Blue Badge Application Form Welcome to Waltham Forest Council by xha75205

VIEWS: 302 PAGES: 109

More Info
									         LGA executive



         Thursday 21 May 2009
agenda




         10.00am


         Local Government House
         Smith Square
         London
         SW1P 3HZ




         To: Members of LGA executive
         cc:   Named officers for briefing purposes
               www.lga.gov.uk
Guidance notes for visitors
Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ

Welcome!
Please read these notes for your own safety and that of all visitors, staff and tenants.

Security
All visitors (who do not already have an LGA ID badge), are requested to report to the Reception desk where
they will be requested to sign in and will be handed a visitor's badge to be worn at all times whilst in the
building.

Fire instructions
In the event of the fire alarm sounding, vacate the building immediately following the green Fire Exit signs. Go
straight to the assembly point in Tufton Street via Dean Trench Street (off Smith Square).

DO NOT USE THE LIFTS.

DO NOT STOP TO COLLECT PERSONAL BELONGINGS.

DO NOT RE-ENTER BUILDING UNTIL AUTHORISED TO DO SO.

Members' facilities on the 7th floor
The Members' Room has refreshments available and also access to the roof terrace, which Members are
welcome to use. Work facilities for members, providing workstations, telephone and Internet access, fax and
photocopying facilities and staff support are also available.

Open Council
"Open Council" has opened on the 1st floor of LG House, providing informal
meeting and business facilities with refreshments, for local authority members/
officers who are in London.

Toilets
Toilets for people with disabilities are situated on the Basement, Ground, 2nd, 4th, 6th and 7th floors. Female
toilets are situated on the basement, ground,1st, 3rd, 5th,and 7th floors. Male toilets are available on the
basement, ground, 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th floors.

Accessibility
Every effort has been made to make the building as accessible as possible for people with disabilities. Induction
loop systems have been installed in all the larger meeting rooms and at the main reception. There is a parking
space for blue badge holders outside the Smith Square entrance and two more blue badge holders’ spaces in
Dean Stanley Street to the side of the building. There is also a wheelchair lift at the main entrance. For further
information please contact the Facilities Management Helpdesk on 020 7664 3015.

Further help
Please speak either to staff at the main reception on the ground floor, if you require any further help or
information. You can find the LGA website at www.lga.gov.uk

Please don't forget to sign out at reception and return your badge when you depart.
LGA Executive
21 May 2009



There will be a meeting of the LGA Executive at:

10.00am on Thursday, 21 May 2009, in Bevin Hall, Local Government House, Smith
Square, London, SW1P 3HZ

Attendance Sheet

Please ensure that you sign the attendance register, which will be available in the meeting
room. It is the only record of your presence at the meeting.



Apologies

Please notify your political group office (see contact telephone numbers below) if
you are unable to attend this meeting, so that a substitute can be arranged and catering
numbers adjusted, if necessary.

Labour:              Aicha Less:    020 7664 3263 email: aicha.less@lga.gov.uk
Conservative:        Angela Page: 020 7664 3264 email: angela.page@lga.gov.uk
Liberal Democrat:    Eveylyn Mark: 020 7664 3235 email: libdem@lga.gov.uk
Independent:         Group Office: 020 7664 3224 email: independent.group@lga.gov.uk

Location

A map showing the location of the Local Government House is printed on the back cover.



LGA Contact:

Cathy Boyle, Member Support Team Manager:           Tel: 020 7664 3205; Fax: 020 7664
3232; e-mail: cathy.boyle@lga.gov.uk).

Carers’ Allowance: As part of the LGA Members’ Allowances Scheme a Carer’s
Allowance of up to £4.93 per hour is available to cover the cost of dependants (i.e.
Children, elderly people or people with disabilities) incurred as a result of attending this
meeting.

Hotels: If you wish to stay overnight in London, discounted hotel rates are available
through the Local Government Travel Club (consult your own authority for information).
Alternatively, accommodation can be booked through Hotelzon, tel 01962 844004, fax
01962 860974.
                                                                                                    



                                                                                                  


Agenda
LGA Executive              



21 May 2009        
 
    
                PART I                                                                                     Page       Timing

                                                                                                                   
       1.       Police Accountability                                                                             10.00am

       1a.      General Assembly Annual Meeting: Motions

       2.       LGA Group Branding Review                                                                         10.30am

       3.       Temporary Agency Workers: Implementation of EU                                                    11.00am
                Directive on Equal Treatment - CONFIDENTIAL

       4.       Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships –                                                11.15am
                update on progress over year one

       5.       Post Budget Briefing                                                                              11.20am

       6.       Council Action on the Recession                                                                   11.30am
                                                                                                                   
       7.       Application to form a Special Interest Group for District                                         11.35am
                Councils

       8.       Special Interest Groups – Annual Reports                                                          11.40am

       9.       Chief Executive’s monthly report - May 2009                                                       11.45am

       10.      Chairs of Boards and HR Panel reports                                                             11.50am
                                                                                                                   
       11.      Note of the Office Holders meeting on 15 April 2009
                                                                                                                   
       12.      Report back from Office Holders’ meeting 20 May 2009                                    
                                                                                                                   
       13.      Note of previous LGA Executive meeting



                Date of next meeting: Thursday 18 June 2009 in LGH
                at 10.00am

                                                                                                                   
LGA Executive
Date: 11.09.08


LGA Executive - Membership 2008/2009

Councillor                             Authority

Conservative (7)
Margaret Eaton OBE [Chairman]          Bradford City
David Shakespeare OBE[Vice-Chairman]   Buckinghamshire CC
David Parsons CBE [Deputy Chairman]    Leicestershire CC
Paul Bettison                          Bracknell Forest UA
Les Lawrence                           City of Birmingham
Robert Light                           Kirklees MBC
Chris Millar                           Daventry DC

Substitutes:
Keith Mitchell CBE                     Oxfordshire CC
Gordon Keymer CBE                      Tandridge DC

Labour (5)
David Sparks OBE                       Dudley MBC
Sharon Taylor                          Stevenage BC
Sir Jeremy Beecham [Vice-Chairman]     Newcastle City
Ian Swithenbank CBE[Deputy Chairman]   Northumberland CC
Hazel Harding CBE                      Lancashire CC

Substitute:
Clyde Loakes                           Waltham Forest LB
Anne Lucas                             Coventry City

Liberal Democrat (4)
David Rogers OBE                       East Sussex CC
Chris White                            Hertfordshire CC
Richard Kemp [Deputy Chair]            Liverpool City
Gerald Vernon-Jackson                  Portsmouth City

Substitutes:
Sir David Williams                     Richmond upon Thames LB
John Commons                           Manchester City

Independent (1)
Keith Ross [Deputy Chair]              West Somerset DC
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                                234                           Item 1

 




Police Accountability
Summary
There is widespread agreement amongst the political parties and in local government
that the accountability of the police to the communities they serve needs to be
improved. As a result of the proposals around reforming police accountability in last
year’s Policing Green Paper, the LGA and Association of Police Authorities (APA)
agreed a range of proposals for improving police accountability under the current
tripartite structure. Over the same period the three main parties have published
proposals for police accountability. Directly-elected models of police accountability
have been seen by all three main political parties as central to any solution, and the
LGA continues to explore how the role of local government can be integrated in these
models with all three parties through private debate and influence.

This paper seeks the Executive’s endorsement of the ongoing work to improve police
accountability under the current structures, and the approach of working with the
main political parties on a private basis to shape future police accountability
proposals.


Recommendations

Members are asked to endorse:

    (a) the ongoing work by the LGA in improving the current police accountability
        structures;

    (b) the tactics of seeking to influence the police accountability proposals of the
        three main political parties through private debate and influence.

Action
      1. LGA officers to action as directed.




Contact Officer: Helen Murray
Phone No: 020 7664 3266
Email: helen.murray@lga.gov.uk
 
Background

1.
                                                   234
      Members will recall that the LGA ran a cross-party campaign to overturn the
Government’s proposals in the Policing Green Paper for directly-elected crime and
policing representatives on police authorities. This resulted in the Government
withdrawing its proposals in December 2008.

2.     In its response to the Policing Green Paper, the LGA argued that the current
police accountability arrangements need to be reformed. The LGA is not alone in
being concerned about improving police accountability. Along with the three main
political parties, think tanks like Reform and IPPR have produced a range of
proposals on this issue.

3.     In response to the Government’s Policing Green Paper proposals the LGA and
APA jointly agreed a paper setting out alternative improvements to police
accountability. Many of our proposals have already been accepted and implemented
by Government. Within the LGA Group, this also led to a comprehensive programme
of work comprising a number of strands all designed to strengthen and improve the
current police authority structures. The LGA’s Safer Communities Board has been
fully involved in development of this work, and as agreed at the March meeting, the
work will be overseen through LGA member representation on the APA’s Local
Accountability Strategy Group, with items remitted as necessary to the Safer
Communities Board.

LGA work programme to improve police accountability
4.     The LGA has consistently argued that reform of the tripartite model should
anchor the police in the communities they serve, thereby giving them greater
legitimacy; reassure the public that they can set the policing priorities; and ensure the
police are more clearly democratically accountable to their community. Given the
multi-layered nature of policing at the force, Basic Command Unit (BCU) and local
level and the complex organisational structures and processes at each level, we
have sought to develop policy at all levels. However, recognising that directly elected
governance has formed or does form a key part of all parties’ proposals, we continue
to explore that separately to ensure the best possible outcome for local government.
It is at the BCU and neighbourhood level where there is most agreement politically
and hence the majority of activity has been focused here. In the main, the APA and
the Association of Chief Police Officers have also drawn the same conclusion,
although inevitably, we are not in agreement on some of the detail around scrutiny
and BCU commander appointments where the LGA wants to go further.

5.   As a result the Safer Communities Board is taking forward a number of
proposals:

•        Improving the scrutiny of CDRPs/CSPs and police forces/police authorities.
         The LGA has consistently argued in the debates around police accountability that
         a simple step towards improving police and CDRP/CSP accountability to the



      
 
                                                     234
         communities they serve would be through the implementation of the crime and
         disorder scrutiny provisions in the Police and Justice Act 2006. Partly as a result
         of our lobbying, the Home Office has now introduced the crime and disorder
         scrutiny provisions and these came into force on 30th April. Separately, the
         Councillor Call for Action regulations on crime and disorder matters have also
         now been implemented giving ward councillors a means to take up local issues
         they feel have not been satisfactorily dealt with. The LGA Group through the
         Centre for Public Scrutiny is producing guidance for the sector, but we are keen to
         promote these regulations much more widely with councillors and authorities and
         we have started work on some materials and will be looking to raise awareness in
         a series of events from the Annual Conference onwards.

•        Strengthening partnerships at a ward/neighbourhood level
         This Home Office funded project, run by IDeA, is now coming to fruition. It is an
         exemplar programme to identify and provide guidance on good practice on
         bringing neighbourhood policing teams and local authorities together. Our one
         day conference to showcase this work is arranged for 11 June. We are also
         continuing to promote the importance of local authorities and councillors at
         neighbourhood policing meetings with the public (Police and Community Together
         PACT meetings). The LGA is also working with the Neighbourhood Crime and
         Justice Group in the Home Office to provide information for ward councillors as
         part of the Government’s Justice Seen, Justice Done campaign so they can act
         as community champions on community safety matters. An event planned for 21
         July will reinforce these messages.

•        Developing the skills of police authority members. If force-wide governance
         arrangements are to better hold chief constables to account, scrutinise police
         budgets and make real efficiency savings then the skills levels of councillors are
         of paramount importance as a pool from which to draw. Councils have a clear role
         in ensuring councillor advice and expertise in this area is both effective and
         credible. A minimum standards framework of skills and attributes for councillor
         nominations to police authorities is being developed with IDeA and the
         Leadership Centre, and the Safer Communities Board in July will be discussing
         this further.

•        Role of councils in the recruitment and retention of local police
         commanders. The LGA has argued for greater local authority involvement in the
         appointment of police Basic Command Unit (BCU) commanders. The recently
         agreed Charter for London between the Mayor and the London boroughs has
         highlighted some of these issues around recruitment and performance review and
         provides a useful precedent for further lobbying. The LGA will therefore continue
         to press for a greater role for local authorities in the recruitment and retention of
         local police commanders.

•        Greater cooperation between other public services and CDRPs. The LGA has
         welcomed the provisions in the Policing and Crime Bill to include probation as a



      
 
                                                    234
         ‘responsible authority’ under the crime and disorder legislation and to introduce a
         duty on CDRPs/CSPs to reduce re-offending. The LGA is currently working with
         NOMS to produce a short guide on the implications of these clauses which we will
         publish at our beacons re-offending one-day event on 16 June. In our response to
         the Crime and Communities Review we also called for closer links between the
         criminal justice system and CDRPs and this is being actively pursued in the
         Ministry of Justice Green Paper ‘Engaging Communities in Justice’.

•        Inclusion of the BCU fund in LAAs. It is an anomaly that the Home Office
         allocates the £50m BCU fund to chief constables who then decide whether to
         allocate to BCU Commanders for partnership activity. This fund should be
         included in the LAA pot as partners would then be in a position to commission
         policing and community safety services specifically designed to address local
         priorities. We have written to the Home Office about this and continue to press
         this case.

Alternative proposals for police accountability
6.    Though the LGA is continuing work to improve the current police accountability
structures, given where we are in the electoral cycle and our pre-election strategy,
this sits alongside other ongoing work with all parties on future police accountability
arrangements. Rather than making a specific public statement about different
parties’ proposals, this work is best progressed in a more considered way, privately
out of the glare of the media, thus maximising the opportunity to influence and shape
the debate and secure the best outcome for local government in any change to
accountability structures.

Financial Implications
7.   This is identified as a key theme in the LGA Business Plan and costs are
therefore met from within existing LGA Group budgets and resources.

Implications for Wales
8.   Police reforms apply to England and Wales. LGA officers will therefore liaise
with WLGA officers and seek their involvement in any LGA activity.




Contact Officer: Helen Murray
Phone No: 020 7664 3266
Email: helen.murray@lga.gov.uk




      
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                              234                       Item 1a

                                                                                     



General Assembly Annual Meeting: Motions
Summary


The LGA’s Standing Orders provide for Motions to be moved at any meeting of the
General Assembly.

It is in the remit of the Executive to determine whether motions should receive
consideration by the General Assembly or be remitted to a Board or Panel of the
Association.

A notice of a motion on policing has been submitted to the Chief Executive by
Colchester Borough Council (copy letter attached). .

The deadline for notices of motions is 20 May 2009. The Executive will be updated
at its 21 May meeting on any further motions received up to the deadline.



Recommendations

The Executive is asked to consider whether the attached motion should be the
subject of debate at this year’s General Assembly.

Action
Officers to submit the necessary report to the General Assembly or appropriate
Board, as necessary.




Contact Officer: Cathy Boyle
Phone No: 020 7664 3205
Email: cathy.boyle@lga.gov.uk 



   
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                               234                         Item 2

 




    LGA Group Branding Review
Summary
The LGA Group Branding review has now come to an end and Grant Riches and the
Team, who were contracted to carry out the review, will present their findings and
recommendations to the Executive. A copy of their presentation is attached.

.

Recommendations
To discuss the findings and approve the overall direction of the review.

To task the Boards of the Central Bodies to consider the implications of
implementing the recommendations for their own organisations.

Action


Officers to prepare a proposed implementation plan which incorporates the Boards’
considerations for the July meeting of the Executive.



Contact officer: Jenny Crighton    Jenny.crighton@lga.gov.uk 0207 664 3239
 
                                               234
LGA Group Branding Review
Background
1.   The LGA Executive asked officers to commission a branding review across the
LGA Group last year. This was seen as a core part of the ‘Getting Closer’ strategy
and in particular the communications strand. The main objectives of the review were
to get a better understanding of the value placed on our brands by the sector and
other key audiences so that we can do at least two things:

         •   present a compelling and clear picture of LGA Group activities
         •   make it easier for councils to navigate around and access the LGA
             Group’s services

2.    Following a tendering exercise the contract was awarded to two companies –
the Team and Grant Riches – who combined together to carry out the review. The
review has now come to an end and the Team and Grant Riches will present their
findings and recommendations to the LGA Executive. A copy of their presentation is
attached.

