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27 November 2020

Publish date: 27/11/2020

In a week which has seen the announcement of a public sector pay freeze, the chancellors spending review, no increase in local public health spending and 99% of England placed into the top two tiers next week; I was delighted to attend the ADSO Awards 2020 yesterday evening, to bring a joyous break to my constant news feed, and my brothers unending whatsapp questioning as to whether a sausage roll constitutes a substantial meal- 'what if I add chips?'…..

As lawyers and governance officers, we work very closely with democratic services. Never has our mutual relationship been more keenly felt since the pandemic. Our joint work on virtual meeting provision demonstrated significant accomplishment. The challenges we now face around governance and scrutiny again require a united position. If you didn't catch the Grapevine podcast this week, Ed Hammond from the CfGS gave us an interesting insight into the need for safeguards, reporting of decisions and making time for review and reflection post the first lockdown. Congratulations to all the winners at the ADSO Awards. It was moving to hear the very personal experiences they outlined of working throughout the pandemic. I know LLG members will have had many similar experiences.

Briefly mentioned at the start, the Spending Review has caused concerns for local government with the CEO of the Local Government Information Unit, Jonathan Carr-West warning 'there is no gift from the centre', and that the 'political and economic risk all sits on local government'. Identifying that the 4.5% increase in spending power will come 'predominantly from council tax and the social care precept'; the LGA have warned that an increase in council tax would place 'a significant burden on households'. If you have an eye on the finances at present and want to build financial resilience, why not join us on the 2nd December to hear from our corporate partners and financial experts Wesleyan. This free webinar will examine the 5 steps to financial fitness including pension planning. To book click here

Best wishes

Helen McGrath

Head of Public Affairs

Helen@llg.org.uk