Weekly media roundup – 22/08/14 – 29/08/14

This week has seen 1,061 LGA mentions in national, regional, trade, broadcast and online publications including 46 mentions in national newspapers, broadcast and online articles.

A fifth of council tax on poor families is unpaid
Thursday 28 August

Cllr Sharon Taylor, Chair of the LGA's Finance Panel, was quoted in The Guardian responding to new research showing that up to 40 per cent of council tax levied on low-income households is left unpaid, with the charge having been imposed on them for first time last year. Cllr Taylor said councils had been caught in an "impossible situation" as ministers had forced local authorities to pass on £500 million in cuts when the localised council tax support scheme was introduced. She added: "Councils would need to find £1 billion by 2016 to protect discounts for those on low incomes. At a time when local government is already tackling £20 billion worth of cuts, this is a stretch too far."


Primary school places budget squeeze
Wednesday 27 August & Thursday 28 August

Our research showing a £1 billion shortfall in the money councils have received to create new school places was covered extensively across national media this week. Children and Young People Board Chairman Cllr David Simmonds was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITV News, Good Morning Britain, BBC News Channel, BBC 1 O'clock News, 6 O'Clock News and 10 O'Clock News. The story ran in the Mail, Daily Star, Telegraph, Independent, i paper, The Times, BBC Online, ITV Online and Sky New Online. It featured on radio news bulletins including BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, LBC and Talksport. Cllr Simmonds said: "Councils are delivering, but at a cost. Since the pressure on places first emerged, councils have been getting on with the job of creating more and, welcome though government funding is, it is nothing like the full cost."

BBC News Channel
BBC 1pm news 
BBC 1 Six O'Clock News with David Simmonds interview
BBC1 Ten O'Clock News
Radio 1 
Radio 2 
Radio 4 Today Programme
BBC Radio 5 Live – live on the Sheila Fogarty show
BBC Radio 5 Live pre-record
Sky News
ITV News
Good Morning Britain
BBC Breakfast
Sky News Online

Daily Star p2
LGA press release

Call for better regulation of regional bus services
Tuesday 26 August

A BBC Online article on bus service regulation quoted LGA warnings from earlier this year about the impact of cuts to government funding on local bus services.

BBC Online
LGA press release

Councils want law changed to curb junk mail
Monday 25 August

Our call to scrap the sale of the open electoral register to direct marketing companies was covered in the Daily Mail, Sun, Telegraph, i paper, LBC Online and Sky News Online. Improvement Board Chairman Cllr Peter Fleming said: "It demeans our democracy for voters' details to be sold off as a tool to help direct marketing firms make money." Cllr David Simmonds was interviewed on Sky News and BBC Radio 5 Live.

Sky News with Cllr David Simmonds interview
Radio 5 Live with Cllr David Simmonds interview
Sky News Online
Mail p20
Sun p2
LBC Online 

I newspaper p20 
LGA press release

Not a laughing matter!
Sunday 24 August

Our warnings about the dangers of inhaling laughing gas were quoted in the Daily Star Sunday. Community Wellbeing Board Chair Cllr Katie Hall said: "It's deeply disturbing that this drug, which can be highly dangerous, is still widely viewed as safe." She added that the LGA was particularly concerned about the promotion of the drug on sites like YouTube.

Daily Star Sunday
LGA press release

Councils warn that black market cigarettes create fire risks, damage businesses and cost £3bn a year in unpaid duty
Saturday 23 August & Sunday 24 August

An LGA release highlighting the risks associated with the sale and consumption of black market cigarettes ran in The Sun, Guardian, Independent, i newspaper, BBC Online, ITV Online, Mail Online, Mirror Online and Metro Online on Saturday. It quoted Cllr Joanna Spicer, Vice-Chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, who said: "Counterfeit tobacco being sold cheaply through the black market by rogue traders is hampering council efforts to reduce smoking." Cllr Peter Fleming was interviewed on BBC 5 Live Breakfast and the story was covered on BBC Radio 1, 2 and TalkSport bulletins.

BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast Cllr Peter Fleming interview
BBC Radio 2 bulletin with Cllr Peter Fleming clip
BBC Radio 1 bulletin
TalkSport bulletin
Guardian p17
Independent p22
BBC Online
ITV Online
Mail Online
Mirror Online
Metro Online
I newspaper p10
Sun p12
LGA press release

1 September 2014