LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 6 July 2020

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

6 July 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.

Last week, I was delighted to welcome our Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, and the Minister for Regional Growth and Local Government, Simon Clarke MP, to webinars as part of the LGA’s Virtual Annual Conference.

Robert began his speech by paying tribute to councils and councillors for their hard work throughout this pandemic. He then went on to make several positive announcements, including:

  • A further £500 million in funding for councils to deal with Covid-19 cost pressures, bringing the total support to date to £4.3 billion, which forms part of an overall Government package of £27 billion to support councils, businesses and communities.
  • Where losses are more than 5% of a council’s planned income from sales, fees and charges, the Government will cover 75p in every pound lost.
  • To enable councils to get on the front foot and build much-needed room into their budgets, they will be able to spread their tax deficits over three years rather than the usual one.

Equally, Simon acknowledged the role of local government in responding to the pandemic and announced an extra £10 million, on top of the funding already announced, to boost tourism and the visitor economy. He also confirmed that the Government will publish its White Paper on Devolution and Local Recovery this autumn.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has recognised the key role that councils are playing in supporting their communities. I strongly welcome these funding and financial support announcements, which will help councils to continue delivering frontline services and support the most vulnerable.

On a less positive note, although we are gradually starting to return to more normal life, with further restrictions lifted at the weekend, Leicester’s local lockdown reminds us that, sadly, Coronavirus has not gone away and we need to remain vigilant.

It is for this reason that testing – in relation to which local government has a key role to play - remains a fundamental part of managing the spread of the virus.

As always, if there is anything I or our regional lead peers – about whom you can find more information at the bottom of this email - can do to assist, please do not hesitate to contact 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

If you’d also like to subscribe to the LGA’s monthly e-bulletin of First Magazine, please visit the dedicated website.

Test and trace

Six new ‘walk through’ coronavirus testing sites are now offering appointments in Newham, Slough, Newcastle, Rochdale, Leeds and Brent

Schools building programme

The Prime Minister has set out a ten-year rebuilding programme for schools across England. Due to start in 2020/21 with 50 projects, the programme will be supported by more than £1 billion in funding.

The Department for Education has also confirmed that schools are now able to claim for exceptional costs relating to coronavirus (closing on 21 July).

Reform of government and the civil service

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove, has mapped out a programme for reforming national government and the civil service.

The Government has also published updated terms of reference and membership of various Cabinet Committees. This includes two COVID-19 specific Committees to drive its strategic, operational and policy responses.

Local leadership: Testing, Contact Tracing and Local Outbreak Planning

The LGA has produced a checklist to support councils identify their readiness to respond to a local Coronavirus outbreak. This is supplemented by the offer of free peer support locally.

Prime Minister’s New Deal announcement

The Prime Minister has announced a 'New Deal' which puts jobs and infrastructure at the centre of the Government’s economic growth strategy. In his speech, he laid out his plans to ‘build, build, build’ in order to upgrade the UK’s infrastructure and skills and fuel the post-pandemic economic recovery.

Conservative Regional Lead Peers

The regional lead peers and the areas they cover are as follows:

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