Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 21 May 2021

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


LGA Logo with padding 2019

Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

21 May 2021

Twitter IconLinkedIn IconFacebook IconYoutube icon

Welcome to the NAG newsletter for 21 May 2021. 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 - previous bulletins can now be found here.

COVID Stories

NAO report on UK government COVID-19 response   

A new report by the National Audit Office has evaluated the Government’s handling of the pandemic and sets out ways it can better manage potential future emergencies. Like many countries, it said the UK was not as prepared for the pandemic but highlighted "impressive national and local responses" to the urgent need for healthcare and economic support on an unprecedented scale. It has stressed the importance of Government adopting a more systematic approach to preparing for crises, improving the resilience of key services and making better use of data.  

Hospital discharge funding  

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) have released updated guidance on the use of the £594 million Hospital Discharge Fund. It clarifies that funding can be used to fund up to six weeks' care on discharge started on or before 31 July and up to four weeks' care on packages started up to 30 September. We worked with NHSEI and Government departments to ensure that, while the funding is allocated at Integrated Care System level, planning and delivery would continue to occur on a health and wellbeing footprint. We also pushed for agreement that the funding can be used for additional costs arising from extending services to ensure timely discharge, such as over the weekend. For advice or support implementing the hospital discharge policy please email chip@local.gov.uk

Non-COVID stories

Local employment and skills recovery hub  

Throughout the pandemic, local government has been leading efforts to coordinate employment, training and business support locally. We are pleased to have launched our Local employment and skills recovery learning hub to share learning across the sector which we hope you will find helpful. It brings together practical examples of what councils and combined authorities have done during the pandemic to coordinate a local jobs and skills offer plus some reflections on what council teams may need in the future, alongside tips on what the sector can do to ensure jobs and skills are at the heart of local recovery. Alongside this we have launched a report capturing action learning to support councils to identify challenges in fulfilling their statutory duties for young people and identify solutions. 

Homes England Summer Learning Programme

Homes England are inviting council officers to join a Summer Learning Programme aimed at sharing knowledge on topics ranging from effective project management to the principles of market failure and support for home building efforts. The Local Government Capacity Centre will help Homes England work more productively with local government and help meet the Government’s ambition of creating 300,000 homes a year by 2024. Council staff interested in finding out more about the centre can contact their regular Homes England contact, or email enquiries@homesengland.gov.uk 

Requests for information

Cornwall Council is refreshing its Environment Services contract, and as part of process, they are undertaking a benchmarking exercise to capture best practice across other local authorities. They are interested to hear from you about:

  1. Do you deliver activities such as routine inspection of Environment Assets, Public Rights of Way routine inspection, specialist arboriculture services, Inspection and routine maintenance of equipped play areas/youth facilities, Capital works design, project management of Countryside/Coastal Access, Burials service for council-run cemeteries and delivery of landscaping grounds maintenance services?
  2. Are those activities delivered 'in house' or outsourced to a third party?

If outsourced:

  1. Is it a stand-alone contract or embedded into other activities?
  2. Is it a bespoke contract or a model form such as NEC3, JTC?
  3. Is the Supplier a teckal company?
  4. Was the contract tendered or awarded directly to a Supplier?
  5. Could you share the payment methodology and how productivity is monitored?
  6. Could you share the service specification?
  7. Could you please also share with us the KPIs that are used to monitor the effectiveness of the delivery?

Please send your responses directly to: Miriam.Binsztok@cornwall.gov.uk – with thanks in advance for those who can help.

UKRI Research Information – Optimising Procurement Outcomes for COVID-19 and Beyond local government consultation survey

UKRI is funding research looking at the contribution of local government procurement to delivering outcomes for communities during the pandemic and beyond. This major project is led by leading UK universities and a survey for local government procurement staff is currently live until 14 June.

This study investigates these issues and considers how gains might be achieved in the response to COVID-19. This includes emerging opportunities to maximise the impact of, and leverage additional value from LA procurement. With extensive involvement and support from key stakeholders, including the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and Solace, this project will examine what is working well, less well, why, and with what effects and implications. The project will encourage reflection on the ability of the 'procurement ecosystem' to respond in a crisis; clarifying critical-success-factors and pressure-points and discussing what to do next. Capturing these lessons takes on even greater significance now that the supply-chain implications of the Brexit deal are becoming clearer and new policy directions for procurement are being explored in the recent Green Paper. It does not take long to complete and all responses will be greatly welcomed.



