Group elections; Next Generation – applications open; new councillor events; and more...

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local government association - independent group

Group Bulletin

18 June 2021


Dear all,

Group elections

Our Group elections are under way for the roles of Leader and Deputy Leader. Voting is well under way, and all members should have received their voting link.

If you are yet to vote you will have received a reminder today (Friday 18 June) and have until 5pm on Thursday 1 July to cast your votes. If you do not think you’ve had your electronic ballot papers please email

Our election guidance and statement of persons nominated is on the website including a reminder that as per our constitution, during the election period all group business will be communicated via the Independent Group Officers and no candidate or third party should send any additional material relating to the election to electors.

Next Generation – applications open

Each year the LGA Independent Group delivers our Next Generation Programme for aspiring leaders. This programme takes place over three modules (one virtual day on the 8 October plus two residential weekends in November and January). The modules focus on political and leadership skills, community engagement, media and communications.

You can apply by completing the application form and can find more information out via the website or Sarah in the group office. The deadline for applications is Thursday 9 September 2021. Places are limited and attendees must commit to all modules.

The programme is free to attend, however we do not typically cover travel costs. If the latter are prohibitive to your attendance do let the office know. Often your council will cover these costs as this is a cross-party development programme.

Many of the attendees have gone on to senior positions within their groups, councils and at the LGA.

Appointments – LGA Policy Boards

Each year the LGA Independent Group Executive make appointments to the LGA’s Policy Boards, Outside Bodies, European Committees, Workforce Panels and Regional Peer team.

If you would like to apply for an appointment please complete the relevant form below and note the Performance Protocol on our website by Friday 2 July 2021.

If you have any questions please contact the Head of Group Office on

New councillor events

For all new councillors, the LGA are holding welcome events, which include the opportunity to find out more about the work of the LGA, Independent Group and meet your Regional Peers. If not already, sign up to attend one of the events on the website. Remaining dates are  22 June (10am) or 28 June (5:30pm).

Planning reform

In case you missed it, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has published a report on the future of the planning system, which calls on the Government to revisit its planning proposals. It warns that plans to designate local areas as one of three types of development zone (growth, renewal and protected) lack the necessary detail. It says it is unpersuaded that the proposals will produce a cheaper, quicker and more democratic planning system. In our media response, the LGA said councils want to work with government on developing the detail of its Planning Bill and that the planning system was not the barrier to housebuilding. It is good the Committee backed our calls, as set out in our written evidence, for councils to be able to levy full council tax on incomplete properties, as an incentive to get developers building more quickly.

We also held an event this week with the Planning Advisory Service on housing numbers. If you would like a copy of the presentation please contact the office.

Domestic Abuse Act

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has published the funding allocations for council homelessness priority need new burdens for the 2021/22 financial year. This follows the Domestic Abuse Act receiving Royal Assent in April. Under the Act, councils across England will have a legal duty to provide support such as therapy, advocacy and counselling in safe accommodation, including refuges.

The Government has also published its statutory guidance and regulations for domestic abuse support within safe accommodation. This relates to the new statutory duty for local authorities, outlined in Part 4 of the Domestic Abuse Act, to deliver domestic abuse accommodation-based support and services.

Thank You Day – 4 July 2021

Local authorities around the country are using Thank You Day on 4 July 2021 as an opportunity to say a big ‘Thank You’ to their communities, to local volunteers and to their own hardworking staff for all they have done over the course of the pandemic.  

Plans across the country include school events, special Park Run, a ‘Power Hour’ mass community tidy up, a Big Lunch, a mass sing-along, a ‘Cheers for Volunteers’ event, and BB-Thank-Q. Activities are being supported by the £500,000 ‘Together Fund’, under which local charities can apply for grants of up to £1,000 to support initiatives that bring people together and champion community spirit, including Thank You Day activities. 

Do share with us your plans for Thank You Day beforehand and photos after.

Leadership Essentials – sport and physical activity

Sport England and the Local Government Association are delighted to announce the return of the successful Leadership Essentials programme for members with responsibility for, or interest in, physical activity. We are piloting an online version of the previously residential programme. It will be an important opportunity for new portfolio holders and if members attended the residential programme a few years ago the content has been refreshed in light of the current context and challenges.

Starting in July this free, online programme will support portfolio holders of sport and physical activity to better understand and harness their leadership role in light of the changing context for sport and physical activity in councils and the new health landscape, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the implications and opportunities for recovery and renewal, taking a place based approach. 

The programme consists of six online sessions from Tuesday 13 July – Friday 30 July 2021. To book your free place email

Induction for Health and Care Lead Members

The LGA are holding induction sessions for political and clinical leaders in health and care on the 29 June, 10am – 3pm via Zoom.

This leadership development session is aimed at those new to Health and Wellbeing Board Chair/Co/Vice Chair, CCG Chair or any other leading political or clinical role relating to health or adult social care.

For further information and to make a booking please contact: 

Virtual meetings – event

The LGA Chairman will be speaking at an event organised by Lawyers for Local Government (LLG) on virtual meeting provision, the Government's call for evidence and current position, as well as on the landscape of effective democratic engagement and participation moving forward. The event will also consider the important relationship between lawyers, democratic services officers and councillors in governance and decision making. The session will take place next Wednesday 23 June 2021 from 12.00pm to 1.00pm and is open to officers and councillors. You can book your place through the LLG event website.

LGA Conference – attend for free

The year the LGA’s Annual Conference is free for all members to attend and is taking place virtually from 6-8 July. As well as a full programme of events, including political plenaries, improvement and innovation sessions and expert panels, we are also holding a number of member-only events.

Confirmed speakers already include Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, Lord Stephen Greenhalgh, Sir Ed Davey, Roman Kemp, Prof Sir Michael Marmot and Prof Chris Whitty.

To book your free place at LGA Conference please do so on the website.

To find out more and sign up for the LGA Independent Group Events, including our AGM, please fill out our booking form. This form also invites you to sign up to our think tanks and Member Networks.

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