Agenda and minutes

Executive Advisory Board - Thursday, 23rd October, 2014 1.45 pm

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

Contact: Frances Marshall  0207 664 3220 / Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Interest


No declarations were made.


English Devolution pdf icon PDF 98 KB


Carolyn Downs (Chief Executive) introduced the report which sought Members’ views on how the LGA should best pursue the devolution agenda following the momentum created by the Scottish independence referendum.  Following positive discussions at recent meetings of the City Regions and People and Places Boards, officers had been tasked with developing a route map for differential devolution.  She informed Members that the Prime Minister had delegated responsibility to open dialogue with the LGA on devolution to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.  The LGA Chair would be meeting with Danny Alexander MP on 3 November.


The report was agreed without further comment.



That the LGA Executive considered the issues set out in the report and agreed to give Group Leaders a mandate to take the LGA’s devolution agenda forward.


Better Care Fund pdf icon PDF 86 KB


Andrew Webster (Director of Integration) updated on the Better Care Fund (BCF) following the submission of revised plans by all local areas bar one, and summarised the national and regional assurance process.  He expressed caution optimism that the interests of local government had been defended, with little change in the overall integration funding envelope; however he noted that there were now more onerous conditions attached to the funding.


In the discussion that followed, Members made a number of comments, including:


·        Serious concerns were expressed that the changes to the BCF had undermined the original shared ambition for health and social care integration and prevented councils from focusing resources fully on delivering better health outcomes.  Members emphasised the importance of a long term, whole system approach focused on better health outcomes, as opposed to short term targets.    


·        In discussing the vital importance of effective cross working between the health service and local government, a number of specific concerns were expressed.  These included: the admissions criteria and the length of time it would take to evidence reductions in admissions to secure funding; the need for a funding mechanism that equitably incentivises; the shift in risk from the NHS to local authorities; the accountability of Clinical Commissioning Groups; and the need to facilitate a cultural shift away from micromanagement to a shared responsibility approach, based on 5 year budgets.


·        Members shared intelligence from within their localities, including feedback from one council that had chosen not to submit their revised plan until all parties involved were satisfied that it met their shared objectives.  It was suggested that the LGA pull together councils’ experiences from across the country as a means of sharing learning, as well as building up an evidence base.        



The LGA Executive asked that its views inform the continuing dialogue on the Better Care Fund between the LGA and the Department for Health.


Autumn Statement 2014: LGA Submission pdf icon PDF 148 KB

The LGA submission will follow on a supplemental agenda.

Additional documents:


The LGA Chair briefly introduced the LGA’s submission to Her Majesty’s Treasury in advance of the Autumn Statement, expected on 3 December 2014.  He noted that the overarching themes of the submission had been agreed by the Leadership Board, with the individual service paragraphs approved by the relevant policy Boards and the introduction signed off by the Resources Board. 


In the discussion that followed, Members made a number of comments, including:


·        The Executive welcomed and endorsed the submission; however Members asked that it also make reference to central role of the sector in the welfare reform agenda, with particular reference to the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme (LWAS).  In the ensuing discussion, questions were asked regarding LGA’s position should the LWAS fund be withdrawn as a distinct grant in 2015/16 as currently being proposed.


·        With reference to the devolution agenda, Members noted the importance of making clear that funding not only needed to be devolved to the four constituent parts of the United Kingdom, but also within them as well.


·        It was noted that long term local government finance settlements was a specific ask in the LGA’s submission and a key element of the LGA’s wider First 100 Days work.



The Executive endorsed the LGA’s Autumn Statement Submission, subject to the addition of a section on welfare reform.


Note of the last Leadership Board meeting - Tabled



The Executive noted the minutes of the Leadership Board held on Wednesday 22 October.


Note of last LGA Executive meeting pdf icon PDF 97 KB



The Executive agreed the minutes of the previous Executive meeting held on 11 September.