smith Institute) and Henry Smith (Projects and Policy Manager, the TCPA) and TO BE CONFIRMED Cllr Ann O’Byrne (Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for Housing, Liverpool City and/or Barbara Spicer (Chief Executive, Plus Dane Housing and Adviser on housing to Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram)
Date and time: 4.30 to 6.00pm on Wednesday 28th March
Venue: Workplace, 4th Floor, Churchgate House, 56 Oxford Road, Manchester M1 6EU

News from the LGA

LGA responds to CQC report on rise in detentions under Mental Health Act 

LGA responds to Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health report on the state of child health 

LGA responds to report on lack of high quality care homes 

LGA responds to launch of adult social care inquiry 

LGA responds to BMJ report on smoking 

LGA responds to Shelter social housing commission 

LGA responds to new rough sleeping statistics 

Government's national roads receiving 52 times more funding than councils' local roads 

LGA: call for crackdown on 'trojan' telephone boxes amid 900 per cent rise in some areas

Opposition Watch

All 17 UKIP councillors in Thurrock - including an MEP - have resigned from the party and formed a new group

Tory minister caught insulting own MP’s over Brexit Divorce Bill

Veteran North East Liberal Democrat politician defects to Labour – and launches scathing attack

Teddington Councillor Stephen Knight quits Lib Dems and joins the Labour Party


By-election results from 25 January 2018

Isle of Wight UA, Central Wight 
Con 547 [49.7%; -25.5%]
LD 286 [26.0%; +26.0%]
Grn 143 [13.0%; -5.9%]
Lab 101 [9.2%; 3.2%]
UKIP 24 [2.2%; +2.2%]
Conservative hold

By-elections taking place on 1 February 2018
Cornwall UA, Falmouth Smithick
Sunderland MB, Pallion