A year in the LGA 2019-20

A year in the LGA 2020 front cover
The Local Government Association LGA) is the national voice of local government, working with councils to support, promote and improve local government.

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Company information

Directors 

The members of the LGA Board for the year were: 

Conservative

  • James Jamieson [Chairman] 
  • Izzi Seccombe OBE [Deputy-chairman] 
  • John Fuller OBE [Deputy-chairman] Appointed 25 July 2019 
  • Robert Alden [Deputy-chairman] 
  • Teresa O’Neill OBE [Deputy-chairman] Appointed 1 January 2020 
  • Lord Porter of Spalding CBE [Chairman] Resigned 4 July 2019 
  • Paul Carter CBE [Deputy-chairman] Resigned 4 July 2019 
  • David Simmonds CBE [Deputy-chairman] Resigned 31 December 2019 

Labour

  • Nick Forbes [Senior Vice-chair] 
  • Michael Payne [Deputy-chair] 
  • Anntoinette Bramble [Deputy-chair] Appointed 18 June 2019 
  • Tudor Evans OBE [Deputy-chair] Appointed 17 February 2020 
  • Georgia Gould [Deputy-chair] Appointed 17 February 2020 
  • Lib Peck [Deputy-chair] Resigned 1 June 2019 
  • Peter Box CBE [Deputy-chair] Resigned 30 November 2019 
  • Anne Western CBE [Deputy-chair] Resigned 17 February 2020 

Liberal Democrat

  • Howard Sykes MBE [Vice-chair] 
  • Ruth Dombey OBE [Deputy-chair] 

Independent

  • Marianne Overton MBE [Vice-chair] 
  • Clive Woodbridge [Deputy-chair] 

Company Secretary

  • Claire Holloway 

Registered office; 18 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HZ 

Bankers; Barclays UK Banking, 1 Churchill Place, London, E14 5HP 

Independent auditor; PKF Littlejohn LLP, 15 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4HD 

Company number: 11177145

Chief executive’s report

Year ended 31 March 2020

The Local Government Association (LGA) is the national voice of local government, working with councils to support, promote and improve local government. 

We are a politically-led, cross-party organisation that receives funding from our member councils to ensure local government has a strong, credible voice with national government. 

We aim to influence and set the political agenda on issues that matter to councils so they are able to deliver local solutions to national problems. We support councils through increasingly challenging times and focus our efforts where we can have most impact for our members. 

We support councils to improve and help them to provide the best possible services to the people they serve. We play a leading role in improvement and innovation so that councils can continue to make a difference in their local areas and to the lives of their residents. 

We work with every part of England and Wales, including county and district councils, metropolitan and unitary councils, London boroughs, Welsh unitary councils, fire and rescue and national park authorities. 

In 2019/20 we had 408 member authorities in England and Wales. The 22 Welsh authorities were in corporate membership through the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA). 

Working with and on behalf of our membership we: 

  • influence critical legislative, financial and policy decisions and shape and develop the policies that local government needs to deliver effective services for their residents 
  • press for more powers to be devolved from Whitehall to local government 
  • shape emerging government thinking, ensuring councils’ views are represented 
  • work with public, private, community and voluntary organisations to secure their support for local priorities 
  • campaign on behalf of our membership, promote local government and defend its reputation through the local, regional and national media 
  • ensure the voice of local government is heard in Parliament 
  • support councils to share best practice, drive innovation and improvement and to continue to deliver essential services 
  • negotiate, in our role as national employer, fair pay and pensions and provide support and advice on workforce issues 
  • coordinate collective legal action on behalf of member councils 
  • deliver broader services to local government via our wholly owned companies and joint ventures such as Local Partnerships, Geoplace and Public Sector Audit Appointments. 

The LGA Board regularly monitors the LGA Group’s financial performance against the agreed budget. The LGA’s leadership undertook significant work to develop the medium-term financial strategy of the LGA and its associated organisations. As part of this, it has supported the development of a commercial strategy, whose purpose is to diversify the LGA’s sources of income. This strategy is now being implemented. 

As an example, following an options appraisal of Layden House, Farringdon – the former headquarters of the Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government (IDeA) – of which the LGA Group has the freehold, the Board agreed to fund the refurbishment of the property with a view to increasing its rental and capital value. Work began in 2018 and was substantively completed by the 2019/20 year-end. Whilst COVID-19 restrictions temporarily halted work, the commercial market in Farringdon remains buoyant and the refurbished building is projected to bring significantly enhanced income to the Group in coming years. 

