Weekly media round-up 12/7/14 - 18/7/14

This week has seen 824 LGA mentions in national, regional, trade, broadcast and online publications including 27 mentions in national newspapers, broadcast and online articles.

Bedroom tax is forcing poorest citizens into unmanageable debt
Friday 18 July
LGA President, Lord Best, was quoted in a letter to the Guardian from Reverend Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty, who criticised the Government's welfare policy. Lord Best was quoted to have previously said: "A £500 cap will plunge a family with three children living in Hampstead into poverty, with only, in this example, £150 per week left for food clothing, ever-rising fuel bills and the rest, instead of more than £300 as at present. It is not their fault that rents are so high in much of southern England."

Guardian p35

Pupil numbers to soar over 8m
Thursday 17 July

Following projections from the Department for Education on pupil population and school places, Cllr David Simmonds, Chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People's Board responded in the Telegraph, Mail and Express. The DFE said that England's pupil population is set to exceed 8 million for the first time in almost half a century and that the number of children enrolled in state schools is expected to soar by almost a million over the next decade. Cllr Simmonds said: "The reality is that parents in many cities are not able to exercise choice over the school they send their children because of the pressure on places. There was always more spare capacity in secondary schools than primaries, which is why the huge capacity-building programmes have been aimed at primary level. Although we have that extra breathing space, we must be sure the resources are there to expand secondary schools before it develops into a problem."

Telegraph p9, Express p4, Mail p25 Telegraph Online

Nick Clegg: Free school meals may face 'difficulties'
Thursday 17 July

BBC Online reported that 34 councils in England said they were having to use money from their own budgets to provide free school meals from September, with others passing the costs onto schools. Chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People Board Cllr David Simmonds, responded: "Councils have been pushing their local schools to ensure readiness but have had to rely on schools coming forward with plans for how they will deliver their new duty. While local government supports the free school meals policy, this is a central government initiative and should therefore be fully funded by central government." Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said English primary schools may have "some difficulties" in meeting his pledge to provide free meals for under-sevens, but insisted the policy had been both "well-funded" and "well-researched".

BBC Online

Heatwave advice: stay indoors
Thursday 17 July

The LGA's call for health precautions to be taken to combat the heatwave was reported on the front page of the Telegraph. Cllr Katie Hall, Chair of the LGA's Community and Wellbeing Board, said: "The hundreds of deaths caused by extreme heat each year are avoidable. Councils are determined to reduce the toll as much as possible." Council staff across the country were making calls and paying extra visits to the vulnerable.

Telegraph p1 LGA release

Young people leaving care 'at risk', say MPs
Thursday 17 July

Cllr David Simmonds, Chair of the LGA's Children and Young People's Board, was interviewed on BBC News following findings from the Education Select Committee, which claimed young, vulnerable people are being put at risk when they leave care by being placed in B&Bs. The LGA said local authorities took their responsibilities toward young people seriously, but that emergency accommodation such as B&Bs was sometimes necessary. Our response ran on Sky News Online, BBC News, BBC Radio 4 Today programme, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2's bulletins.

Sky News Online

LGA release


How town halls ‘squander £200m a year' on bins of different sizes and colours
Wednesday 16 July

The LGA responded to a study on recycling by the Circular Economy Taskforce, which claimed councils are "wasting" £200 million per year because they insist on using bins of different sizes and colours. An LGA spokesman said in the Mail: "The types of bin which would suit a detached five-bedroom house in the country would be completely unsuitable for a 20-storey block of flats in inner-city London and vice versa. Councils have to take account of the types of homes in their areas when they plan the frequency of waste and recycling collections and the size and type of container is a key part of this."


Mail p28 Mail Online

'Worst council in Britain' set to leave special measures after glowing inspection report
Tuesday 15 July

Express Online reported the LGA's peer review into Doncaster Council. The council, which the Express said was regarded four years ago as the worst in Britain, was heralded as an "inspiration" by the LGA. The LGA report has been sent to Eric Pickles, who is now being urged to take the council out of special measures

Express Online

World Cup 2014: Can England copy Germany's path to success?
Tuesday 15 July

The LGA's call for the FA and Premier League to support council efforts by investing more in grass-roots football was referenced in a BBC Sport article reflecting on England's World Cup.

BBC Online

LGA release


LGA says that junk food tax 'should be used to fight obesity'

Saturday 12 July

The LGA called for a fifth of current VAT on fast food, soft drinks and confectionery to be given to local authorities to tackle the causes of Britain's obesity crisis. Our calls were reported in the Independent, Times, Sun, Express, Mail on Sunday, Guardian Online and across ITV News, Sky News and Talk Sport's bulletins. The LGA said that councils can make the money "work harder" at preventing the rise of obesity and the related epidemic of type 2 diabetes. LGA Chairman, Cllr David Sparks said: "By taking a slice of VAT we could help transform the lives and futures of obese and overweight people." Cllr Katie Hall, Chair of the LGA's Community and Wellbeing Board was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC to discuss the story.

Sun p2, Times p9, Independent p17, i p6, Express p4, ITV.com 

Independent Online
Express Online
Times Online
Mail on Sunday
Guardian Online
LBC- interview with Cllr Katie Hall 
BBC Radio 5 Live- interview with Cllr Katie Hall
ITV News
Sky News bulletin
BBC News bulletin
Talk Sport bulletin
LBC bulletin
BBC Radio 5 Live bulletin
LGA release

21 July 2014