Councils have been given a further £200 million of this year’s £750 million investment to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. The funding will provide 14,500 bed spaces and 2,700 support staff. Analysis of the Rough Sleeping Initiative shows that the programme has reduced rough sleeping by almost a third compared to areas which have not taken part in the programme. In our media response, we said we wanted to work with government on a cross-departmental homelessness prevention strategy to make the success in getting rough sleepers off the streets during the pandemic the new normal, rather than a one-off emergency response. We also said that to prevent homelessness from happening in the first place, councils need long term funding issued through multi-year settlements to give them the certainty they need to plan local services.

One Public Estate funding

The deadline is fast approaching for the latest round of the One Public Estate Brownfield Land Release funding. The Brownfield Land Release Fund will support the release of council-owned brownfield land for housing and support self- and custom-build projects on both brownfield and greenfield sites. £75 million of capital grant funding is available to accelerate the release of these sites. All English local authorities are eligible to apply, with the exception of those in mayoral combined authority areas which have already had the opportunity to receive funding. For further details about the fund, please visit our website or contact your OPE regional programme managers. Applications must be submitted by 2 June. 

Safer Streets Fund 

The Home Office has announced a third, £25 million round, of the Safer Streets Fund will launch on 24 May. This round of the fund will be focused on improving the safety of public places, with a particular emphasis on areas of potential concern to women and girls. Police and crime commissioners, councils in England and Wales, and the British Transport Police will be eligible to bid.

The Safer Streets Fund Team will also be hosting a virtual information event for the fund on the 24 May from 3.00pm, looking at the criteria and eligibility requirements for the fund and providing an opportunity for you to raise questions. Please email saferstreets@homeoffice.gov.uk to register.

Levelling up – high streets 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced details of a further 57 English high streets which will receive a share of over £830 million to improve transport links, build new homes and transform underused spaces. The funding is part of MHCLG’s Future High Streets Fund, which was launched in December 2018. In repurposing their town centres, many councils will be looking for new opportunities presented to them by the increase in vacant retail shops units. Our good practice guide on Dealing with Empty Shops may offer some helpful examples of a range of different uses for former retail units. 


Contract Management Capability Programme – course revamp

After months of planning and extensive design work behind the scenes the Foundation programme is getting a revamp! With updated branding and graphics, alignment to revised policy and the Contract Management Standards, the user journey will be far easier to navigate and thanks to your incredibly valuable feedback, the new design will make achieving Foundation accreditation far better than ever!  If you are halfway through any Foundation module, you must finish this by 1 June or your progress will be lost as a result of the revamp and you will need to restart that specific module (not the entire Foundation programme) from scratch come 1 June. The reason for this is the structure of the modules are changing and as a result, it won't be possible to continue where you left off. 


Place-based leadership for biodiversity – 28 May 2021

In the year when the UK hosts COP26, and nature-based solutions is one of five core themes, this webinar will explore several different aspects in this challenge. It will also show councils how they can utilise place-based leadership to enhance their natural spaces and make way for biodiversity.

Design in the public sector: Innovative approaches to low energy housing – 15 June 2021

This is the second webinar in a series of four, run by the LGA in partnership with the Design Council as part of the Design in the Public Sector programme 2020-21. The webinars intend to disseminate design skills among public sector professionals and provide councils with a platform to share their insights and experiences of tackling climate challenges focusing on various topics.

Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO) – Net Zero Week 14-18 June 2021

In partnership with iNetwork, YPO is hosting a week of free online webinars to help you on your journey to net zero. There is a packed line up of industry experts, public sector organisations and suppliers to share their net zero journeys so far, strategies and top tips. There is also a range of resources available including latest blogs and webinars.

Modern Slavery Due diligence in combatting labour exploitation – 24 June 2021

Join the Supply Chain School for their free due diligence in combatting labour exploitation workshop.

This course is designed to illustrate what due diligence looks like and how you can embed essential elements of this into your organisational processes; identify and create a policy and strategy; understand the principles of risk assessments focusing on labour exploitation and the role supply chain mapping plays in addressing the risks and; understand what peer organisations are undertaking this area through sharing amongst the group.

Microsoft Envision: UK Public Sector – 22 - 24 June 2021

A virtual event hosted by Microsoft aimed at supporting the public sector by sharing insights, best practice and expertise so you can take action in shaping the future of your organisation.

In conversation with industry experts and thought leaders, together they will explore challenges and opportunities that align with the public sector's key themes:

  • Day 1: Empowering People
  • Day 2: Inspiring Innovation
  • Day 3: Achieving More

LGA Annual Conference – 6-8 July 2021

Our Annual Conference 2021 is now less than two months away and is being held virtually again this year.

From Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 July, attendees will have the opportunity to hear from leading central and local government politicians, as well as expert speakers from within and outside the sector.

Booking is now open on our website for this year's annual conference. Please share and promote the conference to your contacts and encourage them to sign up and read more about this year's Annual Conference.