Weekly media roundup 7/1/17 – 13/1/17

This week has seen 2,013 LGA mentions in national, regional, trade, broadcast and online publications including 64 LGA mentions in national newspapers, broadcast and online articles.

 

NHS ‘bed-blocking' rises 42 per cent in a year, new figures show

Friday 13 January
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Community Wellbeing Board Chairman, featured on Telegraph Online about new figures showing a rise in hospital bed-blocking by more than 40 per cent in a year. Days lost to delayed transfers of care totalled 193,680 in November, the third highest on record and 26 per cent higher than the figure for November 2015. Cllr Seccombe said: "Elderly and vulnerable people need to be supported to remain in their homes for as long as possible and receive care in the community, not in a ward. With social care facing a funding gap of £2.6 billion by 2020, it is vital that the Government properly funds social care if we are to get people out of hospital and safely into the community. Without this, the NHS will continue to suffer."

Telegraph Online
LGA media release

 

Syrian torture victims support urged by MPs

Friday 13 January
Asylum, Migration and Refugee Task Group Chairman Cllr David Simmonds was interviewed on LBC with the LGA's response to the Public Accounts Committee's report on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons' Resettlement Programme. A UK target to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees by May 2020 remained a "significant challenge" while some councils were concerned that the funding of £8,250 per person for their first year - reducing each year - was not sufficient to cover the cost of services needed, the report said. Cllr Simmonds said councils were "confident" the target would be reached, adding: "The focus is now on ensuring families are well supported. Councils are and will be helping some of the most vulnerable families fleeing Syria who will need access to ongoing support services to help them cope with injuries, disabilities and recover from the severe trauma they may have experienced." The LGA's lines were also reported on BBC Online, Telegraph Online and Express Online.

Cllr Simmonds on LBC
BBC Online
Telegraph Online
Express Online
LGA media release

 

Bin lorries to be fitted with cameras to identify potential potholes

Friday 13 January
The Sun, Mail, Times, i paper and Telegraph reported the LGA's response to government plans to allocate £1.2 billion of funding to improve the country's roads and reduce congestion. Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board Chairman Cllr Martin Tett said: "The money today will help councils tackle some of the growing repair backlog. However substantially more funding is needed to bring our roads up to scratch. Our roads crisis is only going to get worse unless we address it as a national priority. This means the Government providing long-term and consistent funding to invest in the resurfacing projects which our road network desperately needs over the next decade."

Sun p4
Mail p4
Times p19
Telegraph p8
i paper p21
LGA media release

 

Flooding threat as winter storms continue

Friday 13 January
The LGA's lines on how councils are well prepared for the low temperatures and snow was reported on BBC Online, with about half of local authorities holding full stocks of grit and up to 1.2 million tonnes of salt. The Met Office issued severe weather warnings covering much of the UK for combinations of high winds, snow and ice.

BBC Online
LGA media release

 

Austerity pushes local authorities into great British sell-off

Friday 13 January
The FT reported the LGA's response to government figures showing that councils were expected to invest twice as much from asset sales this financial year as the £1.5 billion generated in 2013/14. Buildings, works of art and areas of land are being sold off by councils. The LGA said: "Asset sales fund regeneration, housing and jobs for communities, improve the quality of life for residents and help keep down council tax. Faced with further central government funding cuts over the next few years, local authorities continue to have to make savings by rationalising their assets. Money saved across the country will continue to be reinvested in vital public services."

FT p2

 

The 2017 Public Leaders editorial advisory board

Friday 13 January
A profile of of LGA Deputy Chairman Cllr Peter Fleming was reported on Guardian Online about the ten members of its Public Leaders Network 2017 editorial advisory board. The members have been selected to provide expert insight over the next year on the editorial board, chaired by network editor Jane Dudman

Guardian Online

 

NHS hospitals in England face £322m tax increase from April

Thursday 12 January
FT Online and Guardian Online reported the LGA's updated lines on the ongoing application by NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts for business rates relief. Hospitals in England will have to pay £322 million more in business rates from April, according to research conducted by property consultant CVS. A revaluation means that the 1,249 NHS hospitals liable for the property tax will see their bill increase by 21 per cent over the next five years. The rise comes as more than 100 NHS trusts, represented by separate consultant Bilfinger GVA, continue to claim they should be eligible for a discount and a £1.5 billion rebate from local authorities. On the ongoing discount claim, the LGA said: "We continue to support member councils who received applications for mandatory relief from business rates on behalf of a number of NHS trusts. We remain of the view that NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts are not charities and therefore not eligible. Following legal advice, affected councils have responded to further letters from GVA setting out that their arguments for relief remain unfounded."

Guardian p4
FT Online

 

Treasury must fund social care, says LGA Chairman

Wednesday 11 January
LGA Chairman Lord Porter featured in the Mail about how more money is urgently needed to fund social care and help prevent vulnerable people having to go to hospital and costing taxpayers more in the future. He said: "The Treasury is going to have to grow up and start properly funding social care. We have to put some new money in now…if we don't spend it now we will spend more down the line."

Mail p6

 

More care home closures likely as funding crisis squeezes providers

Wednesday 11 January
The LGA's estimates of a £2.6 billion funding gap in providing adult social care in England by 2020 were reported in the Guardian, about how the care home industry is struggling because of a fall in the amount councils can pay in fees. The Chairman of Four Seasons, the biggest care home provider in the country with more than 400 properties, warned the industry is "at tipping point". Robbie Barr said: "It is essential that councils use the powers they have been given to raise the social care precept and pass it on to frontline elderly social care services." Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Community Wellbeing Board Chairman, said: "The care provider marker cannot carry on as it is and there is a real danger of more widespread market failure."

