Weekly media round-up 21/02/15 – 27/02/15

This week has seen 551 LGA mentions in national, regional, trade, broadcast and online publications including 18 mentions in national newspapers, broadcast and online articles.

UK government blocks local decisions on EU funds

Friday 27 February
The LGA's call for the Government to devolve powers over EU funding to local areas was reported on FT Online. The LGA said English communities will have to depend on Whitehall to approve how they spend their share of £5.3 billion in EU structural and investment funds. It comes after ministers dropped a promise to give them a strategic role, a decision which the LGA warned could jeopardise growth and vital local projects.

FT Online
LGA media release 


George Osborne must protect the social care budget or the NHS will suffer

Thursday 26 February
Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board Cllr Izzi Seccombe wrote a Guardian Online piece calling on government to protect social care funding in next month's Budget. She said: "While social care remains chronically underfunded, the support elderly and disabled people rely upon will continue to suffer and deteriorate. Another care crisis, like the one we saw this winter, will become an unavoidable reality all year around."

Guardian Online


Elderly care downgraded to protect NHS budgets, MPs find

Thursday 26 February
The LGA's Budget call for social care funding to be protected in the same way as the NHS was reported on Telegraph Online. It came as the Public Accounts Committee said plans to unite the health service with social care through the £5.3 billion Better Care Fund are at risk of failure because of poor planning and NHS reluctance to give up its protected budget. An LGA spokesman said ministers had "moved the goalposts" because of concerns from the NHS and added that "protection for social care funding now needs to be urgently addressed in a similar way as it has been for the NHS."

Telegraph Online 


Experts debate smoking ban in outdoor public spaces

Thursday 26 February

Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board Cllr Izzi Seccombe was quoted in a BBC Online article debating whether smoking should be banned in outdoor public spaces such as parks and how people can be encouraged to make healthier lifestyle choices. Cllr Seccombe said: "We are calling on government to help people live healthier lives and tackle the harm caused by tobacco by reinvesting a fifth of existing duty raised on cigarettes. This extra money would enable councils to ramp up their efforts and really focus on prevention, which is the key."

BBC Online 
LGA media release
 


Safe Kensington seat will be offered choice of three candidates
Wednesday 25 February

Following the decision of Kensington MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind to stand down at the general election, the Telegraph reported that former LGA Chairman Sir Merrick Cockell is a potential candidate.>

Telegraph p4

Lincoln to ban public consumption of legal highs Tuesday 24 February

The LGA's call for the sale of legal highs to be banned were reported on Guardian Online, Mail Online and Telegraph Online in the wake of Lincoln City Council announcing it plans to become the first place in the country to ban the public consumption of such substances.

Guardian Online
Mail Online 
Telegraph Online 
LGA media release 


Lessons for us all from Blake's death

Sunday 22 February

Chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People's Board, Cllr David Simmonds, wrote a comment piece for the Sunday Express on the importance of giving social workers continued support in their battle against child abuse and neglect. Cllr Simmonds said: "It is vital that the police, schools, health services and other organisations which come into contact with young people come together to improve the way we all work with neglect. As communities and professionals react to the cases reported in the media what is clear is that social workers deserve our support. There are lessons to learn for all of us to safeguard children, to bring offenders to justice and to ensure that these tragedies never happen again."

Sunday Express p30 


Funding crisis facing adult social care

Saturday February 21

The LGA's warnings on the funding crisis facing adult social care, in line with the Show Us You Care campaign, were referenced on BBC Radio 5 Live. It came as the Prime Minister announced investment to help tackle dementia.

BBC Radio 5 Live 


Metal thefts 'down by a third' in England and Wales

Saturday 21 February

The LGA's press release on how councils have led efforts to drive down metal thefts by a third in the past year was reported on BBC Online, Mail Online, ITV Online and the Express. Thefts fell from about 60,000 a year to 40,680 in 2013/14 following the introduction of the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. Cllr Ann Lucas, Chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: "Such a significant drop in metal thefts is excellent news for communities who have suffered from the chaos, disruption and heartache caused by unscrupulous metal thieves." Cllr Peter Fleming also discussed the issue on BBC Radio 5 Live while the story was covered by LBC and TalkSPORT radio.

BBC Online 
Mail Online 
ITV Online 
Express p15 
BBC Radio 5
LBC
TalkSPORT 
LGA media release 


Two in three deaths before 75 could be avoided, if public was more healthy, watchdogs say

Saturday 21 February

The LGA's response to new guidance from the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) instructing councils to use their licensing powers to restrict the number of takeaway outlets featured in the Telegraph. It included the LGA's call for a fifth of VAT raised on sweets, crisps, takeaway food and sugary drinks to be diverted to councils to run health awareness campaigns and leisure activities. Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board said: "Councils want to do everything they can to encourage sports activity and tackle obesity but are doing this in the face of unprecedented budget constraints across the board."

Telegraph p6 
LGA media release 


2 March 2015