3.    It is worth reinforcing up front that in setting up this review we were very aware
of a sense of consultation fatigue on behalf of our membership and were very keen
that we did not repeat the many perceptions audits and surveys of leaders and chief
executives which have already taken place. So with that in mind the consultants
spoke to a select few external contributors but focused most of their efforts on
interviewing groups of members and officers working within the LGA structures and in
drawing on the existing evidence from surveys where appropriate

Financial Implications
4.    The consultants have been asked to reflect further on the cost implications of
their proposals for the meeting discussion. Any proposals would need to be low cost.

Implications for Wales
5.      The WLGA, COSLA and NILGA are important partners for the LGA and in a
number of central bodies. Whilst the recommendations of this branding review will
not diminish these relationships or influence in any way, it is imporant that we
understand the views of our colleagues before any final decisions are taken. The
initial findings have been shared but we would want to consider the outcomes of
fuller discussions when we return to this in July.

Contact Officer: Jenny Crighton
Phone No: 020 8866
Email: jenny.crighton@lga.gov.uk



      
“A brand is the space you occupy in
somebody else's mind”




                                Anita Roddick, Founder Body Shop
Current brands




Organisation name


Stand-alone
Brands and organisations
     What the research told us…
     •     A vital role that is it not fulfilling as well as it could
     •     “Significant alienation and dissatisfaction among members”
     •     Confusion about the respective roles of organisations and the boundaries between
           them
     •     Not telling the local government story
     •     Current branding is “messy”, “dated”, “overlapping”, “inconsistent”, “unintelligible”
     •     Individual brands are not well known/understood, with investment being spread too
           thinly
     •     Not seen as value for money, dynamic or forward thinking
     •     The time is right to find an alternative and more efficient/effective brand strategy




Source: LGA Research Digest, Apr 2009; LGA Branding Interview Debrief, Feb 2009;
LGA Branding Workshops, 18-19 Mar 2009
     Things the brand strategy must address…
     1. Make clear roles and relationships within the group
        • An integrated whole reflecting current structures
        • Communicate a sense of connection and co-ordination across the Group
     2. Reposition the brands to tell the story of LG
        • Lobbying and support for LG
        • E.g. by including LG in brand names
     3. Help customers navigate the different Group offers
     4. Demonstrate value for money and return on subscription (and address perceptions of
        waste, duplication and overlap)
     5. Create a “clear common identity” and improve consistency of brand expression across
        the Group
     6. Address low profile of the Group, resulting from brand investment being spread too
        thinly
         • Create synergies across the portfolio
         • Support smaller/newer brands through association with other more established
            Group brands
     7. Signal change to audiences ‘It looks different because it is different’



Source: LGA Research Digest, Apr 2009 , LGA Branding Interview Debrief, Feb
2009; LGA Branding Workshops, 18-19 Mar 2009
     Future brand architecture options
     Freestanding

     • Corporate brand is often invisible
     • Each product/service is individually branded
     • No co-branding or visual relationship to the parent brand




         Ruled out by most
         Suggests wastage and doesn’t address any of the recurring issues identified




Source: LGA Branding Workshops, 18-19 Mar 2009
     Future brand architecture options
     Family of brands

     • Corporate brand operates alongside service brand
     • Parent name/graphic is used in combinations to create a sense of family
     • Sub-brands have appropriate independence from the parent




         Favoured by a significant proportion
         Retains the investment/equity in current brands, addresses many of the recurring
         issues identified



Source: LGA Branding Workshops, 18-19 Mar 2009
     Future brand architecture options
     Branded house

     • Corporate brand operates alongside product/service brands
     • Parent name/graphic is shared across the portfolio
     • Sub-brands are identified by name only in a uniform lock up with the core elements




         Favoured by a significant proportion
         Avoids waste, creates greater synergies across the portfolio and addresses many of
         the recurring issues identified



Source: LGA Branding Workshops, 18-19 Mar 2009
     Future brand architecture options
     Unified

     • Corporate brand is applied to all products/services
     • Name/graphic used consistently and uniformly




         Ruled out by most
         A step too far, too one-dimensional




Source: LGA Branding Workshops, 18-19 Mar 2009
     Future brand architecture options
     Options evaluation




            Freestanding                         Family of   Branded House            Unified
              Structure                           Brands        Structure            Structure



        Flexibility


                                                                                 Cost efficiency


        Tailoring to target groups


                                                                         Positive image transfer

Source: LGA Branding Workshops, 18-19 Mar 2009
     Brand Architecture Scaling Exercise




     Free                                   Family                                   Branded               Unified
     Standing                               of Brands                                House                  Brand

    1              2              3              4               5              6          7   8       9            10




                                                                 Average 5.5

                                                                                                   Green: Members
                                                                                                   Grey: Officers
Source: LGA Branding Interview Debrief, Feb 2009; LGA Branding Workshops, 18-19 Mar 2009
Our recommendation



                                        Freestanding   Family of   Branded House    Unified
                                          Structure     Brands        Structure    Structure


Make clear group roles and
relationships (reflecting structures)
Reposition the brands to tell the
story of LG
Help customers navigate the
different Group offers
Demonstrate value for money and
return on subscription
Create a “clear common identity”
Address low profile (from thinly
spread investment)
Signal change
How similar organisations use branded house – NHS
How similar organisations use branded house – Home Office
Our recommendation – branded house
• It will clearly link all the organisation together, whilst allowing each to focus on a different
  role and target audience
• By using a new approach to naming (e.g. where ‘LG’ was more visible/explicit), it makes
  explicit the organisations’ roles in supporting the sector
• It will help customers navigate the offers, understanding they are all part of a single,
  connected and coordinated Group
• It will generate significant efficiencies (though not as much as unified, but this option is
  less appropriate given the governance structures)
• It allows for considerable tonal alignment, both verbally and visually, generating savings
  and creating a “clear common identity”
• Any promotional activity in one area of the portfolio will benefit the rest of the portfolio,
  again generating efficiency savings and synergies
• The visual shift will be a signal to audiences that the organisations are changing to meet
  the evolving needs of the sector
Implications (purely illustrative)
Future personality
Next steps
Next steps
Next steps
Next steps
Next steps
Next steps
Next steps
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                                  234                 Item 4

 




Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships update
on progress over year one.
Summary

This paper provides a summary of progress across year one of the Regional
Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (RIEP) programme and a forward look to
year two.




Recommendations


The Executive is asked to consider this report.


Action

Officers to take forward in the light of the Executive’s decision.




Contact Officer: Stephen Jones, Director of Finance and Performance
Phone No: 0207 664 3171
Email:  Stephen.Jones@lga.gov.uk 
 
Background

1.
                                                   234
         Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships (RIEPs) were established in
         April 2008 under the joint LGA/Government National Improvement and
         Efficiency Strategy (NIES) with a three year funding package of £185m from
         Communities and Local Government.

2.       RIEPs are member led partnerships of councils, fire authorities and other local
         services which coordinate and support improvement, innovation and efficiency
         work at a regional and often sub-regional level. Each RIEP has evolved
         differently to meet local and regional improvement needs. However, at the end
         of the first year of the programme all RIEPs are demonstrating impressive
         efficiency savings and support programmes for councils and partners.

3.       As agreed in the National Improvement and Efficiency Strategy (NIES),
         Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships (RIEPs) submitted draft
         annual reports to lead members and the Minister, John Healey MP, in mid
         March. These reports are important in ensuring RIEPs remain accountable and
         responsive to member authorities and also form the basis for the release of year
         two funding, which has now been confirmed by the department.

Update on key achievements from the RIEP Programme, 2008-9

4.       This report provides members with an overview of progress in key areas,
         identified in these annual reports. Collective messages, case studies and
         achievements have also been brought together in a ‘key messages’ document
         published on the IDeA website and available at www.idea.gov.uk/rieps.

5.       Key messages arising from the annual reports are as follows:
         • RIEPs are member led and owned by the sector.
         • RIEPs reported over £100m of efficiency gains in their first year, on an initial
           funding investment of just under £50m.
         • RIEPs communicate with all English authorities and have engaged with over
           95% of local authorities in their first year.
         • RIEPs are supporting councils to respond to the economic downturn.
         • RIEPs have supported a total of 36 councils on particular performance issues
           over the past year, including safeguarding children, adult social care,
           equalities, use of resources and local government reorganisation.
         • RIEPs have facilitated innovative approaches so authorities can take forward
           collaborative projects they may not otherwise have done.

Building on year one progress

6.       The RIEPs annual reports for 2008/9 reveal a focus on the following areas for
         years two and three:
         • Accelerating efficiency gains.



      
 
         • Support for councils in the downturn.
         • Support for safeguarding.
                                                 234
         • Embedding CAA including support for partnerships, collaborative working,
           LAA’s and LSP’s.
         • Building on a strong start to ensure sector ownership.
         • Delivery of regional priorities as per Regional Improvement and Efficiency
           Strategies.

7.       Members at the recent RIEP member forum also acknowledged the importance
         of good communication. This is equally important with a range of key players at
         both national and local level and across RIEPs to encourage collaboration and
         sharing of good practice and expertise.

Developing a complementary sector led approach to improvement

8.    The NIES acknowledged that the improvement architecture needed to be
simplified to ensure authorities could access appropriate support quickly and easily.
The LGA Improvement Board has taken a lead role with RIEP lead members in
working to join up the sectors improvement architecture and communicating the
support offer more effectively to councils. This is being progressed through a number
of projects including:

Sector Led Help framework: this sets out clear roles for councils, RIEPs, IDeA and
LGA and is currently with the sector for consultation and development.

Member leadership of improvement: The Improvement Board has taken a lead
role in lobbying for increasing devolution of improvement support to the sector at
national level. At a regional and sub regional level RIEPs are made up of and led by
members. The RIEP member forum brings together the LGA Group (through lead
improvement board members) and RIEP lead members and is a key mechanism of
sharing good practice and discussing common issues across the nine regions and
with the LGA Group.

Complementary programmes of support: RIEPs and the LGA Group are working
together across a range of issues to ensure support is complementary and
approaches are shared effectively. This cross sector approach has been influential
in establishing a common understanding of the improvement needs in key services
and allowing the RIEPs and LGA Group to develop complementary approaches.




      
 
Financial Implications
9.
                                                   234
         There are no additional financial implications arising from this report


Implications for Wales
10. There are no implications for Wales

Contact Officer: Stephen Jones, Director of Finance and Performance
Phone No: 0207 664 3171
Email:  Stephen.Jones@lga.gov.uk




      
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                              234                         Item 5

 




Post Budget Briefing
Summary
The Chancellor set out his second budget on 22nd April against a backdrop of
weakening public finances. UK borrowing is higher that predicted in the pre-budget
report in November 2008.

The Chancellor announced he intends to keep to the third year (2010-11) of the
three-year local government settlement. The LGA welcomed this commitment - which
helps councils manage in the medium term. The target on efficiency savings has
been increased and the publication of the Treasury’s Operational Efficiency Review
has set out government thinking on how greater efficiency might be achieved in the
medium term.

From 2011-12 onwards public spending as a percentage of national income will fall,
and local authorities will inevitably be affected by this.



Recommendations

     To consider this report.




Action

     None at this point.




Contact Officer: Mark Luntley/Stephen Jones
Phone No: 0207 664 3336
Email: mark.luntley@lga.gov.uk
 
Background
                                                     234
The Chancellor set out his second budget on 22nd April against a backdrop of
weakening public finances. UK borrowing is higher that predicted in the pre-budget
report in November 2008. The day before the budget, the Treasury published the
conclusions of its Operational Efficiency Programme.

Budget headlines

The budget announced:

         •   New funding for councils and partners to create up to 150,000 new jobs and
             50,000 traineeships for young people in the care sector

         •   £100m available to support building of new more energy efficient council
             housing

         •   £125m for cavity wall insulation and combined heat and power in existing
             council housing

         •   Two pilot city regions (in Manchester and Leeds)

         •   An £8/tonne rise in landfill taxes over each of the next three years

         •   £251m extra spending on 16-18 in 2009-10 and £404m in 2010-11, along with
             an additional £300m capital investment in further education colleges.

Three year settlement

The Chancellor announced he intends to keep to the third year (2010-11) of the
current three-year local government settlement. The LGA welcomed this commitment
- which helps councils manage in the medium term.

The budget increased the local government efficiency target from 3% to 4%, but
crucially the additional £600m of savings required to meet the new target will be
retained by councils to spend on services.

In doing this it appears the Treasury took account of the progress made by local
government in delivering efficiency savings - and the pressures on local government
budgets and income because of the economic slowdown.

The longer-term

From 2011-12 onwards public spending as a percentage of national income will fall,
councils will inevitably be seriously affected by this - as the public sector sees a
squeeze on budgets running over several years.




      
 
                                                     234
The LGA and local government as a whole will need to make a robust case for
investment in local government services, and councils will need to plan for the next
decade with a very different financial environment.

Over the last decade council capital investments have been partly delivered on the
back of a buoyant property market, and access to private credit: the timing of
recovery in both of these areas is uncertain.

Operational efficiency

The Treasury Operational Efficiency report (published the day before the budget)
proposes greater use of benchmarks, better incentives for organisations and
accountability for performance management. The Bichard report (part of the wider
review) proposes:

         •   Extension of the “counting Cumbria” work – through the ‘Total Place’
             programme in which the LGA Group will be participating

         •   Further reform of national indicators

         •   Frontline led service reviews leading to reduction in burdens.

         •   Regional Improvement Efficiency Partnerships driving improvements.

The budget announced public sector efficiency targets, these rise to £9bn per year by
2013-14. The local government share of these is not yet known.

Implications for Wales

Budget allocations to Wales are dealt with through the Barnett formula.




Contact Officer: Mark Luntley/Stephen Jones
Phone No: 0207 664 3336
Email: mark.luntley@lga.gov.uk




      
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                             234                         Item 6

 




Council Action on the Recession
Summary
This paper updates members on developments in the LGA Group’s work on the
economic downturn since LGA Executive last considered our recession work at its
April meeting. LGA Executive has asked for regular updates on this theme.




Recommendations

That LGA Executive is asked to consider this update paper.


Action

Members and officers to take forward the actions summarised in this update.




Contact Officer: Paul Raynes
Phone No: 0207 664 3037
Email: paul.raynes@lga.gov.uk
 
                                                     234
LGA recession proposals

1.    The LGA recession proposals discussed at the meeting of the Central-local
partnership (CLP) on 24 February have been worked up in greater detail by LGA
officers and CLG officials and were presented back to the members of the CLP
before Easter. A formal response is expected from Communities Secretary Hazel
Blears shortly and will be circulated if it arrives in time for the meeting. However, the
announcement of the Future Jobs Fund in the Budget represents a direct response to
proposals discussed at CLP.

Future jobs fund
2.    In the Budget the Chancellor announced a £1 billion fund to create 100,000 jobs
for young people unemployed for 12 months and 50,000 jobs in deprived areas. A
launch event was held in Bevin Hall on 7 May, which was addressed by Hazel
Blears, James Purnell and David Sparks, and attended by 140 people with another
90 participating online.
3.    A key issue raised by the local authority representatives at the launch event
was the proposal that all referrals to the fund should come through JobCentre Plus
(JCP). Subsequent discussions have confirmed that this does not exclude other
routes, but by definition all people unemployed for more than 12 months will be on
JCP’s books. So local bidders will be able to find recruits through other means as
long as they meet this criterion and bidders will be free to turn down JCP referrals
that are not suitable. LGA officers will continue to be closely involved in discussions
about the detailed implementation of the fund but the current direction of travel, which
emphasises the key role of councils in coordinating bids to the fund and the
importance of partnership working at a local level, is very much in line with the model
proposed to the CLP.
NEETs project
4.    A small project team drawn from across the LGA Group has been established to
examine how councils can support young people who are unemployed or not in
education or training (NEETs), a group is likely to be disproportionately affected by
the recession. The aim is to pursue this as a distinct campaigning issue with the aim
for a June launch. There are three proposed strands to this work:

•        policy analysis, looking in particular at funding and institutional aspects and
         examining how the role of councils can be strengthened;

•        stakeholder engagement – working with partners such as Groundwork,
         Rathbone, Centre for Social Justice and the National Youth Agency.

•        media and public affairs work – particularly focused on press activity, visits and
         speeches by the chairman and influencing parliamentarians and party policy.



