LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 14 December 2020

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

14 December 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.

Since my previous newsletter, the national lockdown in England has ended and tier restrictions came into force. As the Prime Minister noted these tier restrictions are essential to keep the virus under control.

Meanwhile, the Government is continuing to support businesses affected by this pandemic, including giving one-off payment of £1,000 in December to pubs which do not serve food and a temporary relaxation in shop opening hours through Christmas and January to help retailers.

Undoubtedly, the most positive headline of last week was the start of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. The UK has secured 40 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine and care home residents, those over 80 as well as, frontline health and social care workers will be prioritised to receive the vaccine in the coming weeks. The rollout has been started in 50 hospital hubs and will soon expand to local vaccination services such as GPs and pharmacists, and vaccination centres, such as sports and conference venues.

On a slightly different note, as I write this newsletter, Brexit negotiating teams in Brussels are discussing a deal and I very much hope that an agreement with the EU can be achieved. In the meantime, our council officers continue to provide services as usual and will be getting ready for all possible scenarios.

With this being my last newsletter of 2020, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year! I hope 2021 is going to be a better year for all of us.

This year has been anything but normal, with your dedication and hard work we have supported the most vulnerable in our society whilst delivering essential services and supporting local businesses. I hope you enjoy your much deserved and needed Christmas break and thanks for all your efforts.

Please note during the festive period (from 23 December until 3 January) the Conservative Group office staff will be working on a rota basis. If you need an urgent response please email lgaconservatives@local.gov.uk and a member of the team will get in touch with you.

I will send my next newsletter in January unless something very significant happens in the meantime. Until then, 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.

EU transition

As the negotiations between the UK and EU continue, we know councils are preparing as best they can for the end of the transition period. The LGA’s EU Transition pages highlight the key issues for councils. The Government’s Local Government Transition pages also provides guidance and resources for local government to prepare, including guidance and online training for regulatory services.

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.

University returns 

The Department for Education has published guidance for higher education institutions on managing the return of students after Christmas.

Guidance for the Christmas period

The Government has published a new guidance for the Christmas period. This provides information on forming a Christmas bubble as well as the guidance for each tier throughout December.

Planning regulations

The Government has laid a new Statutory Instrument (SI) for planning. The Local Planning, Development Management Procedure, Listed Buildings etc. (England) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 amends a number of regulations which were made in response to the pandemic, extending the current temporary measures to 31 December 2021.

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 that you feel demonstrates how Conservative councils and councillors are supporting their communities during the latest phase of the pandemic.

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.