Agenda and minutes

LGA Board
Wednesday, 22nd January, 2020 1.00 pm

Venue: Smith Square 1&2, Ground Floor, 18 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HZ. View directions

Contact: Paul Goodchild (Member Services Manager) 

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome and Apologies for Absence

To note any apologies for absence received by Directors.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Howard Sykes MBE and Cllr Teresa O’Neill OBE.

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:

Directors confirmed that they had no direct or indirect interest in the transactions or 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

Each Director to notethat under section 172 of the Companies Act 2006, they must act in the way they consider, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the Company for the benefit of its members as a whole and in doing so have regard (amongst other matters) to certain factors set out in that section; and that under Section 173 they must exercise independent judgement.

Minutes:

Directors noted that under Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006, they must act in a way they consider, in good faith, would most likely to promote the success of the Company for the benefit of its members and while in doing so have regard (amongst other matters) to certain factors set out in that section; and under that section they must exercise independent judgement.

4.

Appointment of New Director

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services and Company Secretary, introduced the report which set out changes to the Board since the last meeting.

 

Cllr David Simmonds CBE, Cllr Peter Box CBE and Cllr Anne Western CBE had resigned as Directors of the Company. Cllr Teresa O’Neil OBE had been appointed a new Director of the Company.

 

Decision

The Board of Directors of the LGA approved the appointment of the new Director and resignation of three existing Directors.

5.

Census 2021

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Iain Bell, Deputy National Statistician and Director General for Population and Public Policy, and Neil Townsend, Head of Partnerships, from the Office for National Statistics to discuss the 2021 Census and the key role of local authorities in its successful delivery.

 

Iain Bell explained the planning process for the census, the differences between the 2021 Census and the previous census in 2011, and the need for high quality data which can be used for shaping policy, resource allocation, planning services and equality monitoring.

 

On the role of local government, Members noted that councils are key to the development of the address register, and can assist in providing local intelligence on hard to reach groups, identifying community liaison contacts, providing ONS with access to Council Tax data, helping with recruitment of field staff and support of operations, as well as providing a supporting role in quality assurance of data and maximising the use of the Census data. It was also highlighted that the LGA could help by engaging Council Leaders and Chief Executives and promoting the sharing of council tax data. 

 

In the discussion that followed Members raised several points including:

 

·         Members recognised the importance of Census data for a variety of reasons, including planning school places and other services and as part of many funding decisions.

·         It was highlighted that the digital divide was becoming less to do with age, and more to do with income and language skills. ONS planned to have help centres and volunteers available to help people who could not access the online Census form.

·         Regarding timescales it is planned that the Census results will be published by the end of March 2022.

·         Further information on how data will be quality assured would be released over the next few months.

·         Significant issues to overcome included houses available to rent on Airbnb, gated communities, and reaching Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities. It was hoped that local authorities would be able to assist with identifying some of these groups and advising on how best to engage with them.

·         Communication tools would be shared with councils so they could promote the Census through various local means, including council publications.

 

Decision

The Board of Directors noted the report, the importance of the Census, and the role of the LGA and local authorities in the success of the Census.

6.

LGA Group 2020/21 Budget Assumptions

Minutes:

Jonathan Gratte, Strategic Finance Manager, introduced the report which set out the key assumptions and issues with an early view of the potential budget for the LGA Group over the medium term to 2023/24. The report highlighted the key themes, issues, risks and opportunities for each of the LGA Group Companies, and the Group overall, and set out the Medium Term Financial Plan.

 

 

It was confirmed that the final proposed Budget for 2020/21 and a full balance sheet would be presented  at the next meeting of the Board in March.

 

Decision

The Board of Directors noted the 2020/21 Budget key assumptions and issues, and the financial direction of travel over the course of the Medium Term Financial Plan. 

7.

Members' Scheme of Allowances

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services and Company Secretary, introduced the report and explained that, under the Articles of Association, the Board of Directors must consider annually whether to establish an Independent Remuneration Panel to review the Scheme of Allowances. A substantial review of the Scheme had been undertaken in 2018, and its recommendations were implemented from September 2019.