      
 
Free regional recession conferences
                                                     234
5.     The LGA Group is organising series of free regional conferences to allow
councils to share their experience of tackling the recession. Three one-day regional
conferences, entitled ‘from recession to recovery – the council role’, will be held
jointly with regional LGAs. The events take place:

         •    on 10 July in Exeter for councils in the South West;
         •    on 13 July in Bradford for authorities in the North East, North West and
              Yorkshire and Humber.
         •    on 25 September in Birmingham for East and West Midlands authorities.

The programmes are still being finalised but further details are available on the LGA
website: www.lga.gov.uk/events

IDeA work

In April the IDeA launched a good practice guide to help councils recession-proof
their website in order to communicate more effectively with residents and businesses.
In March, 25 lead members attended a 2 day Leadership Academy module in
Warwick to help them develop planning, housing and economic strategies in a
recession.

Financial Implications
6.   The work programme can be accommodated within LGA programme budgets
and within IDeA funding.

Implications for Wales
7.           We will liaise with WLGA to identify potential common threads.




Contact Officer: Paul Raynes
Phone No: 0207 664 3037
Email: paul.raynes@lga.gov.uk




      
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                               234                         Item 7

 




Application to form a Special Interest Group for District
Councils.
Summary

The District Leaders Sounding Board was established in October 2007 and has been
supported by the LGA since that date. The Sounding Board has been considering
the establishment of a formal Special Interest Group for District Councils for some
time. A proposal to form a SIG was supported in principle at the District Sounding
Board on 27 March 2009. A consultation with all 200 District Leaders is underway
and, as at 8 May, support from 38 Councils had been confirmed.

In the meantime, the Board has submitted the attached paper (Appendix B), seeking
the LGA Executive’s approval to establish a District Councils Special Interest Group.



Recommendations

The Executive is asked to approve the application from the District Leaders’
Sounding Board to form a District Councils Special Interest Group.


Action

Officer to take forward in accordance with the Executive’s decision.




Contact Officer: John Ransford
Phone No: 020 7664 3236
Email: john.ransford@lga.gov.uk
 
                                                234
Application to form a Special Interest Group for District
Councils.
Background

1.    The LGA constitution provides for member authorities with common
characteristics to be able to form groupings of authorities to express a sectional
interest. The LGA will, if requested, provide limited administrative support for such
groups, which they could supplement from resources from their own constituent
authorities.

2.    It is open to ten or more potential members of a SIG, being full member
authorities of the LGA, with common features, interests or concerns to ask the LGA
to establish a SIG for them. SIGs will be able to make representations direct to
Government and elsewhere on matters arising directly from their special interest, and
to obtain LGA assistance in doing so. The LGA will expect that such representations
will not conflict with or undermine LGA policy as a whole or damage the interests of
other member authorities.

3. The attached proposal is to establish a Special Interest for District Councils and
has been submitted to the LGA by Councillor Alan Sherwell, Chair of the District
Sounding Board and Alan Goodrum, Chair of the District Council Chief Executive’s
Network (see letter attached at Appendix A). The proposal was supported in
principle at the District Sounding Board on 27 March 2009. A consultation with all 200
District Leaders is currently underway and, as at 8 May, support from 38 Councils
had been confirmed.
      
4.     The principal purposes of the proposed SIG are to:

         •   provide a forum in which District Councils can exchange views on issues
             of common interest and examples of best practice;

         •   raise awareness of the contribution District Councils can make to
             community wellbeing;

         •   provide greater capacity for District Councils to contribute to and
             influence the national agenda.
 
5.    Following consideration by the LGA Executive and provided sufficient support
is demonstrated by District Leaders, it is proposed to launch the SIG at the LGA
Conference in Harrogate at a scheduled session at 1.00pm on Thursday 2 July.
 
 
 



      
 
 
Financial/Resources Implications
                                                 234
6. The LGA will provide a limited service to the SIG, in terms of member services
support, and will also bear the opportunity cost of providing the SIG with free meeting
space up to three times a year in Local Government House.
 
Implications for Wales

7.       There are no specific implications for Welsh member authorities.



Contact Officer: John Ransford
Phone No: 020 7664 3236
Email: john.ransford@lga.gov.uk




      
               DISTRICT SOUNDING BOARD
The voice for District Councils within the Local Government Association
to properly reflect the views and interests of Districts

Chair:            Cllr Alan Sherwell, Aylesbury Vale District Council
Vice Chairs:      Cllr Gordon Keymer CBE, Tandridge District Council
                  Cllr Keith Mann, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
                  Cllr Sharon Taylor, Stevenage Borough Council



8 May 2009                                                                   Council Offices
                                                                               The Gateway
                                                                                 Aylesbury
Mr John Ransford                                                           Bucks HP19 8FF
Chief Executive                                                          Tel: 01296 420672
Local Government Association                        e-mail:asherwell@aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk
Local Government House
Smith Square
London SW1P 3HZ


Dear John

As you know, the District Leaders' Sounding Board has been considering the establishment of
a formal Special Interest Group for Districts. Whilst we are still taking soundings to enable
us to ensure that we have sufficient support for such a proposal for it to be viable both at
launch and in the long term, we have drawn up a paper, which is attached, for submission to
the LGA Executive in order that we might obtain approval for the SIG.

We want to launch the project at Conference and, in order to do so, we need the LGA's
agreement in principle. However, we will not be in a position to decide formally to do that in
advance of our Conference meeting - not least because we need to analyse the responses from
Districts, which are still coming in to us. We can, however, assure you that we have jumped
the constitutional hurdle in that we have more than the necessary 10 Councils committed to
membership.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Yours sincerely




Alan Sherwell
Chair, District Sounding Board




Alan Goodrum
Chair, District Council Chief Executives' Network
PROPOSED SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP FOR DISTRICTS

Purpose

The Special Interest Group (SIG) will be a voice for District Councils within the
LGA.

   (1) Providing a forum in which District Councils can exchange views on issues of
       common interest and examples of best practice.
   (2) Raise awareness of the contribution District Councils can make to community
       well-being.
   (3) Provide greater capacity for District Councils to contribute to and influence
       the national agenda.

Background

The District Sounding Board has been going for some three years now and is reaching
the limit of what it can do in its current format. As a voluntary and subscription free
organisation not formally part of the LGA political structure, the DSB has relied
heavily on Chief Executives’ and Treasurers’ organisations to give voluntarily of their
time and on the officers of the LGA to provide a level of support that is beyond what
could reasonably be expected.

This situation is not sustainable. The DLSB is trying hard to be an effective voice of
Districts in debate within the LGA and with Government and is trying to provide
support on issues District Leaders consider critical but it is difficult to see how this
can be done effectively with our current resource base. The County Council’s
Network provides a model of what can be achieved and useful work has been done at
the CCN/DSB Joint Two Tier Task Group.

It is intended that the SIG should incorporate the all-District-Leaders’ Briefings
currently organised by the LGA. These would form the basis of the assembly of the
new body and create a much more streamlined and effective structure.

Membership

Membership will be open to all District Councils who are members of the LGA.

The proposal has been supported in principle at the District Sounding Board on 27
March 2009, which is representative of the political and regional make-up of the
LGA, and the all District Council Leaders’ Briefing on 3 April 2009.

A consultation with all 200 District Leaders is currently underway and, as at 8 May,
support from a further 38 Councils had been confirmed, with a median subscription
level of £950. Replies are still coming in as Leaders go through the differing
processes that they see necessary to gain approval and a reminder letter will be sent
out in due course,
Method of Operation

Detailed work is being undertaken on a draft constitution, which will comply with the
conditions required of SIGs by the LGA. It will cover the above points, which are
being worked up in detail. Likely principles include:-

              (i)     Each council could have one vote on the Assembly, held by the
                      Leader of the Council (or their nominated substitute).

              (ii)    Up to four Group Leaders from each Council could attend
                      Assembly meetings (essentially as for the District Leaders
                      briefing).

              (iii)   The board of similar size to the current DSB (selected
                      according to the LGA’s proportionality rules and with an
                      appropriate spread of regional representation) would form an
                      Executive.

              (iv)    The officers could be elected by the Assembly, and each of the
                      4 major groups (Con/Lab/LD/Ind) would have an officer
                      position.

The Districts’ SIG will develop relationships with other SIGs, including CCN and
SPARSE (rural issues).

Timetable

Following consideration by the LGA Executive on 21 May and provided sufficient
support is demonstrated by District Leaders, it is proposed to set up the Special
Interest Group at the LGA Conference in Harrogate at the scheduled session on
Thursday 2 July (1.00pm, Main Auditorium).
    LGA Executive                                                                           Item 8
    21 May 2009
 




Special Interest Groups - Annual Reports
Summary


A benefit of Special Interest Group status is that it presents an opportunity for SIGs to
report formally on their activities to the LGA Executive. With regard to the 2009 SIG
Annual Reports the Executive is asked whether it wishes to invite representatives
from one or more Special Interest Groups to present Annual Reports/s to an
Executive meeting. The Executive is also asked whether it has any future
requirements from Special Interest Groups. A copy of the LGA’s Statement for
Special Interest Groups is attached at Appendix A, for information.



Recommendations
The Executive is asked to:

        •   consider this report and indicate whether it has any future requirements in
            respect of Special Interest Groups (SIGs).

        •   consider whether it wishes to invite the Chairman of one or more SIGs to a
            forthcoming Executive meeting, to discuss their Annual Report/s or any
            issues arising from them.

Action Required
Officers to take forward in accordance with the Executive’s wishes.




 
 
 
 
Contact Officer: Cathy Boyle tel: 020 7664 3205; email: cathy.boyle@lga.gov.uk
 
    LGA Executive                                                                        Item 8
    21 May 2009
 




Special Interest Groups - Annual Reports
Background
 
1.    The LGA Constitution provides for member authorities with common
characteristics to be able to form groupings of authorities to express a sectional
interest. A list of the current groupings, which were approved by the LGA Executive
and established as Special Interest Groups since the LGA was formed in April 1997,
is attached at Appendix B.

2.    . All Special Interest Groups are required to submit a full report at the end of
April each year to the LGA Executive. The LGA requires that SIG Annual Reports
should feature the key aims and objectives of the group, its current membership and
lead authority and a description of key activities and outcomes of any work
undertaken during the past year. Copies of the SIG reports, which have been
received to date, will be available at the meeting. At the time of writing, annual
reports have not been received from three SIGs. Efforts are being made to ensure
that reports are submitted by the following SIGS without further delay:

        Shire Public Transport
        SPARSE Rural
        World Heritage Sites

Implications for Wales
3.      There are no implications for Welsh Authorities in this report.

Financial/Resource Implications
4. Special Interest Groups are encouraged to raise their own resources from their
membership and administer these resources themselves. However, the LGA does
offer limited administrative support and the use of meeting rooms, free of charge, up
to a maximum of 3 meetings per year. All other services eg. printing, mailing and
catering are provided at normal LGA rates. The LGA does not pay any allowances
or travel and subsistence costs to members attending SIG meetings.

Contact Officer: Cathy Boyle tel: 020 7664 3205; email: cathy.boyle@lga.gov.uk
             Statement on Special Interest Groups
 
 
Introduction 
 
1.    The LGA constitution provides for member authorities with common 
      characteristics to be able to form groupings of authorities to express a sectional 
      interest.  It was envisaged that the LGA would provide some secretarial support 
      for such groups, which they could supplement from resources from their own 
      number. 
 
2.    The LGA’s review of member structures confirmed the principle of Special 
      Interest Groups, but asked for a review of the LGA resources which were used to 
      support them.  This paper sets out the basis on which the LGA will enable SIGs 
      to exist within it. 
 
Establishing a SIG
 
3.    It will be open to any ten or more potential members of a SIG, being full 
      member authorities of the LGA, with common features, interests or concerns to 
      ask the LGA to establish a SIG for them.  Under exceptional circumstances the 
      LGA Executive may agree to the establishment of SIGs for smaller groups of 
      authorities.  Grouping of classes of authority (unitary authorities, county councils 
      and district councils) will be regarded as SIGs and covered by the provisions of 
      this paper. 
 
4.    Prospective SIGs will need to define the nature of their common interest, and to 
      undertake that all authorities which can identify with that interest will be 
      admitted to membership.  In case of dispute as to whether an authority is 
      eligible for membership of a particular SIG, the LGA Executive will decide. 
 
5.    LGA approval to the establishment of a SIG will be given by the LGA Executive 
      following consideration of a written proposal. 
 
Rules of Operation of SIGs
 
6.    The LGA will provide: 
 
       secretarial support to Special Interest Groups (if requested) for up to a 
        maximum of 3 meetings per year in London; 
 
       accommodation in Local Government House, free of charge, for three 
        meetings per year, subject to availability of rooms; 
       
       use of meeting rooms in Local Government House at 50% of the full cost if 
        more than three meetings are required; 
       
       commissioned third-party Web design and consultancy from the LGA at a 
        special rate; 
       
       printing, mailing, catering and other services at normal LGA rates. 
 
 
7.     SIGs will be encouraged to raise whatever resources they wish from their 
       members, and will administer such resources themselves. 
 
8.     SIGs will be able to make representations direct to Government and elsewhere 
       on matters arising directly from their special interest, and to obtain LGA 
       assistance in doing so.  The LGA will expect that such representations will not 
       conflict with or undermine LGA policy as a whole or damage the interests of 
       other member authorities.  The LGA has agreed protocols relating to local 
       government finance and other distributional issues. 
 
9.     All SIGs will be required to submit a full report at the end of April each year to 
       the LGA Executive covering such matters as their dealings with Government 
       Departments.  The Executive will be able to invite the Chairman of a SIG to 
       discuss an Annual Report or issues arising from it.  They will also be required to 
       report to other Executives as appropriate.  SIGs will also have to adopt rules of 
       procedure dealing with, for example, terms of reference, office holders, 
       frequency of meetings etc which will require formal LGA approval. 
 
Other issues
 
10.    The LGA will review support for SIGs annually. 
 
11.    The LGA will not pay attendance allowances, SRAs, subsistence or other 
       payments to members attending SIGs, which will remain the responsibility of 
       member authorities. 
 
 
 
 
 
October 1999 
 
 
 
LGA Executive
21 May 2009                                                                            Item 8 Appendix B

Special Interest Groups (at 13.5.09)


 
                                                                             Group
Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH)
Coastal Issues Special Interest Group
Councils with ALMOs Group (CWAG)
County Councils Network (CCN)
Fourth Option (FOSIG)
F40 Group of Education Authorities
High Ethnicitiy Authorities’ Special Interest Group (HEASIG)
National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA) Special Interest Group
Integrated Transport Authority Special Interest Group [formerly PTA SIG)
Radioactive Waste Management and Nuclear Decommissioning SIG
Shire Public Transport Special Interest Group
SPARSE Rural
Special Interest Group of Metropolitan Authorities (outside London) (SIGOMA)
Strategic Aviation Special Interest Group
World Heritage Sites Special Interest Group
 
 




c:\documents and settings\chrisb\desktop\lgaexec\item 8 sigs - apx b.doc 15/05/2009 
 
LGA Executive                                                              Item 9
21 May 2009


Chief Executive's Monthly Report - May 2009
 
Summary
1.   This month’s report highlights the LGA Group’s main achievements on behalf of
     local authorities during April. This report follows a new format which aims to
     report directly against the priorities of the LGA Group as outlined in the LGA
     Group Business Plan.

2.   Following the Executive meeting, the report is circulated to Group members by
     each of the Political Group Heads and also forms the basis of the Chairman’s
     and Chief Executive’s weekly updates and a monthly column in first.


Getting closer to councils and councillors
3.   LGA susbscription packs, with personalised covering letters have now been
     sent to the leader, group leaders and chief executives of every member council.
     Account Managers are now contacting their designated authorities formally to
     introduce themselves and to determine an appropriate way of providing support.

4.   Following the successful March workshop with regional representatives on
     working with the regions, a steering group has been established, made up
     of officer and member representatives from a number of regions, to take
     forward the ideas and actions generated and to organise the regional breakfast
     meeting at Annual Conference on 2 July. Amongst other things, the Group will
     consider what mechanisms we need to ensure that the chairs of the new
     Leaders Boards are effectively integrated into the work of the LGA post sub-
     national review. In response to a recommendation arising from the workshop,
     LGA Office Holders have identified a member lead for each region, who along
     with the lead Account Manager and IDeA Regional Associate, will liaise with
     regional colleagues and attend meetings and events where appropriate.

