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LGA CHECKLIST OF CIRCULARS 12/98

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Information sent to LGA member authorities in the week ending 10 April: ...
Information sent to LGA member authorities in the week ending 10 April:

Each week the association sends circulars to chief executives of member authorities. This checklist aims to help authorities see quickly what circulars have been issued each week. Further information is available from the LGA Information Unit on 0171 6643131 or at info@lgorgs.gov.uk, which can also be contacted for additional copies of circulars if necessary.

Community Safety

Crime and Disorder Bill - Summary of Lords stages

Update for member authorities on progress with the key elements of the Government's Crime and Disorder Bill, which has now passed from the House of Lords to the Commons.

Contact: On Youth Justice: Duncan Tree (0171 664 3244); on Community Safety and Racial Harassment: Mike Ashley (0171 664 3022); on Sex Offenders: Jeanette York (0171 664 3317); on Drugs: Tim Chadwick (0171 664 3256)Parliamentary Liaison: Will Hamill (0171 664 3017)

LGA Circular Reference 260/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Education

School Standards and Framework Bill - Code of Practice on LEA-School Relations (No.2)

Chief education officers were sent a draft DfEE Code of Practice on LEA-School relations on 25 March following its launch by the minister of state for school standards (Stephen Byers) at an LGA conference. Responses are required by the DfEE by 3 July 1998. A draft response will be considered by the LGA education committee on 17 June. Please send any comments to the LGA by 1 June

Contact: John Fowler (0171 664 3318)

LGA Circular Reference 253/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

School Standards and Framework Bill - LGA achievements

LGA lobbying work on the School Standards and Framework Bill has been extensive. A recently circulated letter from the minister of state for school standards, Stephen Byers, to the chair of the LGA education committee, Councillor Graham Lane, listed those areas where the LGA representations had been useful to the minister.

Contact: John Fowler (0171 664 3318)

LGA Circular Reference 250/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

School Standards and Framework Bill - Standards Fund

Information on the School Standards and Framework Bill which provides a new statutory basis to the Standards Fund, formerly known as Grants for Education Support and Training (GEST). Schedule 29, paragraph 105 amends section 484 of the Education Act 1996 and substitutes 'Education standards grant' for 'Grants for education support and training'.

Contact: John Fowler (0171 664 3318)

LGA Circular Reference 252/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

School Standards and Framework Bill - Update

The School Standards and Framework Bill has now completed its Commons stages and is expected to receive a Second Reading in the House of Lords on Tuesday, 7 April. A detailed timetable of the Bill has been circulated. Further information about the Bill is contained in the following LGA Circulars which have been issued this year about the Bill.

Education Bills 1997-1998 LGA 52 22/01/98

School Standards and Framework Bill: School Organisation LGA 107 12/02/98

School Standards and Framework Bill: Local Management of Schools LGA 108 12/02/98

Local Management of Schools - Delegation LGA 109 12/02/98

Local Management of School - Formula Distribution LGA 123 19/02/98

School Standards and Framework Bill: Grammar School Admissions - Proposed Approach LGA 142 26/02/98

School Standards and Framework Bill: School Organisation and Admissions Adjudicator LGA 141 26/02/98

School Standards and Framework Bill: Code of Practice on LEA-School relations LGA 178 12/03/98

School Standards and Framework Bill: Restrictions on Financial Assistance to Non-maintained Schools LGA 205 24/03/98

Consultation Paper on the Regulation of Early Education and Day Care LGA 228 31/03/98

Contact: John Fowler (0171 664 3318)

LGA Circular Reference 251/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Environment

LGA Conference 'Race, Equality and Planning - the Way Forward' - 21 May, London

Last year, the LGA commissioned a major piece of research into race and equality issues in the realm of planning. This arose from work initiated by the former Association of Metropolitan Authorities intended to respond to concerns expressed by its member authorities that attention should be given to an area which may felt had not been given the focus it deserved. The research, is now complete, and will be launched at a major national conference, to be held in London on 21 May. The cost of attendance is£110 plus VAT, per delegate, details have been circulated.

