LGA Research bulletin

This monthly publication keeps you informed of key issues and developments in research impacting on, or of interest to, local government.

January 2024 Analysis and Research Bulletin

Welcome to the Local Government Association (LGA) Analysis and Research Bulletin. 

This comprehensive monthly publication keeps you informed about key issues and developments in research impacting on local government.

The bulletin brings together the work of the LGA and also features relevant publications from the wider research community. The information in this bulletin is grouped under themed areas. This publication is produced by LGA Research and Information and we provide high-quality analysis and research across all aspects of local government.

A new archive providing back-dated copies of this bulletin is now available.

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Health and social care

STIs among over-65s

Analysis from the LGA has found that over two-thirds of council areas have seen rates of gonorrhoea and syphilis increase since 2017. The analysis is based on figures collected by the Office of Health Disparities, broken down by council area and published as a rate per 1,000 residents, on the LGA’s data platform, LG Inform

How public service funding compares with local need  

This article and analysis about public service funding from The Health Foundation and based on work from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS), suggests that many local authorities are not receiving funding allocations in line with local need. 

Adult social care in England, monthly statistics: January 2024

These Department of Health and Social Care (DoHSC) adult social care statistics offer information on a range of topics including infection control measures and COVID-19 vaccinations in adult social care settings in England.

Public opinions and social trends, Great Britain: 13 December 2023 to 14 January 2024

These ONS Insights based on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), provide information on important issues facing society in Great Britain.

UK poverty report

This Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) UK poverty report looks at the current situation across different groups and regions and at the future prospects for poverty in the UK.

Education and young people

Insights into wraparound childcare

This research from Coram Family and Childcare was commissioned by the LGA to build an understanding of current provision of wraparound childcare and to consider how councils might use additional funding announced in the Spring Budget to support the expansion of provision.

UK generations and gender survey

This survey by the University of Southampton and National Centre for Social Research found a rise in young adults intending not to have children and also explored issues facing young parents like the cost of childcare. 

Pupil attendance in schools – 11 September to 22 December 2023 - England

These Department for Education (DfE) pupil attendance in schools statistics provide data on the levels of attendance and overall, authorised and unauthorised absence in state-funded primary, secondary and special schools. This release covers the 2023/24 academic year from 11 September to 22 December 2023.

School funding statistics: 2023 to 2024 financial year - England

These DfE statistics provide information on school funding in England for the 2023 to 2024 financial year.

Experiences of displaced young people living in England – January to March 2023

This ONS qualitative research explores the lived experiences of young people (aged 14 to 19 years),  in England, who have been displaced due to reasons including, but not limited to, conflict, human trafficking, discrimination and poverty.

Support matters: The landscape of child sexual abuse support services in England and Wales

This research from the Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse explores the availability of support services for people affected by child sexual abuse in England and Wales.

Using research evidence: a concise guide

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have published a guide to help education professionals make best use of the wide range of education research available to them.

Education, qualifications and training statistics for rural England – January 2024

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) education, qualifications and training statistics are provided as part of the Statistical Digest of Rural England and include information on apprenticeships and training, entrants into higher education and free school meals.

Supporting London’s migrant communities through the Adult Education Budget

This Learning and Work Institute report, commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA), explores how changes to the Adult Education Budget (AEB) benefit London’s diverse migrant communities, and identifies the barriers to learning that remain.


Passenger rail service complaints: July to September 2023 – Great Britain

These Office of Rail and Road (ORR) quarterly passenger rail service complaints statistics provide information on the volume and cause of complaints made to train operating companies between July and September 2023 in Great Britain.

National travel attitudes study: Wave nine - England

These Department for Transport (DfT) national travel statistics provide details of attitudes and experiences relating to zero-emission buses, local bus travel, cycling, and electric vehicle charging in England.

Travelpac: travel to and from the UK, Quarter three: July to September 2023 edition

These ONS Travelpac statistics provide information on travel to and from the UK, and provide detail on traveller age and sex, trip purpose, length, and spending.

Overseas travel and tourism, provisional statistics: July to September 2023

These ONS provisional travel and tourism statistics provide information on visits to the UK by overseas residents, visits abroad by UK residents and spending by travellers, using provisional passenger traffic data.

Rail statistics compendium: April 2022 to March 2023 – Great Britain

This Office of Rail and Road (ORR) compendium provides key results from all rail related statistics published over the last 12 months.


Fly-tipping statistics for England – April 2022 to March 2023

These statistics from Defra provide information on annual incidents of fly-tipping in England between April 2022 and March 2023.

Agri-climate report 2023 - UK

The Agri-climate statistics report from Defra is an annual publication which presents the latest available statistics on the impact of UK farming on climate change.

