LGA Conservative Group bulletin May 2019

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

May 2019


Dear colleague,

This has been a very tumultuous period in politics over the last few weeks; the extremely disappointing local elections now compounded by poor performance in the European elections.

In both cases the major issue was BREXIT and the impasse in Parliament. The public rightly expects Government to show leadership, as we do at a local level. Yet nationally too many from all parties appear to be looking at their own political agenda and not that of the country. While Labour also performed badly this is no compensation for those 1300 councillors who lost their seats and the 44 Councils lost. The only positives were the good performances against Labour in a number of areas including taking control of North East Derbyshire, North East Lincolnshire, Darlington and Walsall councils. And the fact that we remain the largest political group at the LGA.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne (CCA Chairman) and I will be strongly putting forward the message that nationally the party needs to get its act together. Mark will be sending out a survey to leaders to get all the local feedback.

We also now have a national Conservative Leadership election, recognition that we cannot carry on in limbo, but need to move forward to find a solution on Brexit that brings both the party and country together. Clearly our colleagues in Westminster have much they could learn from local government, where we continue to deliver in trying circumstances. We do so in a dignified way, showing genuine local leadership.

The Conservative Leadership contest is also an opportunity to put forward our agenda for further devolution and a less centrist country. Bringing decision making back to the local level, where time and again we have demonstrated better performance than top down diktat. Mark Hawthorne, through the CCA, has already requested that there is an election hustings for Conservative Councillors, it is also my intention to table a Local Government Manifesto, which we will debate at the next Conservative Group Executive.

I would like to extend my commiserations to those many hard-working and dedicated councillors who lost their seats through no fault of their own.

I would also like to congratulate those councillors who were successfully re-elected or elected for the first time. I would particularly like to welcome all of our new councillors to our Conservative local government family - I hope that you find it to be rewarding experience.

I hope many of you will join us at the LGA Conference, which takes place in Bournemouth from the 2nd – 4th July, where the Conservative Group will host three group meetings and a dinner. Details about these events will be announced in due course.

Best wishes,

James Jamieson signature

Cllr James Jamieson
Leader, LGA Conservative Group

Cll James Jamieson


For all the latest news from the LGA Conservative Group please follow us on Twitter at @LGACons

Conservative Group Lead Members activities

Our Group Leader, Group Executive and Conservative members of the various LGA governance bodies take time out of their busy schedules to meet with Ministers and key policy makers on a regular basis to lobby on your behalf. Here are some of their recent activities over the last month:

  • Cllr James Jamieson, Lord Porter CBE, Cllr Paul Carter CBE, Cllr John Fuller, Cllr Mark Hawthorne MBE and Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE all continue to meet with the Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government) to discuss current issues affecting local government.
  • Cllr David Simmonds has met with Home Office Minister Caroline Nokes MP who has announced an increase in funding for councils taking in refugee children. She is consulting on the costs of supporting them as they become care-leavers and all councils involved are encouraged to respond as we continue to push for full funding.
  • Cllr James Jamieson met with the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care).

Post-Election Group Leaders' Day

The CCA and LGA Conservative Group are organising a meeting for Conservative Group Leaders to engage with colleagues after the elections and to look ahead to the next year in local government. Attending will be Rishi Sunak MP (Local Government Minister) Marcus Jones MP (Conservative Party Vice Chairman for Local Government), and Kwasi Kwarteng MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Exiting the EU). A full programme will be made available closer to the time.

The event will take place on 21 June 2019 at 18 Smith Square, London. Registration for this event is free* with lunch and refreshments provided. 

If you would like to attend, please email cca@conservatives.com to register your place and inform them of any dietary requirements.

If you are unable to attend, the Deputy Group Leader may attend in your place, so please forward the invite to them. *Free places are available to members of both the CCA and LGA. Non-Members of either organisation will be required to pay £40.

Statutory guidance

The Government has produced new statutory guidance for local authorities on overview and scrutiny.

The Centre for Public Scrutiny, which is funded by the LGA to provide support to councils on issues relating to governance and scrutiny in councils, has published a blog highlighting the main components of the guidance.

CfPS also operates a ‘helpdesk’ function for local councils and local councillors. If you have any questions about scrutiny in your authority, or if you want to talk about what your council might do to reflect on the guidance and act on it, you can call them on 0203 866 5100 or email.

Emergency Planning and Civil Resilience Masterclasses

The LGA are hosting one-day masterclasses in Liverpool on 14 June 2019 and Durham on 17 June 2019.

These will feature guidance from Leaders involved in major emergencies, as well as providing an introduction to handling the media, understanding your role as a councillor during a civil emergency and practical advice and best practice.

For further information please email Grace Collins or look on the LGA website.

Heritage Action Zones Funding

The Government has announced £44 million of funding for a new round of Heritage Action Zones, to improve and revive up to 60 Historic High Streets across England.

Expressions of interest must be submitted by midday on 12 July 2019 – please look on the Historic England’s website for more information

New Political and Clinical Leaders in Health and Care Induction

If you are new to a leading portfolio role in a health and care system, the LGA is holding a free induction session on 26 June 2019 at 18 Smith Square.

The session will brief you on the policy issues, look at leadership challenges for these high profile roles, and relate these to your local context.

If you would like to book into the programme please email Paige Edwards.

Spending Review Survey

As part of its #CouncilsCan campaign to influence the spending review, the LGA is conducting a Spending Review Survey of council chief finance officers. While this is a voluntary survey, the LGA is hoping to hear from as many councils as possible to ensure it puts forward the strongest possible case to Government about the need to invest in local services and secure the financial sustainability of councils.

Please encourage your chief finance officer/director of finance to complete the survey which has already been sent to them. The deadline is 31 May 2019.

Please contact Kaylash Patel if you have any queries.

LGA Councillors' Forum

LGA Councillors Forum



The LGA holds a regular Councillors' Forum. This is a cross-party meeting which discusses topical issues related to local government.

In addition, the Conservative Group holds a political meeting before the Councillors' Forum where we often welcome topical speakers. These meetings provide an opportunity to discuss important political issues in closed session.


All Conservative councillors are welcome to attend the Councillors' Forum and the group meetings. If you wish to do so please email lgaconservatives@local.gov.uk or call us on 020 7664 3264.

The next Councillors' Forum will take place on Thursday 6 June, with the Conservative Group meeting starting at 11.00am.

LGA 'first' magazine

LGA First logo

'first' is LGA's membership magazine and is received as a hard copy by over 18,000 councillors and 400 Chief Executives. In a response to demand, we have made it easier to read online by creating a dedicated website to read all of its articles, interviews and opinion pieces.

Both the hard copy and online pdf are still available to readers, and subscriptions can be amended online.

Visit the first website