LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 23 July 2021

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

23 July 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.

As we have entered step four of our roadmap, it is good to see that the Government hits its vaccine delivery target and recently announced that all adults in the UK have now been offered a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccines continue to weaken link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths and reduce the risk of people spreading the virus.

Last week, Boris Johnson set out the measures Government is taking to deliver the levelling up agenda - focusing on raising living standards, spreading opportunity, improving public services and restoring people’s sense of pride in their community. The following announcements were particularly beneficial to local government:

  • ‘Build Back Better’ High Streets Strategy which empowers councils to take over vacant buildings through compulsory purchase orders so they can be converted into high quality homes.
  • Creation of new ‘County Deals’ – offering the rest of England the same powers metro mayors have gained over things like transport, skills and economic support.
  • Launching the £4.2 billion City Region Sustainable Transport Fund (with the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, West Yorkshire, Tees Valley, the North East and the West of England receiving a share of this money).
  • A new £150 million Community Ownership Fund which will allow community groups to bid for up to £250,000 matched funding to take over local pubs, theatres, shops and sports grounds at risk of closure.

Additionally, as part of Government’s commitment to level up opportunity, this week we were informed that further 50 schools across England set to benefit from Government’s £1 billion ten-year Rebuilding Programme which help to deliver modern learning environments for students.

This is a fantastic news, and I am certain that the above support and funding will help to reshape our local areas for better and can create many news jobs and training opportunities – something we really need as we emerge from this pandemic.

As always, 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.

Best wishes,

Councillor Izzi Seccombe signature

Cllr Izzi Seccombe
Group Leader, LGA Conservative Group

Councillor Izzi Seccombe


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Council finances

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee published its latest report following its inquiry on local authority financial sustainability and section 114 notices.

Building beautiful places

The Government has set out its vision for building beautiful places. It is establishing a new Office for Place to help make it easier for councils and communities to ‘embrace beautiful, practical design while rejecting the ugly, unsustainable or poor quality’.

Schools – high needs and central school services funding  

The Department for Education published provisional funding allocations for 2022 to 2023 through the schools, high needs and central school services national funding formula. The allocations reflect further increases to the funding blocks in 2022 to 2023 including: an increase in high needs funding of £780 million, or 9.6 per cent, with every council receiving an increase of at least an 8 per cent per head of population.

Reforming the Mental Health Act

The Government has published its response to its recent white paper consultation on reforming the Mental Health Act.

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.

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.