LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 20 September 2021

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

20 September 2021


Dear colleague,

Following the recent reshuffle, I would like to congratulate Michael Gove, our new Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, on his appointment, also to thank his predecessor, Robert Jenrick, for his effective engagement with us during the last two years and all that he did for local government. Furthermore, I would like to express my gratitude to Luke Hall, who has also left MHCLG and welcome back Christopher Pincher and Eddie Hughes, as well as, Kemi Badenoch who has now been appointed as the new Minister for Levelling Up and Equalities.

Over the weekend, we were notified that the MHCLG will become the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities as the Government delivers on its central mission to level up every part of the UK. The change comes as former Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane was appointed as the new Head of the Levelling Up Taskforce.

Last week, the Government’s plan for managing COVID-19 in England through autumn and winter months was announced, including offering booster vaccines to people aged 50 and over, continuing with the Test, Trace and Isolate programme and reinstating the advice to work from home and wear face masks in crowded public places should cases rise significantly.

In another important announcement, on 7 September the Government set out its plans to reform funding for Social Care. While I welcomed the proposal to address impact of catastrophic costs for those needing social care, this announcement causes us to be concerned over any actual funding for frontline social care services.

It is positive that the Government wants to work with local authorities ahead of publication of its new adult social care white paper, however, we are concerned about the lack of proper investment and the delivery of this new plan.

My colleagues and I at the LGA will be engaging closely with ministers in the coming weeks to share our views and I would like to encourage you to speak with your Conservative MP on this matter too please.

I am looking forward to meeting those of you who are attending the Party Conference in-person in October. We will be participating and sponsoring a few sessions including:

  • LGA debate: Build Back Local: how do we harness the power of local government to level-up across the country
    3 October - 18.00pm – 19.30pm, Exchange 6 and 7, Manchester Central

  • LGA Conservative Group evening reception
    4 October - 18.00pm – 19.30pm, Petersfield Suite, Midland Hotel
  • MHCLG Team Policy Q&A (organised by the CCA)
    5 October - 13.00pm – 14.30pm, Victoria Suite, Midland Hotel (Registration is essential via the CCA exhibition stand)

Please do join us, even if you are registered to attend the conference virtually.

Finally, I am pleased to inform you that following our successful webinars last summer and autumn, we have arranged a Q&A session on 28 September for leaders who are in opposition. This virtual event will take place from 18:30pm to 19:30pm and chaired by Councillor Robert Alden. If you are a leader and in opposition, please do email us and we will send you the joining instructions.

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.

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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5G mobile network project 

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has launched a new £4 million Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator project to explore ways to make it simpler and quicker for mobile companies to use publicly-owned buildings and curbside infrastructure, such as CCTV poles and traffic signals, to host 5G radio equipment.

ADPH and LGA vaccination webinar 

The LGA is collaborating with the Association of Directors of Public Health on a webinar, to be held between 2.30pm and 4pm on 28 September, to update on the work of the JCVI and to take a forward look into the autumn/winter with regards to vaccinations.

Early years support

The Early Years Professional Development Programme is to be extended to around 50 new local authorities across England in 2021/22. The programme aims to narrow the attainment gap for children between the ages of two and four by providing high-quality training and professional development support for staff in nurseries and preschools, or childminders.

Tackling domestic abuse

In partnership with Social Finance, the LGA has launched a new guide on Tackling domestic abuse – innovative approaches by councils and partner organisations.

LGA Conservative Group Annual Report and Review - 2020/2021

Our annual report includes an introduction from former 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 LGA Conservative Group Annual report please visit our website.

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 areas highlighted above are obviously not exclusive, and please do email us any examples that you feel demonstrate how Conservative councils and councillors are supporting their communities.

Conservative National and Regional Lead Peers

The national and regional lead peers and the areas they cover are as follows:

  • Lord Porter of Spalding CBE - National Lead Peer
  • Councillor Keith Glazier- Regional Lead Peer for the South East
  • Councillor Andrew Proctor - 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.