Group bulletin: 18 August 2023

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local government association - independent group

Group bulletin

18 August 2023


Greetings colleagues!  

I hope you are enjoying the summer so far despite the weather! 

There was a by-election last week in the London Borough of Havering and I am pleased to say Jacqueline Ann Williams won it convincingly for the ‘Upminster and Cranham Residents Association’. A huge congratulations to Councillor Williams on her victory and I wish you all the best in your local government service. Welcome to the Independent Group! 

This week saw A-Levels and T-Levels results announced and I congratulate all our students for their hard work. Some will be heading for university but others may be considering going into the world of work. The LGA has its own information page for entry routes and careers within local government, including our Apprenticeship support programme, T-Level support programme and our National Graduate Development programme. 

Please don’t forget to contribute to the ongoing consultation on ‘permitted development rights’. This allows business premises to be changed to dwellings without the checks and balances of the planning process. This unravelling of planning controls can lead to a haphazard change in the character of high streets and unsustainable out-of-town centres. The LGA continues to campaign nationally and we will be receiving an update on the issue at our next Independent Council Leaders meeting in early September. The consultation closes on the 25th September. If you would like to send us a copy of your responses to the consultation, we will be happy to forward them on to our Think Tank. 

At the same time, I encourage you to ‘have your say’ on the proposed closure of our ticket station offices.Ticket offices provide not just a point of information and contact for our passengers but it's also important to provide equal access for all. The consultation closes on Friday 1st September. 

The Independent Group continue to work on emerging issues concerning asylum seekers related to their safeguarding as well as being able to provide housing and local services to new arrivals and the rest of our communities.  

Finally, I wish the very best of luck to our lionesses in the final of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday in Sydney! Let’s bring it home gals!  

News from the LGA

The Independent Group is now looking to host its next cohort of councillors to participate in its Next Generation programme this autumn. The programme helps newly elected councillors and established councillors in three areas of training and development: personal leadership, political leadership as well as communication and media skills. To register your interest, please do contact the Group Office. 

Please do not forget to fill out the survey for our upcoming annual conference in autumn. We want to hear from you about your ideas for content, speakers and any other suggestions you might have! 

Join the Migrants Champions Network! 

The Migrant Champions Network is a network helps councillors to support migrant residents, and to improve their councils’ provision for migrant residents, by sharing information and examples of best practice. Councillors who join the network will have the opportunity to collaborate with other councillors to provide the best possible services for migrant residents. Sign up here to get updates from the network:, or email  them directly to find out more about the network. 

Don’t forget to consult our online hub for newly elected councillors where you can stay up-to-date with upcoming events and information sessions which will help you in your roles. Events coming up will include scrutiny and handling casework.  

Call for case studies: Supporting care leavers 

As part of our ongoing work supporting councils to be the best corporate parents they can be to care leavers, we’re looking to showcase good practice examples from our members. If you have a story you’d like to share, please fill out our case study template and email Louise Smith. 

Sitting within the Local Government Association’s leadership development offer, the LG Challenge serves to develop a new generation of local government leaders. With the opportunity to be awarded the prestigious £10,000 Bruce-Lockhart scholarship, the winner will have a unique opportunity to translate their very own ideas into a reality, make a long-lasting impact in their area, as well as give their CV a substantial edge. Local government officers of all levels, grades and backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 

This is a series of programmes and workshops designed as themed learning opportunities for councillors. Each event concentrates on a specific portfolio or service area or a specific theme. Please do check out what is on offer and for any further questions or queries, please email Grace Collins 

Our ‘Focus on leadership’ councillor development events are designed to support councillors to excel in their existing roles and to provide them with a bridge to senior leadership positions. We host ‘Focus on Leadership’ weekender events for the followings groups: BAME, LGBTQ+, opposition leaders and deputy leaders as well as young councillors (aged 40 and under). To register for, or find out more about, any of our ‘Focus on Leadership’ events, please contact Grace Collins.   

Dates for the Diary! 

The Local Government Association continue to host a wide range of events for all our elected members to help them in their roles as Councillors. Please do check what’s on offer! 


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