5.   As part of our series of actions to get closer to councillors, module 2 of the
     IDeA's Leadership Academy programme now includes time for an LGA
     representative to join delegates for an informal discussion on the role of the
     LGA and the benefits of membership to member councils. John Ransford
     attended the first of these earlier this year and four further sessions are
     scheduled for the Autumn.

6.   Arrangements for the 2009 LGA Annual Conference in Harrogate are well
     advanced with an extensive programme of plenary, workshop and fringe
      sessions and over 950 delegates registered to attend. An up to date programme
      and details of the sessions and the speakers can be found at
      http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/events/display-event.do?id=731806. As in previous
      years, the conference will end with the Council Worker of the Year Awards and
      gala dinner, organised by our partners at the Local Government Channel.
      Voting opened on 5 May and members can register their votes via the LGA
      website at http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=1879191

7.    Over the past month, Chairman Cllr Margaret Eaton's programme of visits to
      member councils has included visits to Stevenage and Hull on 2 April and 23
      April respectively. Cllr Eaton is due to visit Derby during May.

Campaigns
8.    The campaigns have been planning their activity for the next three months. A
      new series of campaign development sessions are planned, along with new
      posters. The Putting People First logo and images have been archived along
      with the previous six campaigns in order to allow new campaigns to develop
      their own brand identity.

      Protect and Respect
9.    Following campaigning by the Protect and Respect Campaign team,
      government announced an additional £58 million for training and support to help
      social workers return to work. The announcement was made as part of the
      government’s response to Lord Laming’s progress report on the protection of
      children in England. We will now work closely with the Children’s Workforce
      Development Council (CWDC) and the General Social Care Council (GSCC) to
      drive forward the campaign which aims for 500 social workers to be back in the
      workplace by this autumn.

10. We also released the results of a survey which gained national coverage
    showing that it has got more difficult to recruit and retain social workers in the
    wake of the Baby P case. While the additional funding is welcome, we will
    continue to press for long-term investment to raise the status and recruitment of
    social workers.

      Places you want to live
11.   The housing campaign won a small victory in the latest Budget, which
      committed £100 million for councils to build housing. While the level of
      investment is sufficient to build only about 1000 homes, it does represent an
      important shift in attitude. The LGA is now working with Homes and
      Communities Agency (HCA) to make sure that the terms of that investment
      actually facilitate swift council delivery of new homes. In terms of the housing
      finance reform workstream, Cllr Margaret Eaton will be launching the LGA's
      reform proposal at the Chartered Institute of Housing Annual Conference on 16
      June. From the 15 May members are invited to sign up to show their support for
      the campaign and receive regular updates, including a new leaflet that
      shows what councils could do for local residents if they were allowed to retain
      all rents. Further details can be found on the LGA website.

    Accountability campaign
12. The Accountability campaign team, which includes representation from all the
    political groups, has agreed a campaign plan incorporating seven individual
 
      pieces of work. The first of these are three short reports aimed at getting media
      coverage - "Quango Report Card", "Who's Watching the Watchdogs" and
      "Health Accountability" - due to be released in June and used at the annual
      conference. These documents will be discussed with senior LGA staff and
      councillors over the coming weeks.

Policy and improvement achievements
The economy
13.   The IDeA has launched its recession website at www.idea.gov.uk/recession.
      This brings together information on the support available from the LGA Group
      to councils including events, our policy and lobbying work, research
      commissioned by us, and a number of new “how to” guides and checklists to
      help councils with responding to the economic downturn.

14.    The LGA’s consistent lobbying at the Central Local Partnership (CLP) paid off
       recently, with a £1bn Future Jobs Fund announced in the Budget. The LGA
       argued that councils are best placed to move quickly to tackle unemployment,
       and this has been recognised in giving councils a central role in co-
       coordinating bids and delivering the programme. The Fund will provide
       100,000 jobs for young people at risk of being unemployed for more than 12
       months and another 50,000 jobs for the long term unemployed in deprived
       areas. LGA officers are now involved in developing bidding criteria for the
       fund. A launch in Bevin Hall on 7 May included addresses by Hazel Blears,
       James Purnell and Cllr David Sparks, and was attended by 140 people with
       another 90 participating online.

15.    The LGA is organising three one-day conferences to allow councils to share
       their experience of tackling the recession. A further event will be held in
       London before the end of the year. The events, entitled ‘from recession to
       recovery – the council role’ will emphasise the key role that councils play in the
       frontline of the public sector response to the recession, and will allow them to
       plan future action. These will be held jointly with regional LGAs on:
      • on 10 July in Exeter for councils in the South West;
      • on 13 July in Bradford for authorities in the North East, North West and
         Yorkshire and Humber.
      • on 25 September in Birmingham for East and West Midlands authorities.
 
16. In our European work, the LGA met with the European Investment Bank (EIB) in
    Luxembourg and is promoting new loan fund opportunities for regeneration
    to local authorities.

17. Since over 50% of regulation affecting councils is developed in Brussels, the
    LGA has been working with the Council of European Municipalities & Regions
    (the European LGA) to develop a charter advocating a lighter touch from
    Brussels in regulating services provided by local councils. Launched at the
    CEMR's General Assembly it will be used to lobby incoming MEPs and the new
    European Commission to ensure councils are not put under undue burdens as
    a result of EU regulation.




 
Culture, tourism & sport
18. In April, the IDeA held four events across England in partnership with the
     Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships, to promote awareness of
     the guidance on improving strategic commissioning in the culture and
     sport sector, which has recently been published on the IDeA website. Councils
     are being invited to give their feedback on the guidance to inform the
     development of a commissioning framework for culture and sport.

19. The LGA is lobbying government to give councils access to key business
    partners represented on the new DCMS Tourism Advisory Council. In a letter
    to Tourism minister Barbara Follett the LGA has made clear that councils see
    tourism, which is the fifth largest industry in the UK, as central to supporting
    employment, investment and skills development in the present economic
    downturn. Local authorities also invest £120m per year in tourism infrastructure
    and support, and are therefore the largest public funder of the tourism in
    England. Councils also spend a significant amount on culture and heritage -
    £1.8bn in 2005-2006 - and support major cultural, business and sporting events,
    all of which are important attractions for tourists. This makes councils central to
    any joined-up conversation with industry.

20. The LGA represented its members at a media summit organized by Andy
    Burnham and attended by Ed Vaizey and Don Foster on 27 April, and strongly
    refuted claims that council magazines were contributing to the problems faced
    by the local newspaper industry. Evidence collected by the LGA Group showed
    clearly that:

    •   council magazines do not pose a threat to local newspapers; with 79% of
        authorities producing up to only six editions a year;
    •   the local newspaper industry is suffering primarily because of its exposure to
        falls in the market for advertising; and that 60% of council magazines consist
        of 10% or less advertising space; and,
    •   that councils work closely with their local paper and want more scrutiny of the
        democratic process.

21. The LGA successfully lobbied for local authorities to be included in a London
    2012 proposal to maximise the tourism benefits from the 2012 Games. Visit
    Britain estimates that the Games could generate £2.2 billion for the UK. London
    2012 is proposing creating a web-based hub to bring together all 2012-related
    tourism opportunities and a virtual “business club” for accredited organizations
    to access a range of exclusive business support services and benefits linked
    specifically to the 2012 Games. After LGA lobbying London 2012 agreed that
    councils who met the accreditation criteria should be eligible to apply to join the
    club.

Housing
22. Last year, the LGA successfully lobbied for cross-domain regulation of all
    social housing landlords. The consultation on the draft order that will bring
    councils under the regulation of the new Tenant Services Authority is due to
    start in June. The LGA is currently working closely with CLG and the TSA to
    ensure that the concerns of the sector are reflected in the proposed regulatory
    framework, including regulating councils as part of the Local Performance
    Framework, making robust provision for peer support and self-improvement and
    supporting councils strategic housing role.

 
23. The Planning Advisory Service (PAS) has launched a pilot project to support
    councils in using a planning tool, Local Development Orders, as a practical
    and viable approach to determining planning applications and achieving local
    development objectives. This project was championed by Hazel Blears at a
    seminar in Stockport earlier this month. PAS has also produced an online
    resource library of good practice to accompany the publication of the revised
    version of Planning Together, produced by CLG and partners including PAS.
    The document focuses on the strategic leadership role of councils, working
    through the local strategic partnership (LSP) and how the planning system can
    shape good places and help deliver quality services.

Safer communities
24. Since the World Health Organisation raised the pandemic alert to phase 5 and
     cases of swine flu arrived in the UK, LGA officers have been attending daily
     Cabinet Office meetings and our politicians have a seat at the high level
     strategic Ministerial Cabinet Office Briefing Room meetings. Building on what
     was learned from the salt crisis earlier this year, as part of emergency planning
     work there is now an incident response team in place to help councils deal with
     the impact of the outbreak.

25. We are currently in touch with over 300 councils and we are providing support
    and information widely to our membership and to councillors so that everyone
    has up to date information, and we can raise emerging issues at national level.
    The media team also gathered case studies from member authorities to show
    what contingency plans they have in place to cope.

26. Background briefing, Q+A and links to all relevant websites regarding public
    health and emergency planning is now available on the LGA website. LGA
    Account managers are in touch with councils in those areas where cases have
    been confirmed. The LGE is preparing a paper to set out the options for HR
    and other managers within councils to manage concerns from the workforce as
    councils are among the biggest employers in the country. The IDeA also has a
    case study on their website of an exercise to set up a flu contact centre last
    year in Swindon that includes problems and how they were tackled and lessons
    learned.

27. The IDeA has now been recognised as the official partner of the Chief Fire
    Officers Association, in delivering operational assessment peer challenges in
    individual fire and rescue authorities, following a successful pilot with the West
    Midlands FRS. Consultation on the first draft of the Equality Framework for Fire
    and Rescue Services is also now underway, following the launch of the new
    Equality Framework for Local Government last month.
 
28. Tackling Crime in a Recession was the subject of an LGA national conference
    held on 23 April as part of our work to help councils to tackle the impact of the
    economic downturn. The Chief Economist from the Home Office set out the
    latest thinking on the types of crime that are likely to increase in a recession
    and what can be done to tackle problems such as the activities of loan sharks
    and increase in arson

29. As a result of LGA’s Deputy Chairman Cllr Richard Kemp highlighting the need
    to involve councillors in increasing public confidence in community safety at the

 
     National Crime Reduction Board, we are to host a joint conference for
     councillors on the government’s Justice Seen, Justice Done campaign in July.
     The event will aim to help councillors act as advocates and leaders for their
     communities, provide briefings on recent initiatives like the policing pledge and
     the powers and tools available for tackling anti-social behaviour. Subject to
     agreement with the Home Office the conference should be a free event.
 

Environment
30. LGA successfully tabled amendments to the recast of the EU’s Energy
     Performance of Buildings Directive which were adopted by the European
     Parliament in April. The amendments relate to acknowledgment and
     strengthening of site-based approaches, and requirements for split enforcement
     mechanisms. We        still have major     concerns about   other     proposed
     amendments which strengthen parts of the Directive that we believe
     will prove challenging for councils to implement. For the Directive to be
     amended, both the European Parliament and national governments (through
     the Council of Ministers), will need to reach an agreement. LGA is in close
     contact with Communities and Local Government (CLG) to ensure that UK
     government and the Council of Ministers take on board local government’s
     concerns.

31. On the 5 May a joint LGA, DECC and CLG local authority summit was held on
    community energy and heating with over 100 delegates attending. We are
    continuing to promote Small Change, Big Difference climate change week
    which happens in July, including developing a leaflet for councillors.

32. A draft Flood and Water Management Bill was published on 21 April for
    consultation, with the expectation that a Bill will be introduced in the Queen’s
    speech this November. An initial LGA briefing is available on the LGA
    website. An Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) inquiry
    into the draft Bill is also taking place. The LGA will be making a submission to
    the EFRA inquiry by 8 May and we expect that a number of local authorities will
    be called upon to give verbal evidence to the Committee.

33. The LGA successfully lobbied for councils to have the power to extend
    existing planning permissions so that they can help keep development going
    during the recession. We are working with CLG to develop the necessary
    secondary legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the autumn.


Children & young people
34. At the LGA Chairman’s summit on 25 March there was overwhelming
     agreement that it was important for the sector to, so far as possible, speak with
     one voice on safeguarding and child protection issues. It was agreed that
     the LGA group would work with the Association of Directors of Children’s
     Services, SOLACE and London Councils to develop a joint sector submission to
     the Department for Children, Schools and Families setting out the views and
     priorities for the sector in taking Lord Laming’s latest recommendations forward
     effectively. The submission influenced the government’s action plan which was
     published on 6 May. The action plan includes steps to reform inspection of
     children’s social services but it is disappointing that the proposals did not go
     further in seeking to ensure genuine sector understanding and expertise in

 
     Ofsted inspections. We will press for Ofsted to focus the inspection process on
     strengthening services responsible for the safety of children, with attention on
     the improvement of practice in child protection.

35. Activity is in hand to ensure coordination across the LGA Group on the
    safeguarding improvement programme, with particular regard to member
    involvement. It is clear that the programme will need to report to the relevant
    member bodies for the Group and make linkages with C4EO and Government
    Offices. This will include attendance CYP Board attendance at relevant
    meetings of the RIEP member Forum in future.

36. IDeA have completed three pilot peer reviews for children’s safeguarding as
    the basis for a full programme of safeguarding peer reviews which will be
    carried out during 2009/10. Paul Curran, previously Director of Children’s
    Services at Islington, joins the IDeA in May to lead the IDeA’s Safeguarding
    programme.

37. The Budget Statement highlighted an additional investment of £251 million in
    2009-10 and £404 million in 2010-11 to create 54,500 student places in the next
    academic year. Total spend for 16-19 education in 2009-10 will be £6.8 billion.
    The LGA welcomed the additional resources for 6th forms and colleges, which
    should enable the shortfall of 50,000 places, announced by the Learning
    and Skills Council (LSC) on 27th March, to be reversed in full. We will
    continue to work with the Department of Children, Schools and Families and the
    LSC on the details.

38. An additional £300 million of capital funding has been allocated for
    investment in Further Education colleges in 2009/10 and 2010/11 to
    enable a limited number of further projects to be funded. Whilst we welcomed
    the additional resources this will not allow the full programme
    of college building to be reinstated on the scale originally envisaged by the
    LSC. LGA is now fully engaged in helping to prioritise these resources.

39. As part of the transfer of 16-19 funding and responsibilities to local
    government in 2010 (The React Programme) a number of ‘expert groups’ of
    local authority advisers have been established to cover the critical themes that
    must be resolved for transfer to be a success:
   • Staff Transfer
   • Performance Management
   • Finance (Capital)
   • Finance (Revenue)
   • Commissioning
   • SEN/LLDD
   • Youth Justice and OLASS
   • Data and IT

40. LGA was represented at the 8 April sub-regional groupings Stage 2 Panel,
    which agreed to offer support to a number of Sub-regional groupings (SRGs) in
    key areas. Government Offices have written to those SRGs and React will
    follow up to offer support and expertise, where appropriate

41. The Children in Trouble Project is nearing the end of the 2 year pilot period,
    with the final evaluation due for publication in the autumn. The three pilot areas
 
     have provided a great deal of helpful and interesting learning on youth justice
     issues that the LGA hopes to capture and share with the sector more widely
     over the course of 2009. Plans are in hand to retain the project group on an
     ongoing basis. At the same time, the Chairman of the Member Task Group, Cllr
     Les Lawrence, has visited South Tyneside (floating housing support worker)
     and North Wessex (Fushion Fostering and Custody Panels) to see first hand
     the good work. On 7 May, Cllr Lawrence met David Burrowes MP (Shadow
     Minister for Justice) to discuss the pilot projects, and a further meeting with
     Frances Done, Chair of the Youth Justice Board, has been set up to discuss
     accountability for young offenders.

42. As part of our European work, the LGA took part in a meeting of the British
    Council’s national steering group for the Comenius funding programme (a
    major EU Life funding programme for lifelong learning which is administered on
    a decentralised basis) to represent the views of local government in the current
    and future programmes.


