LGA Conservative Group bulletin – December 2019

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

December 2019


Dear colleague,

I would like to thank you, the thousands of Conservative councillors across the country, whose campaigning throughout the General Election, often in horrendous weather, played a key role in securing a majority Conservative Government and our best result since 1987. This campaign confirmed what we always knew: that our councillors are the backbone of the party and play an absolutely key role in grassroots campaigning.

Around 100 Conservative councillors contested the election, and I am delighted that a significant number were elected as MPs, including our own LGA Deputy Chairman, Cllr David Simmonds.

I am writing to all our newly elected MPs who are also councillors to congratulate them, and the Conservative Group will be doing all that we can to support them as they embark on their Parliamentary careers.

With a majority of 80, it is clear that the Brexit gridlock will now be broken and hopefully we can begin to focus on the many other issues that need to be addressed, including getting more homes built, putting social care on a sustainable long term financial footing and giving children and young people the best possible start in life.

To start this process, there are a number of excellent proposals in the Queen’s Speech (see below) which will enable us in local government to improve our local communities and the lives of our residents. 

After such an eventful political year I am sure that, like me, you are looking forward to a break over the festive season. I hope that you and your families have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  

Best wishes,

Councillor Izzi Seccombe signature

Cllr Izzi Seccombe OBE
Leader, LGA Conservative Group

Councillor Izzi Seccombe


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

The Queen’s Speech

The Queen’s Speech set out the Government’s legislative agenda as part of Parliament’s State Opening. It contained proposals on a range of key issues for local government including business rates, Brexit, health and social care, building safety, infrastructure, workforce, preventing serious violence and domestic abuse and protecting the environment.

Read the LGA’s on on-the-day briefing.

Local Government Finance Settlement

The Government presented the provisional 2020 Local Government Finance Settlement to Parliament on Friday. Read our on-the-day briefing.

Tackling Knife Crime Conference – 6 February 2020

This event, which will be held at the LGA’s HQ in Westminster, is free to both members and officers and will share best practice about local approaches to tackling knife crime and serious violent crime.

Full details of the conference.

NHS foundation trusts business rates claim

The LGA had a significant success earlier this month when councils won a lengthy legal battle with NHS foundation trusts.

The trusts had claimed a discount on their business rates and rebates on the basis that they should have been classified as charities. The LGA has supported councils on this issue since 2015, with this particular case relating to a collective action by 47 councils.

The judge found against the trusts and ordered them to pay the councils’ full costs. The decision also means that councils will not have to pay NHS trusts and foundation trusts £1.5 billion in backdated business rates reliefs nor will they be eligible for 80 per cent relief going forward.

There is still the opportunity for the trusts to appeal directly to the Court of Appeal. We will keep you updated on any further developments.

Taxi licensing fees

In another legal success for the LGA this month, the Court of Appeal ruled that councils can recover the costs of monitoring and enforcing driver conduct as part of the fees charged for taxi driver licences.

This ruling is particularly significant as a lack of clarity in the legislation has meant that many councils have not been recovering these enforcement costs and instead subsidising them through other funds.

LGA Conservative Group’s ‘Be a Councillor’ programme

Increasing the pool of talent from which councillors are elected is a key task for all of us involved in local government. We need different kinds of people to stand for election so that parties get a choice of high quality candidates: people who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change.

It is for this reason that the LGA runs its ‘Be a Councillor’ campaign.

The campaign has two elements: a corporate, cross-party strand which is run by the LGA’s Leadership and Localism team, and a party political strand which is run individually by the LGA’s political groups.

Looking ahead to next year’s local elections, the LGA Conservative Group is keen to offer you any help that you may need in terms of candidate selection and the training and development of selected candidates. We would aim to be as bespoke as possible, but examples of previous support include:

  • Financial support for introductory events for people who are interested in becoming a councillor – for example, a coffee morning or informal drinks reception.
  • Formal training in group sessions for people who have been selected – for example, on the role of the councillor, legal aspects of the campaign, dealing with the media.
  • Supporting groups/associations who are having trouble attracting or who would like to attract a more diverse range of candidates (for example, via advertising campaigns in the local newspaper).

If any of the above would be helpful to you, or indeed if you think we could help in another way, please do let us know at lgaconservative@local.gov.uk

LGA Councillors' Forum

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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 Councillors’ Forum dates for 2019/2020 are as follows, starting with a group meeting at 11am and then the Councillors’ Forum from 12.30pm:

  • Thursday 23 January 2020
  • Thursday 12 March 2020
  • Thursday 4 June 2020
  • Thursday 16 July 2020

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 feedback, it has been made easier to read online through the creation of a dedicated website where you can read all of its articles, interviews and opinion pieces.

Visit the first website