The LGA Board has also reviewed the strategy for managing the pension costs of the LGA and the IDeA, in view of the c.£3.5 million additional contributions to reduce deficits over the past few years, which has contributed towards a vastly improved position reported in the Triennial Valuation as at 31 March 2019, leading to reduced contributions of less than £0.5 million annually for the next three years. 

Review of the year 

2020 has seen an unprecedented challenge for councils but in its response to COVID-19, local government has become a fourth emergency services. The LGA has supported local government in its response as well as promoting the work of councils to Government and the public. 

Since the start of the country’s response to COVID-19, we have refocused all of our work to support councils in their role as part of the national effort to protect and support local communities. One of the LGA’s primary roles in doing so has been to demonstrate, both publicly and to Government, the significant contribution councils have made to the national effort. 

As well as protecting and enhancing the reputation of local government, we have also challenged Government, where needed, on behalf of councils. This has included work to highlight the significant additional costs and loss of income councils are facing, and to press for additional funding. To date, this has secured £4.1 billion in additional funding for councils. 

While the pandemic response is rightly at the forefront of our current thinking, as these financial statements relate to the year 2019/20, it is also right to take the time to shine a light on all of the other valuable contributions the LGA has made over the past year. 

Throughout 2019/20, the LGA continued to support and be an advocate for councils. Through our #CouncilsCan campaign we campaigned for a new settlement for English local government that gives councils and councillors the powers, freedoms, funding and certainty to transform lives and local economies, respond to climate change and lead the sustainable development agenda. 

The following sets out just some of the work we delivered over the last 12 months. 

LGA in the media

Over the past year the LGA was featured 38,443 times in national, trade, regional, broadcast and online media, including 1,887 LGA mentions in national newspapers, broadcast and online articles – that’s an average of 36 times a week. On average, we have secured five national media hits every single day. 

As well as a number of front page stores in national newspapers, our lead political spokespeople have been interviewed 156 times on national broadcast media.

At a glance: a year in the LGA 

Over the last 12 months, we continued to campaign on behalf of our membership, taking every opportunity to secure the funding and powers that councils need to best serve their local communities and improve residents’ lives. 

Through our work, including working with partners, our vice-presidents and others we secured a number of benefits for councils over the past year. Highlights include: 

April 2019 

The maximum stake for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals was cut from £100 to £2 and the changes brought forward by six months after sustained LGA lobbying. 


May 2019 

The Home Office announced increased funding to support Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children to £114 for each day that they are in care. 

Government announced £200 million of funding to remove unsafe cladding from around 170 privately owned high-rise buildings. 


June 2019 

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care confirmed that public health services would remain with local government, citing the LGA’s ‘comprehensive, compelling and clear’ case. 

Government announced a new Sector Deal for Tourism, offering five localities the chance to become tourism zones, with additional support to help grow tourism. 


July 2019 

The 2019 LGA annual conference, attended by 1,600 senior delegates, saw the launch of our Councils Can report, calling for a new settlement for local government, including long term sustainable funding and a new localism bill to empower councils to take on greater responsibilities. 

Government announced extra funding for suicide prevention plans − an endorsement of councils’ locally-driven approach to prevention and early intervention. 

The Prime Minister announced a series of policies aimed at ‘levelling up’ towns and regions, including through a £3.6 billion fund


August 2019 

We published our annual report setting out what our sector-led improvement programme delivered in 2018/19. Highlights included helping councils save more than £100 million, delivering 145 peer challenges, training more than 800 councillors and recruiting 120 NGDP graduates. More than 95 per cent of council leaders and chief executives said the support they received had a positive impact on their council. 


September 2019 

The 2019 Spending Round announcement included a funding package of more than £3.5 billion for vital local services. 

Government committed to bringing back the Domestic Abuse Bill in the next Queen’s Speech − something the LGA had campaigned on through our #CouncilsCan campaign. 


October 2019 

The Chancellor announced further funding for new roads infrastructure, the creation of a national bus strategy and £220 million to improve bus services. 


November 2019 

More than 24,000 tweets from 8,000 contributors, reached more than 22.6 million people on Twitter alone, during the LGA-led #OurDay, celebrating local government. 