Adult social care and wellbeing
43. 148 councils responded to the survey of progress with transforming social
    care. Widespread progress is being made to transform social care into a more
    personalised service, with councils seeing better outcomes for people stemming
    from better information and advice and preventive services. Almost 93,000
    people were reported to be receiving a personal budget at the end of March
    2009. Almost all councils have dedicated programme teams, funded by the
    government’s Reform Grant, leading wide-ranging change, but councils had
    tackled different aspects of the change reflecting different starting points.

44. The budget survey, with responses from 112 councils, showed that adult care
    budgets have been severely stretched by increasing numbers of care home
    placements for people with learning disabilities and people living longer both in
    care homes and in the community. 84 per cent of councils said they face
    additional costs in 2009-2010 as a result of demographic change which meant
    that each authority, on average, would be spending £1.715 million more.
    Despite this, the vast majority of councils spent either within, or only slightly
    over, their adult social services budgets while bringing increased efficiency to
    the way they manage their services. Across all authorities, it is estimated that
    £379.1m has been saved through increased efficiency, with by far the largest
    savings generated in the area of better purchasing/procurement (£172m).
    Councils spent nearly £2 million each on average in 2007/08 on adult social
    care available to people without their having to undergo a formal assessment.

45. On 5 May we published ‘Getting on well together – councils working with
    older people’. This describes how councils are taking a strategic approach to
    ensuring that their communities are places in which older people can live
    healthy, productive and independent lives. It also distils good practice on the
    later life agenda at a local level. The Government is currently reviewing
    ‘Opportunity Age – meeting the challenges of ageing in the 21st century’, and
    shortly will publish a new strategy. The LGA/IDeA publication has key
    messages for central government on the role of councils in supporting better
    lives for older people. Councils already have adequate tools, powers and duties
    to improve the health and wellbeing of older people and the LGA will work with
    them to address the new ageing strategy when it is published.

 
46. We have been lobbying for more generous treatment of individuals’ savings
    when being assessed for housing and council tax benefit. The 2009 Budget
    increased the amounts pensioners can have in savings and still be eligible to
    claim housing benefit from £6,000 to £10,000.


Leading local communities
47. A Cabinet Office review of 'leadership academies' across the public sector is
    currently underway to look for efficiencies through joint procurement, and for
    improved effectiveness through an enhanced focus on place leadership. The
    IDeA’s work is viewed positively as leading in this area. Related to this, the
    IDeA has reached initial agreement with the National Health Service Institute
    and the National Policing Improvement Agency to develop a cross sector top
    managers' programme. This has now been taken up by Public Services
    Leadership Alliance as its flagship initiative, with IDeA leading.

48. Councillors and experts from councils will play a more significant role in the new
    Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA), following the LGA’s concern that
    the new inspection system, which began this month, would not fully consult
    local councillors and failed to recognise the value that experts from other
    authorities could provide. The Audit Commission and its partner Inspectorates
    have agreed that inspectors will involve councillors and peers more fully when
    local authorities are assessed. The change will give inspectors a better
    understanding of what is happening in local areas and lead to more
    comprehensive assessments. It will allow inspectors to build up a long term
    relationship with leading councillors to understand the issues facing a local
    area. The Managing Director of the Audit Commission will attend the May
    Improvement Board to talk about practical issues that still have to be worked
    through.

49. We have been supporting councils using the Local Area Agreement (LAA)
    framework to deliver local priorities, through:
   • Advocating flexibility for councils through the LAA review and refresh process,
      in consultation with our LAA Advisory Network
   • Helping to build awareness of the role of councils and partnerships in tackling
      problems created by the recession
   • Reviewing the experience of LAAs so far with a seminar for partner
      organisations with a duty to co-operate with councils leading LAAs
   • Providing information for councils and partner organisations on the recently
      commenced powers for scrutiny of LAAs
   • Planning conference sessions on: scrutiny of LAAs, and developing purely
      local targets within LAAs


Local democracy
50. “Setting the Pace”, a consultation document on how local government itself
    can and should take responsibility for its own performance, will be
    launched shortly. It focuses in particular on how councils facing difficulty or
    requiring additional support should be able to turn to local government for that
    support. The proposals build on the LGA Group’s already extensive experience
    of helping councils facing difficulties with driving their own improvement. The
    consultation document describes the roles of key parts of the local government
 
     improvement architecture at the local, regional and national level, including
     councils themselves, the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships,
     and the LGA and the IDeA. The consultation is expected to be concluded over
     the summer, with view to implementing any arrangements in the second half of
     2009/10.

51. The third meeting of the Regional and Improvement and Efficiency
    Partnerships (RIEP) Member Forum took place on the 30th April, brining
    together lead REIP members, LGA Improvement Board lead members and
    senior members from the LGA. The forum provided a valuable opportunity to
    share best practice, focusing procurement and safeguarding initiatives. Support
    from the LGA/IDeA programme office and strong member leadership has
    helped RIEPs deliver a strong package of support to councils this year and has
    secured funding for year two.

52. CLG have confirmed funding of between £2m and £3.5m to each RIEP from the
    CLG efficiency and transformation capital fund to implement projects on
    'systems innovation', using technology to improve local government systems,
    including helping with the prevention agenda, and efficiency. £1.8m has also
    been agreed by the Department for Transport, with the IDeA providing support
    in a co-ordinating role. A formal announcement on year 2 funding for the RIEPs
    is expected shortly.

53. A report summarising the story from the annual reports of the 9 RIEPs has also
    now been completed on behalf of the RIEPs by the RIEP programme office,
    hosted by the IDeA. The RIEP programme office is also currently working with
    the 9 RIEPs to identify their support needs entering into year two of delivery.

54. The national Beacon Scheme is now in its tenth year, and a wide-ranging
    review of its future is underway. CLG commissioned the ‘What If!’
    consultancy to undertake the research, which is due to complete in mid-May. As
    part of the transition towards a new scheme, the round 10 theme managers for
    Homes for the Future, Better Outcomes for People and Place, Promoting
    independent living for older adults, Cutting Red Tape, and Tackling Child
    Poverty are being encouraged to pilot new ways of working with the LGA Group
    and government department policy leads.

55. The new chair for the scheme, Dame Denise Platt, has been approved by the
    Minister for Beacons, the Secretary of State and the LGA. An induction
    programme is being shaped by CLG and the IDeA, which will include senior
    LGA members.

56. The IDeA has launched the Member Development Charter Plus in conjunction
    with the regional employers, providing a further challenge to councils that have
    achieved the original Member Development Charter, particularly in the area of
    councillor support arrangements and promoting participation.

Funding and value for money
57. LGAR research showing the serious financial impact of the recession on
    local council finances helped influence Treasury thinking and mitigated the
    extent that Government sought further savings from local government. We
    lobbied strongly that Government should honour the third year of the three year
    financial settlement - and the budget accepted this point.
 
58. Having highlighted the impact of business rate increases on businesses we
    have worked with the CLG to develop how the rate deferral scheme could be
    introduced. We have also provided briefings in advance of the second reading
    of the Business Rates Supplement bill - currently in the House of Lords – and
    backed amendments that allow the 2p maximum for the supplement to be
    changed in future by secondary legislation.

59. The administrators’ reports issued on the two UK subsidiaries of Icelandic
    banks vindicated our position that, overall, councils would get back the lion’s
    share of their deposits. The LGA has continued to pursue vigorously councils’
    right to preferential creditor status in Iceland, and to maximise the value of the
    rights that might be obtained over the new Icelandic banks.

60. We worked closely with CIPFA and the Audit Commission to reach an agreed
    position on the accounting treatment of Icelandic bank deposits, allowing
    councils to close their 2008-9 accounts and start planning their 2010-11
    budgets.

61. The IDeA held the third annual Front Office Shared Services conference in
    May, supported by the Cabinet Office and the Institute of Customer Service.
    The conference, which was attended by over 200 people, launched a research
    report from the Local Delivery Council, complemented by ten detailed case
    studies.

62. The IDeA has been supporting Capital Ambition with its Efficiency Challenge
    programme. Following two successful pilot efficiency peer reviews, Capital
    Ambition has agreed that IDeA should be involved in rolling out the programme
    to all London councils.
 
63. The LGA convened a meeting on 7 May to lobby for improvements to the
    concessionary fares special grant. A delegation of councillors, MPs and
    officers met Local Transport Minister Paul Clark to present evidence on behalf
    of councils experiencing shortfalls in special grant funding for the national
    concessionary fares scheme, and to seek a commitment to resolve funding
    issues within the current funding period.
 
Workforce
64. On 6 April, the Employers presented their formal response to the union pay
    claim, offering a 0.5% pay rise for the next financial year. In the press release
    issued at the time, Sir Steve Bullock, Chair of the LGA's HR Panel, said:
65. "The key aspect of this offer is to make sure that any pay settlement is
    affordable to the taxpayer and councils while at the same time making sure that
    local government continues to be an attractive place to work. The tough
    economic times, the low inflation rate, the pressure on public sector spending
    and the increased demands on council services mean that the employers have
    to make some tough decisions on pay and spending.

66. "Councils, like everyone else, have tightened their belts to weather the
    recession and the extra money awarded by the arbitrators in last year’s pay
    settlement means that councils have had to tighten their belts even further. If
    the pay settlement is set too high then local authorities will have no choice but
    to lay off staff, which neither the unions nor the employers want to see…”
 
67. The Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) in association with
    LGE, WLGA, COSLA, HSE and relevant local government trade unions has
    launched a guide for elected members to help them understand their roles and
    responsibilities on health and safety. The guide compliments the directors’
    guidance issued just over a year ago by the Institute of Directors and the then
    Health and Safety Commission.

68. The LGA Group has had major concerns over the revision of the EU's Working
    Time Directive, which could have seen an end to the 48 hour opt out, and put
    undue pressure on the local authority workforce (notably the fire and rescue
    authorities and residential care home staff). The plans to revise the Directive
    have been shelved since the European Parliament and European Commission
    could not come to an agreement in the last round of EU discussions. During this
    crucial stage, LGA ensured that local government concerns were raised
    with MEPs.

69. Two LGA Group publications are now available on the IDeA website -
    “Workforce Strategy Update” and “Support for councils on internal workforce
    issues” along with a final report on the Integrated Workforce strategy project.

70. The LGA and LGE prepared a submission to the Public Administration Select
    Committee on Executive Pay in the Public Sector.

71. The IDeA’s People Management and OD team were presented with the national
    award for their “Outstanding Contribution to People Management within the
    public sector” at the annual PPMA conference at the end of April. This award
    is presented annually to a team, agency or organisation that has made a
    significant impact to the area of workforce improvement.


Media and public affairs
72. The LGA and IDeA media teams have now integrated – providing a single
    media relations function for the Group, based in Local Government House.
    At the beginning of April the team published two pieces of work which revealed
    the scale of the financial shortfall arising from the concessionary bus fare
    scheme, and also legal advice which concluded the government’s proposed
    approach to building eco towns could be subject to judicial review. Both
    received widespread print media coverage. National media coverage was also
    achieved through criticism of the European Union by the LGA for attempts to
    force thousands of extra bin collections on householders.

73. Communities Secretary Hazel Blears announced the government would be
    giving councils more powers to stop the recession turning clone towns into
    ghost towns, which followed LGA media work in February.

74. Legislative lobbying continues, with Peers briefed on the Local Democracy,
    Economic Development and Construction Bill's remaining stages in the
    House of Lords. Successes in the passage of this Bill so far include a joint duty
    on County and District authorities to produce an economic assessment and the
    removal of a number the Secretary of State's revising powers in the preparation
    of regional strategies.

 
75. LGA representatives met with the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee
    on their inquiry into the decline in local media and the Department for Culture,
    Media and Sport ahead of their one day summit.

76. On 30 April Public Affairs hosted a Public Affairs Network briefing for member
    councils to update them on legislative lobbying, our preparations for the General
    Election and our work on assisting councils to help their residents during the
    recession. 'On-the-day' briefings on the 2009 Budget the Government's
    Action Plan following the Laming Report and the Equality Bill were sent out
    to councils.

77. first covered the LGA group's launch of Tweety Hall, the latest development to
    help councillors to keep in touch with their constituents, and voters to keep track
    of what their elected representatives are doing online on various social media
    sites.
    The first team can now be followed on Twitter, where the latest news content is
    posted, as well as conversations and ideas for features and news stories. See
    www.twitter.com/firsteditor

78. first has begun a new regular slot providing the results of recent local by-
    elections, providing vote counts and any political swings, to give readers a
    snapshot of what is happening around the country.


Political Group updates
Conservative Group

79. On Thursday 2 April, Stewart Jackson MP (Shadow Fire Minister) met with
    Conservative lead members to discuss Fire Service issues.

80. On the 24 April, Cllr David Shakespeare spoke at the Conservative group
    meeting prior to the East Midland Regional Assembly. Cllr Shakespeare
    updated members on LGA corporate and group matters.

81. On the 30 April the Group office held a seminar for Conservative Children &
    Young People lead members and scrutiny members in the North West in
    partnership with the REACT team. In addition to a presentation on this subject
    there were discussions on the work of the LGA Children and Young People
    Board and recent developments in Conservative education policy. Feedback
    from this meeting was positive and the Conservative group hope to organise
    similar meetings across the country over the course of the year.

82. Members of the group office have attended the weekly shadow CLG and CYP
    team meetings.

Labour Group
83. The group held a leaders’ summit on 17 April, with thirty council leaders and
    mayors, plus a smattering of deputy leaders and opposition group leaders. This
    was the first in a series of meetings with Labour leaders and mayors with the
    aim of bringing the councils Labour control in greater contact with each other
    and with the Association itself. Following the summit, the group wrote to the

 
        Chancellor of the Exchequer calling on him to provide funding for local
        employment opportunities in the budget.

84. Our one-day spring conference the following day was attended by 130
    councillors. Highlights included:

    •    An address by Harriet Harman MP, setting out her thoughts on the local and
         European elections;
    •    Ministerial addresses from James Purnell MP and John Healey MP;
    •    Policy sessions on housing and tackling the recession;
    •    An introduction to ‘Next generation’ and ‘Be a councillor’ programmes;
    •    A pledge to work hard on behalf of Labour councillors to push for more council
         houses.

85. Cllr Sir Jeremy Beecham pledged the group to holding another conference next
    year.

86. In the week after the budget, Cllr Sir Jeremy Beecham and James Purnell MP
    wrote to all Labour councils urging them to take advantage of the newly-
    announced Future jobs fund.

Liberal Democrat Group
87. The Liberal Democrat group is concentrating on building the attendance and
     profile of the three major conferences: Liberal Democrat Local Government
     Conference (Sheffield), LGA Conference (Harrogate) and Liberal Democrat
     Autumn Conference (Bournemouth) - we are ensuring that the programme
     draws together our work with the parliamentary parties, on our Local Council,
     Local Parliament Campaign and also links with ALDC.

88. The group has been closely involved in the improvement agenda and working
    with the IDeA Peers structure and Regional Associates to try and increase
    capacity in these areas.

Independent Group
89. Cllr Keith Ross spoke at the LGA Safer Communities Board Conference on 23
     April. Cllr Linda Gillham attended the LGA seminar on helping councils to get
     the most out of research on 1 May. The group contributed to the Sustainable
     Communities Act Assessment Workshop on 7 April.

90. The Group are holding elections for the post of Chair, Deputy Chair and
    Treasurer at the end of June.




Contact Officer: John Ransford Tel: 0207 664 3213 john.ransford@lga.gov.uk

 
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                               234                    Item 10

 



Reports from Board Chairs and the Chair of the Human
Resources Panel
Summary

Attached are reports from the Chairs of the Children & Young People, Community
Wellbeing, Culture, Tourism and Sport, Environment, Improvement, Regeneration
and Transport and Safer Communities Boards and the Chair of the Human
Resources Panel on current issues in the remits of these Boards.


Recommendations

The Executive is asked to note the attached reports.

Action
Further report to the next meeting of the Executive.


