LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 8 June 2020

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

8 June 2020


Dear colleague,

Welcome to the LGA Conservative Group’s weekly email newsletter. Its purpose is to highlight the latest information associated with COVID-19, which I hope will be useful to you and your council.

I was delighted to welcome Simon Clarke, Minister of State, to our online Conservative Group meeting last Thursday where members put forward their questions to the Minister and we discussed devolution and many other important issues. Over 53 councillors across the country joined this meeting and it was a successful event.

Over the past few weeks I have been delighted to have been given the opportunity by Conservative Home to highlight just a few of the many good things that Conservative councils and councillors have been doing to support their communities during the pandemic, and also our partnership working with the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, and other Cabinet ministers.

You can read my articles below:

I am keen to continue highlighting this good work and also individual efforts by councillors, particularly those in opposition and smaller groups, to support their communities.

In my next article I would like to focus on the work that has already been done, and which is being planned or is ongoing, to support the recovery stage (for example, in relation to the re-opening of schools) so if you have any best practice examples in relation to this specifically, or just more generally, please do email me at lgaconservatives@local.gov.uk.

Please do also bear in mind that our team of highly experienced regional lead peers are an extremely useful resource for all Conservative councillors:

  • Lord Porter of Spalding CBE:  National Lead Peer & Regional Lead Peer for the South East
  • Councillor Paul Middlebrough: Regional Lead Peer for the South West, Hampshire and Isle of Wight
  • Councillor William Nunn: Regional Lead Peer for the East of England
  • Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE - Regional Lead Peer for London
  • Councillor Glen Sanderson JP - Regional Lead Peer for the East Midlands, North East and Yorkshire & Humber
  • Councillor Mike Wilcox - Regional Lead Peer for the West Midlands and North West.

If you would like to raise any issues with them please do so via the LGA Conservative Group.

I am looking forward to hearing about all the great things that you are doing.

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 Department for Education has published new guidance for schools on taking the attendance register during the outbreak. Additionally, they have published updated guidance for schools and local authorities on free meal arrangements.

High Streets Safely Fund

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) announced that the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund is providing £50 million from the European Regional Development Fund to councils across England to support the safe reopening of high streets and other commercial areas.

MHCLG has published a guidance that provides details of the activities that can be supported through the Reopening High Streets Safely Fund and an overview of how it will be administered.

Park management

The LGA has collaborated on a new guide to help councils and other park managers in England safely reopen urban and country parks, gardens and wider green spaces.

Early Years

 Updated guidance for early years and childcare providers has been published, providing more information on infection prevention and control, before and after school clubs and a new section on safeguarding and welfare, including provisions for children with special educational needs and disability and a clarification on paediatric first aid certificates.

Local government workforce

The Government updated the rules and guidance in relation to the coronavirus job retention scheme.

LGA guidance on the coronavirus job retention scheme has been updated to reflect the changes outlined in various Government documents.

Business support

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published their weekly update on the amount of funding distributed through the Small Business Grants Fund scheme and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund by each council.

Adult social care

The Social Care Digital Innovation Accelerator (SCDIA) programme gives the opportunity for councils to collaborate and co-fund digital projects addressing medium and longer-term challenges arising from COVID-19.

Three SCDIA projects have been approved for NHS Digital match funding and are being led by the councils below. These projects will develop digital discharge to assess processes (Herefordshire, Sutton), virtual support for people with learning disabilities (Barking and Dagenham) and multi-agency safeguarding (Walsall).

Other councils now have opportunity to join these programmes as the model is based on five councils co-developing and co-funding each project for a contribution of £14,000 for each council.