Group bulletin: 14 April 2022

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local government association - independent group

Group bulletin

14 April 2022


Greetings Colleagues!

Many of our Independent Group members are out campaigning this week while the Government leadership is weakened by accusations of lying about illegal parties and having tax issues.

Today we have seen an astonishing plan from the Prime Minister to send refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers to Rwanda, a country well known for genocide and an appalling human rights record. Really? Arrivals in the UK used to be put in detention centres (an ex-prison in my area) and are now placed in hotels, with numbers building up as it takes a long time for the Home Office to process their applications. We called for a speeding up of the visa process and are told it has speeded up considerably. Running different paid and unpaid schemes concurrently adds to the confusion and we at the LGA have suggested they combine schemes.

This week, we had a cross-party meeting with Minister Kevin Foster who is, no doubt, keen to get the refugees out of expensive and inappropriate hotels and into the community. More on this later.


In the dentist waiting room this morning, I found everyone wearing masks, so I had a look at the national figures. There is a sharp contrast in the way the Government is treating COVID now compared to before, with parties now allowed and restrictions out of the window.

Nevertheless, the number of reported cases rose to more than four times the levels when lockdowns were introduced last year. Certainly the death rate of people within 28 days of a positive test are much lower as a proportion of cases; however, according to the UK data site the death rate has risen to over 200 people per week. This is despite high levels of vaccination.

The figures are a reminder that good hygiene procedures are always important and many are still choosing to wear masks in enclosed spaces. 91 per cent of the population over the age of 12 have been vaccinated once and 68 per cent have been vaccinated three times. The new vaccine is out, which is expected to be more effective.

Fuel poverty

A number of our councils are calling on Government to tackle the issue of rising prices and fuel poverty.  My council group has an example draft motion. If you would like to access it, please let the group office know by emailing

The £150 rebate for council tax payers who were in bands A to D on 1 April should come through to those set up on direct debit soon.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF)

Following departure from the EU, Councils were promised the same funding. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund prospectus and allocations were published yesterday, so you can see how much your Council is promised.

Good luck and happy Easter

Wishing you a very happy Easter Sunday! Thank you for all your hard work and good luck in all your future endeavours. As ever, we love to see what our members are up to so please do send in any photographs of your activities to

If you are out on the campaign trail, wishing you all the luck in the world. Our councils need strong Independent Group voices to make the right decisions, listening to residents and independent from Westminster party political pressure. As one of our colleagues said online the other day: “We work together, inspired by our residents, here where we live and breathe our shared local issues”.

We are here to help, just get in touch.

Councillor Marianne Overton MBE signature

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

Portrait photo of Councillor Marianne Overton, Leader of the LGA Independent Group