LGA Conservative Group bulletin June 2019

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

June 2019


Dear colleague,

Next week we have the LGA Conference in Bournemouth, and I look forward to seeing many of you there. The full Conservative team of Angela, Paul, Ghazaleh and Penny will be there. Please do come and visit us on our stand (B1) also remember to collect your tickets for the Group Dinner and sample the various freebies that are on offer!

Our three group meetings will provide us with a great opportunity to come together as Conservatives to discuss topical issues in closed sessions.

Details about the group meetings and other key events are highlighted below and you can view the programme for the whole conference.

Earlier this month the Queen’s Birthday Honours List was published. I would like to offer my heartfelt congratulations to our Conservative colleagues who were recognised: Tim Warren, the former Leader of Bath and North East Somerset Council, who received a CBE; Cllr John Fuller, Leader of South Norfolk District Council and Chairman of the District Councils’ Network, who received an OBE; and Cllr David Williams, from the London Borough of Merton, and Cllr Keith Baker, from Wokingham Borough Council, both of whom received MBEs.

It is great to see Conservative councillors receiving such well-deserved public recognition for their hard work and dedication.

Finally, ahead of him standing down as LGA Chairman at the start of the LGA Conference, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lord Porter, or Gary as he prefers to be known, for all that he has done for local government in this role over the past four years and in his previous roles as Leader of the LGA Conservative Group, Chairman of the Conservative Councillors’ Association and Chairman of the District Councils’ Network.

We will be sad to see Gary step down but know that he will remain a leading figure in local government who will use his position in the House of Lords to champion councils and the work of the LGA.

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 and Cllr Mark Hawthorne, as part of the CCA/LGA Conservative Group Leaders Day, were delighted to welcome Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson to Smith Square. This was the candidates' first joint event since the announcement that they would be the two final contenders in the Conservative Leadership election.
  • The Conservative Group Executive welcomed Damian Hinds (Secretary of State for Education), Marcus Jones (Vice Chairman of The Conservative Party) and Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care) to Smith Square for the Councillors' Forum on Thursday 6 June.
  • Cllr James Jamieson met with James Brokenshire to discuss the local elections, alongside councillors and group leaders.

LGA annual conference and exhibition

Annual Conference header 2019

The Conservative Group Office is looking forward to welcoming all those who are attending LGA Conference next week, from Tuesday 2 July until Thursday 4 July. Our main Conservative sessions are as follows:

Tuesday 2 July
10.00am - 11.30am: LGA Conservative Group Annual General Meeting, Windsor Hall
2.35pm - 3.05pm: Conference Plenary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Windsor Hall

Wednesday 3 July
2.00pm – 3.00pm: LGA Conservative Group Meeting, Windsor Hall
7.15pm onwards: Conservative Drinks Reception and Group Dinner*, Solent Hall

Thursday 4 July
10.35am – 11.05am: Conference Plenary, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Windsor Hall
12.05pm – 12.35pm: Conference Plenary, Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, Windsor Hall
12.40pm – 1.40pm: LGA Conservative Group Meeting, Windsor Hall

*Tickets for the Conservative Group Dinner are free for all Conservative conference delegates, but there is a £30 charge for non-delegate guests. Tickets can be obtained from the Conservative Group Stand (B1).

You can download the overall conference programme and the conference app for a handy overview of the agenda on your device. You can also follow the conference on Twitter #LGAConf19


The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has written to building owners asking them to register their intent to apply for part of the £200 million funding announced back in May. This will be used to replace unsafe aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding from private high-rise buildings. Councils with private high-rise buildings with ACM should have also received a briefing about what the funding will cover.

The application process to apply for funding is expected to begin in the next few weeks, so the LGA is encouraging councils to speak with building owners to encourage those who have not yet expressed an interest in applying for funding to do so.

Commercial skills masterclasses

The LGA is holding multiple one-day masterclasses to provide elected members which the opportunity to learn practical commercial skills, looking at innovative ways to generate income and transform their organisations. The masterclass is suitable for councillors with different levels of commercial knowledge.

The masterclasses will be held on the following dates:

  • London - Wednesday 9 October 2019
  • Manchester - Wednesday 15 January 2020
  • Taunton - Wednesday 22 January 2020
  • Birmingham - Wednesday 4 March 2020

To book your place please email commercialskills@local.gov.uk

Mental health

The Prime Minister recently announced extra funding to strengthen and deliver local suicide prevention plans. The announcement included £600,000 for the LGA and the Association of Directors of Public Health to jointly develop a new suicide prevention sector led improvement offer for councils.

The LGA will also be pressing the Government to ensure the overhaul of the Mental Health Act is matched by a commitment to invest more in community and school mental health services.

Improvement support

The LGA has agreed its 2019/20 programme of improvement support for councils with MHCLG.

With 95 per cent of chief executives and council leaders saying that the LGA support has a positive impact on their council, please do consider taking advantage of our sector led improvement offer.

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 18 July, 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 

In this issue:

Making a difference
Lord Gary Porter is standing down as Chairman of the LGA after four years in post. He talks to first about the ups and downs of a turbulent time in local government.

Councils Can
The LGA is calling for a new localism settlement, to ensure councils have the funding and powers they need to transform our local communities.