LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 14 May 2021

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

14 May 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.

First of all, I would like to congratulate all of you who won your seats in the local elections and offer my deepest commiserations to colleagues who, despite their hard work, were unsuccessful. 

The election results were a national success for the Conservative Party, as we made big gains including: winning the Hartlepool by-election, gaining overall control in places like Cornwall, Nottinghamshire and Northumberland, denying Labour a majority on some of their key councils like Durham and increasing our majorities in the Tees Valley and West Midlands mayoralty.

Thank you all for the key role that you played in securing the fantastic results.

As a consequence of the above, I am delighted to inform you that we retain our strong dominant position in local government and also the Chairmanship of the LGA for 2021/22.

Here are the LGA's political proportionality figures for this year:

  • Conservative 39.9%
  • Labour 35.8%
  • Lib Dem 12.5%
  • Independent 11.9%

As you may be aware, the Conservative Group holds elections for Group Executive members every year following the annual election cycle. Likewise, each year we make a number of appointments to LGA Boards.

This year nominations for Group Executive members open on 1 June and close on 15 June. Nominations for the LGA Boards will be open mid- June. More details will be announced in due course, so please keep an eye out for it.

As a final comment, I would like to warmly welcome the Government’s plans for the next parliamentary session, announced in the Queen’s Speech on 11 May. The plan contained many positive announcements on supporting jobs, reforming health and care system, protecting environment and planning. Particularly, I was pleased to hear that proposals on social care reform will be brought forward in 2021.

As always, we will be working with the Government and Parliamentarians over the course of the year to ensure that your views are represented as the Bills progress through Parliament.

If you would like to read more about the Queen’s Speech please download the LGA’s On the Day Briefing.

I hope you find the above information helpful. 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
Group 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.

LGA Virtual Annual Conference, 6-8 July 2021

Bookings are open for the virtual LGA Annual Conference 2021 taking place on 6 - 8 July.

The conference will be an opportunity to hear from central and local government leaders discuss and debate a wide range of issues including economic recovery, climate emergency, devolution, equalities, funding, health, housing, planning and much more.

Investment in mental health and wellbeing

The DfE has announced a further £17.4 million investment package to improve mental health and wellbeing support in schools and colleges.

Unauthorised encampments – Webinar

This webinar will provide an opportunity to discuss the response to unauthorised encampments. The aim of the session will be to share the approaches that work well and examples of best practice from across local government.

First Homes survey

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is inviting all local authorities to take a short survey by 21 May to understand the likely level of interest amongst councils in participating in the upcoming First Homes Early Delivery Programme. 

New Councillor Hub

The LGA has developed a New Councillor hub to provide newly elected members with all the essential information they need and complement the induction support councils have in place. This replaces LGA’s annual Councillors’ Guide, and amongst other things, covers: the councillor’s role, how local government is organised, the model code of conduct and standards, and decision making. 

It also includes information on the offers and services offered by the LGA with links to: the political groups at the LGA, regional teams, information on our support and development offers, and a host of other information essential for newly elected members. 

The Hub is a live and evolving resource which will be updated and provide information and links relevant to new members.

LGA President

We are glad to announce that Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is to become our the LGA’s new President, succeeding outgoing President Lord Kerslake. As a Crossbench Peer and LGA Vice President, she has used her experience and knowledge during debates in the House of Lords and spoken on a range of issues including disability rights, welfare reform, and sport

Help PAS design our Biodiversity Net Gain project

The Environment Bill will bring in new requirements for planners and decision-makers in councils, in particular Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) for most planning applications. The Planning Advisory Service (PAS) has been commissioned by Defra to support councils in their efforts to get ready for the changes.

PAS wants local authority planners and members to get involved to help us decide how we best focus this support and what the priorities should be as the project evolves. 

We are running a workshop on Wednesday 16 June to get input from local councillors that need to understand BNG enough to make Planning Committee decisions, as well as what the new requirements mean for their council and responsible leadership.

For more information and to register for the event, please visit the eventbrite website. For information about the project, you can check out the Environment pages on the PAS website, the Planning for a Better Environment section of the PAS KHub forum and sign up to the PAS newsletter. We are also looking for individuals with interest in the topic and a bit of time to form a stakeholder steering group – please contact Beccy Moberly at PAS if you’d like to get involved

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.