Group bulletin: 29 April 2022

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local government association - independent group

Group bulletin

29 April 2022


Greetings, Colleagues,

Good luck!

Good luck to all who are standing in the elections next Thursday.  Every single vote you get is important and a vote of confidence in you, so if you are like me, you will be working hard at it for this last push.

There are candidates that need help leafletting, so please let me know if you can spare an hour or two in London, Wales, unitary authority areas and other council areas holding elections.

This week we’ve seen yet another error of judgment from the MPs in Government, this time in their choice of video they were watching during Parliamentary debates, and it will probably not help their candidates on the doorsteps. Honesty and integrity are clearly vital for our members.

Civility in public life remains critical, the Cabinet Office has updated security guidance for elections including online security guidance for candidates, cyber security information, managing intimidatory behaviour, and security for polling stations and counting venues.

Like many other councils, my district council adopted the LGA Model Code of Councillor Conduct this week.


I met some of our local Ukrainian refugees last week, as we have started a support group to assist sponsors and help support the new arrivals. They are keen to get started at schools, universities, work, and transport, though some are still hoping to return to Ukraine. If you have any specific examples, please share them to help us keep the ministers properly briefed in our weekly meetings. We can raise specific cases as well. The LGA briefing on the general debate on Ukraine was prepared to support the House of Commons debate on Tuesday, picking up the issues we have raised. It was agreed that Councils can do a lighter touch check on households sponsoring refugees. We asked for certainty they were backing us in this and the Government has responded with new guidance for councils.

Keeping the environment in good health

I attended the LGA workshop on the Greenhouse Gas Accounting Tool this week. The examples from London Councils and from Rochdale were especially useful. The accounting tool produced by the LGA and Local Partnerships has been updated and the technical detail may be more useful for the officers implementing the toolkit. Calculations show that council supply chains contribute about 10 percent of UK emissions and much of our work has to be by example and influence.

Thanks to Cllr Loic Rich, Independent Group Lead Member on Economy, Environment, Housing and Transport Board (EEHT) at the LGA for his article featured on page eight of the Call To Action report in the Beyond COP26 roundtable series.

The green levies on energy remain for now, but we need to see them spent on energy-efficiency measures as the current grants are woefully inadequate and hard to access. My group at Council this week proposed five measures for Government to do more to support families struggling with their fuel bills. The LGA is working on a policy, so you may also like to put forward suggestions.

Funding for drug and alcohol treatment

Health Minister Sajid Javid announced £3bn last year to invest in a new ten year strategy drugs plan to cut crime and save lives. This year, an extra £85.7m is arriving with councils to enhance funding for fifty local authorities evidencing the highest need in terms of drug deaths, deprivation and crime. The amounts given to each council for 2022-2023 are listed here.

At the LGA…


Good luck in all you do and best wishes,

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