Our 2019 National Children and Adult Services Conference (NCAS) featured insightful discussions and lively debate. We launched a suite of publications which shared best practice and started the new thinking around building the case for long term, sustained investment in services which support people of all ages. We also published a joint open letter on adult social care with a wide variety of organisations from across the care and support sector. 


December 2019 

We led a successful defence of councils’ interests in a High Court case that could have seen NHS trusts receive £1.5 billion in business rates refunds and ongoing reductions in councils’ business rate income. 


LGA in Parliament 

We continue to deliver a full programme of parliamentary engagement, briefing for debates, influencing legislation and shaping parliamentary committee reports. 

To help deliver this, we have briefed for 50 parliamentary debates, securing support from MPs and Peers for our campaigns and policy positions, influenced 12 parliamentary committee inquiries and helped shape two pieces of primary legislation agreed by Parliament whilst also proactively supporting the bringing forward of new laws such as those to prevent domestic abuse. 

In the last financial year, the LGA has been quoted 205 times in the House of Commons, 101 in Westminster Hall debates and has received 69 mentions in written commons statements. In the House of Lords, the LGA has been mentioned 209 times and 26 times in Grand 


January 2020 

The Government allocated up to £165 million of new funding to the Troubled Families programme. 

We secured government recognition that height is only a crude determinant of fire risk in buildings and commitment to consult on lowering the combustible ban threshold and the height at which sprinklers are required in new buildings. 


February 2020 

The Prime Minister announced £236 million to help councils’ efforts to tackle rough sleeping and get people into safe accommodation. 


March 2020 

The Budget 2020 signaled a shift towards more spending on local priorities, with significant and welcome investment in infrastructure and public services. There were announcements on issues including measures and funding to tackle the outbreak of coronavirus, a review of business rates, progress on devolution, funding for housing, building safety and infrastructure, and announcements that will help local leaders improve the environment. 

We moved rapidly to take on a pivotal role in the national COVID-19 response, refocusing our priorities to offer a comprehensive package of support to councils to support them in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. We lobbied the Government on a number of immediate issues concerning councils, including on funding. 

Our concerted campaign for government to recognise the critical role of social care in the COVID-19 crisis received widespread media coverage and led to additional funding, access to protective equipment and testing for care home staff and residents and for deaths in care homes to be included in national statistics. 


I am proud of the contribution the LGA has made to the promotion and success of local government in the past year. Looking ahead to the challenges in the coming year, I am confident we will continue to provide the support to our councils as and when they need us. 

Mark Lloyd signature small

Mark Lloyd
Chief Executive
3 June 2020

Strategic report

Year ended 31 March 2020

The Directors present their strategic report on the Group for the year ended 31 March 2020. 

Principal activities 

The Local Government Association (LGA) was incorporated on 30 January 2018. On 1 April 2019 the LGA took on the business, assets and liabilities of the unincorporated Local Government Association, which had been set up on 1 April 1997 following the merger of the three previous local authority associations covering England and Wales (the Association of County Councils, the Association of District Councils and the Association of Metropolitan Authorities), to provide a single national voice for local government. 

During 2019/20 the LGA continued to streamline its merged operations with its subsidiaries – the Improvement and Development Agency for Local Government (IDeA), its two property companies The Local Government Management Board (LGMB) and Local Government Association (Properties), and its commercial company LGA Commercial Services Ltd. 

The shared objective of the LGA and its subsidiaries is to make an outstanding contribution to the success of local government working with and on behalf of the LGA’s member authorities to support, promote and improve local government. 

Departure from United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (UKGAAP) 

In line with prior years, the financial statements do not include a detailed note on the Association’s defined benefit pension scheme, instead just showing the combined Group view. 

The LGA Board do not believe that this exception results in the financial statements not showing a true and fair view. 

Report of the business 

This has been a successful year for the LGA with significant progress on all the priorities agreed by the LGA Executive Advisory Board. These priorities (set out below) were firmly based on the most important issues for our members. In deciding these, we looked at intelligence from councils, a great many of whom are actively involved in the LGA through representatives on our boards and panels, at issues emerging from government or already going through the legislative process, and at the economic and social challenges that impact on local authorities. 

