Weekly media roundup – 26/05/12 to 01/06/12
837 LGA mentions in national, regional, trade and online publications 17 mentions in national newspapers
LGA media activity
Diamond Jubilee street parties
Friday 1 June
Sir Merrick is being interviewed by BBC News this afternoon about the upcoming Jubilee weekend. Almost 9,500 road closure applications have been granted for Diamond Jubilee street parties – 4,000 more than for last year's Royal Wedding.
Radio 4's Care in the UK season: What's the cost of care and who should pay?
Clouncillor David Rogers, Chair of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, was interviewed as part of a Radio 4 series on adult social care. He said: "Failure to take a lead on the reform of funding adult social care is unforgivably short sighted and threatens to affect the popular services we all take for granted. It's clear that central government can no longer duck the hard choices required to make elderly care affordable. Without urgent reform we are going to see the cost of providing care for the elderly soaking up every last penny of council budgets. In just a generation we are going to get to the point where councils are unable to provide any services at all that are not statutory, and offer little more than care services for the vulnerable. Politicians need to act now or risk severely impacting on the services councils can provide for generations to come."
Cost of elderly care will double in 20 years
Wednesday 30 May
The LGA issued research which showed the cost of caring for England's ageing population is projected almost to double over the next 20 years. By 2030, the state will be spending the equivalent of an extra £230 for every man, woman and child in the country on social care, it said. Cllr David Rogers warned that unless the Government acted to reform the way care is funded, more than 250,000 people will face bills of tens of thousands of pounds. He said: "Without urgent reform we are going to see the cost of providing care for the elderly soaking up every last penny of council budgets." The story was picked up by the Mail, the Telegraph and the Express, as well as several regional and trade publications.
Britons go Jubilee crazy
Saturday 26 May
A press release revealing that almost 9,500 road closure applications have been granted for Diamond Jubilee street parties – 4,000 more than for last year's Royal Wedding – was featured in the Guardian, Independent and BBC online. Hertfordshire is the top street party destination, with 451 applications, followed by Surrey, with 419. Bristol is the leading city outside London, with 91, and Wandsworth is London's leading borough, with 227. Cllr Flick Rea, Chair of the LGA's Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, was quoted: "The scale of national celebration looks set to be unlike anything we've experienced for decades."
LGA in the news
Council tax benefit cuts
Friday 1 June
The LGA responded to a report into the Government's plans to cut £500 million from council tax benefit funding. The Institute for Fiscal Studies report warned the move could lead to a 1.9 per cent increase in council tax bills, a cut in council tax benefit for the poor or spending being axed from other council services. The response from LGA Chairman Sir Merrick Cockell warned that councils are being put in an impossible position. He was quoted in the Telegraph saying: "Councils are extremely worried about how they're going to protect deserving and vulnerable people from the £500 million cut to council tax benefit next year. They can either cease helping the working poor, or continue to support them by taking money from other services of putting up council tax."
Councils respond to Defra's new rubbish fine rules
Wednesday 30 May
A media statement was issued in response to new limits on bin fines which came into force this week and led to Vice Chairman of the Environment Board Cllr Clyde Loakes being quoted in the Guardian, Express, Daily Telegraph, Independent online, Sky News online and BBC online's coverage of the story. The statement, which refuted claims of people being fined for making innocent mistakes was also picked up by more than 100 online regional, local and trade news websites and quoted on the BBC News Channel. Cllr Loakes was interviewed by Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio 5Live Breakfast and several local BBC radio stations where he said that councils only used fines as a last resort and that claims they were being used inappropriately had been driven by the media and were not based on evidence.
Cllr Clyde Loakes on BBC Radio 5Live Breakfast
BBC News Channel clip
Sky News online
Press Association (picked up by local papers)
Free nursery education 'to be made more flexible'
Wednesday 30 May
The LGA responded to plans announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, allowing parents to spread their free nursery place over two days rather than three. Mr Clegg will also announce 10 pilot areas where disadvantaged two-year-olds will get a free place from September. The LGA welcomed the announcement, but said the expansion of early years education must be met with proper capital funding. David Simmonds, Chairman of LGA's Children and Young People Board, said: "It's achievable as it currently stands. But as it expands to all parents, there will be a need for building additional capacity." The comments were included in a piece by BBC online.
Diamond Jubilee Round-up
Wednesday 30 May
The Telegraph's Jubilee round-up cites LGA research which shows that twice as many street parties will take place for the Jubilee as were held during last year's royal wedding. Telegraph p4, Metro p13
Poverty is changing the face of Britain's toxic high streets
Sunday 27 May
As the economy stutters, payday loan sharks and pawnbrokers are reaping the rewards on Britain's high streets. Main shopping strips in areas including Walthamstow, London, and Chatham, Kent have large clusters of such shops. Cllr Clyde Loakes, Vice Chairman of the LGA's Environment and Housing Board, was quoted in the Observer: "Council leaders are urging the Government to give them greater powers to allow them to shape high streets in the interests of residents. Part of this involves introducing a 'super' planning use class in which premises that residents believe have a negative impact can be controlled."
1 June 2012