Contact Officers: Programme Directors –

Helen Johnston, CYP Board                  020 7664 3172
email: helen.johnston@lga.gov.uk
Paul Raynes, CTS and R & T Boards          020 7664 3037
email: paul.raynes@lga.gov.uk
Martin Wheatley, Env Board                 020 7664 3286
email: martin.wheatley@lga.gov.uk
Anne McDonald, CWB Board                   020 7664 3129
email: anne.mcdonald@lga.gov.uk
Corin Thomson, Imp Board                   020 7664 3188
email: corin.thomson@lga.gov.u
Helen Murrary, SC Board                    020 7664 3266
email: helen.murray@lga.gov.uk
Helen Newman, HR Panel                     020 7187 7315
email: helen.newman@lge.gov.uk




      
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                              234                       Item 10a

 




Children and Young People Board - Report from Cllr Les
Lawrence (Chairman)
Safeguarding Children

The LGA group worked with the Association of Directors of Children’s Services,
SOLACE and London Councils to develop a joint sector submission to the DCSF
setting out the views and priorities for the sector in taking Lord Laming’s latest
recommendations forward effectively. The submission influenced the government’s
action plan which was published on 6 May.

Activity is in hand to ensure coordination across the LGA Group around the
safeguarding improvement programme, with particular regard being given to member
involvement. Further details are included in the Chief Executive’s report.

React

Key issues for Local Authorities in planning for transfer recently have been:
    • Submission of Stage 2 Sub Regional Group (SRG) proposals
    • LSC staff transfer issues
    • Understanding the nature of funding and associated finance, audit and
       systems issues post 2010 and beyond
Further information on the work of the React team is provided in the Chief
Executive’s report.

Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill

The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 4 February and completed
Committee Stage on 26 March. Report and Third Reading stages are set for 5 May.
The Bill will be introduced to the House of Lords, with Second Reading on 20 May.
Committee Stage is then likely to be after the Whitsun Recess. Cllr. Lawrence gave
evidence on behalf of LGA to the Bill Committee on 3 March.

The Bill makes significant provisions around pre- and post-19 education and training,
including dissolution of the Learning and Skills Council and conferring new duties on
local authorities. It makes provision regarding Children’s Trust Boards, children and
young people plans and schools causing concern. The Bill has altered little in
substance over its progress to date. LGA officers have had ongoing contact with the
Bill Team at DCSF and have provided a list of queries to specific clauses.
Children in Trouble Project

The Children in Trouble Project is nearing the end of the 2 year pilot period, with the
final evaluation underway. The three pilot areas have given a lot of energy and
dedication to their work, and have provided a great deal of tremendously helpful and
interesting learning on youth justice issues that the LGA hopes to capture and share
with the sector more widely over the course of 2009. Plans are also in hand to retain
the group that has gathered around the project on an ongoing basis.

The Chair of the Member Task Group, Cllr Les Lawrence, has been visiting areas to
meet with officers and see first hand the good work they are doing, including South
Tyneside (floating housing support worker) and North Wessex (Fusion Fostering and
Custody Panels).

Guidance on the roles and responsibilities of the Director and Lead Member
for Children's Services

Earlier in the year the LGA, with guidance from the Children and Young People
Board, responded to the DCSF regarding the revised guidance on the role of the
Lead Member for Children's Services and Director of Children's Services. The
Department recently sought comments on an amended draft from Lead Members
and Directors, and hosted a round table in 11 May to discuss aspects of the guidance
relating to the distinction between the two roles and the balance of emphasis across
the 5 ECM outcomes. We now expect the publication of the guidance soon after the
elections in June.

Quids for Kids

The LGA has been working with the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) to produce
a toolkit for welfare rights advisers to support benefit take up for families with
children. Promoting benefit take up is a key action councils can take in helping
people through the economic recession; it can make a real difference to the most
vulnerable families and children. The toolkit has now been published and is available
as part of CPAG’s poverty toolkit: http://www.childpovertytoolkit.org.uk/Home

There will be a workshop on child poverty at the LGA’s annual conference on
Wednesday 1 July “Helping children out of poverty in a time of recession – what can
councils do?”. Kate Green, chief executive of CPAG will speak, with Cllr John
Shipley, leader of Newcastle City Council, a child poverty beacon this year.

IDeA

National Network events will take place on 28th July, in London, and 17th February
2010, in Birmingham. An induction day will take place on 15th July, providing an
opportunity for newly appointed lead members to begin to get to grips with the role
and to find out about support available to them. New dates are also available on the
Making Children Matter specialist Leadership Academy programme.

Contact Officer: Paul Ogden 020 7664 3277 email: paul.ogden@lga.gov.uk




   
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                                234                        Item 10b

 




Community Wellbeing Board - Report from Cllr David
Rogers OBE (Chair)
Care, support and independence: the Government’s engagement process

The Department of Health is now undertaking a systematic analysis of all the
engagement responses, which will feed in to the Green Paper. We expect this to be
published in June. We understand that the Green Paper will focus on how the care
and support system will be delivered in the future as well as a fairer funding
settlement for adult social care and support. Defining local government’s role in
delivery will be central to the LGA’s response to the Green Paper.

LGA/ADASS Adult Social Services Expenditure Survey

This survey was published on 29 April 2009 and covers a number of areas relating to
adult social care expenditure. This year’s survey also asked specific questions on the
impact of the economic slowdown and the responses demonstrated that it is already
having an impact in a number of areas of adult social care, including:
   • Reduced income from social care charges;
   • Greater demand for welfare advice, mental health, and drug and alcohol
       services; and
   • Reduced supply of services as independent sector care homes and agency
       providers of social care staff close.

The survey also identified steps that councils are taking to alleviate the
consequences of the recession, including:
   • Speeding up payments to suppliers in order to improve cash flows;
   • Increasing co-operation and information sharing with other organisations,
      including hosting ‘credit crunch’ seminars; and
   • Strengthening advice and guidance services.

Accessing housing equity: Deferred Payment

Deferred Payment is effectively a council loan, secured by a legal charge on an
individual’s property, to help fund their residential care. Under the scheme the sale of
an individual’s home is put off during their lifetime with the council covering the
individual’s costs, which are then recouped once the individual’s home is sold
following their death. A recent Freedom of Information request by the Conservative
party highlighted the disparity in the use of Deferred Payment powers with nearly
50% of responding councils having made no new Deferred Payment in 2007/08.
In collaboration with the Resolution Foundation, LGA is running an ‘Expert Group’
session on 4 June with representatives from councils and the third sector to explore:
    • Attitudes to deferred payment, including identification of the main advantages
        and limitations;
    • Thoughts about the role local authorities should have in helping residents
        access capital in their homes;
    • The ways in which local authorities may be better placed than commercial
        firms to provide residents with this access and the risks – financial and
        reputational – local authorities could face;
    • The regulatory, legislative and financial barriers to development of a state-
        sponsored product and potential ways of removing these barriers.

Getting on Well Together – Councils working with Older People

On 5 May we published ‘Getting on well together – councils working with older
people’. This publication draws upon recent research commissioned by the LGA and
IDeA on the extent to which councils are taking a strategic approach to ensuring that
their communities are places in which older people can live healthy, productive and
independent lives. It also distils key lessons that we have learnt from good practice
that the LGA and the IDeA have gathered from other research and sector-led shared
initiatives on the later life agenda.

The Government is currently reviewing ‘Opportunity Age – meeting the challenges of
ageing in the 21st century’, (DWP 2005) and shortly will publish the new strategy.
‘Getting on well together’ also has key messages for central government on the role
councils in shaping the new agenda for later life. Councils already have adequate
tools, powers and duties to improve the health and wellbeing of older people and the
LGA will work with them to address the new ageing strategy when it is published.

The publication can be downloaded from:
http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/publications/publication-home.do .

Tobacco Control

The Department of Health have negotiated funding for a new national programme,
‘Reducing Health Inequalities through Tobacco Control’ which will be linked to the
wider Healthy Communities Programme. The support will be led by the IDeA, in
collaboration with LGA and LACORS, but shaped by the participating councils. The
Programme is to focus on the 25 local authorities with highest smoking prevalence.
There is a regional spread and a minimum of two councils per region were invited to
take part. Each of the targeted councils have now accepted offers of £100k grant
funding from the DH (rolled over from 2008/09 financial year) and it is anticipated that
further amounts will be available during the 2009/10 and 2010/2011 years. The 25
councils will act as innovators, leaders, and practice development for others, and will
work with IDeA.



Contact Officer: Paul Ogden 020 7664 3277 email: paul.ogden@lga.gov.uk




   
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                               234                        Item 10c

 




Culture Tourism and Sport Board – report by Cllr Chris
White (Chair)
Council Magazines

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport held a “media summit” on 27
April. Councils have recently come under fire for competing with the local press by
producing magazines to inform residents about council services. The LGA strongly
opposed this view, and defended councils’ right to communicate with their residents
in a direct and value for money way.

In advance of the summit LGAR undertook a survey of local authorities to gather the
most up to date and informed picture of how, why and when councils produce
magazines. The survey clearly showed that:
 • council magazines do not pose a threat to local newspapers; with 79% of
    authorities producing up to only six editions a year;
 • the local newspaper industry is suffering primarily because of its exposure to falls
    in the market for advertising;
 • 60% of council magazines consist of 10% or less advertising space; and,
 • councils work closely with their local paper and want more scrutiny of the
    democratic process.

Sport England

The LGA met with the new Chair of Sport England, Richard Lewis, and Chief
Executive Jennie Price on 29 April. Local government is a key delivery partner for
sports development in England, investing around £1.5bn each year, including capital
spend. Over two-thirds of Local Area Agreements also prioritise the adult sports and
physical activity indicator as an improvement target.

We discussed future areas of joint work that will follow on from the recently published
Our Sporting Commitment document. These will focus on improving communications
with National Governing Bodies of sports and developing a more constructive
dialogue around the development of playing fields, where Sport England is a
statutory consultee.

Promoting live music

Live music is one of the most vibrant parts of the any local cultural sector. At a
meeting on 21 April with Licensing minister Gerry Sutcliffe and representatives of the
Musicians’ Union and UK Music, the LGA and LACORS agreed to create a working
party to help lower the barriers to staging live music in licensed premises.
The working party will look at issues such as how to promote the existing “incidental
music” exemption in the Licensing Act 2003 and how to make the most of the coming
“minor variations” process, which will allow venues to apply for a music licence
quickly and at low cost.

2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Activity to promote the Games has focused on raising awareness about London 2012
Open Weekend which is an opportunity for local events aimed at increasing
participation to be a part of a national celebration. Open Weekend is taking place on
24–26 July 2009, building up to the ‘3 years to go’ milestone on 27 July. LOCOG is
broadening the scope of this year's event beyond culture so that sport, education or
sustainability events linked to 2012 and about widening participation can also be
included. Councils which register their event with LOCOG by 29 June will receive
London 2012 posters, postcards, external banners and digital media to promote local
events. Already planned events which have objectives that fit in with the aim of Open
Weekend can be registered. Events will form an important part of local legacy plans
to use Games to deliver wider social objectives.

LGA officers are working closely with IDeA and the five councils (Dorset, Essex,
Greenwich, Hackney and Kent) awarded beacon status in the Olympic legacy theme
to develop a programme of events and communications to share the beacon
councils' expertise around 2012 with as many councils as possible. A launch event is
planned for 15 July and a fringe event will be held at LGA Annual Conference.

Joint Lead Members’ meeting

On 23 April lead members of the Culture Tourism and Sport Board and Regeneration
and Transport Board met to discuss issues of common interest, including transport
and the 2012 Games. It was agreed that the Regeneration and Transport Board had
an important contribution to make in terms of testing assumptions underpinning 2012
transport plans in areas facing the most challenges, particularly Weymouth where the
sailing will be held. Members also agreed the importance of the Culture, Tourism
and Sport Board's continued lobbying of government for a broader corps of 'city
volunteers' who will be stationed at transport interchanges and will be integral to
providing a world class welcome to visitors during Games time.



 
Contact Officer: Steven Skelton, steven.skelton@lga.gov.uk, 020 7664 3074
LGA Executive Board
21 May 2009
                                               234                           Item 10d

 



Environment Board - report from Cllr Paul Bettison (Chairman)
Greening Communities (Environment)
Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Update
• We are actively working with national and legal partners to develop guidance on
   the CRC and raise levels of awareness amongst senior managers and politicians.
• We recently held a joint conference with the DECC to outline the importance of
   LAs preparing for the CRC, It was attended by 150 individuals. Outputs of the
   conference can be found at http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=1847358.
• LGA are supporting the work of London Energy Project (LEP) in delivering
   techniques to manage regulatory requirements of the CRC. LEP are developing a
   Carbon Reduction Guide and Self Assessment Tool to help the public sector
   respond to new regulations, this will be launched at a free event on 17 June 09.
• The IDeA's Positive Future conference took place on 5/6th May in Liverpool, with
   over 120 delegates. Practitioners discussed a range of issues on tackling climate
   change and strategies for carbon reduction.
• LGA is in close contact with Communities and Local Government (CLG) to ensure
   that UK government and the Council of Ministers take on board local
   government’s concerns on the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
• On 5th May a joint DECC, CLG and LGA local authority summit was held on
   community energy and heating. Over 100 delegates came.
• We are continuing to promote Small Change, Big Difference climate change week
   which happens in July, including developing a leaflet for councillors.
• We have continued to lobby for the CERT energy efficiency programme to
   delivery more insulation measures and create new jobs.
   http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=1868394
   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1177307/Councils-accuse-power-giants-
   free-energy-saving-lightbulbs-dodge.html
Flood and Water Management
• A draft Flood and Water Management Bill was published on 21 April for
   consultation. An initial LGA briefing is available on the LGA website. It is intended
   to introduce a Bill in the Queen’s speech this November. An EFRA Committee
   inquiry into the draft Bill is also taking place. The LGA will be making a submission
   to the EFRA inquiry by 8 May and we expect that a number of local authorities will
   be called upon to give verbal evidence to the Committee.
Local Environment
• LGA is working to influence Defra in advance of the Environment Ministers’ meeting
   in June, when the Industrial Emissions Directive is expected to be discussed.




      
LGA Executive Board
21 May 2009
                                                234                           Item 10d

 
• The LGA are working with colleagues in Defra and ENCAMS to gather evidence
   on the extent of the problem of littering from vehicles. Results will feed into a
   review this year by Defra. LGA are lobbying to amend legislation so that councils
   can fine the keeper of the vehicle if anyone in the vehicle throws litter. A national
   education and awareness campaign will take place during July.
Waste
 • Smith Square debate on Packaging, sponsored by Morrisons, was held on 12 May.
 • The LGA submitted a response to the EC’s consultation on the management of
    biowaste. An LGA press release was covered by national media.

Sustainable Communities (housing and planning)
Housing
• The Places You Want to Live campaign website has been refreshed:
   (http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=545740). Councillors are able to
   sign up to show their support for the campaign and receive regular updates. The
   first update will be a leaflet showing what councils would be able to do for local
   residents if they could retain all rents.
• The LGA convened a roundtable in April for LAs to share their views with CLG on
   the order that is currently being drafted to bring council landlords and arms-length
   management associations under the regulation of the Tenant Services Authority
   (TSA) in April 2010. The LGA is working closely with the TSA and CLG to ensure
   that local authorities are appropriately engaged during the consultation and as the
   TSA develops its operating framework, including standards and interventions.
Council-led development
• In April, the LGA submitted a response to government consultation on proposals
   to remove some of the obstacles to councils building new housing. Our
   submission broadly supported the proposals as a step in the right direction, but
   warned that they would have limited impact unless they are accompanied by
   wholesale reform of the housing finance system.
• In his budget speech, the Chancellor announced £100m for councils to build new
   affordable homes at high environmental standards. Details of how councils can
   access this funding will be announced on 8th May. The LGA will be working
   closely with interested councils and the HCA to ensure that timescales and
   processes for the grant offer councils a realistic opportunity to bring forward new
   schemes, and to demonstrate the case for further reform.
Planning
• The LGA successfully lobbied for councils to have the power to extend existing
   planning permissions so that they can help keep development going during the
   recession. We are working with CLG to develop the necessary secondary
   legislation, which is expected to be introduced in the autumn.

Contact Officer: Clive Harris   Tel: 020 7664 3207     Email: clive.harris@lga.gov.uk



      
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                                 234                        Item 10e

 




  
Improvement Board – report from Cllr David Parsons CBE
(Chairman)
LGA Improvement Board lead members and senior members from the LGA attended
the Regional and Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships (RIEP) member
forum on 30th April. It was a very productive meeting where members shared
knowledge on their RIEP's key procurement and safeguarding initiatives. It was
agreed that case studies should be developed on the issues of category
management, procurement portals and procurement cards. The July meeting of the
Improvement Board will receive a presentation on the scope for developing shared
services and other ways the Board can drive forward the procurement agenda.

