Group bulletin: 14 October 2022

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local government association - independent group

Group bulletin

14 October 2022


Greetings, Colleagues,

I hope you are well and enjoying some Autumn sunshine!


The LGA is producing a response to the mini-budget in the form of a calculation of the impact and the shortfalls for our councils. This is going to the PM and Chancellor pretty smartly.

Before the mini-budget, the LGA had calculated a £2.4bn shortfall in our council budgets from next May.  Borrowing to give tax cuts clearly makes a bad situation worse, as inflation, rising interest rates, and higher wages add to our deficit and to the demands on our services.

The LGA is holding two day leadership sessions on finance as part of the Leadership programme. These are free to our members and well worth attending: Leadership Essentials | Local Government Association

Green Party Conference 

I supported the Green Party conference in Harrogate last week, on behalf of the Independent Group. In response to Liz Truss, Leaders and speakers gave inspiring and powerful speeches. I hosted an event and joined councillor discussions led our LGA peer, exploring ways to be ever more effective. Councillors raised concerns about the Investment Zones, loss of planning control, caps on council rents (which are already non-profit-making) and a “war on nature” to deliver unreasonable developments. I have taken up with the LGA Leadership, two issues on raised by members at the conference; good coverage for all in First and the drawbacks of the Investments Zones, making it impossible for us to simply welcome them without caviats.

Is growth at any cost really OK? I think not!

Plaid Cymru Conference

I am looking forward to supporting Plaid Cymru councillors at their conference on October 20th and 21st at Llandudno. Being half Welsh myself, with a grandfather who was a “fire and brimstone” minister, I am looking forward to some excellent speeches and exciting discussions. The “extremist mini-budget has caused a £4bn-sized black hole in Wales’ 3-year funding settlement”, they say. Meanwhile public services are already creaking under the strain. And they have some solutions.

Huge thanks to all our councillors who continue to do so much in our communities.


There was a move from Liz Truss to bring back the hugely unpopular planning changes, and we have discussions started on the think tank. Also a proposal from one of our members who has successfully changed policy on his pension fund towards more ethical and successful investment. Also to be shared in the EEHT and Resources think tanks. If you would like to join the think tanks, please do: Policy think tanks and councillor networks | Local Government Association


We have had LGA cross party group leaders meeting this week and the full round of meetings for our Independent Executive and the LGA Board, Executive Advisory Board and Councillors Forum next week. I look forward to welcoming our new and returning members to the board.

Many thanks for all your good work. I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible at our Independent Group Annual Conference on October 28th at the LGA, 18 Smith’s Square Westminster.


 LGA Independent Group Annual Conference 2022 (Hybrid event)
Friday 28 October 2022, London

The Independent Group conference for all our members will take place at the LGA in 18 Smith’s Square, Westminster. It is always well attended, vibrant and  inspiring, with rich discussion and take-home ideas, focussing on what Councils can do. Please try and join us.

“Six months in”: a session for newly elected Councillors
Thursday 20th October (10.00 am – 1.00 pm)

A great opportunity for all new, and returning, councillors in the region to:

  • Explore what their role means
  • Learn about the evolving national policy context and challenges facing councils
  • Hear from experienced councillors
  • Network with colleagues from other councils

Radcliffe House, University of Warwick, off Gibbet Hill Rd, Coventry CV4 7SH.
Please contact to book places.

Effective political engagement in civil resilience: Call for examples of good practice

The LGA are seeking to produce and publish a selection of case studies to illustrate the value of effective political engagement in civil resilience activity. The initial stage of the work will involve compiling a long list of examples across different council types and geographies, as well as each of the phases of emergency management: preparedness, response and recovery. We’re therefore keen to hear from councillors with examples of where elected representatives are adding real value to civil resilience activity – either in senior executive roles (Leaders, Mayors, portfolio-holders) or as ward councillors. The details in question should be emailed to: and by no later than Friday 28th October. Andy, a former chief fire officer the LGA have commissioned to develop this work, will then arrange online discussions to explore each of the examples in more detail. 

T Level Support Programme

Would your Council benefit from already accessing support for engaging with their local provider of T-level qualifications? Many are promoting T levels to management, and creating job profiles. Contact us on to explore the offer of support available. 

Make Votes Matter

At previous AGM’s our LGA Independent group agreed to support an electoral system of proportional representation, rather than winner takes all. This week I attended the Make Votes Matter forum discussing what went on behind he scenes in the run-up to the Labour Party Conference passing a motion to support PR as a fairer system.  Those with the majority once elected, may still take all the positions.  A reasonable distribution of positions according to skills and contribution to the Council is another area to tackle in our Councils.

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