LGA in Parliament 2020/21

The LGA in Parliament report highlights the breadth of services councils deliver and the depth of analysis the LGA provides as the national voice of local government.

Houses of Parliament

Foreword

Welcome to our LGA in Parliament report for 2020/21. We are delighted to update on our work with parliamentarians, highlighting how as the national voice of local government, we have worked with MPs and Peers to ensure that the value of local place-based leadership is recognised in national decision-making.

Full foreword by LGA Chairman James Jamieson and LGA Chief Executive Mark Lloyd

Welcome to our Local Government Association (LGA) in Parliament report for 2020/2021. We are delighted to update on our work with parliamentarians, highlighting how as the national voice of local government, we have worked with MPs and Peers to ensure that the value of local place-based leadership is recognised in national decision-making.   

The past year has again been significant for councils as they led their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic. The past year demonstrated the value of local leadership as councils delivered essential services that supported the lives of millions. Councils supported the homeless into safe accommodation, successfully delivered local test and trace, and outbreak management in their areas, helped local businesses to access a range of emergency grants and supported the vaccination roll-out, to name just a few examples. This has been undertaken whilst local government has kept up its work combating climate change, building new homes and shaping communities, providing care and support to older residents, and supporting children and young people.

With the support of MPs and Peers, the LGA has helped to inform the scrutiny of policy and legislation. We have informed a wide range of legislation as we sought to shape proposals on issues such as domestic abuse and the future of fire safety. Through our engagement with parliamentary committees, we also continue to provide thought leadership, setting out the challenges councils face and the opportunities to do things differently on a wide range of issues. This report highlights the breadth of services local government delivers and the depth of analysis the LGA provides as we make the case on behalf of councils for positive change.  

We are anticipating that this year’s Queen’s Speech will set out a wide-ranging legislative agenda which will touch on many of the issues that are priorities for our membership. The Government plans to bring forward proposals to level-up and build back better from the pandemic. It will be our job as local government’s membership association to make sure that these plans work for communities by building on the efforts local leaders are already making to deal with the challenges of the day. We look forward to working with Government and Parliament on the full range of the legislation and White Papers that will shape our response as a nation to the big challenges ahead, whether it be tackling the climate emergency, finding a sustainable solution to social care, building the homes the nation needs, ensuring councils are placed on a sound financial footing or delivering a settlement that can turbo-charge devolution in our areas.   

We would like to close by expressing our thanks to our President Lord Kerslake for his service over the past six years and to welcome Baroness Grey-Thompson to the fold who we look forward to working with when she becomes the next President of our Association. We’d also like to thank our LGA Vice-Presidents and all the MPs and Peers who have worked to support us and local government. And of course, we must also pay tribute to our colleagues from local government who have given time from their schedules to give evidence on behalf of the LGA, on behalf of one of our special interest groups, or on behalf of their own councils. This report, and the LGA’s efforts to shape parliamentary debates, would not be possible without their support and more now than ever it is vital that we speak as one voice as we promote the vital role of local government in our national life.

Headshots of Cllr James Jamieson and Mark Lloyd with their respective signatures underneath

LGA in Parliament 2020/21: an introduction

The LGA is the national voice of councils. A vital part of our role is working with parliamentarians as we seek to inform debates, the scrutiny of legislation that affects local government and shape the reports of select committees and All-Party Parliamentary Groups.

The LGA benefits from a significant profile in Westminster. Since April 2020 we have been quoted more than 500 times in Parliament. To help deliver this we have:

  • briefed for 51 parliamentary debates and 25 debates on legislation, securing support from MPs and Peers for our campaigns and policy positions.
  • LGA representatives appeared before 39 parliamentary inquiries and we have produced 77 written submissions to inquiries to help inform a wide range of recommendations in parliamentary reports.
  • informed the debates on scrutiny of a wide range of primary legislation, including proposals on domestic abuse, fire safety and business rates.
500+

LGA mentions in Parliament in 2020/21

Westminster Mentions
House of Commons 96
House of Commons Q & A 76
House of Lords 242
House of Lords Q & A 41
Westminster Hall debates 19
Ministerial statements 4
Grand Committee debates 23

    All this work is essential as the LGA provides thought leadership on behalf of councils and demonstrates the value of local leadership.

    LGA influence: legislation and inquiries

    Visit the sections below for more detailed information on how the LGA influenced legislation and inquiries in 2020/21.

    Afterword by LGA President, Lord Kerslake

    LGA President Lord Kerslake

    This will be my last report as President of the LGA as I step down from a position which I have been honoured to hold these past six years. I look back on my time as President with great affection. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the team at the LGA, councils, LGA parliamentary Vice-Presidents and all those in Parliament with an interest in local public services, as we sought to ensure that the views of local government were represented in both Houses.

    As ever, this report provides an informative snapshot of how the LGA has been working on a cross-party basis to promote the views of local government and demonstrate why councils are so important to a healthy democracy. I know from my own experiences that I and other Parliamentarians continue to value the quality briefings and reports from the LGA as these illustrate the vital role of councils in society and bring a strong evidence base that is essential in helping Parliament in its role scrutinising national government.

    Not a day in the House seems go by without LGA analysis, ideas and recommendations being quoted in a parliamentary debate or a select committee report. This profile is vital in ensuring councils, their aspirations and their concerns are well represented. 

    Whilst I am stepping back as LGA President, I will of course retain my interest in working on the many issues that are vitally important to local government as I am a passionate advocate of council led-local leadership. I look forward to continuing to work with the LGA Vice-Presidents as we make the case in Parliament that now is the time for national government to grasp the moment and truly level-up the country by providing the right powers and funding for every local area and region.  

    The new parliamentary session is an important juncture as the Government develops its legislative programme and it will be more vital than ever that the LGA continues its excellent work, promoting the value of place-based leadership as decisions are made about how best to deliver national recovery and renewal. Making devolution to local government a key part of the Government's agenda and fixing the crisis in social care would be a high point to go out on as President and to handover the baton to my successor Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson. I wish Baroness Grey-Thompson and the LGA every success in their future endeavours.