LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 2 November 2020

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

2 November 2020


Dear Colleague,

Welcome to the LGA Conservative Group’s newsletter, in which we highlight the latest information associated with Covid-19 and other topical issues.

As I write this newsletter, it’s half-term week and there has been ongoing debate on free school meals. During the summer holidays, following Marcus Rashford’s campaign, the Government extended free school meals to children eligible for support.

Conservative Councils have made decisions based on their financial capability and local priorities. It has been challenging to respond at short notice. Nevertheless, many Conservative Councils have already stepped in and are trying to find other ways to support children and families in need during half-term and beyond.

Further to my last bulletin, Robert Jenrick, has confirmed the local authority allocations of tranche 4 of the Covid-19 grant funding, announced by the Prime Minister in early October.

While the additional funding was welcome, many Conservative councils achieved half of the expected allocations and it appears the distribution has favoured Labour Met and London councils. It is important the Government addresses, in full, the funding challenges councils across the country face as a result of the pandemic.

On a positive note, I am pleased to announce that Amanda Milling, Conservative Party Chairman, has agreed to attend our webinar on 9 November (18:00 – 19:00).

As we move closer to May, we must prepare to fight tough local elections and start working on our campaigns and messaging.

This webinar provides an opportunity to share your concerns and ideas with the Party Chairman and ask any questions you may have. I have no doubts that you will find this session extremely useful so please email us if you would like to register.

I would also like to encourage our Conservative Peer Members to register for the LGA virtual Member Peer Conference taking place on 12 November. Please visit the LGA website to book your place, if you have not already done so.

As always, if there is anything I or our regional lead peers can do to assist, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can find more details about our lead peers at the bottom of this newsletter.

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.

Business Grants

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced approved additional funding to support cash grants aimed primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas.

Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

The Department for Health and Social Care has updated their guidance setting out what councils in England need to do to enable people in their area to claim the Test and Trace Support Payment, including discretionary payments if they have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Tier 3 Enforcement Advice

The LGA has developed a short guidance note for councils on the interpretation of the key issues within the tier 3 regulations. The guidance covers issues councils have raised with the LGA and outlines how these could be managed with a focus on the specific restrictions on hospitality premises.

Further Green Homes Grant funding for local authorities

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is inviting applications for further funding under the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme. All councils in England can apply and eligibility is not affected by previous applications.

Local elections

The Electoral Commission has published supplementary guidance to support electoral administrators in their preparations for the May 2021 polls, which you can find on the Local Election webpage.

Best Practice

We are looking for examples of best practice from Conservative-run councils on a range of activities, including local test and trace schemes, supporting local businesses and high streets, as well helping local communities at a neighbourhood level.

The examples highlighted are obviously not exclusive and please do email us any best practice example you that you feel demonstrates how Conservative councils and councillors are supporting their communities during the latest phase of the pandemic.

Mark your calendars: #CouncilsCan Day 10 November

The LGA’s second #CouncilsCan Day - an online campaign to highlight the critical role of local government during the pandemic and the urgent need for the Spending Review to provide councils with financial certainty, will take place on 10 November.

As part of the day, the LGA is encouraging councillors and council staff to share the amazing work they have been doing over the past eight months by using the hashtag #CouncilsCan across their social networks. Resources to help councils promote #CouncilsCan Day are now available on the LGA website.

If you have any questions, or stories from your council you want the LGA to share on the day, please email amelia.sutton@local.gov.uk.

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
  • 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.