News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group - 24 January 2017

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24 January 2017

Cllr Nick Forbes

News from the Leader of the LGA Labour Group

Cllr Nick Forbes
Leader of the LGA Labour Group

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Leader's update

  • We had a productive meeting of the Labour Group last week, with Jonathan Ashworth MP, who discussed with us the stark challenges councils face in adult social care funding.
  • We were later joined by Sajid Javid MP who was visiting Layden House to speak to Councillors Forum. We asked the secretary of State for Communities and Local Government ‘what, if any contingencies the government have in place should care providers fail to fulfil their obligations and duty of care?' – we did not get a satisfactory response, just that adequate funding was needed, but no promise of any new money. We will of course be asking this question more formally in writing in the weeks ahead.
  • At the same meeting, the Secretary of State made the welcome announcement to drop his proposal to make councils pay attendance allowance out of localised business rates – thanks to colleagues for keeping up the pressure to make this happen, this is a real success for Labour Group and cross party lobbying by the LGA.
  • We continue to work with the Labour Front bench to put forward amendments to the Local Government Finance Bill to put forward consistent concerns around business rates localisation.
  • I had a positive meeting with Kier Starmer MP and Hilary Benn MP on the impact of Brexit on local government. They committed to working with us to set up a regional panel to discuss matters in more detail. We will develop this further at the Brexit plenary at LGA Labour Conference in February.
  • Thank you to all colleagues who submitted the great innovations that labour councils are doing up and down the country – the ‘top achievements' booklet is due to be published soon.
  • Finally, I look forward to seeing many of you at our LGA Labour conference.
  • I always welcome your views and news, please do get in touch with me on

Labour Local Government Conference 2017

The Association of Labour Councillors (ALC) and LGA Labour Group Local Government Conference 2017. 

The event is an opportunity for us to meet and discuss a range of policy relevant to local government.  In addition to keynote speakers and plenary sessions, there will be a series of policy and campaigning workshops. As well speakers from across local government, Rt. Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP is confirmed to speak and other members of the front bench team will be invited.

Friday 17 February 2017, 19.30 – 22.30
Drinks reception and dinner

Saturday 18 February 2017, 10.00 – 17.00
Local Government Conference 

The conference will be held at a new venue at Warwick University Conference Centre.

To book your attendance, please visit our dedicated webpage: conference booking page

Please note we are only able to take online bookings.


Onsite accommodation is no longer available, but the venue is a short distance from Coventry, Kenilworth and Leamington Spa.


If you are a new councillor, i.e. elected for the first time in May 2016 or since in a by-election, you are entitled to a free conference pass and you should have received an email from the ALC with how to book your place. If you have any queries please email for further information.

News from Local Labour

Bristol street artists work with city on legal graffiti walls

Praise for South Tyneside adoption team as more vulnerable youngsters are found homes

Barking and Dagenham switches to greener street lighting

A statements from Councillor Sarah Hayward in response to the Prime Minister's speech on Brexit

Brighton & Hove Council to open first in-house temporary housing for homeless people 

New council homes on the way in Ipswich – and a health shake up could follow

Full steam ahead as iconic Sherwood's Forest new visitors centre gets planning permission 

Hackney Council given ‘laughable' £36,000 by the government to solve housing crisis

Wolverhampton City Council to take 100 Syrian refugees under expanded scheme

Cambridge City Council receives grant to combat rough sleeping

Nottingham to become UK's first Social eating City with Council House launch

Powers retuned to Tower Hamlets ahead of schedule

Councillor Alice Perry's January NEC Report




National news

Theresa May confirms Britain will leave Single Market as she sets out 12-point Brexit plan 

Theresa May under pressure over Trident missile test

There is an urgent need to tackle the crisis in adult social care as the OBR says that the NHS will need an extra £88 billion in funding by 2067

Conservative-led Surrey County Council plans 15% council tax hike

Stamp Duty fuelling housing crisis says property chief

Theresa May's industrial plan signals shift to more state intervention

Councils get £48 million to expand homelessness provision

UK community refugee scheme has resettled only two Syrian families

Reconsider grammar schools plan, heads urge May

Poor public transport puts rural schools out of reach

Pollution warning as London air quality alerts are issued

Milton Keynes celebrates its 50th birthday today


The Terrence Higgins Trust has launched a new report focusing on the needs and experiences of the first generation in the UK to grow older with HIV

News from Wales

Welsh government tables bill to overturn Trade Union Act

Flintshire council votes to buy back ex-council houses


Newport Council Leader, Debbie Wilcox, brands social care cuts ‘disgraceful'

News from the Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn MP responds to Theresa May's speech on Brexit and her speech in Davos

‘Hammond twice refuses to rule out turning UK into a tax haven' – John McDonnell MP

‘Councils up and down the country are in a desperate situation' – Teresa Pearce MP

NHS crisis is one that's been made in Downing Street – Jonathan Ashworth MP  

Nia Griffith MP says it is ‘completely unacceptable' that the Prime Minister chose to side-step questions on the Trident test

This belated attempt to develop a proper industrial strategy looks like ‘too little too late' – Clive Lewis MP

‘Today's figures confirm that Theresa May's record as Home Secretary is one of failure' – Diane Abbott MP 

Copeland by-election
The Campaign Centre can be found at Labour Copeland Campaign Centre, Phoenix Court, Earl Street, Cleator Moor, CA25 5AU, and is open from 9.30am – 7.30pm, seven days a week. There is a free car park directly opposite the building. Click here to find the Campaign Centre on googlemaps.



News from the LGA


Local Government Finance Bill House of Commons, Second Reading 23 January 2017

Rogue tyre sellers putting lives at risk, warn councils

Rethink job centres to help more unemployed people

Homelessness Reduction Bill: LGA responds to funding announcement



LGA & CIPFA Fraud Workshops

With money never having been so tight, protecting the public purse is more important than ever. Through the improvement programme the LGA have funded CIPFA to run a series of FREE workshops around the country for elected members to raise awareness on what councils should be doing to avoid and tackle fraud.

These events will be of particular interest to Chairs and Members of Audit and Scrutiny Committees and Finance Portfolio Holders but are of general interest and available to all elected members. The workshops are listed below together with the links to the bookings website:

London 6 February: book here 

Bristol 15 February: book here

Manchester 23 February: book here

London 27 February: book here

Opposition Watch


Michael Gove paid £150,000 a year for Times column

Paul Nuttall says ‘Anglophobe' Donald Trump loves Britain

All of Surrey's Alzheimer's day centres to close

Tory MP suggests poor families 'could learn from war generation about cooking good food on a tight budget'


Merton Councillor and former London Assembly candidate David Dean expelled from Conservative Party


There was 1 by election on 19 January 2017:

Bromsgrove DC, Norton
Conservative 219 [43.2%; -16.6%]
Labour 186 [36.7%; +7.1%]
UKIP 82 [16.2%;+16.2%]
Green 20 [3.9%; -6.6%]
Conservative hold

There are no by elections taking place on 26 January 2017.




24 January 2017