 

Members noted that allowances were index linked, with the exception of the day rate of £300, which had remained unchanged for a number of years. As part of the previous review the Panel had suggested that the issue of the day rate could be revisited in future reviews.

 

Members requested a light touch review of the day rate only and asked that the issue of parental leave for elected members be considered.

 

Decision

The Board of Directors agreed not to commission a full review the Scheme of Allowances in 2020 but to commission a light touch review of the Members’ day rate and parental leave for elected members.

Action

Initiate a review of the day rate and parental leave for elected members and report back to a future meeting of the Board (Claire Holloway).

8.

Performance Reporting - 2019/20 Q2 Monitoring Report

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services and Company Secretary, introduced the report. She explained that this was the last report linked to the previous Business Plan priorities, and the next report would align to the new Business Plan for 2019-22. Members noted that the report had also been agreed by the Audit Committee and welcomed the reduction of sickness absence in the organisation.

 

Decision

The Board of Directors approved the six-month monitoring report. 

9.

Chief Executive's Report - January 2020

Minutes:

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive, introduced the report and highlighted several areas of work which had taken place since the last meeting to report on.

 

These included LGA work on the Local Government Finance Settlement, work with DfE to ensure that local government was fully engaged in the planned review of children’s services and the LGA’s first successful climate change conference. He also updated Members on work on building safety, civility in public life, the Devolution White Paper, and the LGA’s leadership development programmes.

 

In response to a question on the climate work stream, it was confirmed that the LGA was continuing work on best practice for councils, and it was anticipated that another conference would be held as the first one had been oversubscribed.

 

Decision

The Board of Directors noted the Chief Executive’s report for January 2020.

10.

Local Partnerships Annual Report

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Alderman Sir David Wootton (Chair, Local Partnerships) and Sean Hanson (Chief Executive, Local Partnerships) to the meeting. Sir David introduced the report which summarised Local Partnerships’ performance for the 2018-19 financial year and thanked the LGA for their joint work over the period. In particular the range of work which Local Partnerships had undertaken with LGA grant funding was highlighted.

 

Sean Hanson outlined Local Partnerships’ work climate response and energy efficiency, which included work on renewable energy, and increasing resilience to the increased risk of flooding due to rising sea and river levels. Local Partnerships would continue to support this work on a delivery basis.

 

Members noted that Local Partnerships was currently in the process of setting priorities for 2020-21 and would come back to discuss these with the Board of Directors in due course.

 

Decision

The Board of Directors noted the Local Partnerships Impact Report for 2018-19 and thanked Local Partnerships for attending and for their continued work to mutual benefit. 

11.

Properties Update

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services and Company Secretary, updated the Board on the latest position in relation to the refurbishment and letting of Layden House and the management and letting of 18 Smith Square.

 

Members welcomed the news that the lease for the second floor had now been signed and that work on fit out had begun. As such the building was now fully let. The LGA was also in advanced discussions with a tenant to let the office space at Layden House.

 

Decision

The Board of Directors noted the latest position in relation to the management and letting of 18 Smith Square and Layden House.

12.

Reregistration and Transfer of Business of Local Government Management Board (LGMB)

Minutes:

Claire Holloway, Head of Corporate Services and Company Secretary, introduced the report which sought the Board’s approval for the subscription of a share in LGMB following its re-registration as an unlimited company with share capital, and the transfer of its business together with its assets and liabilities to the LGA.

 

Resolution

The Board authorised the resolutions as set out in the report.

13.

LGA Forward Plan

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.

 

Decision

The LGA Leadership Board agreed the Forward Plan.

14.

Minutes of the Previous Meeting held on 30 October 2019

Minutes:

Decision

The Leadership Board agreed the minutes of the previous meeting held on 30 October 2019.

15.

Minutes of the Commercial Advisory Board held on 28 October 2019

Minutes:

Decision

The Leadership Board noted the minutes of the Commercial Advisory Board held on 28 October 2019.

16.

Close of Meeting

Minutes:

The Chairman closed the meeting.