COVID-19 Local Lockdown Powers - LGA Statement
RESPONDING to the Prime
Minister's announcement about the new Contain Framework for
Councils' local lockdown powers, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman
of the Local Government Association, said:- "Locally led
responses have proven to be the best way to tackle significant
outbreaks, which this framework rightly emphasises. Councils
know their local communities best and know how to address each
unique outbreak. It is good that this framework also
acknowledges the tireless efforts of Councils already to try and
contain and prevent local outbreaks. Greater powers for Councils
to take swift and effective action to address local outbreaks
will hopefully help avoid the need for more stringent measures
to be imposed locally. Managing local COVID-19 outbreaks will
always need to build on the consent of local communities and an
effective system of tracing and testing. The use of enforcement
powers should be an option of last resort where individuals or
organisations are unable, unwilling or opposed to taking actions
that reduce the spread of this virus. Data flow to Councils has
improved, including the introduction of daily updates. Further
improvements to this, including granular level data, to Councils
are still needed so they are better able to act in real time to
increases in infection rates and help prevent the spread of
further infection. This would help Councils be even more
prepared ahead of any possible deadly second wave of COVID-19."
CLA publish proposals to
simplify the planning system for rural areas
THE Country Land and
Business Association (CLA) has published a Policy paper on how
to enhance beneficial economic growth in rural areas through
simplifying the planning system in England. ‘Rural Powerhouse; a
planning system designed for the rural economy' aims to inform
decision making ahead of forthcoming Government policy papers.
The CLA, which represents 30,000 rural business in England and
Wales, has identified three key challenges which need to be
overcome to get the rural economy moving again: responding to
the community needs, levelling up the economy and recovering
from the economic impact of Covid-19. A reformed planning
system, which was needed even prior to the global pandemic,
could help address all 3. A restrictive and inefficient planning
system is harming the potential of the economy in rural areas.
It leads to wasted expenditure and unrealistic demands; out
dated perceptions of the economy in rural areas; and decision
making that seems to fly in the face of rural interests. Putting
this right is one of the key objectives of the CLA's Rural
Powerhouse campaign to boost productivity to rural areas. Major
economic and technological trends have provided new incentives
to invest in rural areas, at the same time more people are
seeking a better life in the countryside; something which
COVID-19 has only increased. This could not only increase the
population of rural areas, but also bring with it a wealth of
experience and expertise, human and social capital. Businesses
in rural areas are seeking to capitalise on this growing trend,
but they must have a planning system to be able to do so. If
implemented, the solutions in the report will encourage rural
businesses to consider new investment, encourage farm
diversification, improve job opportunities and to improve the
interconnectedness of rural and urban supply chains. The paper
makes a series of short term and long term recommendations to
adapt the planning system to respond to the current and future
needs and opportunities of the rural economy. These include:-
Short term actions:-
► Avoid wasted expenditure, reduce the burden of supporting a
planning application with costly surveys that can be nugatory.
► Exempt all new farm buildings from the community
► Progress heritage reforms, approve a package of reforms drawn
up by the heritage sector.
► Open up the local plan to a more segmented approach so that
for example economic development can forge ahead as soon as that
part of the local plan has been agreed.
► Make rural communities fit for the future; Local Authorities
must factor current and emerging tech development into
► Introduce a national policy for roadside barn conversions.
► Resource the planning system so that it is fit for purpose.
Long term actions:-
► Conduct a comprehensive review of Green Belt planning policy.
► Ensure land value capture delivers a competitive return to a
► Improve the minerals planning policy.
CLA President Mark Bridgeman said:- "We have a fantastic
opportunity to simplify the planning system and unlock a new
wave of investment in the countryside. Planning reform can be an
important ingredient to boost economic development in rural
areas and help the recovery. Rural office locations may become
more attractive in the light of the Coronavirus experience; if
that is the case, the planning system needs to be able to
respond quickly to emerging demand. In the short term, local
planning authorities may want to free up vacant office and
commercial space for new uses (such as for residential,
affordable and sheltered housing). Again, this requires a
flexible and fast-planning process. Unfortunately, the archaic
laws that determine what and where we can build have held back
economic development in rural areas. Now is the time for
Mr Bridgeman added:- "Planning reform is one of the five
key pillars that make up part of the CLA's Rural Powerhouse
campaign which aims to unleash the potential of the rural
economy, by closing the rural productivity gap and transforming
the lives of millions of people who live and work in the
countryside. It is clear that an efficient, effective and
proportionate planning system is a key component to an economic
recovery. But we have a planning system that is complex, costly
and riddled with delays. It needed reform before the Covid-19
crisis hit and is now more important than ever. It is crucial
that rural areas are not left behind when the Government reviews
Read the policy document in full
CLA encourages farming
community to embrace Farm Safety Week
THE CLA is encouraging
the farming community to get behind Farm Safety Week; an
initiative that recognises the real dangers of working in the
industry and the importance of looking after their physical and
mental wellbeing. Farm Safety Week, which returns for the eighth
year and takes place from 20 July 2020 to 24 July 2020, will
demonstrate the impacts Covid-19 has had on the industry and the
support available to farmers. It will also highlight the
positive moves to changing the poor safety record and
introducing some exciting new innovations in technology to help
us all farm safer. Farm Safety Week is an initiative led by the
Farm Safety Foundation and supported by the Farm Safety
Partnerships, the Health and Safety Executive, Health and Safety
Executive for Northern Ireland and the Health and Safety
Authority, Ireland. For more information on Farm Safety Week,
CLA Deputy President Mark Tufnell said:- "We are proud to
support the annual Farm Safety Week campaign. This has been a
particularly challenging 2020 for all of us. However, over the
past few months, farmers have been recognised as key workers
that play an essential role in producing food for the country.
