Our Local Growth Campaign has not only demonstrated that councils are ‘just doing it', it has highlighted that we have embraced the devolution agenda and have the ideas and ambition to show how councils can intensify the drive for economic growth at a local level.
We will be presenting our campaign's recommendations at the LGA annual conference in June.
However, instead of a ‘green paper', which tends to symbolise policy ideas from the centre rather than the frontline, the Local Growth Campaign conclusions will become a call to action and delivery – inviting local councils and their partners, and groups of councils working in partnership up and down the country, to identify what needs to be done to promote growth locally and identify what Government can do to remove barriers to local growth.
Read more about the Local Growth Campaign on our website
It was with great sadness that I heard of the sudden death of Cllr Kevin Lynes from Kent County Council. Kevin was an excellent and active member of the LGA's Economy and Transport Board and the Cabinet Member for Economic Development in Kent. He was far too young to leave us and we will miss his contribution to our work. On behalf of the board, I would like to again send my condolences to his family, his friends and colleagues in local government.
Councillor Peter Box CBE
Chairman, LGA Economy and Transport Board
Over the last month, we have been building consensus with partners around the proposals set out in our Hidden Talents report for supporting the most disengaged young people into work and learning.
On 15 May, lead LGA members held a roundtable event to discuss the report and set out a programme of next steps with local authorities, senior partners, and Government. The roundtable was attended by Rt Hon David Miliband MP, chair of the Association of Chief Executives Voluntary Organisation (ACEVO) Youth Unemployment Commission, and John Hayes MP, Minister for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning.
We are also planning work on the skills mismatch for young people, and have commissioned research to assess the extent of this disparity across sectors and places.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is launching a Growth and Capital programme for 2012/13. We are inviting interested local authorities to participate.
The programme will be offering resources and assistance for up to 15 ‘city authorities' (and the 26 original capital asset plan (CAP) Pathfinder councils) to enable them to both control expenditure and promote growth via the use of their own capital assets.
Initially, we will offer selected councils up to £25,000 (matched by the council) to develop their capital asset plan and thereafter we will offer councils the opportunity of working with a number of private and not-for-profit organisations who will work on a ‘no win, no fee' basis, based on property disposed or refurbished and economic growth achieved.
This year's Queen's Speech on 9 May was thinner than usual, containing significantly fewer bills than the 23 announced in the 2010 Speech.
The new year-long session is expected to be dominated by House of Lords reform. Priority bills for the LGA over the new session will include the Draft Adult Social Care Bill, the Children and Families Bill, and the ongoing Local Government Finance Bill.
On 16 May, members of the House of Lords debated business, the economy, the environment, local government and transport.
The debate saw Labour peers arguing strongly that the Government's legislative programme would not succeed in promoting growth and jobs, while LGA Vice-President Lord Shipley (Lib Dem) raised concerns on child poverty. He stated that, while the Universal Credit could reduce poverty, the poverty-increasing effects of other tax and benefits changes would more than offset any ground gained.
On 17 May, members of the House of Commons debated jobs and growth.
This included long-term youth unemployment which David Miliband MP (Lab, South Shields) argued was only getting worse. Eric Ollerenshaw MP (Cons, Lancaster and Fleetwood) referenced the Local Government Finance Bill, praising reforms to business rate retention which he argued "will be a truly local way of improving investment. I welcome the commitment that the LGA [has] made to looking at local government bonds as a way of raising investment for local businesses."
This guide from the Department of Transport is designed to help councillors and senior officers in local authorities and their partners by highlighting some of the wide variety of ways in which transport initiatives can contribute to wider objectives. It includes a section on transport's contribution to environmental sustainability.
Following the Olympic Torch Relay dress rehearsal on 20 April between Leicester and Peterborough, the Government Olympic Executive (GOE) has produced debrief documents highlighting the lessons learned and giving advice which would help other councils preparing for the Torch Relay.
The report is intended to be viewed as a guidance document to stakeholders when considering their operational arrangements for the Torch Relay as it moves through their area of responsibility.
The LGA welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Tourism Regulation Taskforce report. We share the taskforce and Government's overall agenda of reducing needless red tape, complexity and bureaucracy in the tourism sector to spearhead economic growth through sustainable development.
Tourism clearly plays an essential national role; however, it is also an important local issue, being an integral part of a local area's identity, local employment opportunities, economy and the local community in general.
LGA annual conference and exhibition
Birmingham | 26-28 June 2012
The Local Government Association's annual conference is the biggest event in the local government calendar. It also is one of the biggest political conferences of the year regularly attracting over 1,100 delegates. The conference will be the place to go for debates on economic growth, local leadership, new models of innovation in service delivery, reforms in public sector pensions, planning, local government finance, welfare and benefits, debates around the role of local authorities in education and social care and self-improvement and a host of other issues.
The Driving Local Growth session (Wednesday 27 June at 3.30-4.25 pm) will launch our Green Paper on growth. This will highlight the role councils can play in the national economic recovery and how a renewed programme of localism could support new jobs and investment.
John Cridland, Director General, CBI
Cllr Peter Box, Chair, Economy and Transport Board, LGA
Angela Maxwell, Founder, Acuwomen, Board Member of the West Midlands Enterprise Board.
Investing in local economic growth – member event
Leeds | 2 July 2012
The LGA has organised a free member development workshop ‘Investing in local economic growth' on 2 July in Leeds. The workshop provides a forum for those councillors leading on economic development and or regeneration to debate, network and learn from the efforts of others, as well as sharing their own experiences, ideas and challenges.
Please contact Kamal Panchal for further information, by calling 020 7664 3174 or emailing email@example.com.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is staging a Business Advice Week from 25-29 June with free events, seminars and conferences in 35 locations around the country. The week, run in conjunction with the British Bankers' Association, offers support and advice to start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses.
Local authorities are welcome to attend and promote their own economic development initiatives.
Interested in what's happening in the corridors of power? Want to know when specific subjects are due to be face scrutiny in Parliament? Or receive brief summaries of key debates for local government? If you are an LGA member councillor or officer, you can subscribe to our ‘Parliamentary bulletin' by emailing Tom Coales : firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is an exclusive bulletin for member councils and Members of Parliament only.
Have you had problems in your area with utility firms causing disruption and damaging local growth? Are they reinstating the road properly? Are they overruning in duration causing further delays to road users? Are they working in partnership with their local authorities and making efforts to coordinate their works? Would you support further powers to allow councils to force utility firms to reinstate the road to the required standard? The LGA is seeking case studies detailing the experiences local authorities have of utility firms, particularly on the issue of reinstatement. Please send your case studies to Charles Loft: email@example.com or call 020 7665 3874 for more information.
Councillor Sir Merrick Cockell, the LGA Chairman, has written to Cities Minister Greg Clark to ask for a meeting to discuss "how we could develop this policy to support the ambition for economic growth in our smaller cities, in our counties and in the sector as a whole".
The letter went on to add that council leaders had "been very encouraged by the first 'City deals' to be announced" and that the LGA was very keen "to help develop the next phase of this exciting work."
LGA media release, 24 May 2012
Street fundraisers who hassle people into giving their bank details are deterring shoppers from visiting town centres, a survey of local authorities has revealed.
Councils are calling for updated powers to clamp down on so-called ‘chuggers' – also known as ‘charity muggers' – who congregate in large numbers on busy shopping streets and use aggressive tactics to obtain donations. A survey carried out by the Local Government Association (LGA) shows that more than two out of three councils (68 per cent) have received complaints about street fundraisers from the public, businesses and other groups including the voluntary sector.
30 January 2013