Group Bulletin: 25 September 2021

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local government association - independent group

Group Bulletin

25 September 2021


Good morning and Bore Da colleagues,

Good things from this week

I was very pleased to have a useful discussion with one of our Vice Presidents, Ben Lake, Ceredigion MP and Welsh Parliamentarian. He is very interested in our shared work on green transport, COP 26, refugees and the opaque levelling-up funding. I'm also pleased to confirm that new Crossbench Peer Baroness Louise Casey has agreed to be a Vice President. She has vast experience and understanding of the key issues impacting our councils and is keen to join our VP Team, supporting our work in the Lords.

Excellent discussions with colleagues across Europe were held this week, updating the European Charter for Equality of Women and Men in Local Life celebrating the 15th anniversary. Useful documents for us all.

I was honoured to give the keynote speech at the Women in Public Sector Leadership Conference 2021: Breaking Down Barriers to Success run by government events. We had good questions and discussions. Key issues are about making sure we have fair and diverse representation in all decision-making, including recruitment, interviews, lead roles in our authorities and people speaking in meetings, and in this the LGA has led the way in the past few years, with great success. Unpaid care is increasing, even before covid, valued at £1.2 trillion, an amount equivalent to 63 per cent of the GDP in 2016. 83 per cent of care is done by women. Economic impacts are felt especially by those who are earning less, saving less, and holding jobs that are less secure or informal, or living close to poverty. Women and especially women of ethnic minorities, will be the hardest hit by this pandemic but they will also be the backbone of recovery in communities. Recovery policies recognising this will be the most effective.

LGA and council leaders met online this week, reflecting on the Reshuffle and discussing the 12-15 vaccination programme. The Government offer to councils, to take and support Afghan refugees, closes today.

Adult care

Following discussions and representations from across our councils and lead members, the LGA has updated our position on adult care funding. The rise in National Insurance does nothing to solve our problem of long-term funding for adult care. It only adds to the number of people needing subsidy and to the cost of care.


On COP26, we put out a call, included in last week’s bulletin, for good projects to showcase on our stand on 11 November, the day focusing on local government. If you are expecting to attend any of the conference, wearing one of your professional hats, please let the office know, so we can join forces.

Energy crisis

The soaring energy costs may mean significant rises in costs for premises and leisure centres, and may push more people into fuel poverty who will need our support. Please let me know what is happening in your council area. You may also find it useful to raise with your regional peer, who will be collating views across their regions.

Remote meetings

Still no update from the Government on its consultation but we are renewing our efforts to call for change given that the rest of the UK is moving ahead with greater flexibility for our councils. Northern Ireland is the latest country to support remote meeting and voting by local authorities. We are now calling for parity across the UK on this. You may also like to bring forward a motion on this at your council. If you have already done this or would like our template wording please contact the office

LGA Boards met this week

Thank you to all members who attended and contributed to LGA Board meetings this week – attending in-person or online and through our think tanks. Safer and Stronger Communities, Culture, Tourism and Sport, EEHT, City Regions, Resources and Fire Commission met. All put forward the need for a "green thread" to run through all boards. Members continued to emphasise the need for environmental, social and economic wellbeing, not just economic growth.

Dates for your diary

  • 29 October 2021: LGA Independent Group Conference – This is our annual conference and a great opportunity to hear from experts and feed into key debates on climate change, levelling up, modern slavery and the future of local government. This year the conference will be taking place both in-person at our offices in Smith Sq and online. A calendar invite has gone to our Think Tank members and Council Leaders. Please book your place on the website, indicating whether you’ll be attending in-person or online: 
  • 1 October: COP26 photo callAhead of the LGA's stand at COP26 there is a call for photos demonstrating innovative climate activity. Deadline for submissions is 1 October. 
  • 4 October: Nominations for Group Awards and Citations –  Each year at our group conference we recognise those members who have gone above and beyond in support for their communities, groups or local government across the country. If you have a colleague you would like to recognise for their contributions to their communities, council or local government as a whole, please complete the form by Monday 4 October 2021 
  • 15 November: LGA Housing Advisers Programme now open for 2021/22 applications - This innovative programme is designed to support councils and their communities address local housing challenges by awarding up to £20,000 to successful applicants for the provision of bespoke expert support. To find out more, email The deadline for applications is 15 November 2021.

Kind Regards and Cofion Cynnes,

Councillor Marianne Overton MBE signature

Councillor Marianne Overton
Leader of the Independent Group
Vice Chair of the Local Government Association

Marianne Overton