Local government

Post-Autumn Statement temperature check

In November 2023, the LGA sent an online survey to the leaders and chief executives of all councils in England. The purpose of the survey was to assess their reactions to the 2023 Autumn Statement, as well as to understand the impact of the current financial statement on their councils’ services.

Who decides? Influence and inequality in British democracy

This Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report considers how power and influence are distributed unequally across our society.

Metrics added to LG Inform this month include:

Universal Credit - England

Households on Universal Credit data published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is available for the first time in LG Inform. In August 2023 there were 4,499,199 households on Universal Credit in England, compared to 4,185,612 in August 2022. The Percentage of households was 19.4 per cent. 

Geographies: Country – Region – County – London borough – Metropolitan District – Unitary – District 

Social mobility 

The Social Mobility Commission publishes an annual State of the Nation report. The percentage of people who experienced long-range upward occupational mobility and long-range downward occupational mobility are now available in LG Inform There are five composite indices available: Index of precarious situations, Index of childhood poverty and disadvantage, Index of promising prospects, Index of sociocultural advantage, and Index of research and development

Available Geographies: County – London borough – Metropolitan District – Unitary – District 

Employment, pay and workforce

Modelling essential skills needs across England

The Learning and Work Institute has conducted an England-wide modelling exercise of adults aged 16 to 64, identifying disparities in essential skills levels within local areas which far exceed those between local and combined authorities across the country.

Evidence briefing: Assessing the local economic impacts of fair employment policies

This evidence briefing from The What Works Centre for Local and Economic Growth, provides a framework to help local policymakers think through some of the benefits and costs of introducing fair employment policies within their own organisation or encouraging adoption by local employers.

Labour market in the regions of the UK: October to December 2023

This ONS data provides information on regional, local authority and Parliamentary constituency breakdowns of changes in UK employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other related statistics for October to December 2023.

Average hours worked and economic growth in the UK, 1998 to 2022

This ONS analysis provides information on the longer-term trends in average hours worked in the UK, more recent changes since the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact on economic growth, between 1998 and 2022.

Higher education staff statistics UK: 2022 to 2023

These Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) statistics provide details of staff employed at higher education (HE) providers in the UK for the academic year 2022 to 2023.


Retail sales Great Britain: November 2023

This ONS article provides a first estimate of retail sales in volume and value terms, seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted during November 2023.

2G/3G switch off impact survey

The LGA have conducted a survey of local authorities to identify the impact that is likely to result from the UK’s mobile network operators’ confirmation to the Government that they do not intend to offer 2G and 3G mobile networks past 2033 at the latest.

Economic activity and social change in the UK, real-time indicators: 24 January 2024 – week to 22 January 2024

These ONS early experimental data and analysis provides information on economic activity and social change in the UK.

Retail sales - Great Britain: December 2023

This ONS data provides a first estimate of retail sales  in Great Britain for December 2023 in volume and value terms, seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted.


Moving to healthy homes

This analysis from The Health Foundation explores principles to create healthy homes, including through the update and implementation of the Decent Homes Standard and its implementation in the private rented sector.


Criminal Justice System statistics quarterly: June 2023 – England and Wales

These Ministry of Justice (MoJ) criminal justice system statistics provide an overview of trends in the use of out of court disposals, defendants prosecuted, offenders convicted, remand and sentencing decisions in England and Wales in June 2023.

Offender management statistics quarterly: July to September 2023 – England and Wales

These MoJ quarterly offender management statistics provide information on offenders in custody (including offence groups, sentence lengths and nationalities), and quarterly statistics on prison receptions, prison releases, adjudications, licence recalls and offenders under probation supervision, in England and Wales between July and September 2023.

Proven reoffending statistics: January to March 2022 – England and Wales

These MoJ proven reoffending statistics provide information on reoffending of offenders who were released from custody, received a non-custodial conviction, or a caution between January and March 2022 in England and Wales..

Crime in England and Wales: year ending September 2023

These ONS statistics provide information on crime against households and adults using data from police recorded crime and the Crime Survey for England and Wales, for the year ending September 2023.

Ethnicity and the criminal justice system 2022 – England and Wales

This MoJ report compiles statistics from data sources across the Criminal Justice System, to provide a combined perspective on the typical experiences of different ethnic groups in England and Wales in 2022.

Youth justice statistics: 2022 to 2023 – England and Wales

These Youth Justice Board for England and Wales statistics provide annual data of children (those aged 10-17) in the Youth Justice system in England and Wales, the offences they committed, the outcomes they received, their demographics and the trends over time.

Regular publications and events

LG Inform and LG Inform Plus webinar programme 2023

The LG Inform and LG Inform Plus programme of free webinars for February 2024 are available.

To book a place and discover more about the data, report writing and the various modules on offer visit the online training page for more details and how to book.