Contact: Gavin Wilson (0171 664 3199)

LGA Circular Reference 256/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Regional Development Agencies - Update on Bill progress The Regional Development Agencies Bill passed its House of Commons Report stage and Third Reading on Wednesday 1 April. The main points of interest were:

-RDA - Regional Chamber relationship: no change to the arrangements for regional accountability of RDAs.

-RDAs and planning powers: The Government fulfilled its commitment (see Circular 124/98) to re-examine clauses 24-27, which included provision for the Secretary of State to designate an RDA as local planning authority for all or part of its area.

-London Development Agency: Further to the London White Paper, published on 25 March 1998 more detail is now available on the relationship between the proposed RDA in London and the Greater London Authority

Next Steps: Consideration of the RDA Bill will begin in the House of Lords after Easter. The LGA will continue to press local government's concerns about the relationship between RDAs and regional chambers.

Contact: Tony Blake (0171 664 3348)

LGA Circular Reference 246/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

The Single Regeneration Budget Challenge Fund - Round Four

A press release announcing the successful bids for Round Four of the Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) Challenge Fund together with a list of the winning partnership bids 1998/99 has been circulated. The DETR has released a research summary analysing the distribution of SRB resources over the first three rounds. Free copies of the summary are available from Mrs Dorrett Annon, DETR, Research, Analysis and Evaluation Division, Zone 1/4, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London SW1 5DU. A Copy of the full research is available from the Publications Secretary, Department of Land Economy, 19 Silver Street, Cambridge CB3 9EP (£7.50).

Contact: Phil Swann (0171 664 3033)

LGA Circular Reference 232/98 Date of Issue 07/04/98

Housing

Best Value - Housing

The Local Government Association, in conjunction with a training consultancy, is holding a seminar on Monday 18 May 1998 on 'Best Value - in Housing'. The seminar will be held in the Hotel Intercontinental in London. The seminar will examine the implications for housing services of the Government's Best Value proposals through an expert panel of speakers including Tim Judson, DETR, Matthew Warburton, LGA and Doug Elliot, Audit Commission.

Contact: Jeanette York (0171 664 3317)

LGA Circular Reference 247/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Social Exclusion Unit : consultation on deprived neighbourhoods

The LGA for the Social Exclusion Unit has circulated its consultation paper on Deprived Neighbourhoods to all local authorities. One of the Unit's key priorities is to develop integrated and sustainable approaches to the problems of the 'worst estates' including crime, drugs, unemployment, community breakdown, bad schools, etc. Views are requested by 24 April.

Contact:Helen Goody (0171 664 3034)

LGA Circular Reference 233/98 Date of Issue 07/04/98

LGA Member Services

Nominations to LGA Committees 1998/99

Summary of decisions made by the policy & strategy committee in response to the consultation exercise on the appointments process and sets out the timetable for nominations to LGA Committees for 1998/99 .

Contact:Sally Humphreys (0171 664 3285)

LGA Circular Reference 257/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Royal Garden Parties

Final list showing the number of people and dates allocated for each authority to receive invitations to the Royal Garden Parties. This information has now been sent to Buckingham Palace and invitations will be sent by them direct to the people nominated at the address given on submissions.

Contact: Pauline Ashley (0171 664 3214)

LGA Circular Reference 240/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Local Government

Committee of the Regions

Details of decisions taken at the recent Committee of the Regions Plenary session.

Contact: Tracy Gardiner, LGIB (0171 664 3122)

LGA Circular Reference 236/98 Date of Issue 07/04/98

Local Democracy Week 1-5 June 1998

Following the circulation of the campaign pack, there has been good response from member authorities to the suggestion of participation in Local Democracy Week either by holding special events or by highlighting current public participation work or by launching a new initiative aimed at involving the public in council policy- and decision-making processes. In the next few days, pages will be added to the LGA's Internet website (www.lga.gov.uk) which will provide further information .

Contact: Louise Horner (0171 664 3016)

LGA Circular Reference 254/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

New Ethical Framework - Consultation Paper.