Despite further reductions in our core funding, we have delivered a satisfactory financial outcome in 2019/20. From 1 April 2016, IDeA become the recipient of Direct Government Funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to pay for improvement services to councils, replacing Revenue Support Grant (‘RSG top slice’). Despite our income from subscriptions remaining steady, and a further reduction 

in MHCLG Funding, other income including funded programmes rose such that overall income increased by a total of 7.5 per cent in 2019/20 compared with the previous year. We continued to keep costs down and invested in reducing costs of back office services, at the same time as continuing to deliver on our key priorities and deliver direct support to councils. Both the LGA and the IDeA continued to make significant payments towards their pension fund deficit. 

As agreed by the LGA Board, the 2019/20 consolidated operating deficit has drawn down from the risk and contingency reserve in our balance sheet. This was created to be used to provide opportunities to invest to save costs or generate additional commercial income, and also to cover the potential risks to the three year plan included in the LGA’s Financial Strategy. 

The LGA Board has overseen the LGA’s approach to Treasury Management and concluded that the LGA should continue to be cautious in its investment strategy. Substantial use has been made of the Public Sector Deposit Fund, a qualifying money market fund operated by CCLA Investment Management Ltd. No losses arose on treasury activities. 

Future developments 

As with many other parts of the public sector, we are taking steps to ensure we develop new sources of income as well as continuing to reduce our costs. 

Our future success will rely heavily on our delivering ever greater value to local government at a time when councils themselves are facing significant reductions in their own funding and are, more than ever, questioning the value of every item of expenditure. 

During 2020/21 the LGA’s Financial Strategy for the property companies is to continue to develop the assets to provide capital growth to offset the liabilities arising from our pension funds, as well as reducing costs and delivering additional commercial income to maximise the level of support we deliver to our members. 

The LGA Board has taken the decision, having maintained membership subscriptions at the same level between 2013/14 and 2018/19 (a real terms reduction in subscription income of over 48 per cent over the last seven years in response to the financial challenges faced by member authorities), to increase membership subscriptions by an inflationary 2 per cent for 2020/21. 

The impact of COVID-19 on the Group and Company’s business has been assessed and has been determined to not be material. The IDeA receives grant funding from MHCLG. This funding is received on behalf of the LGA and its related bodies. The level of funding has been formally determined by parliament for the year to 31 March 2021 at the same level as the year to 31 March 2020. Funding for the Company’s principal funded programmes has also been agreed by the funders. The majority of member subscription income has been received for the year. 

Certain workstreams are being re-prioritised to COVID-19-centric initiatives, and other funding programme timelines may be deferred, but no funding has been withdrawn. For the investment property rental income streams, there is expected to be no interruption for 18 Smith Square, while the delay in securing tenants for Layden House may reduce income for the coming year, it is not expected to be material to that company or the Group. 

Therefore, it is considered that the majority of the Group and Company’s income for the foreseeable future is secure and the Directors have therefore adopted the going concern basis for the preparation of these accounts.

Our priorities 

In October 2019, based on feedback from our member councils and agreed by our politicians, we launched a new three-year business plan that set out our priorities. 

Funding for local government

Fair and sustainable funding enables councils to plan and deliver essential public services beyond the short term, to raise more funds locally and to promote greater collective working across local public services. 

Adult social care, health and wellbeing

Sustainable funding and better integration with health services enable councils to continue to support people to live safe, healthy, active, independent lives and to promote wellbeing and resilience for all ages. 

Children, education and schools

Councils have the powers and resources they need to bring partners together to deliver inclusive and high-quality education, help children and young people to fulfil their potential and offer lifelong learning opportunities for all. 

Places to live and work

Councils lead the way in building the homes that people need, driving inclusive and sustainable economic growth and creating safe and resilient communities that are great places to live. 

Strong local democracy 

A refocus on local democratic leadership and a shift in power to local communities leads to greater diversity of elected representatives, high standards of conduct and strong, flexible local governance. 

Sustainability and climate action

Councils take the lead in driving urgent actions in their local areas to combat climate change and its impacts and to deliver zero net carbon by 2030. 

Principal risks and uncertainties

Our arrangements for risk management include the regular review of a strategic risk register with clear responsibilities assigned to named senior officers for the management of the principal risks. These included ensuring that we deliver on our objectives and have impact for our members, ensuring that membership levels are maintained, ensuring that we have effective governance arrangements and financial sustainability, and ensuring that we maintain employee capacity and capability. We have also put in place clear governance and project management arrangements for projects designated as being high risk from a financial or operational point view. 