It has been a year since the nine (RIEPs) were created and as they enter their
second year they are reporting on progress made to authorities in their regions and
at a national level. RIEPs have already repaid CLG’s initial investment of £50m into
the RIEP programme in year one, reporting gains of over £100m for 2008/09. Further
efficiencies are projected over the coming years through encouraging authorities to
work together to make the most of their collective buying power and supporting
improvements and innovations in service delivery. This improves outcomes for
citizens and provide better value for money.

Councillors and experts from councils will play a more significant role in the new
Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA), following lobbying from the LGA.
The LGA had expressed concern that the new inspection system, which began at the
start of this month, would not fully consult local councillors and failed to recognise the
value that experts from other authorities, known as peers, could provide.
The Audit Commission and its partner Inspectorates have now agreed that inspectors
will now involve councillors and peers more fully when local authorities are assessed.
It is very encouraging that the Audit Commission and Inspectorates have listened to
us. The change will give inspectors a much better understanding of what is
happening in local areas and lead to much fuller and more comprehensive
assessments. It will allow inspectors to build up a long term relationship with leading
councillors to understand all the issues facing a local area. The Managing Director of
the Audit Commission will be attending the May Improvement Board meeting to talk
about a number of practical issues that still have to be worked through.

The Inspectorates have recently published proposals to allow for a formal review of a
red flag in the area assessment and for a review of the use of resources score or
managing performance score or the overall organisational assessment score.
Separate consultation papers have been published for single tier and county councils
(where there is a joint inspectorate assessment) and for district councils and fire and
rescue authorities (where it is an Audit Commission assessment). The consultation
papers are available on the Audit Commission website.

CLG have issued a consultation paper on the future of the freedoms and
flexibilities regime in the light of the introduction of CAA. LGA originally welcomed
the regime but has consistently argued that the freedoms and flexibilities on offer
should be extended to all councils as a tool for improvement not a reward for good
performance. In summary the consultation paper effectively proposes to bring the
scheme to an end, extend freedoms and flexibilities to all councils wherever possible
and makes some specific proposals about certain statutory plan requirements,
including removing the exemption in some cases.

‘Setting the Pace’ is the title of a consultation paper from the LGA Group on a
framework for local government led help for councils facing difficulties. Recent
events have emphasised the need for the sector to be clearer about the basis on
which support is provided. The consultation paper sets out the key principles for the
framework, and the critical success factors against which it needs to be judged. It
goes on to propose roles for the key players – individual councils, the RIEPs, the
IDeA and the LGA – and to ask for corresponding commitments from government
and the regulatory regime. Although the focus of the draft framework is councils
facing difficulties, some of the thinking is relevant to the broader question of the
nature, strengths and challenges of sector-led support with all authorities and
partnerships. As well as using traditional consultation methods, for the first time
across the LGA group we are undertaking online ‘live’ consultation using an
approach which breaks down the document into screen sized chunks and enables
comments on each page through the following link: www.idea.gov.uk/settingthepace

Overview and scrutiny of Local Area Agreements (LAAs) has a vital democratic
role to play in improving the area and effective partnership working to deliver LAAs,
which then feeds into the CAA process. However, some aspects of the legal
framework will only come into effect via Regulations, which have not yet been
finalised. These will cover: access to information, two tier arrangements, and district
council powers. Unfortunately, we have been informed by CLG that the Regulations
on access to information and district council issues are unlikely to be finalised before
the summer. The Regulations for two tier/joint committees will be delayed beyond
this. This is disappointing because the delay to the regulations serves to undermine
effective member involvement in LAAs, particularly in two-tier areas.

Liz Hobson 020 7664 3229 email:liz.hobson@lga.gov.uk
LGA Executive Board
21 May 2009
                                                234                             Item 10f

 



Regeneration and Transport Board
- report from Cllr David Sparks (Chairman)

Future Jobs Fund
In the Budget the Chancellor announced a £1 billion fund to create 100,000 jobs for
young people unemployed for 12 months and 50,000 jobs in deprived areas. The
fund is a direct result of Central Local Partnership (CLP) discussions and gives
councils a central role in co-ordinating bids and delivering the programme.

On 7 May, at a Future Jobs Fund event in LGH, Hazel Blears and James Purnell
underlined the important role the LGA had played in the creation of the fund and
emphasised the need for partnership based bids led by councils working in particular
with the third sector. Delegates' central message was that the bid criteria and
programme design should not be over-engineered. Councils will need to put money
towards the funding of opportunities and were keen to be able to flex the offer locally.

Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction
(LDEDC) Bill
The LDEDC Bill completed its passage through the Lords on 29 April and is expected
to begin its passage through the Commons in early June. Although the government
made a few minor amendments in the Lords in response to LGA lobbying, it refused
to concede on the LGA’s key issue of giving Regional Development Agencies an
explicit power to delegate funding to councils. We will continue to press the issue
during the Bill’s Commons passage.

Concessionary Fares
DfT published a consultation paper on proposed changes to funding and
administration of Concessionary Fares from 2011 on 28th April. The options include
retaining the function at District level, moving it to county level in two-tier areas or
administering the scheme at the national level. The transfer to County level is
currently DfT’s preferred option.

The LGA will be holding a workshop in early June for member authorities to inform
our response to the consultation, and the Regeneration and Transport Board will be
discuss the LGA’s response at its meeting on 20 May.



      
LGA Executive Board
21 May 2009
                                              234                           Item 10f

 




Effects of recent adverse weather conditions on transport
The LGA is participating in the steering group for the formal review, Identifying
Lessons for Winter Maintenance Operations from the Severe Weather Experienced
in Early February 2009 led by the UK Roads Liaison Group. The review will report to
the DfT Secretary of State in July 2009. In addition to ensuring council’s views are
represented in the formal process, the LGA will be publishing out own report into
dealing with adverse weather conditions which will seek to influence Government’s
response to the review, help councils to prepare for major weather events in future.
It is anticipated this report will be published at the end of June.

Joint lead members meeting
Regeneration and Transport board lead members met with Cllr Stephen Castle,
representing the Culture, Tourism and Sport board on 23 April, to discuss issues of
mutual interest. The meeting heard a presentation from Jason Torrance of Sustrans
on their work with local authorities to promote cycling and the wider “active travel”
agenda. The group also discussed the impact of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic
Games on the transport infrastructure, on which it was agreed to take forward further
monitoring and lobbying work.




Contact Officer: Steve Skelton
tel: 020 7664 3074
email: steven.skelton@lga.gov.uk




      
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                                234                        Item 10g

 




Safer Communities Board – report by Cllr Hazel Harding
(Chair)

The LGA is working to support local authorities in their work on the current outbreak
of swine flu. Regularly updated briefings are being prepared so that councils’
emergency planning teams have the latest information about the international,
national and local response to swine flu and these can be found on the LGA website
http://www.lga.gov.uk/lga/core/page.do?pageId=1847203. A number of council
Leaders continue to represent the local government sector in high level Cabinet
Office meetings. We are also working with IDeA to produce a short note for
councillors with key emergency planning issues such as community
reassurance/resilience, working with the media, including a checklist of business
continuity issues they may wish to explore with their own authorities.

The Home Office has finally implemented the Police and Justice Act 2006
provisions allowing English local authorities to establish crime and disorder
overview and scrutiny committees, which are also due to come into effect in
Wales in October. At the same time the Councillors Call for Action provisions relating
to crime and disorder matters have come into effect. Guidance has already been
produced by the IDeA and the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) on introducing
Councillors Calls for Action and the CfPS and the LGIU are jointly producing crime
and disorder scrutiny guidance shortly. The LGA is also planning to raise
awareness with Councillors and the SCB will be promoting this important scrutiny role
regionally.

The LGA is currently working with member authorities to respond to a number of
government consultation papers. The Home Office has issued a consultation on
changes to the regulations and statutory codes of practice governing the use of the
Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (usually referred to as RIPA). This
consultation follows on from the negative publicity that local authority use of the RIPA
regime has attracted in the media in the last year, and as well as asking if local
authorities should continue to operate within the RIPA framework, seeks views on
whether the use of surveillance should be approved at chief officer level in councils,
and the role of councillors in overseeing their council’s use of covert investigatory
techniques. The LGA is currently seeking members’ views on the consultation
questions, before responding to the consultation.

The Crowded Places Consultation is on draft guidance from the Office for Security
and Counter Terrorism on the roles and the contributions local authorities can make
to reduce the vulnerability of crowded places to terrorist attack and the protective
security measures that can be implemented into existing work to improve community
safety.
We are also responding to the Engaging Communities in Justice Green Paper,
which seeks to connect the criminal justice system more closely with the communities
it serves. Proposals include introducing community prosecutors in 30 pathfinder
areas, co-locating criminal justice teams with advice and support services in one-
building, giving local people more of a say in community payback and asset recovery
schemes,.. The LGA will be responding to the Green Paper by mid-July.

The Home Office is also carrying out a consultation on tackling violence against
women and girls. The aim is to develop a cross-governmental and to understand
where all of government can make a difference and work together in a coordinated
and effective manner. The LGA is seeking views of member councils to meet the
deadline for comment at the end of May.


Earlier this year IDeA commissioned a survey of community safety managers in
England . 41% of council community safety managers replied and initial results
show, unsurprisingly, that dealing with anti-social behaviour and prolific offenders,
and also engaging effectively with the public continue to be some of the greater
challenges facing council community safety teams. They also find dealing with short
term government initiatives a particular challenge. LGA and IDeA officers will be
working through the final report, which is due to be published shortly, to identify what
work results from it for the LGA Group in supporting member councils on the
community safety agenda.

The Chairman of the LGA, Cllr Eaton had an introductory meeting with the Chair of
the Association of Police Authorities last month. The meeting covered a wide
range of topics of mutual interest to both Associations on the community safety
agenda, including strengthening the links between councils and police authorities,
and agreed to LGA participation in forthcoming APA conferences.

The LGA Group have established a series of development sessions to raise
awareness and increase the engagement of elected members in the preventing
violent extremism agenda. Cllr Mehboob Khan, Leader of Kirklees Council is
leading the overall Prevent work on behalf of the Board with a particular focus on the
engaging elected members programme. The first development session was held in
London on 11 May, with a further session scheduled in Leeds on 10 June. Further
events in other areas are being planned.

A workshop for councillor champions of equality and diversity in the fire service
was held on 21 April. Chaired by Cllr Joanna Spicer, the event demonstrated the
importance of the LGA showing political leadership in establishing an effective
network of champions. Councillors heard about experience on the ground in fire
authorities and identified an action that they could take back to their own authority to
put equality into the heart of the fire and rescue service. A further meeting is planned
for September.




Contact Officer: Liz Hobson, liz.hobson@lga.gov.uk , 020 7664 3229
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                                234                        Item 10h

 
  
Human Resources Panel – report by Sir Steve Bullock
(Chair)
The Human Resources Panel provides the strategic and policy direction for the LGA
Group’s pay and workforce activity.

Local government services
On 6 April, the Employers presented their formal response to the union pay claim,
offering a 0.5% pay rise for the next financial year. In the press release issued at the
time I have explained that:

"The key aspect of this offer is to make sure that any pay settlement is affordable to
the taxpayer and councils while at the same time making sure that local government
continues to be an attractive place to work. The tough economic times, the low
inflation rate, the pressure on public sector spending and the increased demands on
council services mean that the employers have to make some tough decisions on
pay and spending.

"Councils, like everyone else, have tightened their belts to weather the recession and
the extra money awarded by the arbitrators in last year’s pay settlement means that
councils have had to tighten their belts even further. If the pay settlement is set too
high then local authorities will have no choice but to lay off staff, which neither the
unions nor the employers want to see.

"The Employers' Side will take a firm but fair line with the trade unions that the
government has set a framework for public sector expenditure in the next few years
which councils must fully reflect to ensure that pay does not rise above what is
affordable and acceptable to local people."

Top pay
The need to improve public accountability on top pay levels was discussed at a
recent meeting between myself and Rt Hon John Healey MP. LGE has issued a
discussion document on this, which has been sent to leaders of all councils in
England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Equal pay
At this meeting we also talked about equal pay and I have written to all council
leaders asking for information on this. Following an excellent response, the
information is now being collated and analysed.




       
LGA Executive
21 May 2009
                                                 234                        Item 10h

 
Advisory Bulletin
The April bulletin reports on important developments concerning grievances,
bonuses and equal pay claims and representation at disciplinary hearings.

Integrated Workforce Strategy
This project worked with seven local study areas looking at what helps and hinders
local partners in joining up their workforce strategies. The project’s final report and
a video and audio podcast is available on the IDeA website via:  
www.idea.gov.uk/joiningupworkforce 


Social Workers
At the April HR Panel meeting, members were briefed on the LGA Group’s Respect
and Protect campaign and discussed the workforce issues and implications. There is
a lot of activity underway to attract 5,000 recently left social workers back into local
authorities, including:
• Promoting jobs and careers in social work via LGCareers and LGJobs;
• Producing video and audio podcasts profiling three different markets – returners,
    career changers and care workers;
• Setting up an online conference on recruitment in social work;
• Producing a recruitment and retention tool.

Employee Engagement
The IDeA, in partnership with Wychavon District Council and the LGComms network,
has launched a new film called "Thank goodness it's Monday!" aimed at encouraging
managers in local government to get the best out of their staff. "Thank goodness it's
Monday!" provides a business case for engaging with employees, and shows a range
of excellent practice from Wychavon District Council, Birmingham City Council,
London Borough of Hillingdon, Aberdeenshire Council, Chorley Council and
Westminster City Council. It also offers expert opinion and research from Ipsos-
MORI, the Work Foundation and David MacLeod, author of “The Extra Mile”.
View the film at www.bit.ly/tgim

LGA Group Business Strategy
At our April meeting, the HR Panel was pleased to endorse the workforce theme
workplan, setting out, for the first time, all workforce activity being undertaken to
support councils across the LGA Group.


Contact Officer: Helen Newman tel: 020 71877315 email: helen.newman@lge.gov.uk




      
                                                                               

Note of Decisions Taken and Action Required
LGA Office Holders
15 April 2009

Present:
Chairman:                         Councillor Margaret Eaton OBE (Bradford)
Vice Chairman:                    Councillor Sir Jeremy Beecham (Newcastle)
Vice-Chairman:                    Councillor David Shakespeare OBE (Buckinghamshire)
Deputy-Chair :                    Councillor Richard Kemp (Liverpool)
Deputy Chairman:                  Councillor David Parsons CBE (Leicestershire)
Deputy-Chair:                     Councillor Keith Ross (West Somerset)

Apologies:                       Councillor Ian Swithenbank CBE (Northumberland)
Substitute:                      Councillor Sharon Taylor (Stevenage)

Officers Present:                 John Atkinson (Leadership Centre), Will Brooks, Jenny
                                  Crighton, Ed Fordham, Claire Holloway, Stephen Jones,
                                  Richard Kitt, Chris Lawrence-Pietroni, John Ransford, Paul
                                  Roberts (IDeA), Maggie Sullivan and Nathan Yeowell.

1. Membership Update

John Ransford introduced this item, explaining that despite rumours earlier in the
year, the picture is not that different to other years. He updated members on
issues with two district councils which are still being worked through.

LGA will be working closely with the authorities that have given notice. A broader
new strategy for membership starts this week, with letters and two new
publications (‘your LGA – a Guide to LGA Services and Your LGA – achievements
and successes…’) sent out to chief executives and group leaders, to be followed
up by the new account manager system.

Office Holders welcomed the two publications and asked for these to be circulated
more widely.

Actions
Office Holders agreed:
(1) to include the two documents in delegate packs at annual conference; and
(2) to send to all members of those authorities which have given notice.
                                                                 Claire Holloway

Office Holders also stressed the importance of ensuring that local authorities that
are not in membership do not receive the benefits of low cost attendance at
events or free information
                                                                               

2. Procedure for voting at the 2009 General Assembly

John Ransford introduced the report, describing the considerable amount of
officer time and other resources that are spent each year in preparing for a vote.
Office Holders asked for reassurances that, should a recorded vote be required,
the usual process for split votes will still be followed. John confirmed that the
process would be the same; it would just have to take place retrospectively.

