Agenda and minutes

Board of Directors of the Local Government Association (The Leadership Board)
Wednesday, 17th July, 2019 1.00 pm

Venue: Westminster Room, 8th Floor, 18 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HZ. View directions

Contact: Paul Goodchild (Member Services Manager) 

Items
No. Item

1.

Chairman, Notice and Quorum

To confirm the Chairman for the meeting, that the meeting is quorate, and that adequate notice of the meeting was given.

Minutes:

The Board confirmed Cllr James Jamieson as Chairman for the meeting, that the meeting was quorate and that adequate notice of the meeting had been given.

 

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr John Fuller OBE and Cllr Anne Western CBE.

2.

Declarations of Interest

Each Director present to confirm that they have no direct or indirect interest, or declare any interest, in the transactions and other arrangements to be considered at the meeting, or which the Company has entered into which they are required to declare by Section 177 or Section 182 of the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) as amended, or by the Articles of Association.

Minutes:

Each Director present confirmed that they had no direct or indirect interest in the transactions and arrangements to be considered at the meeting, or which the Company had entered into, which they were required to declare by Section 177 or Section 182 of the Companies Act 2006 as amended, or by the Articles of Association.

3.

Duties of Directors pdf icon PDF 159 KB

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services, introduced the report which summarised the duties and responsibilities of the Board as a whole and individual Directors. These had also been sent to Directors following the meeting of the General Assembly and were reflected in the role descriptions for the Chairman, Vice and Deputy Chairs of the LGA. Directors were reminded that they were required to submit an updated Register of Members’ Interest form annually and if their circumstances change during the year.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board noted the report and agreed to comply with the duties and responsibilities set out in the Companies Act 2006. 

4.

Membership, 2019/20 Meeting Cycle and Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 199 KB

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services, introduced the report which set out the membership of the Board of Directors of the LGA and future meeting dates, and presented the Terms of Reference for agreement.

 

Decisions

The LGA Leadership Board:

1.    Noted its membership;

2.    Noted the dates of meetings of the LGA Leadership Board, Councillors’ Forum and LGA Executive for 2019/20; and

3.    Agreed its Terms of Reference for 2019/20.

5.

Appointment of Directors and Admittance into Membership of New Members pdf icon PDF 118 KB

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services, introduced the report which asked for agreement to the appointment of new Directors and resignation of certain existing Directors, and the admittance of the Welsh LGA as a new member.

 

Members noted that the Welsh LGA had previously submitted an application for membership of LGA Unlimited, but as they were an unincorporated association their membership of LGA Unlimited would be held in trust by the Chief Executive of the WLGA.

 

Decisions

The LGA Leadership Board:

1.    Approved the appointment of new Directors and resignation of certain existing Directors; and

2.    Admitted into membership the Welsh LGA, following receipt of the formal authority and Deed of Trust from the Chief Executive of the WLGA.

6.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals pdf icon PDF 320 KB

Minutes:

Ian Hughes, Head of Policy, introduced the report which set out the work which had progressed since the LGA General Assembly passed the Motion on UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Climate Emergency.

 

Members noted that further detailed work would be undertaken over the summer ahead of a full options report to the Board in September. The areas covered by the SDGs were vast, so primary focus would be on areas owned by local government where the councils could make a difference, and on areas where local government required more powers and resources to deliver.

 

The Chairman and Group Leaders proposed that a Member task and finish group be established over the summer specifically to provide a steer on the LGAs initial Climate Emergency Work. This would be comprised of 2 Conservatives, 2 Labour, 1 Liberal Democrat, and 1 Independent, and would disband once the work programme and areas of focus were agreed in September. The focus again would be on areas where councils could make the most difference. The LGA Leadership Board supported this approach, and noted there would also be a need to see how the new Government prioritised the SDG and Climate Emergency issues following the conclusion of the Conservative Party leadership contest.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board:

1.    Noted the actions proposed in the report;

2.    Agreed that a full options report would be brought to the next meeting in September 2019; and

3.    Agreed that a task group of 6 Members would be established and meet over the summer to consider the Climate Emergency issue and feed into the report to be considered at the next meeting.