Guardian p34
LGA media release

 

Child 'sugar scourge': thousands having teeth removed in hospital

Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 January
Deputy Chairman Cllr Peter Fleming featured on Good Morning Britain and Channel 5 News about the LGA's press release on how more than 40,000 children and young people a year are having teeth removed in hospital, mainly because of decay. This also featured on Sky News, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC. Community Wellbeing Board Vice Chair Cllr Richard Kemp was also interviewed live across BBC local radio stations and LGA Vice Chair Cllr Marianne Overton featured on Talk Radio The Guardian, Guardian Online, Telegraph, Times, i paper, Sun, Mirror, Express, Mail, Mail Online, ITV Online and Good Morning Britain Online (twice) also reported the LGA's lines. Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, said: "These figures are a stark reminder of the damage excessive sugar consumption is doing to our children's teeth. It is deeply worrying that the type of dental treatment required is beyond the capacity of a local dentist, due to the severity of the tooth decay, and as a result has to be done in hospital."

Cllr Fleming on Good Morning Britain and Channel 5 News
Cllr Marianne Overton on Talk Radio
Sky News, BBC Radio 5 Live, LBC
Guardian p13
Guardian Online
Telegraph p6
Times p14
Sun p18
Mirror p9
Express p10
Mail p23
Mail Online
i paper p2
ITV Online
Good Morning Britain Online
Good Morning Britain Online
LGA media release

 

Get ready for ‘thundersnow'

Wednesday 11 January
The Mail reported the LGA's lines on how councils have stockpiled 1.2 million tonnes of grit for use ahead of the UK being hit by "thundersnow", consisting of sleet showers, gales and widespread overnight frosts across much of the country. The Met Office issued a yellow warning for wind and snow with temperatures forecast to plummet to -10C in rural areas.

Mail p27
LGA media release

 

New year, new career: how about becoming a local government data scientist?

Tuesday 10 January
The LGA's research report with Nesta about the need for a modest investment in data analysts and scientists in councils, to help boost the number of skilled data professionals, was referenced on Guardian Online.

Guardian Online

 

Theresa May urged to get a grip on NHS as winter crisis spirals

Sunday 8 January
The LGA's warnings, alongside leading figures in the NHS and social care, that not being able to provide social care in the community is adding to the pressure in hospitals was reported on Guardian Online and was the subject of the Observer's front page. The Prime Minister is being urged to announce an emergency NHS rescue plan to Parliament, following warnings that hospitals and GP services are at breaking point. The President of the Society for Acute Medicine, Dr Mark Holland, called on Theresa May to convene a special version of Cobra, due to the scale of the crisis.

Guardian Online

 

Drivers hit with £335 million parking tickets in a year

Sunday 8 January
The Sunday Mirror reported the LGA's lines that councils do not make a profit from parking and try to ensure there are spaces available for everyone and to keep traffic moving, in a story about parking fines totalling £6.5 million being issued every week. This totalled £135 million last year in England. An LGA spokesman said: "Councils are on the side of hard-pressed motorists so try to ensure there are spaces available for everyone and to keep traffic moving. A tiny minority do not park appropriately and cause congestion as well as making it more difficult and dangerous for others to park."

Sunday Mirror p20

 

Pothole 'tipping point' looms as bill set to spiral to £14 billion

Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 January
Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board Chairman Cllr Martin Tett was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme to discuss the LGA's release that the country is reaching a "tipping point" for potholes and call for a further £1 billion a year into roads maintenance by investing 2p per litre of existing fuel duty. LGA Deputy Chairman Cllr Peter Fleming also appeared on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC News, Sky News and ITV News and the LGA's lines were also reported on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, LBC, Talk Radio and TalkSport news bulletins. Our release also featured in the Mail, Sun, Express, Mirror, Sunday Times, Star, i paper, Independent Online, Sky News Online, ITV Online and LBC Online. Cllr Tett said: "This year could be a tipping point year regarding potholes. Councils have experienced significant budget reductions and now face the looming prospect of a bill of £14 billion to bring the nation's roads up to scratch. It is wrong and unfair that the Government allocates almost 40 times more to maintaining national roads, which it controls, compared with local roads, which are overseen by councils. It is paramount this funding discrepancy is swiftly plugged."

Cllr Tett on BBC Radio 4's Today
Cllr Fleming on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC News, Sky News and ITV News
BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4, LBC, Talk Radio, TalkSport news bulletins
Mail p57
Sun p22
Express p37
Mirror p20
Sunday Times p8
Star p2
i paper p9
Independent Online
Sky News Online
ITV Online
LBC Online
LGA media release

 

Thousands more homes built in flood zones

Saturday 7 January
The i paper reported the LGA's statement in response to councils allowing planning permission for homes built on floodplains, about how Environment Agency data has revealed that thousands more homes have been built in flood zones than previously thought. More than 4,400 residential properties have been approved in the past five years. The LGA said councils were "generally opposed" to building property on flood plains.

i paper p9

 

Who foots the bill for elderly social care?

Saturday 7 January
A FT comment piece about the social care system being in crisis referenced the LGA's lines about how the Government's claim that an extra £200 million a year could be raised by increasing the council tax precept is "ambitious". The piece described the social care system as in "acute financial distress" and said there has been a "collective failure" by successive governments to address the funding shortfall.

FT Money p20

 


20 January 2017