Agenda and minutes

Executive Advisory Board - Thursday, 11th June, 2015 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.


Opening Remarks


The Chairman congratulated those members that has been successfully re-elected in the recent local elections.


All four Political Group Leaders paid tribute to Cllr David Sparks OBE for his leadership of the LGA during his year as Chair but also for his commitment and service to the LGA over many years in a variety of political roles. In particular, they hoped that he would continue be involved in the LGA after his term as Chair had concluded.


The Chair and Political Group Leaders expressed their gratitude Carolyn Down who would be leaving the LGA over the summer after four years as LGA Chief Executive.  They congratulated her on being appointed to the London Borough of Brent as Chief Executive and expressed their thanks for her commitment and dedication which had helped the LGA achieve significant successes also whilst putting it on a stable financial footing.


The Council Role in Education and School Place Planning pdf icon PDF 162 KB

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Cllr David Simmonds, Chairman of the Children & Young People Board, introduced the item which summarised recent LGA work on the council role in relation to schools and school place planning.  With reference to the proposed changes in the Education Bill, he invited the Executive’s comments on the report as a proposed framework for taking forward the LGA’s lobbying.


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


·        With reference to the Department for Education’s forecast demand for primary school places, it was noted that these figures did not take into account geographical factors and therefore did not necessarily accurately reflect the situation in specific localities.  This was an issue which the LGA were pursuing with Government.  


·        There was cross party support for exploring the possibility of expanding the remit of the Public Services Ombudsman to include Education.  Members felt that this would provide a more accessible and independent mechanism to hold academies to account.  


·        In discussing schools funding and the increase in creation of academies and free schools, a Member highlighted the importance that parents be consulted on decisions regarding schooling in their localities.  With reference to school place planning, differing views were expressed as to the value of this being purely demand, or reconciled at a local level. 




The LGA Executive endorsed the report and asked that their comment inform the development of the LGA’s work in this area.


Queen's Speech 2015 pdf icon PDF 127 KB


Laurence Meehan (Head of Campaigns & External Communications) introduced the item which set out the key legislation in the Queen’s Speech affecting local government.  He invited the Executive’s comments on the suggested priorities for LGA activity. 


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


·        Serious concerns were expressed that the Policing and Criminal Justice Bill may include proposals to transfer the role Fire and Rescue Authorities to Police and Crime Commissioners.  Members highlighted the important that this issue be kept on a close watching brief and that it be a priory issue for the LGA.


·        With reference to the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, Members welcomed comments made by Marcus Jones MP (Under Secretary of Sate for Local Government) which indicated that depending on the size of a locality and scale of devolution, the Government would be open to an alternative model than elected Mayor.    


·        With reference to consistent LGA lobbying and ongoing joint working with the Home Office, Members welcomed the announcement of the Psychoactive Substances Bill and highlighted it as a key success for the LGA. 


·        In discussing the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (Stormont Agreement) Bills, Members emphasised the importance of cross country collaboration - particularly with reference to Wales - due to the importance of cross-border movement to local economies.


·        Comments and questions were also raised regarding specific elements of the: Investigatory Powers Bill; Housing Bill; and Enterprise Bill.


·        Members asked for an analysis to be undertaken to establish how many of the LGA’s First 100 Days proposals were reflected in the Government’s legislative agenda.   



The LGA Executive approved the suggested priority Bills for the LGA in the 2015/16 parliamentary session.



Circulate an analysis of the areas of commonality between the Government’s legislative agenda and the LGA’s First 100 Days proposals. Laurence Meehan.


Local Elections and LGA Political Balance 2015-2016 pdf icon PDF 99 KB


The Chair briefly introduced the report which set out the revised proportionality of the LGA following the local elections on 7 May and the implications for the distribution of seats amongst the political groups on the LGA’s governance structures.   


It was noted that at its meeting the previous day, the LGA Leadership Board had agreed two changes to the figures as detailed in the report.  The Leadership Board had agreed to increase the number of Deputy Chairs of the Association by four – one per political group – as well as to allocate the Independent Group an additional seat on the People and Places Board.




The Executive noted the revised proportionality figures for 2015/2016.


Annual Report of the LGA's Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 79 KB

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The LGA Chair moved the report which provided an overview the work undertaken by the Audit Committee in 2014/15 without further comment.


The report was agreed without comment.




The LGA Executive agreed the annual report of the Audit Committee to be presented the General Assembly on 30 June 2015.


Note of the last Leadership Board meeting - Tabled


The four political group leaders provided an update on discussion from their political group meetings on proposed changes to the LGA’s governance structures.  Although Members felt further work was required to strengthen accountability within the current proposals, all four groups were content to pilot the proposals on selected group of Boards from September.




The LGA Executive noted the minutes of the LGA Leadership Board held on Wednesday 10 June 2015.


Note of last LGA Executive meeting pdf icon PDF 106 KB




The LGA Executive agreed the minutes of the LGA Executive held on Thursday 5 March 2015.


LGA and IDeA Budget 2015-16


Report on the Future of Health and Social Care


LGA Spending Review 2015 Submission


Date and Time of Next Meeting


The Chair noted that as the July meeting of the LGA Executive has been cancelled, the next meeting would be on Thursday 17 September 2015.