Group bulletin: 12 May 2023

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

local government association - independent group

Group bulletin

12 May 2023


Hello and welcome to this week's Independent Group Bulletin. Huge congratulations to you all having run or supported tough campaigns right across England. Wales next elect in 2027 and there will doubtlessly be a general election before that!

Election Results

It is an incredibly exciting time. Your inspiring campaigns and joyful celebrations hold us in great stead for successful Councils in the years ahead.  

We were sad to lose close to a hundred councillors last week. This included Councillors where whole District Councils were dissolved and merged into larger Unitary Authorities, including Yorkshire and Somerset, with big new divisions and where our members were little known. I am especially sad to lose our Council Leaders, Phelim McCafferty (Brighton and Hove), David Hitchiner (Herefordshire), Tim Gwilliam (Forest of Dean) and Mary Lannigan (Redcar and Cleveland) – and I know some of our other Leaders are still negotiating. I am also sad that we have lost some of our LGA Board members, including Sue Roberts (South Oxfordshire), Luke Frost (Stockton) and Geoff Knight (Lancaster) who have given amazing service to their residents, their Councils and the LGA. Thank you.

Despite the loss of whole councils in which we were rich with members, we have still increased our numbers. I am very proud of what our group has achieved. For the first time ever, the Greens have taken complete control of a council: Mid Suffolk and the Independents have taken Boston. There are 90 councils with no overall control, the most ever, and our accredited peers and regional peers are hard at work assisting members in their negotiations. If you think this might also help you, please contact the group office, who will find the right person to help you.   

We have made significant gains across the country with 1445 Councillors elected (865 Independent, 481 Green, 99 Resident’s Association).

A warm welcome to all our new and returning councillors. We look forward to an exciting time ahead, changing lives for the better. The LGA is there to assist you and to help shape Government decisions to work better for us on the ground. The best way to start in the LGA is by signing up for one of our policy thinktanks or submitting an expression of interest in one of our Board Positions.

I would also like to thank all our Councillors who have sadly lost their seats in last week’s elections for their dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment to Local Government. You have been amazing, and I will miss working with you. Please do keep in touch.

Independent Group Elections

Information on the Group Elections is now available on the Group’s webpage. The positions of Group Leader, Deputy Group Leader and Group Treasurer are up for election.

We set out to increase engagement of every member across England and Wales, which we have done. To increase the voter turnout, the Executive and membership agreed some changes at the 2022 AGM, to make it more engaging. The Group will have a period of 21 days after the Local Elections to allow new members to find out what the LGA does and what difference it makes. Thus the leadership, Peers and all our members should communicate without restriction and repercussion. This allows for the introductions with new councillors and to support our members who are undergoing a change of control or in need of other forms of support and information requirements after the local elections.

We will then enter the formal Election Period for 21 days, falling this year from Monday 5 June, when there will be restrictions on communication. There is not a single voting day, but our members receive a unique link at the start of the election period that they can complete during that period. This is to encourage as many of our members to vote as possible. To allow adequate time for nominations, the nomination papers are now available and the notice of election has been given. Every Political Group at the LGA undertakes its elections differently, and our processes have been agreed by debate at our AGMs over the years.

Independent Group AGM

This year’s Independent Group AGM will take place on Tuesday 4 July in Bournemouth at the LGA Annual Conference 2023. This is a great opportunity to learn and network, but if you are unable to attend the whole conference, you can attend our AGM without charge. If you are planning on attending the Group AGM, please contact the Independent Group Office.

The Independent Group Annual Report will also be available for members. If you would like a hard copy of the annual report, please contact the Independent Group Office and this will be arranged.

New councillors and council leaders

The LGA has an extensive training and support programme for new and existing councillors and new leaders, and I do encourage you and your colleagues to take advantage of these opportunities:

Induction for newly elected Independent and affiliated Councillors

We will also be hosting two online ‘welcome and introduction’ events for newly elected Independent Councillors which will be hosted by Councillors Marianne Overton (Leader), Hannah Dalton (Deputy Leader) and Adam Paynter (Independent Group National Leader).  These will take place as follows:

  • Wednesday 24th May: 7 – 8pm.
  • Thursday 25th May: 2 – 3pm.

If you would like to attend a session, please email the Group Office stating which date you would like to attend. You will be sent a zoom link address. This will be an opportunity to meet some of our leadership and office team as well as ask any questions and introduce yourselves!


Whilst making loses of over 1,000 seats at the election, the Conservatives are continuing to push through the Illegal Migration Bill which is currently in the House of Lords for its second reading. This changes the way Councils are engaged with when housing Asylum Seekers, for example it will give power to the Home Office to direct Councils to receive a child or cease looking after an asylum-seeking child. Other notable Bills going through parliament include the Procurement Bill and the Online Safety Bill. This and recent Royal Assent of the Public Order Act (2023) are areas where we need to continue our shared efforts.

I also attended a meeting this week with Lee Rowley about Oflog, which is the Government form of the LGA’s LGInform. We have pushed back against its introduction, but the Government is set on it, expecting to publish the first data in a few weeks.

LGC Awards

The shortlist of councils for the 2023 Local Government Chronical Awards has been published. This award showcases Local Government’s most outstanding practice as well as cutting-edge innovations. Congratulations to all members serving in nominated authorities and we are looking forward to finding out the winners next month.

Upcoming events

Future local electricity networks – creating a partnership approach to growth
Tuesday 16 May 2023, London (in-person)

Progress on children and young people’s mental health policy in England
Thursday 18 May 2023, 2.00pm - 3.30pm (virtual)

Supporting a great school food culture
Tuesday 23 May 2023, 2.30pm – 4.00pm (virtual)


Have a good week.

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