LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 6 September 2021

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

6 September 2021


Dear colleague,

I hope that you were able to enjoy a well-earned break from council duties over the summer and spend some time with friends and family.

For those of us who stayed in the UK, it is just a shame that the weather was so disappointing!

In recent weeks we have witnessed shocking scenes from Afghanistan and our thoughts are with the Afghan people following the recent bombings and ongoing turmoil.

The LGA has been working closely with Government on the very significant operational challenges as councils support new arrivals and resettle refugees through various schemes.

I am delighted that the Government responded quickly to our calls for financial support for councils, with the announcement of £5 million to help provide the necessary housing and support to Afghans under the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme

Councils have a long and proud history of stepping up to provide places of safety to those fleeing violence, and I’d like to thank you for all the work that you have done in relation to this.

Turning to matters closer to home, this week marks the start of the LGA meeting cycle for 2021/ 2022 as well as the return of Parliament.

On Thursday, there is a Members’ Briefing day for those colleagues who have been appointed to LGA governance structures, including a Conservative group meeting.

This will be a hybrid event, and all of those involved should have received information about both meetings, but if you require any further information please do email lgaconservatives@local.gov.uk

The start of the new political year also means that Party Conference is fast approaching. As usual, the LGA Conservative Group will be organising or supporting various events, and I look forward to providing more information in relation to these over the coming weeks.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sam Chapman-Allen, the Leader of Breckland Council, on being elected unopposed as the Conservative nomination for Chairman of the District Councils Network (DCN) for 2021/2022.

Sam will take over from John Fuller at the DCN AGM in October, and I look forward to working with him over the coming year.

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, OBE
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

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LGA Conservative Group Annual Report and Review - 2020/2021

Our annual report includes an introduction from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, reports from our leading members, and other updates which we hope you will find useful. To view the report please visit our website.

Request from the LGA Research and Information Team

The LGA is keen to gain a better understanding and use of good performance management techniques within councils.  As such, we have a number of projects underway to collect examples of good practice, encourage more sharing of experiences between councils and other means of providing ideas and information about how to deploy good performance management.

One of the initiatives involves authoring a new performance management guidance document from the perspective and viewpoint of elected members.  A consultancy has been commissioned to help research what good practice looks like and then produce a guidance document. 

This process will involve consulting with a small group of members (up to 20) to discuss what is important to them, what they think they need to know and their role in setting a vision, culture and targets within their organisations. It is intended to run a two hour virtual workshop in mid-September.

Once the guide is drafted, it is hoped that the elected members group will reconvene in late October/early November to consider and refine the work before the launch of the publication.  

If you would be interested in volunteering for this work please contact the programme manager, Tim Adams: tim.adams@local.gov.uk.

Encouraging vaccine uptake in young people

Councils are being encouraged to let their networks know about a toolkit produced by the Department of Health and Social Care that is available to boost vaccine uptake for young people.

This includes new materials from Public Health England to help councils promote the benefits of the vaccine, and a video explaining why it is important to be vaccinated.

In addition, the NHS has released a powerful video featuring several young patients who experienced serious symptoms of COVID-19 or developed long COVID. The new film also features doctors and frontline staff who treated them and encourages young people to get their vaccines.

Carbon dioxide monitors to be provided in schools

All state-funded schools are to receive CO2 monitors from September so staff can quickly identify where ventilation needs to be improved. Letting fresh air into indoor spaces helps to remove air containing virus particles and is important in preventing the transmission of coronavirus. Special schools and alternative provision will be prioritised to receive their full allocation given their higher-than-average numbers of vulnerable pupils.

Community housing fund launch

A £4 million grant fund has been launched to give community-led housing groups better access to high quality, affordable housing. Launched by Housing Minister Christopher Pincher, the fund will help community groups meet a range of costs incurred when trying to develop housing, for example paying for searches, administration costs or legal advice, design work and planning applications.

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 demonstrate 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.
  • Councillor Glen Sanderson JP - Regional Lead Peer for the East Midlands, North East and Yorkshire & Humber
  • Cllr Keith Glazier – Regional Lead Peer for the South East
  • Cllr Andrew Proctor – Regional Leader Peer for the South West and Hampshire and the Isle of Wight  
  • Cllr Mike Wilcox – Regional Lead Peer for the West Midlands and North West
  • Councillor William Nunn - Regional Lead Peer for the East of England
  • Councillor Teresa O’Neill OBE - Regional Lead Peer for London