Members briefing day - Group Leader's Comment - 14 September 2018

How much can you pack into a week?  We, in the LGA Independent Group, have been flat out working on your behalf in this first week back after the summer recess. 

On Brexit, we met with our Local Government Minister, James Brokenshire MP, and senior members of the Cabinet Office and DEFRA. As promised at the outset, we agreed to put forward your priorities raised at our conference and through think tanks and correspondence. We have already gained assurance that the structural and investment funds already promised to our local areas will be honoured, with or without a deal, and we continue to push a group of items to be included in any deal, to protect the ability of our councils to serve our residents. Find out more about our Brexit work.

On Wednesday this week, colleagues and I, in a cross party team, briefed members of both Houses of Parliament on the LGA green paper, consulting on options to secure the long term future of adult care. Some options are radical and it needs you to say what you think, please. Find out more and share your views here by 26 September. 

On Thursday we took a day to brief our lead members on their role. Well prepared, well briefed and listening to you, we work to lead LGA policy in the best interests of our residents. We think carefully about the issues, craft better solutions and present our case carefully on behalf of the Independent Group on each of the LGA policy boards. Your voice is needed on our think tanks, which shadow each of the Boards, to advise our lead members and give them the confidence to know they are representing a strong and useful force. Find out more about our think tanks and let the office know which ones you would like to join.

On the LGA Executive, which met this week, we have worked hard to get improvements in the business plan which will set the LGA direction for the year. For this, we have once again drawn on our member comments, the information and development sessions and the think tanks. In particular, we sought to ensure the focus is on our biggest challenges. We have pushed for housing to be linked to local need, affordable and adequately supported by facilities and services. Once published I will share the final version with you. 

Following my last bulletin, I received a good response to my offer regarding Be a Councillor events. So, in case you missed it, if you can get a dozen prospective councillors together, I and the office will be pleased to support you to hold an event.

Looking forward, we still have a few places available on our Next Generation Programme for aspiring Leaders. Find out more and apply.

I hope you have all had a good week and look forward to working with you closely this year.