Our principal liabilities other than those arising in ordinary day-to-day business relate to our combined pension deficit and three main liabilities: structural interest free debt of £8.2 million due to the predecessor local authority associations and related to the purchase of the Smith Square property; bank debt of £2.60 million on separate loans due to Barclays relating to the Smith Square property, which is currently being repaid at the rate of £0.52 million each year; £20.0 million from Westminster City Council which we are using to fund the development of our properties; and a liability until 2022 for funding the District Councils’ Network (DCN), financed from cash received from the predecessor local authority association. 

The valuation of our combined pension deficit was £93.12 million at 31 March 2020 (£133.85 million deficit at 31 March 2019). In order to pay off the pension deficit and liabilities for past employees, we have been making additional contributions averaging over £4 million per annum. Following the Triennial Valuation as at 31 March 2019, these contributions have reduced to under £0.5 million per annum. Actuarial advice indicates that on reasonable long-term assumptions, these contributions will be sufficient to eliminate the deficit over a period of 19 years for the LGA and 15 years for the IDeA. The LGA Board has commissioned further work to investigate ways in which the management of the pension deficit can be improved. 

Key performance indicators 

We have reviewed the impact of our work and the delivery of our priorities through robust performance management which has included regular reports to the LGA Board. In addition, we have reviewed our own efficiency and effectiveness through a number of key indicators. These include the number of organisations in membership, which has remained static in 2019/20, with only four councils out of membership. The National Association of Local Councils has entered into a corporate membership with the LGA and requested that 22 town/parish councils had access to our associate membership scheme. 

In 2017 we carried out a survey of our members which gave us important information about customer satisfaction with 73 per cent of members indicating that they were satisfied overall with the work of the LGA. We have set ourselves the target of increasing member satisfaction and also their perceptions of the value for money we offer and we will monitor our progress with these through member surveys. 

We review our financial sustainability by carefully controlling our staff costs. Following a reduction in our core grant funding, over the last five years employee numbers have fallen from 529 employees in the year ended March 2012 to 375 employees in the year ended 31 March 2020 (a rise from a low of 331 employees at 31 March 2018). We continue to monitor employee absence through the implementation of better recording methods (self-service) for staff and this has remained fairly stable from an average annual number of sick days per employee of 3.2 days in March 2019 to 3.3 days in March 2020 which is still well below national averages for sickness (8.0 days for public sector – Source: CIPD Health & Wellbeing at Work Survey 31 March 2020). 

We continue to pay close attention to the collection of outstanding debt. The percentage of debtors over 12 months was 1 per cent of the total trade debtors at March 2020 (2 per cent 2019). 

Market value of land and buildings 

The market value of 18 Smith Square (formerly known as Local Government House), which is owned by LGA (Properties), is considered at the latest valuation in March 2020 to be £50.8 million (2019 £48.1 million) with a net increase of £2.7 million in the year reflecting rental market conditions in the Westminster area. In the Group accounts 34 per cent (2018/19 34 per cent) of the above market value is reflected as an investment in the Groups’ balance sheet. The remainder held as an operational asset at the current net book value of £17.7 million. 

Layden House, which is owned by The Local Government Management Board, is classified as an investment property and included in these financial statements at its market value at 31 March 2020 of £64.4 million (2019 £39.0 million), an increase of £25.4 million as the refurbishment of Layden House was substantially complete at the year end. 

Environmental matters – minimising the impact of climate change 

At the General Assembly in July 2019, the LGA declared a climate emergency, and aligned our priorities to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

The LGA is committed to minimising the environmental impacts of its activities, reducing pollution and CO2 emissions and contributing to a healthy future for all. 

Flexible working

Our flexible working policy allows staff to work from home up to two days per week, subject to the needs of the business. This means less journeys to work, a better work-life balance and has enabled us to reduce by a third the amount of office space that we occupy. 

Our ICT is designed to support flexible working, enabling staff to log in from home on the days they are not in the office or from public transport when they are on the move. 

Head office − 18 Smith Square

Secure cycle facilities and showers are provided for those who prefer to cycle or run to work. 

All lights are energy efficient LEDs, with motion sensors that ensure they are switched off when not needed. Windows which are not part of the conservation area are triple glazed to reduce energy loss. Recycling bins are provided on every floor. 

Travel

Staff and members are encouraged to use public transport wherever practicable to help reduce the impact of the LGA’s business travel arrangements on the environment. 

Meetings

All meeting rooms at 18 Smith Square have access to telephone and/or video conferencing facilities, enabling members and staff to join meetings remotely and reducing the need for lengthy journeys to Westminster. 

