News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group - 13 February 2018

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13 February 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

Cllr Nick Forbes appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Money Box to discuss the Right to Buy scheme.

Cllr Doina Cornell has been elected the new leader of Stroud District Council.

The Barons Court project is the second charitable organisation to benefit from having had the freehold of their building transferred to them under Hammersmith and Fulham Council’s asset transfer programme.

Ambitious plans, which aim to attract more than 6,000 new private sector jobs to a unique business park in Durham City over the next 20 years, will go ahead.

Air pollution affects us all; Labour councillors should not miss this opportunity to take action, writes Cllr Adam Harrison.

Bristol Councillor, Mhairi Threlfall will try to unseat Tory Jack Lopresti at the next general election.

News from Wales

Jack Sargeant, 23, won the Alyn and Deeside assembly by-election for Labour with a majority of 6,545.

Newport council leader Cllr Debbie Wilcox has withdrawn from Welsh Labour deputy leader race.

Thousands of pupils from communities across Swansea could benefit from one of the biggest-ever investments in new schools and upgrades in the coming years.

News from the Labour Party

Sadiq Khan has appointed Dr Fiona Twycross AM as London’s first Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience following abolition of the capital’s fire authority.

Councils used as 'human shields' for cuts, says John McDonnell MP.

Jeremy Corbyn MP speech to Alternative Models of Ownership Conference.

January was the worst month on record for major A&Es – Jonathan Ashworth MP.

Social care services facing a £2.3 billion funding gap by 2020 – Andrew Gwynne MP.

National news

Tory run Northamptonshire council faces up to cost of effective bankruptcy.

Children’s services at risk as councils raid schools reserves

Lack of migrant workers left food rotting in UK fields last year, data reveals.

Council tax rises: 95 per cent of local authorities planning hikes amid Government cuts and rising demand for services.

Teachers’ leaders are warning of bigger classes and less individual attention for pupils, after analysis of government figures showed secondary schools in England have lost 15,000 teachers and teaching assistants since 2015.

Residents of the homes surrounding Grenfell Tower have been told they must pay rent, despite more than a fifth of them still living in hotels due to ongoing maintenance problems. 

Theresa May spent £1,000 delivering Article 50 letter to Brussels.

News from the LGA

LGA: use Brexit to make traffic light food and drink labelling mandatory

LGA responds to Housing for Older People report.

LGA responds to latest delayed transfers of care figures

LGA calls for compulsory independent mental health counselling roll-out in all secondary schools

LGA response to report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee on Brexit preparations

LGA responds to NAO report on adult social care workforce

Councils herald 100 years since certain women first won the right to vote

LGA responds to Local Government Finance Settlement

Message from Regis Mutual Management

Regis Mutual Management were delighted to sponsor the Labour Local Government Conference. Regis are specialists in the creation and management of mutuals and have been providing the LGA with technical advice in their progress to deliver a mutual for Local Government.  The new Local Government mutual will provide local authorities with the cover they expect, but any surplus achieved will belong to its owners – you. Not private shareholders.

At its heart will be collaboration to identify the sources of claims and reduce their incidence. It will use in-house professionals to manage claims wherever possible. The mutual funds will be used to meet the expected claims with the exposure to large individual or aggregated losses covered through the placement of insurance.

By collaborating to buy insurance in this way, local government will be able to leverage its position with the capital markets for the insurance it needs. It’s a better way to use your collective capability and strength, and it’s an approach that is growing across the world.

 At the conference we met many councillors wanting change and excited by the possibilities that the new mutual will bring. If you would like more information from the LGA, contact James Alexander at or on 07711 238741.

Message from Socialist Health Association - What can councillors do about health?

We know councillors can’t wait for the next Labour Government. They have to take difficult decisions about health and social care and protect their residents the best they can. 

Now that councillors are getting a say in the running of the NHS we want to build up our network of councillors with an interest in health - and encourage more to take an interest. We can offer some support - we have experts in public health and a very wide variety of clinicians and academics if you need advice about something technical.  But we think mostly we could help by building up local networks so people can share experience and learn from each other. 

