Independent Group Leader's Bulletin: 22 May 2020

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

local government association - independent group

Group Leader's Bulletin

22 May 2020


Greetings all,

Our council leaders met this week and their messages were clear. We need to ensure our councils are financially viable and that our messaging needs to be positive to our residents. Anyone can get fatigued with the ninth week of lockdown news.

We are identifying and working on what needs to be done and creating plans for a better future. Improving the economy can’t just be more of the same. We want improvements for our communities, that lock in some of positives we have gained, such as clean air, strong local community support and buying local where possible, supporting local economies and quality of life. 

Our councils and members individually are producing useful newsletters and we would like to share these so please do send them to the office so we can add them to our library. It is the right time to make sure all councillor voices are heard in the communities they represent.

The week the LGA Fire Commission met. Councillor Ian Stephens chaired the LGA Fire Commission with over 85 attendees online, including the new Fire Minister introducing himself to the sector. Our firefighters have faced many challenges over the years and we are seeking your views via the fire think tank about how your fire services have helped respond to the coronavirus pandemic. So we can better represent you, please share with us any good practice or on-going challenges the fire services still face, either by reply and/or ask to be added to our fire and blue lights think tank.

Our policy boards have also started their latest round of meetings. The Improvement and Innovation Board and Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport (EEHT) Board met this week. Thank you to all of our EEHT think tank members who have made very useful contributions to the discussions being held, particularly around our environmental, economic and social recovery from COVID-19. One particularly useful resource is Cornwall’s Economic Growth Strategy. Can you please share examples of your council’s recovery plans with Sarah Woodhouse in the office?

UN75 – The UN is marking its 75th anniversary with a survey to gather your views on what the international community should be focusing on.  Your responses to this UN survey will inform global priorities now and going forward.

This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week. Hopefully everyone is able to take the time to prioritise our own wellbeing. We have produced a guide for you with social enterprise Turning Point, with some stress busters that you’ll hopefully find useful.  

New Opportunities opened this week with funds for tackling loneliness and for cycle and footpath infrastructure. People registered as self-employed need to put their claim in to HMRC this week and councils will be distributing their discretionary grants to local businesses. You might want to influence your council on these. Some children are going back to school soon and the track and tracing should be efficiently carried out; two of the subjects on our ministerial meetings. You might also check you are getting weekly updates from your Local Resilience Forum, to make sure your residents are getting what support they need and what plans are being developed for community recovery.

Many thanks for helping us keep closely in touch with what is happening where you are and thus better support you nationally.

Wishing all the very best.

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