Procurement

The LGA has a robust procurement policy and process, which underpins the importance of all our contractors being able to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and combatting climate change. Our procurement documentation states: ‘In adhering to our commitments, the contractor should have systems in place to account for and minimise environmental impacts in all areas of contract delivery’. 

At the commencement of all board meetings, directors are reminded of their responsibilities in regard to this requirement, and agree to abide by it in their decision making. 

By Order of the Board 

James Jamieson signature small

James Jamieson LGA Chairman and Chairman of the LGA Board 3 June 2020

Directors’ report

Year ended 31 March 2020

The directors present their report and the audited financial statements of the Group and Company for the year ended 31 March 2020. 

Future developments 

Future developments are set out in the Strategic Report. 

Dividends 

The LGA Constitution and the articles of the companies that the LGA controls directly do not permit the payment of dividends. 

Directors 

The Directors of the Company during the year ended 31 March 2020 were:

Conservative

  • James Jamieson [Chairman] 
  • Izzi Seccombe OBE [Deputy-chairman] 
  • John Fuller OBE [Deputy-chairman] Appointed 25 July 2019 
  • Robert Alden [Deputy-chairman] 
  • Teresa O’Neill OBE [Deputy-chairman] Appointed 1 January 2020 
  • Lord Porter of Spalding CBE [Chairman] Resigned 4 July 2019 
  • Paul Carter CBE [Deputy-chairman] Resigned 4 July 2019 
  • David Simmonds CBE [Deputy-chairman] Resigned 31 December 2019 

Labour

  • Nick Forbes [Senior Vice-chair] 
  • Michael Payne [Deputy-chair] 
  • Anntoinette Bramble [Deputy-chair] Appointed 18 June 2019 
  • Tudor Evans OBE [Deputy-chair] Appointed 17 February 2020 
  • Georgia Gould [Deputy-chair] Appointed 17 February 2020 
  • Lib Peck [Deputy-chair] Resigned 1 June 2019 
  • Peter Box CBE [Deputy-chair] Resigned 30 November 2019 
  • Anne Western CBE [Deputy-chair] Resigned 17 February 2020

Liberal Democrat

  • Howard Sykes MBE [Vice-chair] 
  • Ruth Dombey OBE [Deputy-chair] 

Independent

  • Marianne Overton MBE [Vice-chair] 
  • Clive Woodbridge [Deputy-chair] 

Directors’ indemnity 

The company has provided qualifying third-party indemnities for the benefit of its directors. These were provided during the year and remain in force at the date of this report. 

Financial instruments 

The Group operates a centralised treasury function which is responsible for managing the liquidity, interest and foreign currency risks associated with the Group’s activities. 

Our operations expose us to a variety of financial risks that include ensuring that the funds held by us are, first and foremost, secure; second, that adequate liquidity is maintained so that sufficient funds are always available to meet current liabilities; and third that the best return on investment is obtained subject to achievement of the first two objectives. 

Price risk 

We have relatively low exposure to price risk. Our employee costs are controlled through formal annual negotiations with employee representatives. Our back office services are now mainly delivered in house, with ICT services delivered through a jointly owned company with Brent Council, by Brent ICT team. Other services are procured from a range of external providers through competitive tendering arrangements in line with our formal procurement procedures. 

Credit risk 

We have a debt management policy and clear credit control procedures which include regular review and follow-up of our trade debtors. 

Liquidity risk 

Our agreed approach is to manage our revenue budget so as to deliver a balanced budget that does not require a net call on cash for the financial year as a whole. We maintain an adequate level of day to day liquid funds to pay liabilities promptly as they fall due. 

Cash flow risk 

We have both interest-bearing assets and liabilities. Subject to our liquidity requirements, which are assessed on a weekly basis, surplus funds are deposited in accordance with the Approved Investment Strategy as agreed by the LGA Board. 

Political and charitable contributions 

Neither the LGA nor its subsidiaries made any charitable donations over £2,000 or any political donations or incurred any political expenditure during the year. 

Branches outside the UK 

The Group has a branch in Brussels.

Post balance sheet events

The impact of COVID-19 on the Group’s business interests are set out in the Strategic Report.

On 3 June 2020, The Local Government Management Board re-registered as an unlimited company, with no change in name.The Local Government Association remains its only member.

The directors are not aware of any other post balance sheet events.

