Peer support - Group Leader's Comment - 9 November 2018

This week 18 of our peer councillors attended a conference to look at how best to support our members on conflict resolution, financial controls, commercialisation and understanding the range of support that the LGA offers.


Councillor support from peers
Any councillors in our Independent Group can access excellent support from our peers; trained and accredited councillors there for you. This week 18 of our peer councillors attended a conference to look at how best to support our members on conflict resolution, financial controls, commercialisation and understanding the range of support that the LGA offers. We can be justly proud of our Independent Group members who gave excellent presentations and contributed brilliantly in discussions. Our members are not tied into the three big parties, but instead, listen carefully, look at the facts and help craft creative solutions that work well on the ground. We are used to working cross-party, consensus-building where possible. That’s why we believe our expert members are always useful in every peer review team. Support is accessed through the Group office.

Regional and “Be a Councillor” events
Also this week, the LGA Independent Group held regional meetings in Lincolnshire and Carmarthen, Wales, thanks to the interest and support of Independent and Plaid Cymru members. Leader Cllr Emilyn Dole shared ambitious and exciting regeneration plans for Carmarthenshire and Carmarthen’s City Deal. Deputy Leader Cllr Stephens outlined their secrets of success for efficient working. Independent and Plaid Cymru members are in opposition on some councils and in coalition in others and in Pembrokeshire some Independents form the “administration” and others are in opposition. 

Next is the “Be a Councillor” event this Saturday 10 November at the LGA from 11am, and a meeting of the Independent Network. 

Later next week is the West Midlands Regional event on Friday 16 November in Hereford. Join us if you can. 

The Annual Independent Group Conference, an annual highlight, well worth attending, is on 23 November, 10.30am-7pm. Book now.

Government’s 25 Year Plan for the Environment
The Government’s Environmental Audit Committee considered the Government’s 25 year plan for the Environment and has just published a report critical of the Government’s plan and critical of its response to their findings. Read the LGA's response.

When prevention is better than cure
We have been making the case that the Government’s £20.5 billion birthday present for the NHS could be undermined if no thought was given to the prevention agenda, keeping people healthy longer. Councils have long supported prevention as a way of reducing pressure on the acute and care services, such as the falls prevention, early support services, mental health, exercise and healthy living. This week the Government has responded with its Prevention Strategy. See what you think and whether your council can make good use of these accompanying funds.

LGA green paper on how to fund adult social care in the long term
The report on the LGA green paper should be out next week, coinciding with the National Children and Adult Services conference on 14-16 November in Manchester, and so more then.

Data protection
Finally, thanks to the ingenuity and persistence of our legal and research teams, we’ve finally secured agreement that elected members will be exempt from having to pay a data protection charge under the Data Protection Act 2018. They will of course still be required to abide by the regulations.

I look forward to seeing you at one of our events. Thank you for your civic support at the Remembrance Events around the country this Sunday. If you are following me on Twitter, you will have seen the Mayor of Loftus sleeping rough at all the cenotaphs in his area for many days, raising charitable funds, and culminating with the laying of a wreath in his home town. If you have any community activities planned, this Sunday or after, please do let us know.

Kind regards,

Cllr Marianne Overton MBE

Councillor Marianne Overton MBE
Leader of the Independent Group
Vice Chair of the Local Government Association
www.independentvoice.org.uk