 

Actions

Report to be brought back to the next meeting, and task group to be established as agreed (Ian Hughes). 

7.

Business Rates Retention and Fair Funding Review Update pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Minutes:

Nicola Morton, Head of Local Government Finance, introduced the report which provided a summary of progress on the Fair Funding Review and Business Rates Retention work programme since the previous meeting. Members were asked to consider and approve an LGA policy position regarding the Fire and Rescue Services’ relative needs formula which had been recommended by the Business Rates Retention and Fair Funding Review Task and Finish Group.

 

Members noted the three options for the shape of the FRS formula being considered by the Government, which were to retain the existing formula with updated data, replace the current formula with a simple formula based on total population (with extra weight for deprivation and population aged 65+), or replacing the current formula with a new multi-level formula looking at a variety of factors. The Task and Finish Group considered the simplified formula to be too simplistic for the service, and the multi-level formula to be too complex to be delivered in time for April 2020. Therefore it was recommended that the LGA should support using the current formula with updated data in the short term, and call on the Government to start work on a completely refreshed multi-level formula to be introduced at the next possible opportunity.

 

In the discussion which followed Members raised the following points:

 

·         There was agreement to support the current formula for the FRS but with updated data, and to call on the Government to start work on a completely refreshed multi-level formula to be introduced at the next possible opportunity.

·         It was noted that the formula needs to recognise the FRS focus on prevention.

·         The LGA should work with the Government so they understood how the FRS was funded and operated in different types of authority across the country.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board approved the LGA policy position regarding the Fire and Rescue Services’ relative needs formula.

8.

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) - 2019 Annual Reports pdf icon PDF 442 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services, introduced the report which presented the annual reports of sixteen of the LGA’s nineteen Special Interest Groups (SIGs). SIGs were required to submit an annual report to the LGA Leadership Board which outlined their aims and objectives, current membership and lead authority, and key activities and outcomes of work undertaken over the past year.

 

Members agreed that it would be appropriate to amend the LGA Statement on SIGs to include a clause that SIGs would be established for five years.  Continuation beyond 5 years would be subject to member councils restating the case for maintaining a SIG. The Statement would be amended and this decision would be communicated to all current LGA SIGs.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board:

1.    noted the annual reports of the SIGs; and

2.    agreed that the Statement on SIGs be amended to introduce renewable five year terms.

 

Action

Statement on SIGs to be amended as agreed, and SIGs notified of the change to arrangements (Claire Holloway / Paul Goodchild).

9.

Applications to form Special Interest Groups pdf icon PDF 198 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services, introduced the report, which presented two applications to form Special Interest Groups (SIGs): the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers; and the Climate Emergency Network.

 

The LGA Leadership Board supported the creation of the new SIGs. Regarding the Climate Emergency Network, it was highlighted that the work of the SIG should link as closely as possible with LGA work on the climate emergency which would be led by a member task group as previously agreed. It was suggested that the task group work closely with the Climate Emergency Network at first so that the LGA and the SIG complimented each other, and did not duplicate work.

 

It was also noted that the new SIGs would be subject to the ‘sunset clause’ of five years as previously agreed.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board approved the applications to form two new SIGS: the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers, and the Climate Emergency Network.  

 

Action

Officers to write to new SIGs to convey decision of the Leadership Board (Paul Goodchild).

10.

Chief Executive's Report - July 2019 pdf icon PDF 572 KB

Minutes:

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive, introduced the report by highlighting the success of the LGA’s Annual Conference and Exhibition in Bournemouth between 2-4 July 2019. Members welcomed the fact that there had been more delegates than previously, the gender balance of speakers was 51% female and 49% male, and that the Conservative and Liberal Democrats had held party leadership hustings which would give the LGA good links to those new leadership teams. Particular reference was made to the interest in the Innovation Zone. Mark thanked Members and colleagues for their work in making the Conference a success.

 

Regarding LGA work on intimidation, threats and personal safety, Cllr Dombey reported that the sessions at the Conference had been valuable and that the LGA, and the Leadership Board in particular, now needed to take a lead to progress this work. Both the session for female councillors only, and the session to launch the LGA’s guide on intimidation had been well attended. Sally Burlington, Head of Policy, added that a report would be considered at the next meeting of the Leadership Board in September 2019, and work would progress over the summer. The LGA would liaise with colleagues in the Police (including Police Commissioners) and the Electoral Commission, as well as the national political parties on what we should expect in public and political discourse and where boundaries should be set.

