Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 4 December 2020

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Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

4 December 2020

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Welcome to the NAG and SOPO newsletter for 4 December 2020. Feel free to circulate to your colleagues.

This newsletter is now delivered through our corporate service that handles all our various e-bulletins.

Manage or create a subscription - read our previous bulletins.

COVID stories

Payment to pubs

The Prime Minister announced today that “wet” pubs – which do not serve food – will receive a one-off payment of £1,000 in December. He said this was in recognition of how hard they have been hit by the virus, in what is typically their busiest month. We understand that this money will be distributed via councils, further to the £1.1 billion allocated to local authorities to support businesses at risk.

COVID-19 winter grant scheme

The Government has announced further details of its £170 million winter funding package, including council allocations and with guidance reinforcing that 80 per cent of funds are ring-fenced to be spent on food, energy and water bills. In our media response we said that the funding was good news and we are pleased that the Government has acknowledged that councils are best placed to provide and oversee this support to ensure children do not go hungry in the Christmas holidays and February half-term. We also said we want to work with government to ensure councils have the long-term sustainable funding to do more planned preventative work to address underlying causes of hardship and disadvantage and provide support to all households who need it.


The Department for Education (DfE) has published a new Coronavirus contingency framework for education and childcare settings. It makes clear that the powers to close schools rest with the Department. The framework sets out how government would manage the exceptional circumstances in which further restrictions were required on education to help contain virus transmission within a community. Any implementation remains a decision for central government, working closely with local leaders, and would only come as a last resort to control extremely high prevalence of the virus if all other measures had been exhausted.

Alongside the contingency framework, the Department also announced details of new funding support for schools and colleges. This new, short-term, funding stream will be made available to schools facing the greatest staffing and funding pressures.

Local restrictions  

In addition to the detail on the new tiers mentioned here’s a reminder that the Government has also published the following this week: 

The Government has also announced that the Contain Outbreak Management Fund will be extended to provide monthly payments to councils facing higher restrictions until the end of the financial year. For those authorities in Tier 3, this funding will amount to £4 per head of population per month, and for those in Tier 2, it will amount to £2 per head of population per month.

Community testing programme to be offered to areas in tier three

The Government announced that councils in tier three areas will be offered the opportunity to trial a six-week community testing programme to drive down prevalence in their areas. Directors of public health will be able to develop approaches that will work for their community, with national support and funding.

National restrictions in England were lifted on 2 December and replaced with a new local restriction tier system. The tiers will be reviewed by 16 December.

Better Care Fund

The Government has published the Better Care Fund: policy statement 2020 to 2021 which confirms how local authorities and clinical commissioning groups should proceed with finalising plans and pooling agreements for funding under the Better Care Fund (BCF) in 2020 to 2021. The guidance states that there is no need to submit a formal BCF plan this year, but that Health and Wellbeing Board areas are still expected to follow the core national conditions and to evidence how they have done this at year end.

Non-COVID stories

UK transition - adult social care sector

The Government has released updated information for those in the health and care sector, involved in preparing for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020

Social Value Awards – Nomination submissions

Now in its third year, the Social Value Awards aims to highlight best practice from around the UK and showcase how sectors and businesses embed social value within the way they do business. Submissions close on the 22 January 2021 and the awards will be presented across both days of our upcoming online event, The National Social Value Conference 2021, on 23 - 24 February 2021. Please submit your entries via the online form (PDF).

The Greenhouse Gas Accounting tool

The Greenhouse Gas Accounting tool produces summary tables and charts to help councils understand their most significant sources of emissions, which can then be used to prioritise actions to reduce carbon emissions. Councils are also able to benchmark their emissions with other councils to understand how their performance compares with their peers by submitting their complete spreadsheets to ghgaccounting@local.gov.uk. For those who wish to benchmark via LG Inform we are encouraging you to return completed spreadsheets.


Webinar: Seeing the wood for the trees

11 December 2020

The UK Government has targeted 30,000 hectares of new tree planting each year until 2025 to help us reach our carbon mitigation goals, but progress is much slower despite grant funding. Trees also potentially play an important part in adapting to a changing climate.

In this webinar we will examine the case for planting trees in terms of finance and carbon, the challenges this presents for local authorities and the benefits of urban tree planting. Joining details are on our website.

LGA webinar: Modern slavery in local government supply chains

16 December 2020

In response to the Home Office’s announcement that changes to the Modern Slavery Act (MSA) will include local authorities in the supply chain provisions (Section 54) of the new MSA, we are hosting a webinar dedicated to helping councils, at all stages in their modern slavery journey, to prepare and improve their supply chain practices and procedures.

This webinar will provide an update on the latest changes to legislation and how they affect the sector, as well as updates on the key high-risk areas – construction, IT and social care.

Government commercial function - innovation symposium

December 2020

Join commercial colleagues of all grades from across government and the wider public sector for the next in our sequence of innovation learning events.

There has been a renewed emphasis on innovation, and these events will give people a fantastic opportunity to contribute to a workstream that is being delivered directly to the Commercial Function Leadership Group.

Innovation symposium - Introductory address and ACE experience - 9 December

Systems to foster Innovation, followed by innovation barriers workshop – 11 December

Stimulating and enabling innovation in large established organisations - 17 December

Social value masterclass for councillors

20 January 2021

Over the past few months, it has become clear that the need for Social Value is greater than ever, as public and private sectors continue to face unprecedented challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are running an interactive masterclass for councillors that will cover all the areas needed to enable councillors to challenge whether Social Value is being successfully embedded in their council, including:

  • establishing a Social Value policy and statement
  • how to embed Social Value across the council
  • measurement of Social Value
  • Social Value in council procurements
  • benefits realisation, and remedies in contracts

Climate emergency leadership essentials

28 - 29 January 2021

This programme will help leaders and portfolio holders explore the crucial local leadership role in responding to the climate emergency. Featuring a range of inputs, practical sessions and discussions, the programme will explore themes including community engagement, action planning, current climate change issues and how councils can bring partners together. Please email grace.collins@local.gov.uk to enrol.

The leading local government public procurement event

10 March 2021

LGPE online is an unmissable date in the UK’s procurement calendar and will provide delegates and experts with the chance to engage, listen and learn about the key trends, challenges and opportunities facing local government today in what has been an unprecedented twelve months.