Employees

Details of the number of employees and related costs can be found in Note 3 to the financial statements. In line with the LGA Pay Policy the LGA publishes the salaries of its Corporate Leadership Team on its website. These are updated annually to reflect the national pay award. Details of the statutory requirement to publish gender pay-gap remuneration statistics can also be found on the LGA website.

Consultation with employees and their representatives has continued at all levels, with the aim of ensuring that their views are taken into account when decisions are made that are likely to affect their interests. Communication with all employees continues through direct briefing and regular use of our intranet. Directors receive periodic updates on staff performance measures, and the results of biennial staff surveys.

Staff are provided with relevant information on the Group’s activities, and are encouraged to be involved in the Group’s performance, by being invited to regular informal engagement opportunities such as the monthly Employee Forum (which include an annual update on financial performance), and the staff sounding board, by sitting on panels such as the Commercial Ideas Lab and IT Strategy Board, as well as receiving updates through the intranet and associated bulletins. Managers are encouraged to have regular one-to-one updates with their direct reports. Our HR team meets with union representatives monthly.

Applications for employment by disabled persons are guaranteed an interview subject to meeting the minimum eligibility criteria, bearing in mind the aptitudes and abilities of the applicant concerned. Our applicant tracking system highlights those with a declared disability. In the event of members of staff becoming disabled, every effort is made to ensure that their employment with us continues and that appropriate support and training is arranged, with the professional guidance and support of our occupational health provider. It is our policy that the training, career development and promotion opportunities are equal for all of our staff. The Group offers apprenticeship and leadership development programme opportunities, and all staff have personal training and development plans. The LGA is a Disability Confident Leader. 

Statement of engagement with suppliers, customers and others in a business relationship with the Company

The LGA Executive Advisory Board comprises representative Members to ensure its ‘customers’ are at the heart of its decision making on policy decision. Councillors’ Forum and the General Assembly/Annual Conference also make sure that the customer views are regularly canvassed.

The LGA follows all public procurement rules (including OJEU where required) to ensure that suppliers and others in a business relationship are treated fairly and transparently. A list of the largest spend by supplier is available on the company website. The LGA expects its suppliers to pay their employees the London Living Wage, have in place a modern slavery policy, and to support the LGA in achieving the United Nations Strategic Development Goals.

The LGA voluntarily follows the Government Prompt Payment Policy, with the aim of ensuring that 100 per cent of all undisputed and valid invoices are paid within 30 days, with the Strategic Management Team receiving quarterly Key Performance Indicators on adherence. 

Statement of corporate governance arrangements

The LGA Board oversees management of the LGA’s financial and other resources, and the financial and accommodation strategies for the wider group. 

The LGA Board has considered these accounts in the light of a report from the LGA Audit Committee, chaired by Councillor Roy Perry, whose membership is independent of the LGA’s other Boards and Panels. 

Provision of information to auditors

So far as each of the directors is aware at the time this report is approved:

  • there is no relevant audit information of which the Company’s auditors are unaware: and
  • the directors have taken all steps that they ought to have taken to make themselves aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that the auditors are aware of that information.

Auditor

PKF Littlejohn LLP has signified its willingness to continue in office as auditor.

This report was approved by the Board on 3 June 2020 and signed on its behalf. 

James Jamieson signature small

James Jamieson
LGA Chairman and Chairman of the LGA Board 

Statement of directors’ responsibilities

Year ended 31 March 2020

The Directors are responsible for preparing the annual report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations.

Company law requires the Directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law the Directors have elected to prepare the Group and Parent Company financial statements in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (United Kingdom Accounting Standards and applicable law).

Under company law the Directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Group and Company and of the profit or loss of the Group for that period. In preparing these financial statements, the Directors are required to:

  • selected suitable Accounting Policies and then apply them consistently;
  • make judgments and accounting estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
  • state whether applicable UK Accounting Standards, including FRS102 have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; and
  • prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Company will continue in business.

The Directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the Company’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Group and Company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Group and Company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

The Directors are responsible for the maintenance and integrity of the corporate and financial information included on the Group’s website. Legislation in the United Kingdom governing the preparation and dissemination of the financial statements may differ from legislation in other jurisdictions.

Independent auditor’s report

The Independent auditor's report is available within the downloadable pdf of the publication pages 19-49. These pages are not fully accessible for screen readers. If you would like a fully accessible version, please contact webmaster@local.gov.uk