LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 22 February 2021

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

22 February 2021


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.

Early last week, thanks to the dedication and incredible work of the NHS, the Armed Forces, councils and volunteers, along with the Government’s commitment and effective planning, we reached our target of offering at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot to the most vulnerable people in the UK.

As I write this newsletter, the Government is also planning to set out its roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions on 22nd February. Given the above achievement and the fact that Covid cases have fallen, there is a hope that restrictions could be lifted gradually, and we can begin to reopen the economy.

As some of you may be aware, this year the CCA Local Government Conference will virtually take place on Friday 5th March. This event is free to attend for CCA members and you can register by emailing the CCA.

The Conference programme will consist of sessions with Ministers and other workshops including the following which have been organised by the LGA Conservative Group Office:

  • ‘Social Care Post-Covid’, chaired by myself – Speakers: Helen Whately, Minister for Care, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the LGA, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board
  • ‘Housing and Planning’, chaired by Cllr John Fuller – Speaker: Cllr David Renard, Chairman of the LGA’s Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board

These workshops will take place from 1.30pm to 2.30pm.

The Group office has also sponsored the MHCLG ministerial Q and A session from 10:30am to 11.15am. We are very pleased that the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government, Luke Hall, Minister for Housing, Chris Pincher and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rough Sleeping & Housing, Eddie Hughes, will all attend this session and available to answer any questions you may have.

Furthermore, please note that the online voting for the CCA Board Elections 2021/2022 will be closed on 26th February, and the results will be declared during the CCA Conference. If you have not already submitted your vote, please do so at your earliest convenience.  For further details please contact the CCA.

Finally, I would like to thank those colleagues who sent us their feedback about remote meetings following my previous newsletter. Your comments were very helpful, and I will put your views forward to the ministers at our next meeting.

The Secretary of State has confirmed that in order to extend the ability for councils to hold remote and hybrid meetings after 7 May would require primary legislation and the government is carefully considering next steps in this area.

Please keep safe and 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.

Health and Care white paper

The Government has published its plans to reform health and care services so they can work more closely together. The Health and Care white paper proposes allowing councils and NHS services to set up joint bodies in every part of England, to make decisions on how to better join-up health and care services.

Children's social care flexibilities

The Department for Education has launched a consultation on the potential extension or amendment of flexibilities in children’s social care regulations to 30 September.

Domestic abuse funding allocations 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has set out the methodology it will use to allocate £125 million in new burden funding to cover the cost to councils in 2021/22 of the new duty relating to the provision of support to victims and their children within safe accommodation.

2021/22 COVID-19 funding    

The MHCLG has published a policy paper on COVID-19 funding in 2021/22 following its consultation in December. It confirms allocations of the £670 million of local council tax support and that the extension of the sales, fees, and charges compensation scheme will use 2020/21 budgeted income as a baseline.

Local government COVID guidance

The MHCLG has updated its COVID guidance for local councils. The page brings together guidance, publications and announcements relevant to councils including on business and charity support, public health, schools and education, testing and vaccines.

Free online Commercial skills masterclasses for councillors

The LGA is running a series of free online masterclasses in March to support councils as they refocus commercial activity impacted by COVID-19 and changes to investment guidance by CIPFA and the MHCLG. These include a new masterclass to support councillors to confidently and robustly communicate commercial activity to external audiences.

These masterclasses will take place on:


The LGA has a number of webinars coming up:

Applying behavioural change techniques to the COVID-19 and climate emergency responses

Tuesday 23 February 2021, 10:00am - 11:30am

This webinar will look at how we can use behavioural change techniques in council services to work with communities and change their behaviour.

Design in the Public Sector: creating meaningful engagement with communities on climate change

Friday 26 February 2021, 10:00am-11:30am

This is the first in a series of four webinars run by the LGA in partnership with the Design Council as part of the Design in the Public Sector programme 2020-21.

Greener Living: What impact has the pandemic had on local climate action?

Tuesday 16 March 2021, 13:00-15:30  

In partnership, Solace and the LGA are pleased to be delivering this exploratory webinar where we will discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on local climate change reduction action plans.

A message from Conservative Friends of Cycling

We Conservatives have big and bold ambitions to ensure that 50% of urban journeys are made on foot or bicycle: with associated benefits for health, the environment, and the Party.

The newly formalised Conservative Friends of Cycling is the Party Group to share experience and promote cycling - and councils are a key part of delivering on our commitments.

We’d welcome Cllrs to join the Group to share both best practices and help shape policy: so if you’re a Cabinet Member, a Cllr ‘Champion’, you’re in Opposition, or you’re just a supportive Cllr who’s interested then please sign up for free here.

If you have a great story about how your campaign or your Council is supporting cycling, please let us know too.

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 examples 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.