Weekly media round-up 3/12/16 – 9/12/16

This week has seen 1,388 LGA mentions in national, regional, trade, broadcast and online publications including 35 LGA mentions in national newspapers, broadcast and online articles.  

Councils generate £60 million from parking charges and fines

Friday 9 December
LGA Deputy Chairman Cllr Peter Fleming was interviewed live on BBC Radio 4's Today programme and also featured across Good Morning Britain, ITV News, LBC and TalkSport bulletins with the association's response to an RAC Foundation report on council parking income. The LGA's lines were also reported on BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5 Live and on BBC Online, ITV Online, Telegraph, Times, Mail, Mirror, Sun Online and Metro Online. Councils have generated £60 million from parking charges and fines in the past year, according to the RAC's research. The LGA said councils did not make a profit from parking. Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board Vice Chair Cllr Judith Blake said: "Income from on-street parking charges is spent on running parking services and surpluses are spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling the £12 billion roads repair backlog, creating new parking spaces and providing subsidised bus travel for children or elderly residents." 

Cllr Fleming interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Good Morning Britain, ITV News, LBC, TalkSport
BBC Breakfast, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 5 Live news bulletins
BBC Online
ITV Online
Telegraph p2
Times p30
Mail p10
Mirror p11
Sun Online
Metro Online
LGA media release

 

Local authorities 'spend close to nothing on mental health'

Thursday 8 December
Good Morning Britain interviewed Deputy Chairman Cllr Peter Fleming about the LGA's response to new data from charity Mind, which said councils have spent less than one per cent of their public health budgets on public mental health. The LGA's lines were also reported on Mail Online, Express Online and ITV Online. The charity used the Freedom of Information Act to analyse figures from councils on how much they spend on preventing mental health problems. Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, said: 'It is wrong to look at mental health funding in isolation without considering the range of other services councils provide that directly impact on people with mental health issues. Local authorities do a huge amount of positive grassroots work including tackling obesity, and helping people to get active, stop smoking and cut down on drinking. As physical and mental health are inextricably linked, this has a major impact."

Cllr Peter Fleming interviewed live on Good Morning Britain
Mail Online
Express Online
ITV Online
LGA media release

 

Children's online junk food ads banned by industry

Thursday 8 December
The LGA's lines in response to new guidelines banning the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products in children's media was reported on Sun Online. Councils have also called for more powers to ban junk food advertising near schools. Community Wellbeing Board Chairman Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: "It is not right that advertising unhealthy foods is unacceptable within the confines of the school building, but not outside."

Sun Online
LGA media release

 

Library budgets cut by £25 million

Thursday 8 December
The Guardian featured the LGA's response to a new report which showed the UK's public library budgets were cut by £25 million in the year to March. The figures by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy also showed the number of public libraries open fell by 121 to 3,850 - a 10-year low - while visitor numbers fell by 15 million to 250 million. Cllr Ian Stephens, Chair of the LGA's Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said funding pressures on libraries would continue over the next few years following a 40 per cent reduction in central government funding over the last parliament. He said: "This means library services must continue to adapt and change in line with the resources available." 

Guardian p21

 

One in 10 emergency patients has four-hour wait for bed

Wednesday 7 December
Chairman Lord Porter featured on Times Online with the LGA's warnings about the funding gap facing adult social care following the Autumn Statement. One in 10 emergency patients in England waited more than four hours for a hospital bed last year, a fivefold increase that has left more and more people on trolleys and in corridors for treatment. Senior doctors attributed much of the problem to lack of room in social care, forcing elderly patients to stay in hospital unnecessarily. No extra money was promised for social care in the Autumn Statement despite growing concern among councils, the NHS, charities and care providers. Lord Porter described the situation as desperate.

Times Online
LGA media release

 

‘New manifesto for social care is essential – service users should write it'

Tuesday 6 December
The LGA's concerns about the funding crisis in adult social care following the Autumn Statement was referenced in a Guardian Online opinion piece. Columnist Peter Beresford warned that growing talk of a "new social movement for social care" is "too little too late" with many people struggling to access the care they need now. He said: "More powerful voices in the sector than ever before have issued statements highlighting the catastrophic state of social care, including the Care Quality Commission, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and the LGA." The social policy academic and commentator called for a comprehensive new strategy for social care, written by those who need it. 

Guardian Online
LGA media release

Councils use homes to pay for cost of care

Monday 5 December
The Mail reported the LGA's warnings about the funding gap in adult social care, in a piece about how the homes of people in care are being used by some councils as collateral to pay for the cost of residential care. This is as part of Deferred Payment Agreements where councils hold the homes to cover costs. NHS figures show 55 councils have taken part in the scheme with 2,895 DFAs in place. Plans to cap social care costs have been delayed by the Government until 2020, after the LGA raised concerns over the funding gap.

Mail p6

 

HIV 'game-changer' now on NHS

Sunday 4 December
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Community Wellbeing Chairman featured on Mail Online, Independent Online, Metro Online and in the Star on Sunday with the LGA's response to NHS England agreeing to commission the HIV preventative drug PrEP, as part of an initial clinical trial. NHS England said at least 10,000 people will be given the PrEP drug in a three-year-long clinical trial. The health service lost a court battle in the summer after arguing it was the responsibility of councils to commission the drug. Cllr Seccombe said: "We are pleased that NHS England has acted quickly and chosen to fund the commissioning of this trial and rollout of PrEP. We now want to stand united with the NHS to defeat the spread of HIV. PrEP is a ground-breaking method of treatment that has the potential to save lives and councils want to work with the NHS to help roll out the trial." 

Mail Online
Independent Online
Metro Online
Star on Sunday p4
LGA media release

 

Minibus licence loophole puts people at risk - LGA

Saturday 3 December
LGA Deputy Chairman Cllr Peter Fleming was interviewed on Sky News, ITV Online and BBC Radio 5 Live about the association's release, calling for a loophole in taxi licensing laws which allow drivers of minibus taxis to operate without having a criminal record check, to be fixed. This was also reported across BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 and LBC news bulletins and on BBC Online, ITV Online and Express Online. Drivers of public carriage vehicles, which seat 9 to 16 people, are not subject to a criminal check - unlike hackney carriage and private taxi drivers. The LGA said it allowed "unscrupulous drivers" to work even if councils have banned them. Safer and Stronger Communities Board Chair, Cllr Simon Blackburn, said: "It is therefore extremely worrying that councils' proactive work to protect taxi passengers from harm - and particularly those who may be most vulnerable - is being undermined by this loophole." A Department for Transport spokesman said it was planning immediate action.

Cllr Peter Fleming interviewed on Sky News, ITV News and BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Online
ITV Online
Express Online
LGA media release


9 December 2016