Weekly media round up - 19/07/14 - 25/07/14

This week has seen 1203 LGA mentions in national, regional, trade, broadcast and online publications including 11 mentions in national newspapers, broadcast and online articles.

Council tax rises hit Britain's poor hardest
Friday 25 July

The LGA responded to Freedom of Information figures obtained by the Labour Party on rising council tax demands in the Independent and Sun. It claimed that more than 2 million of the poorest people in England are facing rising council tax demands this year because of fresh government cuts to the benefit system. Cllr Sharon Taylor, Chair of the LGA's Finance Panel, said: "When government handed the responsibility for administering council tax support to local authorities, it cut hundreds of millions in funding for it. The shortfall between the money councils receive and the money we would need to protect those on low incomes is likely to reach £1 billion by 2016. This has put many local authorities in an impossible position."

Independent p1 & 5
Sun p2


Call to ban families from putting food in bins
Friday 25 July

The Mail reported that families should be banned from sending any food waste to landfill according to recommendations from the Commons Environmental Audit Committee. The committee urged government to force councils to compost or re-use 100 per cent of food waste and has proposed a reduction in VAT for recycled products. An LGA spokesman said: "There is a strong case for banning not just food from landfill, but also furniture, paints and textiles. This will help promote a thriving reuse economy."

Mail p19

Labour plans 'grassroots levy' from top clubs

Thursday 24 July

The LGA's recent press release calling for greater Premier League grassroots investment was referenced in the Independent and i paper's coverage of Labour plans to force football clubs to pay a financial levy from their multi-billion pound television rights to support the game at a local level.

Independent p63, i p5
LGA release

Councils ‘making £650m from parking'
Thursday 24 July

Cllr Peter Box, Chair of the LGA's Economy and Transport Board, told the Mail that parking income is set to only rise in line with inflation next year. It was in response to projections released by the Department for Communities and Local Government that the amount of money collected in parking fines and charges is set to rise to £650 million this year. Cllr Box added: "On-street parking revenue is spent on paying for parking services. Any surplus is spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling the £12 billion roads repair backlog and providing subsidised travel to elderly and disabled residents."

Mail p12


Move to let state schools prioritise poorest
Wednesday 23 July

The Department for Education confirmed it will go ahead with £200 million of cuts to next year's budget of the Education Services Grant. The Guardian reported warnings from the LGA that the reduction will harm councils' school improvement sections and that it could pressure more schools to convert to academies.


FGM: Council leaders say it is too hard to protect girls
Tuesday 22 July

The LGA's call for encouraging or promoting the practice of FGM to be made illegal was reported by the Guardian and on LBC news bulletins. A column from Cllr Lisa Brett also ran on Guardian Online. She said "This form of abuse will only be eradicated in the long-term by changing practices and customs in communities where it happens; this requires working with members of these communities to change their views towards FGM. Making it a criminal offence to encourage or promote the practice of FGM – not just the physical act of an individual assisting or carrying out a mutilation – is a necessary step. This will help bring forward cases against those who support it and to help change attitudes towards the practice."

Guardian Online
Guardian Online – Cllr Brett article
LBC bulletin
LGA release

Attacks on rubbish men have hit all-time record
Sunday 20 July

The LGA responded to a survey of councils which found that record numbers of binmen were assaulted or abused last year in the Star on Sunday. The survey found that there were 175 incidents of physical and verbal abuse. The figure is up 27 per cent in four years with 68 incidents of refuse collectors physically attacked. An LGA spokesman said: "Binmen and women do a fantastic job emptying bins for more than 22 million homes every week and they must be free to go about their work without abuse. Any attack is totally unacceptable.

Star on Sunday p20


25 July 2014