LGA Conservative Group bulletin – April 2020

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

April 2020


Dear colleague,

The last couple of months have resulted in unprecedented challenges for all of us and I would like to thank you for everything that you are doing to support your local communities and to protect your vulnerable residents.

As the Government begins to look ahead, they will no doubt see that Conservative councils have put their best foot forward and have proved that they can be trusted.

Local government has shown amazing flexibility and leadership in a time of crisis and of the value those qualities bring to shaping the future of our place.

I know that you will also join with me in acknowledging the dedication and professionalism of our local government employees, some of who have taken on new roles and responsibilities, whilst juggling their own lives.   

Throughout the crisis, I have been in regular contact with Robert Jenrick and his MHCLG Ministerial team. 

The announcement from Robert of the additional £1.6bn in funding which has been allocated to councils on a per capita basis, was very welcome.

Here you will find further details on the allocations.

The Government has also confirmed that the Review of Relative Needs and Resource (the ‘Fair Funding Review’) and 75 per cent business rates retention will no longer be implemented in 2021-22. They have said they will continue to have an open dialogue with the sector about the best approach to the next financial year, including how to treat accumulated business rates growth and the approach to the 2021-22 local government finance settlement.

Whilst all of our Conservative LGA Board lead members have been extremely busy throughout the crisis, I would like to extend a particular thanks to Cllr Ian Hudspeth, the Chairman of the Community Wellbeing Board, and Cllr David Renard, the Chairman of the Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board, for the extensive media work they have undertaken on behalf of the LGA this month. 

Finally, I hope that you are all managing to adapt to the ‘new normal’ and are keeping safe. We are living in incredibly difficult times, but to quote Her Majesty the Queen, “We will succeed – and that success will belong to every one of us’’.

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

Covid-19 updates from the LGA

The LGA aims to provide our councils and councillors with all the up-to-date information that they need in relation to Covid-19 and had produced this COVID-19 Outbreak - Councillor Guidance.

There is also official Government information and LGA guidance in relation to Covid-19.

If you are a regular user of social media, please do follow us @LGACons and the LGA corporately @LGAComms and @LGANews for the most regular news and updates.

Finally, please email us at lgaconservatives@local.gov.uk if there are any issues you wish to raise.

Coronavirus Act (2020): Councils’ New Powers and Duties

Under the Coronavirus Act (2020) councils have assumed various new powers and duties. The LGA has released a round-up which summarises these changes to help you navigate this legislation.

Local Authority Meetings and Postponement of Elections

MHCLG has written to local authority chief executives explaining the two sets of regulations made under the Coronavirus Act 2020.

The first allows all local authority meetings before 7 May 2021 to be held remotely and removes the requirement for the annual meeting this year.

The second postpones until 6 May 2021 local by-elections and other polls that were either scheduled or which would otherwise arise before that date. This means that councillors whose term of office were due to have ended in 2020 will continue until 6 May 2021.

The regulations came into force on 7th April. The Government is able to legislate to bring forward the postponement date if medical and scientific advice leads to the relaxation of social distancing rules.

The LGA’s legal team is currently working with monitoring officers and democratic services teams on implementation issues. If you have any questions, please email coronavirus.enquiries@local.gov.uk

Group AGMs

Many Groups will already have taken the decision to postpone their Group AGM in light of the restrictions currently in place regarding non-essential social contact. 

In terms of rescheduling AGMs for a future date, the Conservative Councillors’ Association (CCA) advises groups to take the lead from their local authority and the plans they have in place for conducting the annual meeting of the authority when restrictions are lifted

Tackling Domestic Abuse during the COVID-19 Pandemic Guide

This guide provides an overview of how councils and councillors can provide help and support to domestic abuse victims during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

High Streets Fund and Stronger Towns Fund

MHCLG has extended the deadline for the submission of Future High Streets Fund business cases:

  • The first 51 shortlisted high streets have had their deadline extended from April 30th to June 5th
  • The next 50 shortlisted high streets have had their deadline extended from June 30th to July 31st  

Local Authority Grant Payments

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published data on the amount of money distributed to SMEs by every local authority in England.

The LGA understands that BEIS intends to publish these figures weekly, based on councils’ returns through the online reporting system DELTA.

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