Weekly media round-up 25/07/15 – 31/07/15

This week has seen 1727 LGA mentions in national, regional, trade, broadcast and online publications including 22 LGA mentions in national newspapers, broadcast and online articles.

Sweeping cuts will harm efforts to improve public health, councils warn
Friday 31 July

Cllr Izzie Seccombe was featured in a Guardian online article on the Department of Health's consultation over plans to achieve £200 million savings in public health grants to local authorities. Cllr Seccombe said:  "A £200 million in-year reduction in public health funding will clearly impact on councils' ability to improve the public's health and wellbeing as well as reduce demand for hospital, health and social care services. This comes on top of a year-on-year real terms reduction in public health budgets."

Guardian online

One in five elderly has 'no-one to turn to', warns charity
Thursday 30 July

Cllr Izzie Seccombe was featured in a BBC online article regarding a survey, carried out by the Campaign to End Loneliness, which says one out of every five elderly people in the UK who feel lonely say they have no-one to turn to. Cllr Seccombe, said: "As council budgets continue to come under pressure, it is a sad reality that local authorities will have to continue making difficult decisions about the services they provide. This can often be at the expense of other valuable services like libraries, parks and leisure centres, which can help to keep people independent, healthy and well."

BBC online

An ageing population, a shrinking state and a growing problem
Thursday 30 July

In an article on the pressures in adult social care the Economist quoted LGA calculations that in order to pay all care workers the new £9 minimum wage by 2020, an extra £1 billion will be needed

Less lighting has no impact on crime or collisions, says report
Wednesday 29 July

Cllr Peter Fleming was interviewed by BBC Radio 5 Live about how councils consult extensively with their communities before dimming street lights. The LGA's response to a report which shows that turning off street lights at night does not lead to more crime or accidents also featured on BBC Online. Cllr Peter Box, LGA Environment spokesman, said, "Careful consideration was given to safety when reducing street lighting. With local government funding having seen substantial cuts, reducing or dimming streetlights can free up vital cash to protect under-pressure services such as child protection, adult social care, collecting bins and filling potholes"

BBC Radio 5 Live interview with Cllr Fleming
BBC Online

Does Osborne have the stomach to put Whitehall on a diet?
Tuesday 28 July

The LGA's suggestion in 2013 about merging six government departments into an England office was referenced in an opinion piece in the Independent Online.

Cost of national living wage could trigger 'catastrophic failure' in homecare
Monday 27 July and Tuesday 28 July

Chairman of the LGA's Improvement and Innovation Board Cllr Peter Fleming was interviewed by BBC News about the LGA's concerns about the National Living Wage and the potential impact on adult social care. Chairman Cllr Gary Porter also featured in the i paper and BBC Online about this issue and the LGA's lines were also reported on Guardian Online.

BBC News interview with Cllr Peter Fleming
BBC Online
Guardian Online

Councils to be scored on school dropout rates
Monday 27 July and Tuesday 28 July

Cllr Nick Forbes featured in the Telegraph and BBC Online about the LGA's call for NEET scorecards to be broken down by government-commissioned schemes rather than by council areas. Cllr Forbes said: "Whilst councils have reduced 16-18-year-old disengagement over the last 15 years to 7.1%, they have had their powers to carry out vital services such as careers advice, national engagement programmes and further education steadily removed, meaning that many will not necessarily be running their local area's employment scheme."

BBC Online

Social housing rent cuts to cost councils billions
Monday 27 July

LGA Chairman Cllr Gary Porter featured in the FT about the LGA's research showing how government reforms to cut social housing rents will cost local councils £2.6 billion over the next five years. The LGA wants the Government to lift the current cap on council borrowing to help local authorities fund the construction of more homes. Cllr Porter said it was right that the Government kept rents as low as possible, but said building new homes would be the best way of reducing public spending on housing benefit. He added: "If we are to see the crucially needed numbers of homes built, councils must have a lead role in housebuilding and be allowed to reinvest in homes and infrastructure that they are best placed to help deliver."

FT p4

LGA media release

 ‘Laughing gas' teenager dies after party
Sunday 26 July

The LGA's warnings about the danger of inhaling nitrous oxide, otherwise known as laughing gas, were referenced on Mail Online about an 18-year-old man who died after having apparently taken nitrous oxide at a party in Bexley, south-east London. Research by the LGA described as "deeply disturbing" the notion that many young people view nitrous oxide as safe, despite it being linked to a number of deaths.

Mail Online
LGA media release

Communities Secretary speech to LGA conference
Sunday 26 July

Communities Secretary Greg Clark referenced his speech to the LGA conference in an interview on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday, where the LGA's response to last week's proposed 40 per cent cuts to departmental budgets was also mentioned.

Greg Clark LGA mention on BBC Radio 4
LGA media release


Care Act delay letter
Sunday 26 July

The LGA's letter to the Health Secretary asking for a delay to the introduction of the second phase of the Care Act, sent prior to the Government's decision, was referenced in a separate discussion on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday.

BBC Radio 4
LGA media release


Mattress firms urged to help tidy waste
Saturday 25 July

Cllr Mike Jones was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live about the LGA's call for mattress and furniture manufacturers to contribute towards the cost of cleaning up fly-tipping. Cllr Jones' interview also featured on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio 2 and LBC news bulletins over the weekend and the LGA's lines also featured in the i paper. LGA Environment spokesman Cllr Peter Box said: "Mattresses and furniture are some of the most fly-tipped items and in these unprecedented circumstances it is only fair that the manufacturers do more to help. It is extremely difficult and costly to recycle mattresses, so most of them end up in landfill sites, which are already under severe pressure."

BBC Radio 5 Live interview with Cllr Jones
BBC Radio 5 Live news bulletin
BBC Radio 2 news bulletin
LBC news bulletin
i paper p4
LGA media release

PM hints at relief for dwindling public toilets
Saturday 25 July

The LGA's response to Prime Minister David Cameron's promise to save Britain's dwindling number of public toilets featured in the Telegraph.  An LGA spokesman said: "Councils are doing everything they can to keep public toilets open and this includes running community toilet schemes, which enable local businesses like pubs, restaurants and shops, to make more clean, safe and accessible toilets available to the public. However, with substantial reductions to their budgets, councils have had to make tough choices."

Telegraph p14


31 July 2015