 

Mark Lloyd also drew attention to a speech by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs the previous day, in which he had announced a commitment to produce an Environmental Bill, with four particular areas of importance for local government: a mandate for biodiversity net gains in building developments, a requirement to consult before felling street trees, new powers for councils to control emissions to improve air quality, and the introduction of a consistent and simplified approach to council recycling. The LGA will work to have a strong voice as the Bill is developed.

 

In the discussion which followed Members raised the following points:

 

·         The Government should focus on working with supermarkets and manufacturers to reduce the amount of waste. It should also be recognised that a lot of councils were in long term contractual arrangements on waste which would be difficult to change in the short or medium term.

·         It was difficult to impact on emissions levels in areas which, for example, had large airports where Government has a central role.

·         It was important to have early conversations with Secretaries of State and Ministers in the new Government on issues such as environment and knife crime. Should new financial burdens be introduced then they should be funded appropriately.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board noted the Chief Executive’s Report for July 2019.

 

Action

Report on intimidation to be considered at the next meeting of the Leadership Board in September 2019 (Sally Burlington).

11.

LGA Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 170 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the Forward Plan, which set out the agendas for the LGA Leadership Board, the LGA Executive, and Councillors’ Forum for the next three months.

 

It was agreed that a session on intimidation of elected members be included on the Forward Plan for a future meeting of Councillors’ Forum.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board agreed the Forward Plan.

12.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 5 June 2019

Minutes:

Regarding minute 24 of the previous meeting, the Chairman noted that Group Leaders had subsequently agreed to nominate to the Board of Local Government Mutual Ltd (subject to the approval of the FCA):

 

·         Cllr Matthew Lee (Conservative);

·         Cllr Andrew Western (Labour); and                              

·         Cllr Michael Headley (Liberal Democrat).

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board:

1.    Noted the nominations to the Board of Local Government Mutual Ltd; and

2.    Agreed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 5 June 2019.

13.

Minutes of last Commercial Advisory Board meeting held on 20 May 2019

Minutes:

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board noted the minutes of the previous Commercial Advisory Board held on 20 May 2019.

14.

Minutes of the last Audit Committee held on 3 June 2019

Minutes:

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board noted the minutes of the previous Audit Committee held on 3 June 2019.

15.

2019 Spending Review – Update

Minutes:

Sarah Pickup, Deputy Chief Executive, introduced the report which provided an update on the LGA’s planned activity ahead of the 2019 Spending Review, and asked the leadership Board to consider options for an LGA position on a potential one-year Spending Review scenario.

 

There followed a confidential discussion.

 

Decisions

The LGA Leadership Board:

1.    Noted the report;

2.    Endorsed the LGA position on a one-year Spending Review Scenario as set out in the report; and

3.    Noted the LGA’s approach to the Spending Review work programme.

16.

Local Government Association (Properties) Restructure and Transfer of 18 Smith Square

Minutes:

Jonathan Gratte, Strategic Finance Manager, introduced the report which set out recommendations from the Board of LGA (Properties) regarding the restructure and transfer of 18 Smith Square.

 

There followed a confidential discussion.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board agreed the recommendations of the Board of LGA (Properties) as set out in the report.  

17.

Layden House / The Stills Update

Verbal Update.

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services, provided an update on the refurbishment work taking place at Layden House / The Stills. Members noted the planned date for completion of works, progress on the marketing of the building, and the future transfer of the property into LGA Unlimited.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board noted the update. 

18.

UK Municipal Bonds Agency Plc (UKMBA) Update

Minutes:

Sarah Pickup, Deputy Chief Executive, introduced the report which updated the Leadership Board on progress of the work on the UK Municipal Bonds Agency (UKMBA) and the next step to procure a managed service provider.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board noted the update and funding arrangements, and authorised to support the Agency’s OJEU tendering process and funding arrangements for this.

19.

Close of Meeting

Minutes:

The Chairman closed the meeting.