Decision
Office Holders agreed the proposed revised procedure for voting, set out in the
report, at the General Assembly 2009.

3. Working with the Regions

Claire Holloway explained the background to this report and invited Office Holders
to identify lead members for each of the nine regions.

Office Holders welcomed this proposal, suggesting these should be mainly drawn
from LGA Office Holders and that members should not take on their own region.
Office Holders agreed to confirm the final list the following day, but volunteered as
follows:

         East of England – Cllr Keith Ross
         East Midlands – Cllr David Shakespeare
         London – Cllr Margaret Eaton
         North East – Cllr Richard Kemp
         North West – Cllr Ian Swithenbank
         South East – to be divided into sub-regions and shared between members
         South West – Cllr Sharon Taylor
         West Midlands – Cllr David Parsons
         Yorkshire and Humber – Cllr Jeremy Beecham

4. Improvement

Stephen Jones took members through the report. Paul Roberts confirmed that
IDeA is fully on board with the proposals.

Action
In response to members’ comments, Stephen Jones agreed to:
(1) Look into improving support for the political group improvement boards.
(2) Circulate a summary report on the work of each of the different RIEPs.

5. Local leadership of place and efficiency: delivering across public services

Interests: Cllrs Margaret Eaton, Richard Kemp and David Parsons disclosed a
non-prejudicial interest in this item.

John Ransford and John Atkinson noted the importance of this work for the whole
                                                                               
LGA Group; however, they also drew members’ attention to the risks set out in
paragraphs 8 and 9.

Office Holders were very supportive of this work, noting the considerable
opportunities that it provides to local authorities and for the LGA to play a lead role
in this. They did also note the risks set out in the report and also possible
implications for future funding settlements.

Decision
Office Holders approved the LGA Group’s participation in this work, subject to
satisfactory arrangements being agreed for management of the risks.

6. LGA Proportionality for 2009 – 2010

Decision
Office Holders agreed the suggested timetable for calculating LGA proportionality
and changes in the number of seats or distribution of chair and vice-chair places
this year.

7. Committee of the Regions 2010 – 14

Interests: Cllrs David Parsons, David Shakespeare and Sharon Taylor disclosed
non-prejudicial interests as members of the Committee of the Regions.

Office Holders welcomed the LGA role in the proposed procedure, but expressed
some concerns about the ways in which the LGA could ensure national/gender
balance. Office Holders made the following suggestions:

       Group Leaders should receive a brief CV/personal statement for each of
        the suggested delegates to inform decisions about appointments to the
        top-up places and/or adjustments for balance.
       There must also be a balance between new and experienced members.
       The new regional lead members should play a key role in liaising with the
        regions over these appointments.
       LGA needs to continue to push for a reduction in the time taken to process
        an interim appointment.

In response to members’ questions, Richard Kitt confirmed that the RDAs would
be consulted, but would not have any decision-making role. He also confirmed
that the LGA will be asking each region to nominate 4 or 6 members to a pool,
rather than making specific nominations. LGA Executive will be asked to ratify the
final delegation.

Decisions
Office Holders agreed:
(1)    the draft procedure for selection of members of the Committee of Regions
       for 2010 – 14; and
(2)    the set of working principles for managing the nomination process, subject
       to the comments above.
                                                                               
8. Process for referring items from Boards to the Executive

John Ransford introduced this item, explaining that this issue had arisen at the
last meeting of LGA Executive and inviting Office Holders’ comments. While it
may not be possible to develop a ‘catch-all’ procedure, he reminded members that
the boards do have decision-making powers, but it is also up to the boards to
decide whether to refer any issues of real importance to the Executive.

Decision
Members noted these comments and agreed that while major issues should be
referred to the Executive, it should not be done just because of disagreement
within a board.

Action
Advice to be circulated to all board members.                                     John Ransford

9. Boundary Committee

Office Holders were informed that a meeting has been arranged with the
Boundary Committee and noted the attached correspondence.

10. Public Affairs Update

Jenny Crighton updated members on two recent developments:
    Hazel Blears’ announcement regarding empty shops; and
    Alistair Darling’s announcement on business rates.

Cllr Sharon Taylor updated members on a recent roundtable she had attended on
housing finance.

Action
Notes of the housing finance meeting to be circulated to Office Holders.
                                                                    Jenny Crighton

11. LGA Executive Agenda
Office Holders noted the LGA Executive agenda for 16 April.

12. Note of the meeting held on 18 March
Office Holders agreed the note of the last meeting.

Office Holders agreed that the LGH roof garden be renamed in memory of Lord
Bruce-Lockhart and suggested that the ceremony take place at the summer
reception following the July meeting of LGA Executive.

Cllr David Parsons informed members that the Audit Commission has just agreed
to the involvement of peers in the CAA process.

Date of the next meeting – Wednesday 20 May 2009 at 3 pm in LGH
Note of Decisions Taken and Action Required
LGA Executive
16 April 2009
Bevin Hall, Local Government House at 10.00am




Present

Chairman:          Councillor Margaret Eaton OBE (Bradford)
Vice-Chairman:     Councillor Sir Jeremy Beecham (Newcastle)
Vice-Chairman:     Councillor David Shakespeare OBE (Buckinghamshire)
Deputy-Chair       Councillor Richard Kemp (Liverpool)
Deputy-Chair       Councillor Keith Ross (West Somerset)
Deputy-Chairman:   Councillor David Parsons CBE (Leicestershire)


Members:           Councillor Paul Bettison (Bracknell Forest); Councillor Robert
                   Light (Kirklees); Councillor David Sparks OBE (Dudley);
                   Councillor Sharon Taylor (Stevenage); Councillor Chris
                   White (Hertfordshire)


Apologies:         Councillor Hazel Harding CBE (Lancashire); Councillor Les
                   Lawrence (Birmingham); Councillor Chris Millar (Daventry);
                   Councillor David Rogers OBE (East Sussex); Councillor Ian
                   Swithenbank CBE (Northumberland); Councillor Gerald
                   Vernon-Jackson (Portsmouth).


Substitutes:       Councillor John Commons (Manchester), Councillor Gordon
                   Keymer CBE (Tandridge); Councillor Nargis Khan (Hackney);
                   Councillor Clyde Loakes (Waltham Forest); Councillor Sir David
                   Williams CBE (Richmond upon Thames).


In attendance:     Councillor Gareth Barnard (Bracknell Forest); Councillor David
                   Bellotti (Bath & North East Somerset) Mayor Sir Steve Bullock
                   (Lewisham); Councillor Edward Lord JP (4ps and City of
                   London).
1.   ‘Getting Closer‘ – progress report

Councillor David Parsons CBE, Chairman of the Improvement Board, and Chris
Lawrence-Pietroni, Director of Campaigns and Business Strategy Review, introduced
a report which provided the latest quarterly update to the Executive on the Group’s
progress in implementing the Getting Closer work programme that was agreed by the
Executive in January 2009.

The Executive congratulated the LGA media team for the first rate support that they
continue to give to the LGA’s lobbying and improvement work. The Executive also
wished Richard Stokoe well for his forthcoming travels.

Members commented on the progress made in implementing the Getting Closer work
programme.

The Executive noted the report.

Action

Officers to take forward the actions outlined in the report and provide further quarterly
reports to the Executive.                                     Chris Lawrence-Pietroni

2.   Housing

Councillor Paul Bettison, Chairman of the Environment Board, introduced a paper
which summarised current housing issues and the LGA Group’s positions and work.
Councillor Bettison also reported on the content of the recently published
Conservative Green Paper “ Strong Foundations – Building Homes and
Communities”, which outlined the Party’s approach to social housing, the private
rented sector and energy efficient homes.

The Executive had a rigorous debate on the housing report and made a number of
comments which were noted by Officers.

Councillor Bettison urged the Executive to email any further comments to Martin
Wheatley, Programme Director.

The Executive noted the report and endorsed the business plan and campaigning
priorities agreed by the Environment Board.

Action

Members and Officers to take forward the business plan and campaigning priorities.
                                                               Martin Wheatley

3.   Pre-budget briefing

Stephen Jones, Director of Finance and Performance, introduced a report which
summarised (i) the UK financial position, drawing on information from the pre-budget
report as well as independent financial forecasters (ii) work being commissioned by
the Treasury and how it may affect the public sector and local authorities in particular
(iii) activities by the LGA to influence the wider debate.

The Executive noted the report.

4.    Council action on the recession

Paul Raynes, Programme Director, Policy Directorate, updated members on
development in the LGA Group’s work on the economic downturn since the LGA
Executive last considered work on the recession at its March meeting.

Members made a number of comments including the need to promote the take up of
personal benefits and in work credits and the value of accelerating capital spending
which should bring jobs, attract investment and create opportunities for residents and
businesses.

The Executive noted the report.

Action

Members and Officers to take forward the actions summarised in this update.
Officers to provide further regular updates on this theme.            Paul Raynes

5.    Outline for General Assembly – 30 June 2009

Jenny Crighton, Director of Corporate Strategy and Public Affairs, presented
members with a proposed format for the Annual Meeting of the General Assembly
which will be held in Harrogate on 30 June 2009.

The Executive endorsed the proposed format.

Action

Officers to take forward as set out in the report.                     Jenny Crighton

6.    Chief Executive’s Monthly Report – April 2009

The Executive noted the update report.

7.    Chairs of Boards’ Reports

Children & Young People Board

Councillor David Bellotti, Vice-Chairman, Children & Young People Board, gave a
further update on the work of the Board.

Councillor David Parson CBE, Chairman of the Improvement Board, referred to the
valuable joint working on child protection being undertaken by the Children & Young
People and Improvement Boards.
Community Wellbeing Board

Councillor Gareth Barnard, Vice-Chairman of the Community Wellbeing Board,
advised members that the Department of Health is expected to publish a green paper
setting out proposals for the long-term reform of adult social care funding this
summer.

The Executive noted the Board Chairs and the Chair of the Human Resources Panel
reports.

8.    Note of Office Holders’ Meeting on 18 March 2009

The Executive noted the note of the LGA Office Holders’ meeting of 18 March.

9.    Report back from Office Holders’ Meeting on 15 April

John Ransford, Chief Executive, introduced a tabled paper to the Executive which
summarised the issues discussed at the meeting of LGA Office Holders on 15 April.

The Executive noted the report.

10.      Note of the last LGA Executive meeting

The Executive noted the note of the last Executive meeting.

Action

Councillor Edward Lord JP to be added to the list of members present at the last
meeting of the Executive on 19 March.                                 Cathy Boyle

Lucy de Groot

The Chairman on behalf of the LGA Executive, warmly thanked Lucy de Groot,
Executive Director of IDeA, for her contribution to the work of the IDeA and the LGA
Group over a number of years and wished her well for the future.
Paul Roberts

The Chairman welcomed Paul Roberts, former Director of Strategy at the IDeA,to his
first LGA Executive meeting as Managing Director of the IDeA.
                             LGA EXECUTIVE: HOUSING DISCUSSION

                                                   
        Issue                                    Response                                Lead 
Private rented               March Environment Board recognised this as an         Environment 
sector                        area they wanted to understand better and             Board/Clive 
                              develop a Group position on                           Harris/Richard 
                             A full hour of May Board therefore set aside for a    Tacagni 
                              seminar style discussion, with involvement from 
                              LACORS (who lead on private sector housing) 
                              and a council with a strong track record 
Problems caused by           Continued support by PAS for councils to              Sarah 
delay in completing           complete LDFs                                         Richards 
– presumption in 
favour of 
development etc 
Housing and the              Develop lobbying points as part of recession work     Caroline 
recession                     programme (get on agenda for next recession           Green 
                              update meeting) 
Carbon/energy                A very big LGA priority but operationally it is       Kate Smith 
efficiency and                delivered as part of the environment programme        (existing 
existing housing             Likely candidate for corporate campaigning later      action) 
stock                         in the year 
                             Media shot on green homes programme as job 
                              creation measure about to be fired, alongside our 
                              response to an important Government 
                              consultation 
New models of                Main agenda item for first national housing           Sarah 
development to                partnership meeting                                   Richards 
replace those no 
longer working (eg 
s106 affordable 
housing) 
Councils as lenders          Brief Jeremy Beecham on current position              Mark Luntley 
                          
Council-led new-                                                                   
build:                                                                             
                                                                                   
 Curtail access             To be included in LGA consultation response if all  Martin 
    to RTB on                 Groups agree                                        Wheatley 
    council new-                                                                   
    build                                                                          
                                                                                   
 New                        To be included in IDeA programme for councils       Sarah 
    development to            leading development                                 Richards 
    avoid mistakes           Include in LGA politicians’ messaging 
    of past eg social 
    housing 
    ghettoes 
Private new-build         Forthcoming Housing Information Centre to            Laura Shimili 
sometimes of poor          include practice material on what councils can do     
quality/not meeting        to secure good design and minimise risk of            
local housing              wrong kind of development                             
needs.                                                                           
Need for councils         Continue to lobby all parties to reduce national     Martin 
to be able to shape        direction and interference which can get in the      Wheatley 
their own planning         way of councils shaping communities as they 
and housing                would wish 
strategies without 
national and 
regional 
prescription and 
interference 
Housing and care:         Include materials in forthcoming Housing             Laura Shimili 
delivery and               Information Centre                                    
financing models          Officers to scope joint Environment/Community        Sarah 
for supported              Wellbeing Board discussion                           Richards 
housing for young 
people and 
vulnerable adults 
Relationship with         IDeA Strategic Housing Programme has produced        Laura Shimili 
housing                    good relevant material which will be included in      
associations               the Housing Information Centre                        
                          Protocol agreed with National Housing                Ruth Lucas 
                           Federation about how LGA and NHF work                 
                           together to promote good relations and practice.      
                           Launch (either at CIH or LGA conference)              
                           opportunity to encourage councils to follow           
                           current good practice                                 
                          2008 Housing Act includes relevant provisions (eg    Piali Das 
                           duty on housing associations to engage               Gupta 
                           constructively in local strategy).   We are 
                           discussing with TSA how the new regulatory 
                           framework will encourage council involvement in 
                           supporting improved performance by all social 
                           landlords in an area 
Council interest in       Part of our lobbying in the aftermath of the         Ruth Lucas 
housing association        Government decision to reduce the 2009-10 
rents and financing        council rent increase is that they will need to 
                           address the widening disparity between council 
                           and RSL rents 
                          Working with NHF and other housing bodies on 
                           joint submission for next spending review 
Social inclusion:         Scope for joint work with NHF?                        
landlord role as a        Include practice material in Housing Information     Laura Shimili 
front door for other       Centre 
services 
Communicate more          Paul Bettison to write to Leaders (?at regular       Ruth Lucas 
strongly to councils 
our campaigning       intervals) 
on housing finance 
                                     
LGA Location Map
 
                                                                            234




                                                                                                               
 
Local Government Association                               Bus routes - Horseferry Road
Local Government House                                     507 Waterloo - Victoria
Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ                              C10 Elephant and Castle - Pimlico - Victoria
Tel: 020 7664 3131                                         88 Camden Town – Whitehall – Westminster-
Fax: 020 7664 3030                                               Pimlico - Clapham Common
Email: info@lga.gov.uk                                      
Website: www.lga.gov.uk                                    Cycling Facilities
                                                           Cycle racks are available at Local Government House. 
Public transport                                           Please telephone the LGA on 020 7664 3131. 
Local Government House is well served by public             
transport. The nearest mainline stations are; Victoria     Central London Congestion Charging Zone
and Waterloo; the local underground stations are           Local Government House is located within the 
St James’s Park (District and Circle Lines);               congestion charging zone. For further details, please 
Westminster (District, Circle and Jubilee Lines); and      call 0845 900 1234 or visit the website at 
Pimlico (Victoria Line), all about 10 minutes walk         www.cclondon.com 
away. Buses 3 and 87 travel along Millbank, and the         
507 between Victoria and Waterloo goes close by at         Car Parks
the end of Dean Bradley Street.                            Abingdon Street Car Park  
                                                           Great College Street  
Bus routes - Millbank                                      Horseferry Road Car Park  
87    Wandsworth - Aldwych N87                             Horseferry Road/Arneway Street 
3
      Crystal Palace – Brixton - Oxford Circus

								
To top