Group bulletin: 1 November 2021

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local government association - independent group

Group bulletin

1 November 2021


Dear colleagues,

Independent Group Annual Conference wrap-up

Our big annual conference on Friday was the best attended ever with over a hundred delegates attending online or in person. Huge thanks to all our cracking good speakers who inspired, informed and rallied us to action in our councils and in our communities. More on that next week.

Our Independent Group executive

The ‘engine’ of our LGA Independent Group met last week for a day identifying the most effective way forward for the group. A big welcome to new members Mike Haines, our lead peer – Andrew Cooper, and Hannah Claire. Together we represent a good balance of gender, age, political affiliation, geographic spread and type of council. We want to connect well with all our members across England and Wales. It was an exciting day with the dozen-strong team brimming with verve and ideas packed into a plan of action – thank you.

Are you getting the best out of the LGA?

The LGA and the Independent Group does an incredible amount for us, and not everyone knows about it. The executive have decided to conduct a ten-minute member survey so that we can ensure we’re providing the support and tools our members need. Please kindly have a go at it for me?

Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021

The Government’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review was announced last week. The LGA’s on-the-day briefing provides further details. You can also read our slightly stronger group press statements on the Independent Group news page in which, on behalf of the group, I say:

“Today’s budget was a prime opportunity to drive our country’s urgent green ambitions for a secure future. But there was hardly a mention of the most pressing issue facing us today. That’s with COP26 upon us and recent UN findings this week announcing we are falling woefully short of our targets and the planet is on ‘code red’. Instead we see air travel duty cut, and the same old ‘build, build, build’ mentality, with little regard to local need. There seems to be a refocus on building houses for economic gain, without anything to ensure developers build for a zero-carbon future, insulation grants nor protection of nature and biodiversity – a missed opportunity for generations to come.”

LGA call for evidence on civility in public life: abuse and intimidation of councillors

The LGA is committed to promoting civility in public life and supporting the wellbeing of elected members. This is a long-standing area of work for the LGA, but the recent tragic death of Sir David Amess MP has brought this issue into marked focus. Everyone in public life should be able to go about their daily business without fear of attack. Now, more than ever, this is a challenge that we as a sector are determined to meet.

To support our 'civility in public life' programme, the LGA has launched a call for evidence of abuse and intimidation of councillors. The call for evidence is an ongoing part of the programme, capturing elected members’ experiences and emerging trends around abuse and intimidation from the public.

The survey is primarily designed to capture the experience of councillors, but candidates who have run for election, officers who have supported candidates or councillors and members of the public can also share their reflections. The evidence gathered will help the LGA develop a body of evidence to support LGA calls for legislative and systemic change and develop support for elected members. Find out more and access resources – and feel free to share this information with councillors you are in contact with.

Electoral Commission survey into support for councillors

The Electoral Commission has launched a survey looking at the needs of elected members, independent campaigners and parties, and their donations. Being able to receive donations for campaigns makes us ‘regulated donees’ – find out more about regulated donees in this guidance document produced by the Electoral Commission. They want to better tailor their support and develop a package of new support tools to enable better compliance with the rules. The stakeholder feedback survey can be completed anonymously and should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

COP26 – the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference

We have a great team at COP26. If you are attending, please join our WhatsApp group by emailing the office at with your mobile phone number. I hope we can find each other and share who is delivering which key message at which event, as well as sharing feedback.

Thanks to colleagues who have submitted, by email, posters of good projects which we shall be using on our stand in the COP26 ‘Green Zone’ on 11 November as part of the COP26 Presidency Programme. Find out more about the LGA’s presence at COP26

Thank you for all your brilliant work. I never cease to be impressed at just what a great job you do for your communities and how much our combined efforts can achieve, working together.

Good luck in all you do.

Kind regards,

Councillor Marianne Overton MBE signature


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

Portrait photo of Marianne Overton