LGA Conservative Group bulletin – January 2020

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

January 2020


Dear colleague,

The General Election saw the election of 107 new Conservative MPs, 33 of whom are also local councillors, including some prominent figures in local government such as Cllr David Simmonds, our former LGA Deputy Chairman.

The demolition of the ‘Red Wall’ means that the newly elected MPs come from all parts of the country, ranging from Great Grimsby to Truro and Falmouth, from Sedgefield to North Devon, and many places in between.

The election of a majority Conservative Government and of so many MPs with a local government background provides the LGA Conservative Group with a unique opportunity to build relationships with a key section of the Parliamentary Party, and I was therefore delighted to host a Reception for Conservative MPs and Peers in the House of Commons last week.

The reception was co-hosted by Andrew Lewer MP, the former Leader of Derbyshire County Council and one of our LGA Vice-Presidents. Andrew took the opportunity to highlight the close partnership between the LGA Conservative Group and our Parliamentarians, something that I reiterated in my own conversations with the MPs and Peers who attended.

The combination of a majority Conservative Government and the fact that we are still the largest party in local government provides a great opportunity for us to work together to secure the best possible outcomes for our communities, and the LGA Conservative Group will do all that we can to support our Parliamentarians, old and new, throughout 2020 and beyond.

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

Probity in Planning guidance

The LGA has refreshed its Probity in Planning guidance, developed in partnership with the Planning Advisory Service.

The guidance provides advice for councillors and officers who are involved in making planning decisions, with this refreshed version including updates to reflect recent changes in national policy and legislation.

Digital and Data Masterclass for councillors – 7 February in Newcastle

On the 7 February in Newcastle, the LGA is hosting a masterclass for councillors who are responsible for digital/data projects (similar events have previously been held in other parts of the country).

This will focus on the role of the elected member in enabling successful digital and data projects within their authority. 

Return to Social Work programme

It was great to see the Minister for Women, Victoria Atkins MP, announce the launch of our Return to Social Work programme in Parliament.

This programme is designed to support councils to recruit social workers who have taken a break from work.

Town of the Year

MHCLG has announced a new ‘Town of the Year’ competition as part of the Government’s plans to make this decade “a time for renewal of towns and communities.”

The competition will be launched later this year.

UK Municipal Bonds Agency

The UK Municipal Bonds Agency (UKMBA) is close to issuing its first bond, allowing councils to borrow to invest in capital projects at lower rates than the Public Works Loan Board.

For further information on the UKMBA and how your council can benefit, please email CWall@ukmba.org.

Conservative Home

Conservative Home, Britain's leading Conservative blog for news, comment, analysis and campaigns, is keen to include more articles from Conservative councils and councillors.

Any examples of best practice from Conservative councils would be welcome, but they would particularly welcome articles focusing on housing (including the promotion of innovative design and measures to reduce living costs for lower income groups) as well as the environment and climate change.

More generally, they would also welcome articles highlighting defections to Conservative council groups and examples of successful election campaigning.

If you would like to contribute an article please email Harry Phibbs.

You can also sign up to the Conservative Home daily email.

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 this year’s local elections (and, if you are already planning ahead, 2021), 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.

LGA Councillors' Forum

cons bulletin image

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

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

Prevent and counter-extremism leadership essentials course, Leeds, 4-5 February

Our next Prevent and counter-extremism course for councillors will be held in Leeds on 4-5 February. This highly-regarded free course will provide members with an opportunity to explore some of the challenges and sensitivities of councils’ work to protect communities from extremism and radicalisation. All councillors are welcome to attend; bookings are via grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

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