On Tuesday 7 April, the Government published its final consultation paper in its Modernising Local Government series, responding to the Nolan Committee report published in July 1997, and setting out proposals for a new ethical framework for local government. DETR has sent a copy of the paper to local authorities and Hilary Armstrong has written to Council Leaders enclosing sufficient copies for each of the political group leaders. In addition to this the papers can be found on DETR's website:

http://www.local.detr.gov.uk/sponsor/ethical.htm

Contact: John Rees (0171 664 3274)

LGA Circular Reference 255/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Reminder of LGA Web Site Awards Competition 1998

Member authorities are reminded to submit their entries for the LGA's local government Web Site Awards Competition 1998. Entry to the competition is free and should be made on the LGA's World-Wide Web site at http://www.lga.gov.uk/awards. Please note that the closing date for entries is Friday 1 May 1998. Member authorities are invited to submit general entries in competition and these will then be shortlisted within the following five award categories:

- Environment & Regeneration (incl. Tourism)

- Services to the Community

- Local Democracy

- Community Information

- Special Award for Reinvigorating Democracy

Contact: Peter Blair (0171 664 3283)

LGA Circular Reference 241/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Seminar on 'Benefit Fraud Prosecutions'

The Local Government Association held a one day seminar on 'Benefit Fraud Prosecutions' in February 1998. This seminar was greatly over subscribed. The event is therefore being repeated on the 27th May 1998.The objective of the seminar is to focus in-depth on the use of prosecutions in relation to Council Tax and Housing Benefit fraud. The seminar will examine when prosecutions are appropriate, the costs and benefits of prosecution, the alternatives to prosecution and how prosecutions and evidence should be handled for effective results.

Contact: Zoe Charlesworth (0171 664 3284)

LGA Circular Reference 243/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Local Government Finance

Local Government Finance Matters

Report on the Government's decision to designate Derbyshire County Council for capping, the release of information relating to local authority budgets and the publication of the Government's public spending plans for 1998/99.

Contact: Mike Grealy (0171 664 3335)

LGA Circular Reference 259/98 Date of Issue09/04/98

Local Government Finance Matters - Settlement Working Group

Outline of the main issues discussed at the meeting of the Settlement Working Group on 2 April 1998. These were:

- Asylum seekers

- Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR )

- Public expenditure timetable

- The March 1998 Budget

- Local Government Finance Review

- SWG Work Programme/Timetable

- Local Government Expenditure

Contact: Trevor Wenman (0171 664 3223)

LGA Circular Reference 258/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Police

National Conference 'Deaths in Police Custody: Reducing the Risks'

This national conference, a co-operative venture between the APA and the Police Complaints Authority is taking place in London on Friday, 16 October. The theme of the conference will be of interest to a wide range of participants. The aim will be to increase the awareness of this sensitive issue.

Contact: Malcolm Watson: (0171 664 3169)

Police Circular Reference 23/98Date of Issue 07/04/98

Review of Local Government Finance.

Three DETR local government finance review consultation papers were published on 30 March 1998 The titles were: 'Capital Finance', 'Business Rates' and 'Improving local financial accountability'. The DETR has circulated six copies of each paper to all authorities and the consultation deadline is 1 June. These papers are also available on the DETR's website at: http://www.local.detr.gov.uk/finance/consult.htm

Contact: John Street: (0171 664 3290)

Police Circular Reference 24/98Date of Issue 07/04/98

Public Protection

Air Quality Management Training: Preparing Air Quality Reviews and Assessments : 2 Day Training Course at the University of Greenwich's Medway Campus - 18-19 June 1998

Details of a two-day training course on air quality reviews and assessment, organised by the University of Greenwich. For bookings and Further Information: Helen Buckingham at the University of Greenwich : 0181-331 9800) (fax: 0181-331 9805) (e-mail: H.M.Buckingham@gre.ac.uk).

Contact: Susan Power (0171-664 3024)

LGA Circular Reference 244/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Central / Local Government Concordat on Good Enforcement - Guidance on Implementation

Guidance on the adoption and implementation of the Good Enforcement Concordat, launched on 5 March 1998. It is vital that member authorities both sign up to the principles and develop effective implementation strategies to ensure that the principles are translated into action at a local level.