If you would like something more tailored to your needs, contact [email protected]

National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Pre-doctoral Local Authority Fellowship Scheme - now inviting applications

The NIHR Pre-doctoral Local Authority Fellowship (PLAF) scheme supports individuals based within local authorities and supporting services to undertake a bespoke programme of relevant Masters level training and prepare an application for a subsequent PhD, all on their existing employment contracts and salaries. When taken full-time, standard fellowships have a duration of 12 months, but can also be taken part-time or over a shorter duration. More information about the scheme.

European Social Network - seeking your views on social care research

'The role of research in better implementation of social services'

The European Social Network (ESN) is planning a series of activities to encourage and support connections between research and practice communities.  To help understand better the opportunities and what challenges need to be overcome, ESN has asked a working group to undertake a review of the interactions between research and practice within social services in Europe. The review will consider the current research infrastructure within social services, opportunities and support for social service practitioners and managers to engage in research, and approaches to embedding evidence within practice and policy.

The three areas to be considered are:

  1. The research infrastructure within social services (e.g. co-ordination, ethics, funding applications) and how this supports greater engagement between universities and practice organisations.
  2. How can social service practitioners and managers be supported to develop research skills, experience, and confidence?
  3. Approaches to facilitating better collaboration between practice and research so that research is based on what matters to practitioners and managers, and research insights inform real work decisions.

The emerging insights from the policy paper will be shared with ESN members and interested organisations during the European Social Services Conference in Antwerp in June 2024.

ESN have created a questionnaire to start gathering evidence and prepare the different talks for the 3 pilot focus groups. The questionnaire is designed to seek views from social care professionals as well as researchers. If you have views on access to social care research please spend a few minutes to complete the questionnaire and share with your contacts.

Social Research Association (SRA) training courses

The SRA are currently offering a range of online training courses using Zoom. 

SRA - Social Research Practice journal The latest issue of the SRA's free e-journal is now available.

The Rees Centre newsletter The Rees Centre newsletter is published every two months giving an update on their fostering related research activities and events along with a book review and a section on young voices. 

Changing Populations newsletter

The latest newsletter from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Centre for Population Change is now available.

Child Welfare Inequalities Project (CWIP) news

The CWIP at Coventry University studies the links between deprivation and children’s chances of being unable to live safely within their birth families and also aims to establish child welfare inequalities as a core concept in policy making, practice and research. Information about current CWIP projects is available on the website.

NIHR School for Public Health Research

Sign-up to receive the latest news and updates from the NIHR School for Public Research including publications, funding opportunities, upcoming events and more. Sign-up here. Read the latest newsletter here.

NIHR Public Health Intervention Responsive Studies Team (PHIRST) newsletter

The NIHR PHIRST newsletter includes information on seminars, evaluations and publications. Visit the website to sign-up for the newsletter.

Centre for Evaluation newsletter

The Centre for Evaluation develops interventions, systems and strategies to improve public health using rigorous evaluation methods. Visit the website to sign up for the Centre for Evaluation newsletter.

What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth newsletter

This regular newsletter from the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth provides the latest resources and evidence. Visit the website to sign up for the newsletter.

The Centre for Youth Impact newsletter

The Centre for Youth Impact is a community of organisations that work together to progress thinking and practice around impact measurement in youth work and services for young people. The latest Centre for Youth Impact newsletter is now available.

Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Newsletter

The CSA newsletter brings together the most up-to-date research into an accessible overview for frontline professionals and commissioners. Visit the website to sign up for the CSA newsletter.

National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) Direct

This regular NFER newsletter provides research, industry insights and free resources and events. Sign up for the newsletter here.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) Centre for Evaluation

The Centre for Evaluation aims to improve the design and conduct of evaluations of complex public health interventions through the development, application and dissemination of rigorous methods, and facilitate the use of robust evidence to inform policy and practice decisions. The Centre produce a termly newsletter.

Wales Centre for Public Policy (WCPP) newsletter

WCPP works to address key economic and societal challenges through the use of evidence and produce a regular newsletter.

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) news alert

EEF news alerts provide information about teaching and learning toolkits, project evaluation reports, grant funding rounds and news and events.


NESTA is an innovation foundation which aims to tackle society’s big challenges. They produce a regular newsletter.

Research and Economic Analysis for the Long Term (REAL) Centre

The Health Foundation’s REAL Centre was set up to support long-term decision making in health and social care. Visit the website to sign up for regular updates.

Policy Bristol Newsletter

The Policy Bristol Newsletter provides regular policy updates and the latest policy research and events news.

ActEarly monthly bulletin

The AntennAE monthly e-bulletin provides the latest news and developments from Act Early.

The Health Foundation newsletter

This monthly newsletter from The Health Foundation provides details about funding opportunities, latest publications and blogs, and the latest news from the world of UK health care.

The Learning and Work Institute newsletter

This monthly newsletter from the Learning and Work Institute provides news updates, latest publications and blogs.