Independent Group Leader's Bulletin 1 November 2019

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local government association - independent group

Group Leader's Bulletin

1 November 2019


Good afternoon colleagues,

Join us at our annual conference
Our annual conference in the LGA is on Friday 8 November, starting at 11am (registration from 10.30am) and finishing by 7pm after an early evening drinks reception. It is open to all our member councillors and your guests who are thinking of becoming councillors. 

This is always a brilliant event, inspiring and informative. We have the LGA top cats, the economist guru, Prof. Tony Travers, a coach on public speaking, environment academics and a good chance for you to take the stage too. We will be inviting the press, doing podcasts and a photo of our prospective parliamentary candidates. For those who can make it on Thursday 7 November, join us for an evening drink and a meal if you like at The Loose Box in Horseferry Road.

Please book your place on our website and inform the office if you plan to join us on Thursday evening.

Grenfell report
The phase 1 report of the Grenfell disaster was released this week. The LGA has contributed to the report at all stages. We are emphasising the importance of making all buildings safe and keeping them safe, as well as strengthening building regulations as a priority. Read the LGA’s response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry report.

If you read Private Eye, you will have noticed the lonesome ditch left unwanted on this first non-Brexit day! Instead of debating the bill, the PM is knocking on doors this Halloween. 

It may well be a good time for our Independent Group members who are standing. I certainly hope so! As the big party politics has failed, we are the people with conviction, seeking the best for our residents and most of all getting on with the day job locally. For anyone not standing, it is important to put a newsletter out to tell people what you are doing and build support for the next local elections.

If you are putting a manifesto together, the LGA is happy to help on campaign ideas for local services. You can use our calls for action nicely prepared and ready, called #CouncilsCan. Contact Sarah in the office if you’d like to discuss further.

Civility in public life
Next week I am representing you at the UK Forum, where local government from all four UK countries work together to combine forces. On the agenda is how we can deal with politically driven abuse and intimidation. If you have a short example of intimidation and how it was dealt with, please let the office know. You can read more about the LGA’s work on civility in public life.

Best value
At the LGA Leadership Board and Group Executive meetings this week we discussed the issues most affecting our councils and how we can best continue supporting our members to deliver and receive the best value for money. One of our key initiatives to help with this is the Local Government Mutual. You can find out more information here and I’d encourage you all to discuss this with your senior officers as a potentially cost-effective alternative to traditional insurance.

Next week
Due to the general election, which is likely to delay the local government settlement by at least a few weeks, we are postponing our I&D Seminar previously scheduled for 6 December and rescheduling it for 17 January 2020. Please release the December date from your diary and hold the 17 January instead for what is always a useful workshop on setting and challenging council budgets.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Councillor Marianne Overton MBE signature
Councillor Marianne Overton MBE

Councillor Marianne Overton MBE
Leader of the Independent Group
Vice Chair of the Local Government Association