Weekly media round-up – 16/05/15 – 21/05/15
This week has seen 469 LGA mentions in national, regional, trade, broadcast and online publications including 22 LGA mentions in national newspapers, broadcast and online articles.
Children's centres need more funding, say Barnardo's
Friday 22 May
Chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People Board Cllr David Simmonds featured on 'BBC Online' in response to analysis by charity Barnardo's revealing money allocated to children's centres has fallen by 35 per cent in five years. The charity wants the Government to ensure councils have the funding "to prioritise these important services". Cllr Simmonds said: "We welcome the fact that more children and families are using children's centres but, at a time when budgets are stretched, there are limits to what can be achieved when councils are having to serve more families and children with less money."
Call for ban on legal highs as students taken to hospital
Friday 22 May
The LGA's call for an outright ban on legal highs to be included in the Queen's Speech was reported by the 'Telegraph'. It came as two teenage students remained seriously ill in hospital after smoking synthetic cannabis. Cllr Ann Lucas, Chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: "We need an outright ban on legal highs that will enable the closure of head shops and protect the public from devastating consequences."
English devolution would save £20 billion, say council leaders
Thursday 21 May
LGA analysis that up to £20 billion a year could be saved if the Chancellor extended his programme for devolution to shire counties and rural areas was reported in 'The Times'. The analysis formed part of a new LGA white paper on English devolution offering an alternative to the Cities Devolution Bill to be announced in next week's Queen's Speech.
LGA media release
Struggling councils spend £750,000 on stars
Wednesday 20 May and Friday 22 May
Councils spent more than £750,000 booking celebrity acts last year, according to an investigation by 'The Sun'. The report references the LGA's warning that councils are struggling to protect services following a 40 per cent cut in central government funding since 2010. The LGA's response also featured in 'Express Online', 'Mirror Online', 'Mail Online' and 'Independent Online' while the research was debated by Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn.
Norman Lamb was a good but not great care minister
Wednesday May 20
The LGA's analysis that 40 per cent of councils' budgets have been cut over the course of the last parliament was referenced in a 'Guardian Online' profile of former Care Minister Norman Lamb MP.
From 'false dawn' to 'go further' – what leaders think about city devolution
Wednesday 20 May
LGA Deputy Chair Cllr Sharon Taylor contributed to a 'Guardian Online' debate about the need for devolution to reach all parts of England and the UK. Cllr Taylor said: "The proposed devolution of transport, housing and policing powers is great news for our larger cities, but we want to make sure that the benefits of devolution reach every corner of England and the UK. This will require different approaches to both governance and the powers needed for different areas."
Feature: We are facing an asbestos time-bomb but ministers don't want to know
Tuesday 19 May
Chairman of the LGA's Children and Young People Board Cllr David Simmonds' recent appearance before the Education Select Committee was referenced in 'The Guardian' in a report about schools being unable to get rid of asbestos from their buildings due to disputes over who pays for the costs. Cllr Simmonds told the Committee that, even where money was allocated under the Priority Schools Building Programme for rebuilding projects, local authorities have still been expected to meet significant parts of the costs – including asbestos removal.
Hard road ahead as Osborne embarks on mission to reshape state
Tuesday 19 May and Wednesday 20 May
The LGA's letter to 'The Observer' calling for fairer funding for local government was referenced on 'Mail Online', in a preview about George Osborne preparing to announce how he will reduce government spending and the prospect of big changes in the way public services are provided. International news agency Reuters also referred to the LGA's recent letter in a similar preview.
Sexual abuse of disabled adults revealed
Monday 18 May
The LGA's response to an investigation by the BBC's 'Victoria Derbyshire Show' on the sexual abuse of disabled adults ran on 'BBC Online'. Information from 106 councils in England found there were 4,748 reports of sexual abuse against adults with disabilities over the past two years. An LGA spokesman said: "Keeping people safe, including people with learning disabilities, is one of the most important things councils do" and added that "councils work hard to ensure support is available when cases of abuse are referred".
Protecting local services
Sunday 17 May and Monday 18 May
LGA Chair Cllr David Sparks and the LGA Group Leaders urged government to consider the consequences of further funding cuts to councils in a letter to 'The Observer'. It was also followed up by 'Mail Online', 'Express Online' and 'Daily Mirror'. The letter was also discussed as part of newspaper reviews on the BBC's 'Andrew Marr Show' and Sky News' 'Murnaghan' programmes. It said: "The new government must consider the consequences that further funding cuts, without radical reform of the way public money is spent, will have on the services which bind our communities together and protect the most vulnerable. If our public services are to survive the next few years, councils need fairer funding and the freedom to pay for them."
Elderly care crisis looms for relatives
Sunday 17 May
The LGA's warning that adult social care funding was in crisis and the system was "buckling under the strain of inadequate funding" were included in a piece by 'The Independent on Sunday'. It followed a warning from the Alzheimer's Society that people looking after ageing relatives could be forced into unemployment.
Local government cannot afford any more cuts
Sunday 17 May
LGA Cllr David Sparks was interviewed on BBC 'Sunday Politics South East' about how local government cannot afford any more cuts and that local authorities need to look into raising income in order to meet increasing demand and mitigate funding reductions.
Do KFC and McDonald's target the poor? Fast food restaurants concentrated in areas of deprivation
Saturday 16 May
'Mirror Online' pointed to LGA calls for councils to be given greater powers to control the number of fast food outlets in areas following an investigation that revealed they are being built in areas with high levels of deprivation.
22 May 2015
15 May 2015
8 May 2015
1 May 2015
24 April 2015
17 April 2015