We organised an event focused on public health issues at the Labour local government conference. You can see one of the presentations and a video of the discussion online. If you need support on the technicalities of public health intelligence we can probably find you someone to talk to.

We plan to organise some more events around the country to bring councillors together later in the year, dealing with the trickier issues around dealing with the NHS - STPs, ACOs or whatever they will be called next month. These probably need to be local, because what is happening is very different in different areas. If you want us to do something in your area please get in touch.

It's hard for us to keep track of which councillors to contact, so it would be very helpful if you are interested if you could let us know.  Maybe your Labour group would like to affiliate to the Association - which costs £25 a year.  For details contact:


No Family Left Behind 2018 - Child Poverty Action Group and 4in10: London’s Child Poverty Network are running a series of events to support London councillors and share expertise and best practice on working with low income families. The events will provide the opportunity for local authorities to learn from each other and experts, and improve local responses. We would therefore be delighted if someone from your leadership team, could attend our next event:

Using Health and Wellbeing Boards to tackle inequality, 
Committee Room 2, City Hall, Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA,
Friday 23 February 2018 2- 4pm. 

The event will look specifically at how Councillors and local authorities can make best use of HWB Strategies to set the direction for local health and other service provision to tackle health inequalities for local families.

Speakers at the event will include representatives from:

  • Newham Council
  • Lambeth Council
  • and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Please RSVP to Daisy-Rose Srblin at Child Poverty Action Group  to confirm attendance.

Opposition Watch

Medway council refuse to turn Rochester Castle purple to celebrate women's vote due to by-election.

UKIP leader Henry Bolton admits he lied about having degree from Sandhurst military college.

Windsor council to impose fines on rough sleepers

Westminster Council is to ask residents to pay a voluntary contribution on top of council tax to fund services. 


By-election results from 8 February 2018

Weymouth & Portland BC, Tophill West
Con 511 [53.8%; +13.8%]
Lab 356 [37.5%; -22.4%]
Green 82 [8.6%; +8.6%]
Conservative hold 

Weymouth & Portland BC, Tophill East
Con 362 [46.9%; +16.6%]
Lab 354 [45.9%; +23.0%]
Green 56 [7.3%; -5.3%]
[Independent 0 [0.0%; -34.3%]]
Conservative gain from Independent

Staffordshire CC, Codsall
Con 1274 [67.6%; -6.8%]
Green 329 [17.4%; +6.4%]
Lab 283 [15.0%; +0.4%]
Conservative hold

South Staffordshire DC, Codsall South
Con 490 [78.8%; -21.2%]
Lab 82 [13.2%; +13.2%]
Green 50 [8.0%; +8.0%]
Conservative hold

Eden DC, Hartside
Con 175 [52.9%; -3.9%]
Ind [98 [29.6%; -13.7%]
Green 58 [17.5%; +1.1%]
Turnout 30.7%
Conservative hold

East Staffordshire, Stretton
Con 764 [42.6%; -2.5%]
Ind 623 [34.7%; +34.7%]
Lab 347 [19.3%; -0.3%]
UKIP 47 [2.6%; -25.0%]
LD 14 [0.8%; +0.8%]
[Green 0 [0.0%; -7.7%]]
Conservative hold

Brighton & Hove UA, East Brighton
Lab 1,889 [67.0%; +20.5%]
Con 481 [17.1%; -5.4%]
Green 339 [11.9%; -7.6%]
LD 114 [4.0%; -3.8%]
Labour hold 

By-elections taking place on 15 February 2018

Doncaster MB, Armthorpe
East Northamptonshire DC, Higham Ferrers Lancaster
Epsom & Ewell BC, Ruxley
Falkirk UA, Bonnybridge & Larbert
Halton UA, Halton Castle
Lancashire CC, Morecambe North
Northamptonshire CC, Higham Ferrers
North East Derbyshire DC, Grassmore
North Norfolk DC, Worstead
Teignbridge DC, Chudleigh
Teignbridge DC, Dawlish Central & North East
Tendring DC, St Paul’s
West Oxfordshire DC, Carterton South
York UA, Holgate