News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group – 6 November 2018

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6 November 2018

Nick Forbes

News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group

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Cllr Nick Forbes
Leader of the LGA Labour Group

Parental leave for councillors

Earlier this year, Cllr Lib Peck, Deputy Leader of the LGA Labour Group set up the LGA Labour Women’s Taskforce to look at the barriers that women in local government face. One of the first pieces of work that this group has done is to produce a model parental leave policy to show that this is an important issue that deserves leadership. As of 2017, only 4% of councils in England and Wales had a parental leave policy for councillors in place, and many councillors across the country have said how it would have made it easier for them after the birth or adoption of their child if their council had a parental leave policy in place. A number of councils currently make informal arrangements for parental leave.

The parental leave policy covers all councillors, makes provision for those receiving SRAs, and covers birth and adoption. It is an entitlement and councillors do not have to take the full amount of leave, but the Women’s Taskforce feels that it is right, and in line with our Labour values, to ensure that there is a common standard of parental leave available to Labour councillors.

We have written two policies – one for Labour Groups, and one for councils. We have also written model motions to accompany them, and we would encourage people to amend these to make them locally appropriate. You can find both of the policies and the model motions here. You can read Cllr Lib Peck’s piece for LabourList about why we need parental leave for councillors here, and the experiences of two councillors who juggled council responsibilities and young babies here and here.

Please do ask your Labour Group and council to implement these policies – and please let us know how you get on! If you’ve got any questions, or if you want to tell us that your Labour Group or council has implemented a parental leave policy, please email

Save the date: Labour Local Government Conference 2019

Please save the date of next year’s Labour Local Government Conference 2019 in your diary! It will take place at The Slate, Warwick University. The details are:

Friday 8 February 2019, 19.30 – 22.30hrs
Drinks reception and dinner

Saturday 9 February 2019, 09.30 – 17.00hrs
Labour Local Government Conference

Run jointly by the Association of Labour Councillors (ALC) and the LGA Labour Group, the event is an opportunity for the Labour local government family to meet and hear from keynote speakers, and to debate policies, discuss campaigning ideas, and attend training relevant to Labour councillors. We will be advertising details of how to book your place soon including how to book accommodation, but for now please save the date.

News from Local Labour

Designs drawn up by artist Jeremy Deller for a permanent memorial in Manchester to commemorate the Peterloo Massacre and those who died there have now been unveiled.

The latest project to earn match funding from Crowdfund Lambeth is (re)Discover Streatham, a public event inviting Streathamites old and new to get involved with local charities, cultures and communities.

Rough sleepers will once again be offered extra help and support by Reading Council and its partners during the winter months.

Channel 4 has confirmed the Leeds City Region will be the home of its new national headquarters. Commiserations to those bidders that were not successful.

The leader of Dudley Council has announced he will stepping down in the coming weeks.

News from Wales

Proposals to invest more than £1m in public open space in the Adamsdown area of Cardiff have been revealed.

News from the Labour Party

"Catastrophic” effect of rail privatisation revealed 25 years on – Andy McDonald MP.

Local authorities are now over-spending their budgets for children’s social care by £800 million a year, according to data published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (“OBR”) alongside last week’s Budget. - Angela Rayner MP.

Tracey Crouch has taken a courageous and principled decision to resign from the Government over Jeremy Wright’s decision to delay cutting the maximum stake on FOBTs. – Tom Watson MP.

News from the LGA

Avoid dangerous illegal fireworks, councils and fire authorities warn

LGA responds to the launch of Serious and Organised Crime Strategy

LGA responds to Which? research on cost of paying for a care home place

Opposition watch

The taxpayer-funded UKIP office in west Wales that's claimed to hardly ever be open.

By elections

By-elections held on 1 November

Newham LB – Boleyn
Lab 1275 [74.8%; +2.8%]
LD 83% [3.6%; +3.6%]
Con 327 [14.2%; -3.5%]
Green 172 [7.5%; -2.9%]
Lab Hold 

South Gloucestershire UA – Dodington
LD 693 [49.3%; +8.4%]
Con 554 [39.4%; +16.8%]
Lab 158 [11.2%; -1.6%]
UKIP 920 [23.7%; -23.7%]
Lib Dem Hold

Kirklees MB – Denby Dale
Lab 1834 [46.7%; +3.8%]
LD  289 [7.4%; +4.6%]
Con 1689 [43.0%; -4.2%]
Green 116 [3.0%; -4.2%]
Lab gain from Con

By-elections on 8 November:

Harlow BC – Nettleswell

Torridge DC – Holsworthy

Harlow DC – Bush Fair

Ealing LB – Dormers Wells