Whilst other businesses ground to a halt, farming continued to
face challenges brought on by Covid-19 such as dealing with a
significant shortfall in seasonal workers to help pick fruit and
vegetables during harvest as well as the varying weather
conditions. Agriculture may have the poorest safety record of
any occupation in the UK but there are signs that this is
improving and we want to be part of this change. It's in all our
interest to take safety seriously. Farm Safety Week may be 1
week in the year, but the Farm Safety Foundation is working all
year round to educate, engage and communicate strong and
relatable farm safety messages and deliver this change."
UKSSD launch 'Sustainable Development Guide' for Councils
THE Local Government
Association and the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development
have launched a guide to help Councils engage with the United
Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a time when many
are starting to re-think the role of local Government in leading
places and empowering people. The UN's 2030 Agenda and the SDGs,
adopted by all UN member states, are an urgent call for action
by all countries to end poverty and other deprivations to
improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur
economic growth; all while tackling climate change. The LGA,
which represents Councils in England and Wales, said that if
they are to be attained, then local action by Councils will be
crucial and must be better funded and supported by national
Government. This joint guide with UKSSD reinforces the need for
coherent decision-making between all levels of Government at a
time of growing consensus regarding the importance of an
economically and environmentally sustainable recovery.
Examples of Councils that have been working towards the SDGs
► Newcastle City Council made a political commitment to
mainstream the SDGs in its policies, activity and programmes in
2019. Working closely with SDG experts at University of
Newcastle, it is now embedding the SDGs in the work of the City
Futures Board, formed to shape the city's renewal following the
► Bristol City Council, in partnership with the University of
Bristol, launched the UK's first Voluntary Local Reviewon the
SDGs in 2019 and has embedded the Goals in its 1 City Plan to
work with stakeholders across the city towards a more coherent
plan for the future. A follow up handbook for use by other
cities wanting to undertake similar local voluntary reviews has
also been produced.
► Liverpool City Council's forthcoming City Plan contains a
clear commitment to the SDGs from all partner organisations. The
Council has worked with the 2030hub in Liverpool to inform the
selection of aims, priorities and metrics for the City Plan.
Despite facing enormous pressures and sustained funding cuts,
Councils have maintained the provision of essential services for
their communities and continue to look ahead at how they can
work closely with the Government to achieve its targets,
including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As
Councils across the country continue to lead their communities
through the Coronavirus pandemic, it is vitally important that
they have the resources and support to lead them through the
recovery and continue to fight against climate change. Sir
Richard Leese, Chair of the LGA's City Regions Board, said:-
"While Councils across the country continue to grapple with
the unprecedented challenges of the Coronavirus crisis, many
have come to recognise their unique position as leaders of
place. Local Government can play a key role in driving a
sustainable recovery that meets the needs of local communities
and businesses. The SDGs provide a guide to rebuilding our
economies in a resilient and sustainable way, focusing on
creating good lives on a healthy planet for all people. However,
in order to meet the scale of the challenge local action must
have the backing of national Government."
Emily Auckland, Network Director of the UKSSD, said:- "It's
thought that as many as ⅔ of the SDG targets need local action
to be achieved by 2030. The goals provide Councils with a
framework to plan and prioritise decisions, work with their
local stakeholders and engage their citizens so we can work
together across the whole of society to create a just and
Total UK cases COVID-19 cases - update for Liverpool City Region
THE total number of UK
Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections that have been laboratory
confirmed, within the UK, has risen by 687 cases and the total
number now stand at 292,552, that includes tests carried out by
commercial partners which are not included in the 4 National
Daily number of COVID-19 associated UK fatalities added to the
total, was sadly reported to be 114 according to the Department
of Health. The total number of deaths of people who have had a
positive test result confirmed by a Public Health or NHS
laboratory is 45,233.
In England, there are a total of 293,239 confirmed cases. North
West - total of 43,907 confirmed cases. The number of laboratory
confirmed cases within the following Local Authorities, in and
around the Liverpool City Region are as follows:-
► Liverpool, 2,478 confirmed cases.
► Sefton, 1,534 confirmed cases.
► Wirral, 2,039 confirmed cases.
► St. Helens, 1,198 confirmed cases
► Halton, 692 confirmed cases.
► Blackpool, 1,031 confirmed cases.
► Blackburn with Darwen, 1,137 confirmed cases.
► Bolton, 1,885 confirmed cases.
► Bury, 1,294 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire West and Chester, 1,996 confirmed cases.
► Cheshire East, 2,213 confirmed cases.
► Lancashire, 6,810 confirmed cases.
► Manchester, 3,004 confirmed cases.
► Oldham, 1,897 confirmed cases.
► Rochdale, 1,692 confirmed cases.
► Stockport, 1,646 confirmed cases.
► Tameside, 1,540 confirmed cases.
► Trafford, 1,273 confirmed cases.
► Wigan, 2,143 confirmed cases..