Contact: Ian Foulkes (0171 664 3025)

LGA Circular Reference 242/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Crime and Disorder Bill - Statutory Partnerships: Joint Training Opportunity

for Chief Executives and Police Commanders A series of two day residential seminars have been organised jointly by the LGA, Home Office Crime Prevention Agency and National Police Training. They will be run monthly throughout 1998 commencing on 16 April. The venues will be either the Police Staff College at Bramshill, Hampshire or the Crime Prevention College, Easingwold, North Yorkshire depending on the course dates. The aim of the course is to enable Chief Executives together with their local police counterparts to examine the new legislation, what it will entail and how to implement it. Facilitators and speakers will come from a range of organisations including the LGA, Home Office, the Police, NACRO and Crime Concern.

Contact: Police Staff College (01256 602366; fax: 01256 602352)

LGA Circular Reference 238/98 Date of Issue 07/04/98

Draft Guidance from BEDA on the Implementation of the Public Entertainment Licences

(Drugs Misuse) Act 1997 The purpose of the new Act is to make it possible, when a local authority wishes to revoke or not renew a PEL (Public Entertainment Licence) because there is a serious problem relating to the supply or use of controlled drugs , for that closure to have immediate effect. This good practice guidance is for issue to, and use by British Entertainment and Discotheques Association (BEDA) members - however BEDA would welcome the comments of LGA member authorities on this draft.

Contact: Ian Foulkes (0171 664 3025)

LGA Circular Reference 239/98 Date of Issue 07/04/98

Tourism

Tourism and Europe

Details of the EU Tourism and Employment Conference to be held at Llandudno, North Wales, 20-22 May 1998. This is a special event as part of the EU Presidency focusing on the important role small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) play in tourism. It will be of interest to member authorities as economic regeneration, in which tourism plays a vital part, is a key role of local authorities, many of whom may have particularly strong links with SMEs in their areas - whether hotels, attractions or other businesses.

Contact: David Bays (0171 664 3160)

LGA Circular Reference 235/98 Date of Issue 07/04/98

Tourism Management Institute

Information on the links the LGA is developing with leading national organisations in the tourism field. The Tourism Management Institute, representing the new Institute for professionals in destination management is one of these key organisations and Peter Dahl (recently appointed Director of Tourism and Leisure Services, Scarborough Borough Council) who is the current TMI President, addressed a meeting of the LGA`s Tourism Panel, outlining the work of the new Institute.

Contact: David Bays (0171 664 3160)

LGA Circular Reference 249/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

Transport

Don't Choke Britain 1998 - April Newsletter

Don't Choke Britain is co-ordinated by the LGA with the support of DETR, Going for Green, the Health Education Authority, the Travelwise Initiative, the Confederation of Passenger Transport and the Passenger Transport Executive Group. The Campaign works in direct co-operation with the Cycling Tourists Club for National Bike Week, the Environmental Transport Association for Green Transport Week, and Travelwise and the Pedestrians Association for Walk-to-School '98. Action Packs for Don't Choke Britain are available from Lee Searles at the LGA.

Contact: Lee Searles (0171 664 3162)

LGA Circular Reference 248/98 Date of Issue 09/04/98

European Public Transport Prize 1998 - second letter

LGA Circular 119/98 dated 19 February provided details of the European Public Transport Prize 1998. The date for submission of entries for the prize has been extended to 20 April 1998.

Contact: Andy Elmer (0171 664 3051)

LGA Circular Reference 234/98 Date of Issue 07/04/98

Road Safety - Mobile phones

One of the issues which received considerable attention from member councils in responses to the recent DETR consultation on the revision of the Highway Code, was the use of mobile phones whilst driving. Following representations, the Department has acknowledged that there is widespread concern over the use of, in particular, hand-held mobile phones, whilst driving. In acknowledgement of the need to increase public understanding of the problem the Department is commencing a public awareness campaign, which will comprise advertisements in the national press and an advisory leaflet. Free copies of the leaflet are available from the DETR's distribution service, on 0870 122 6236, quoting reference T/INF/451.

Contact: Vince Christie (0171 664 3047)

LGA Circular Reference 237/98 Date of Issue 07/04/98

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