LGA General Assembly FAQs

FAQs about the next meeting of the LGA's General Assembly, which will be held virtually at 10.45am on Tuesday 6 July 2021.


How often does the General Assembly meet?

The meeting is held once a year, usually at a national venue, to coincide with the LGA Annual Conference. This year, In the light of continued restrictions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of the LGA has agreed that the 2021 General Assembly will be held as a virtual meeting. The meeting will take place on Tuesday 6 July 2021 at 10.45am.

What is the difference between the LGA General Assembly and the LGA Annual Conference?

The General Assembly is a formal meeting which is part of the LGA’s political governance structure. It meets annually and takes place alongside the LGA’s Annual Conference. Membership of the General Assembly is restricted to elected members. Individual authorities in LGA membership directly appoint members to the General Assembly.

The LGA Annual Conference is the biggest event in the local government calendar and one of the most well-attended political conferences of the year. The event is essential for Council Leaders and Chief Executives, senior officers, lead members and policy makers across all services provided by local authorities. The conference regularly attracts high numbers from our partners across the wider public sector, the private and voluntary sectors.

What time is the LGA General Assembly meeting held?

The meeting is held before lunchtime on the first day of the Conference and precedes the formal opening of the Annual Conference. It usually lasts between 45 minutes and 2 hours. The 2021 meeting will take place virtually at 10.45 am on Tuesday 6 July. Joining instructions will be sent to all voting members prior to that date.

What type of business is discussed?

The General Assembly acts as both the 'parliament of Local Government' and as a formal annual meeting (similar to a council AGM). It considers strategic policy issues of national significance to local government in the England and Wales, as well as formal business such as appointment of Offices Holders of the Association and the annual accounts.

What are the responsibilities of the LGA General Assembly?

The General Assembly is the only LGA decision making forum which all authorities in full membership are eligible to attend and to vote. Its responsibilities include:

  • debating motions submitted by local authorities in membership of the Association
  • determining the terms of reference, delegated powers, size and political composition of the Association’s governance structures
  • electing the President and Office Holders of the Local Government Association
  • noting Vice-President appointments
  • receiving the audited accounts of the Association
  • receiving an Annual Report from the Audit Committee.

How do I register who will be attending from my authority?

In March each year, an e-bulletin is circulated to Authority Leaders, Chief Executives and Democratic Services inviting them to appoint their representative/s to the General Assembly by submitting a form. Local Authorities MUST complete the online booking form in order to be able to vote.

How many votes does my authority have? How many members can attend from each council?

All authorities in voting membership are entitled to a minimum of one vote and to appoint at least one (maximum of four) elected representative to the General Assembly. The basis for calculating this is set out in the LGA Articles of Association and Governance Framework.

Your authorities’ voting entitlement is available on the registration form (available via this link).

What if my authority does not wish to send a representative?

It is in councils’ best interests to nominate as the Councillor is representing the authority, not the LGA, and will have a key vote. However, attendance is at individual authorities’ discretion.

Can I find out who my authorities’ previous representatives were?

Yes. Records are kept for up to two years. Contact [email protected] for information.

How should authorities allocate their votes?

Determining how appointments to the General Assembly are made, and deciding how votes are allocated between representatives, is entirely at the discretion of individual councils. However, as a cross party organisation, the Association encourages those authorities entitled to three or four representatives on the General Assembly to allocate one of those positions to Minority Group Leaders.

Can authorities’ send Observers and nominate Substitutes?

Yes. Up to four observers can attend in addition to the main representative(s).

Substitutes can replace elected members at the meeting providing the LGA’s Member Services ([email protected]) is notified of this in writing, in advance of the day.

Is it possible to attend the General Assembly and not the Conference? Is it free to attend?

Yes. There is no charge for members attending just the General Assembly meeting. You will not however have access to the rest of the conference activities.

Booking and payment for the Annual Conference are made separately via the LGA Annual Conference webpage.

What is the term of appointment for a member appointed to the General Assembly?

The tenure is one year, beginning at the Annual Meeting in each year and ending immediately before the Annual Meeting in the following year, or with immediate effect if the individual ceases to be a councillor of a local authority, or if his/her authority ceases to be in membership of the Association.

Do I need to reappoint members to other Boards / Forums at this stage?

You only need to nominate directly to the LGA General Assembly. All appointments to our other governance structures are made by the LGA’s political group offices at the LGA.

How do I book accommodation for the General Assembly?

As the meeting will be held virtually this year, there will be no need to book any accomodation.

Do you hold indemnity/insurance cover for personal liability?

No. The LGA does not hold indemnity/insurance cover for personal liability.

Want further information?

Appendix A: How is the voting entitlement for Authorities devised?

District Councils

All district councils are entitled to one vote and to appoint one representative.

County Councils

County councils are entitled to votes equal to the number of district councils in their area and to appoint representatives equal to their number of votes up to a maximum of four representatives.

Unitary Authorities (metropolitan districts, London boroughs and the English and Welsh unitary authorities in full membership)

These authorities are entitled to votes on the basis of population bands* as set out in Table A and to appoint representatives equal to their number of votes or four representatives whichever is the lesser.

Corporate Members

On the election of LGA Chair, Vice-Chairs and Deputy Chairs under Article 21 and on questions of estimated expenditure and subscriptions under Article 23 of the LGA Articles of Association and Governance Framework, each corporate member is entitled to one vote.

On issues of direct relevance to their statutory duties and responsibilities, Corporate Authorities are entitled to votes on the basis of population bands as set out in Table A overleaf.

Authorities in voting associate membership are entitled to appoint representatives equal to their number of service votes or four representatives whichever is the lesser.

Welsh Authorities in corporate membership

On the election of LGA Chair, Vice-Chairs and Deputy Chairs under Article 21 and on questions of estimated expenditure and subscriptions under Article 23.4 of the LGA Articles of Association and Governance Framework, each corporate member is entitled to one vote.

On non-devolved matters directly relevant to their statutory duties and responsibilities, each authority is entitled to votes on the basis of population bands as set out in Table A overleaf.

The population for this purpose is as given in the latest figures published by the Registrar General before convening of the Annual Meeting.

Table A: Authorities’ entitlement to votes - on the basis of population bands

Population

Votes

1-100,000

2

100,001-150,000

3

150,001-200,000

4

200,001-300,000

5

300,001-400,000

7

400,001-500,000

9

500,001-600,000

11

601,000-700,000

13

700,001-800,000

15

800,001plus

17