Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin: 18 June 2021

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


LGA Logo with padding 2019

Weekly COVID-19 Supply Chain Bulletin

18 June 2021

Twitter IconLinkedIn IconFacebook IconYoutube icon

Welcome to the NAG newsletter for 18 June 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

Roadmap delay support for businesses  

The Treasury has provided a summary of support packages to your local businesses in light of the announcement to delay stage four of the roadmap:

  • The Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme remains in place until September but from July employers need to pay 10 per cent of cost. 
  • A business rates taper for businesses which have had a 100 per cent rate relief since March 2020 will be introduced shortly, with up to 66 per cent rebate from July 1. 
  • £1.5 billion Business Rates material change in circumstances discretionary funding available will to support those businesses that are adversely impacted by the further restrictions - this is subject to Parliament passing the Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill which is currently in Parliament.  
  • The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) support businesses that are not covered by other grant schemes or where additional funding is needed, delaying the deadline for spend to qualify for the top-up funding announced at Budget 2021 until end of July.  
  • Adult Learner Grants can be offered multiple times and also where standard grants have also been received. Additional guidance from BEIS will be available shortly. 
  • 5 per cent reduced VAT rate for hospitality and leisure is available until the end September and then will be amended to 12.5 per cent until end of year. 
  • Recovery loans are still available. There is a pay as you go scheme that allows for deferring payments.  
  • Government will shortly be allocating a £300 million culture recovery fund, for arts and similar institutions. 
  • Self-employed income support grants are still available. 
  • Treasury are closely working with MHCLG on options for commercial rent which we expect will be announced in the next few days.

Enhanced support areas 

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced an enhanced support package to suppress the spread of the Delta variant in Birmingham, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Liverpool City region and Warrington. Additional support including surge testing, tracing, isolation support and maximising vaccine uptake, will be rapidly deployed in these areas. 

As part of the enhanced support package, extra guidance will be set out for the six areas on steps people can take, such as minimising travel in and out of the affected areas, to keep their loved ones and their communities safe. The guidance is the same as that already set out for eight areas including Greater Manchester and Hounslow. Introduction of this additional support will be led by councils to ensure the right steps are taken at the right time. 

Support available to local areas will include: 

  • Additional resources to help local authorities with testing, logistics, planning and workforce to assist with testing, door-to-door visits to engage with residents and other activities – these may come from the Surge Rapid Response Teams, from military aid or other sources depending on requirements
  • Wastewater testing samples being prioritised for sequencing
  • Specialist communications support to increase awareness and focus engagement with disadvantaged groups
  • Maximising vaccine uptake by expanding existing channels, developing new capacity and increasing local and targeted communications to reach different communities
  • Supervised in-school testing and discretion to reintroduce face coverings in indoor communal areas and classrooms in schools if they and directors of public health decide it is appropriate
  • Surge testing and enhanced contact tracing
  • Enhanced monitoring (genomic sequencing, genotype assay testing)

Use Social Work Together to support recruitment for COVID-19  

The LGA is encouraging councils to use Social Work Together to recruit qualified and registered social workers. The service is free to all councils to quickly find the help they need to support their response to Covid-19. 

Non-COVID stories

Independent children's social care placement providers   

We have published our latest report on profit-making and financial risk in the biggest independent providers of placements for children in care. In our media statement on the report we say that providers should not be making excessive profit from these placements, and highlight our concern that the high debt of operators in this sector could lead to corporate collapses, with local authorities left to pick up the pieces as happened with the care home operator Southern Cross in 2012. We are calling on the Government to introduce oversight of groups of providers, and work with councils to support more in-house and smaller providers to ensure we have a diverse market that can provide the homes our children need.

Climate Change

Local Leadership crucial in climate change challenge

The LGA has issued a press release highlighting some of the brilliant work councils have been doing across the country in their efforts to achieving net zero and emphasises the importance of strong local leadership in our attempts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment

The Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment has been published by the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC). The code has been developed on behalf of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) by the Achieving Net Zero Cross-Industry Working Group convened by CSIC and forms part of the CLC’s Construct Zero Initiative. The working group was formed in March 2020 and alongside 40 other representatives, the National Association of Construction Frameworks (NACF) have to explore challenging yet practical ways to move the infrastructure and wider construction industry towards meeting the UK’s goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.


Welcome Back Funding Guidance 

Councils across the country are working hard to support the safe reopening of high streets and town centres, encouraging shoppers back to local businesses. The Government has issued new guidance for councils around the £56 million Welcome Back Fund, building on guidance for the previous Reopening High Street Safely Fund.

PE and Sport Premium

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed primary schools will continue to receive the £320 million PE and Sport premium in the next academic year. Schools will also be able to carry forward underspends from this year and last so they can prioritise physical activities, sport and physical education with mental health and wellbeing support, or education catch up and tutoring.

£350m Sustainable Warmth competition now open 

The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has opened applications to local authorities for their Sustainable Warmth Competition. This single competition consists of two schemes – a £200 million third phase of the Local Authority Delivery (LAD3) scheme and a £150 million initial phase of the Homes Upgrade Grant (HUG1) scheme, to upgrade energy inefficient homes for low-income households across England.


National Procurement Policy Statement- Information Sessions – 18 and 24 June 2021 

The National Procurement Policy Statement was published on 3 June 2021 which sets out information for Contracting Authorities on the national strategic priorities for procurement. It is the first step in the procurement reform process and we are running webinars to give an opportunity for all contracting authorities and interested parties to learn more about the content of the NPPS, what it means in practice and to raise any questions for the Cabinet Office Commercial Policy team. 

Webinar 1: 18 June 14.00-14.45 

Webinar 2: 24 June 11.00-11.45 

Embedding social value into planning – 23 June 2021

Social Value Portal invite planners, developers and real estate professionals to join our upcoming webinar, 'Embedding social value into planning' where there will be sharing six months of collaborative insight from the Social Value Planning Taskforce, as we discuss the practical and viable recommendations for embedding social value in planning and, in turn, how we can generate more jobs, more local wealth creation, greater community cohesion, and a cleaner, greener environment

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 and it has been agreed will be FREE for all member councils 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.

Public benefit partnerships for children's services – 8 July 2021

With a mixture of case studies and expert commentary, this webinar will explore alternative ways of developing service provision that can provide better services and better value for the public purse. Participants will learn about the ground-breaking Children’s Innovation Partnership created by Leicestershire County Council and Barnardo's and the work of Kibble, one of the UK's most successful social enterprises, supporting children with their unique approach to partnership. 

LGA Modern slavery webinar – 14 July 2021

Modern slavery is a heinous crime which is sadly occurring in places up and down the country – the LGA is hosting a webinar aimed specifically at councillors but open to anyone looking for an introduction to the issue and councils’ role in tackling it. The session will hear from the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner Dame Sara Thornton, as well as from officers and groups directly involved in working to eradicate slavery. Please pass this on to the relevant councillors in your authorities.

Design in the Public Sector: Green procurement - 16 July 2021 

This is the third 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's Climate Change programme 2020/21. The webinar will showcase how design skills can be used to approach the everyday challenges we face and provide councils with a platform to share their insights and experiences of tackling climate challenges through green and sustainable procurement.