LGA Conservative Group bulletin – 4 October 2021

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local government association - conservative group

LGA Conservative Group bulletin

4 October 2021


Dear Colleague,

As you receive this newsletter we have started the second day of our Party Conference in Manchester. It is great to be here in person and meet many colleagues face to face.

If you are not already aware, please note that this evening we will be hosting the LGA Conservative Group evening reception from 6.00pm to 7.30pm at Petersfield Suite, Midland Hotel. On 5 October, we will also be sponsoring the MHCLG Team Policy Q&A session (organised by the CCA) from 1.00pm – 2.30pm at Victoria Suite, Midland Hotel. Registration is essential for this session so please visit the CCA exhibition stand to book your ticket

Whilst mentioning the CCA, I would also like to bring your attention to their Councillor Development Weekend which will take place on 20 and 21 November at Belton Woods hotel in Grantham. This year’s programme is packed with sessions focused on improving your skills in your important role as both a Conservative councillor and a campaigner. Furthermore, attendees, in particular those in opposition, will be able to book one-to-one sessions with CCHQ's Head of the Lib Dem unit to broaden their campaigning experience.

There are a variety of booking options including full package and day pass tickets, so do not miss this great opportunity. If you are at the Conference in-person, you can also ask the CCA team any questions you may have about this via their exhibition stand.

As we approach the Spending Review (SR) announcement on 27 October, we will continue to work with the new ministers at the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities department to ensure that they are fully informed of the key points in the  LGA’s SR submission

This is expected to be a multi-year Spending Review which will set resource and capital budgets for 2022-23 to 2024-25, with the main focus on:

  • Levelling up
  • Strong and innovative public services
  • Leading the transition to Net Zero
  • Advancing Global Britain

It is good that the Government is planning to invest more in these key areas. However, there is still considerable concern and uncertainty about the future of social care funding and its impact on our budgets. I, therefore, hope that the Government will provide more resources to tackle the huge pressures facing the care system now.

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

If you'd also like to subscribe to the LGA's monthly e-bulletin of First Magazine, please visit the dedicated website.

LGA Housing Advisers Programme

This innovative programme is part of the LGA's sector-led improvement offer and is designed to support councils and their communities address local housing challenges in a simple and flexible way.

The programme awards up to £20,000 to successful applicants for the provision of bespoke expert support to councils – or groups of councils. To date 125 projects have been supported, delivering tangible outcomes for communities. The Housing Advisers Programme is an excellent source of knowledge and expertise, enabling councils to share innovative ideas and ways to improve, whether building new homes, tackling homelessness, or planning thriving and flourishing places and economies.

To find out more about the Housing Advisers Programme and how to apply for the 2021/22 cohort, email housingadvisers@local.gov.uk. The deadline for applications is 15 November 2021.

Climate Change Support Offers

Housing retrofit skills: The LGA is launching a new programme to support local authorities in creating housing retrofit skills and jobs in their communities. We are working in partnership with a consortium, led by Sustainability West Midlands, bringing together the expertise and experience of the Sustainable Housing Action Partnership, Low Carbon Homes and Contented. The deadline to apply to the programme is 6 October.

COP26 LGA exhibition stand: The LGA, in partnership with Northern Ireland LGA, will be hosting an exhibition stand at COP26 in Glasgow this November. We will be showcasing innovative climate activity being led by councils and we would like to invite councils to participate through our digital photograph exhibition. For information about how to participate, please visit our website.

Net Zero Innovation Programme - The Net Zero Innovation Programme brings together partnerships of researchers and climate change officers from councils across the country and supports them in tackling the climate emergency. Apply now and learn how partnership and co-production skills can help to address climate change and ecological challenges. The partnerships will lead on the creation of a replicable tool, guide or training which can be used by all councils. The deadline for applications is 14 October. 

Leadership Essentials: Sport and Physical Activity

3 November - 16 November 2021

Sport England and the LGA have announced new dates for the popular online Leadership Essentials: sport and physical activity councillor programme. This programme is for members with the responsibility for, or a strategic interest in, physical activity. It is an important opportunity for new portfolio holders to build skills, for existing members to access refreshed content in light of the current context and challenges and to network.

This online programme will support councillors to develop their skills and behaviours in taking a systems-based leadership approach, to support collaboration in tackling inequalities in sport and physical activity and embedding sport and physical activity to help achieve wider societal outcomes, for example, improved health and wellbeing.

The programme is comprised of six online sessions.  Participants will need to attend all six sessions as the programme is iterative and designed as a journey shared as a group for its totality.  For more information or to book, please email grace.collins@local.gov.uk.

Forget What You Think You Know about adult social care

This week the LGA launched a new episode in their Forget What You Think You Know podcast series, focused on adult social care. The episode explores what the new reforms from government means for councils, people with lived experience and wider society. Speakers include President of ADASS, Stephen Chandler, Sarah Rennie a wheelchair user who requires 24-hour care, Don Brereton, an unpaid carer for his son Sam and Sarah Pickup, Deputy Chief Executive of the LGA. Make sure you give it a listen, and share with any colleagues who might be interested.

LGA Building Safety: Leadership Essentials

3 November 2021, 10.00am - 3.30pm 

The LGA is holding an in-person event on the new building safety regime (including the Fire Safety Act), exploring councils’ responsibilities as duty holders for high-rise residential buildings. This will provide an opportunity for delegates to explore latest developments, learn from each other and share experiences, ahead of the introduction of new responsibilities that will have significant implications for councils.

The events are aimed at members and officers in councils that own or manage high-rise residential blocks of flats, specifically:

  • Portfolio Holders/Lead Members with a responsibility for Housing
  • Directors of Housing

Sessions will focus on ensuring portfolio holders understand their scrutiny role in overseeing the work of housing departments and will cover lessons from Grenfell, resident engagement, preparing a safety case and golden thread, leadership in housing, and updates on legal responsibilities, funding and fire safety.

The cost of attending this programme is fully subsidised, and therefore free to attend. Please contact katherine.mitchell@local.gov.uk for more information, and to sign up.

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.