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LGA CHECKLIST OF CIRCULARS 42/98 & 43/98

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Information sent to member authorities: weeks ending 4 December and 11 December 1998 ...
Information sent to member authorities: weeks ending 4 December and 11 December 1998

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. It includes named contacts for LGA officers handling particular topics and highlights action required.

EMPLOYMENT

Consultation on pay and conditions negotiations 1999

The LGA and LGMB have in recent weeks held a series of pay and related issues briefings in the regions which have focused in part on the prospects for the negotiations next year. These were very well attended and we received much useful informal feedback from member authorities. Next year's negotiations are likely to be the most difficult for some years and it is therefore of vital importance to receive the formal views of your authority to inform the negotiators' deliberations. A consultation paper seeking authorities views on the forthcoming pay and conditions negotiations has been circulated.

Contact: Bob Mayho (0171 664 3271) LGA Circular Reference: 776/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

ENVIRONMENT

Conference - Environmental Taxation: the Local Dimension - 22 February 1999

In the next five to ten years it is very likely that an increasing number of taxes designed wholly or partly to protect the environment will be introduced. How will this sort of tax impact on local government? What do businesses think? If local government has greater freedom to control local revenue raising and expenditure, could taxes and other financial instruments be used locally to improve the environment? How should the revenue be used? Could regional taxes play a role? An LGA conference considering the implications of green taxes and other economic instruments for local authorities has been arranged for 22 February. Please telephone the Conference and Events Team on (0171 664 3013/fax 0171 664 3095)

Contact: Alison Miller (0171 664 3036) LGA Circular Reference: 771/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

HOUSING

DSS project to simplify and improve housing benefit

Provides an update on the DSS review to simplify and improve housing benefit

Contact: Paul Lautman (0171 664 3340) LGA Circular Reference: 772/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

Housing benefit/council tax benefit - fraud issues.

Update of DSS proposals for funding weekly benefit savings and the verification framework in 1999/2000 and a copy of the LGA's response to the Fraud Green Paper.

Contact: Paul Lautman (0171 664 3340) LGA Circular Reference: 773/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Year 2000 Conference - 25 January, 'Beating the Bug' Preparing for the Year 2000 Date Change

1999 will be a challenging year for local authorities as they make their final preparations for dealing with the year 2000 date change. The LGA is holding a major conference on the 25 January at The Conference Forum, The Sedgwick Centre, London E1 to help authorities plan their preparations. The conference will be of particularbenefit to senior members and officers engaged in Year 2000 preparations. It is a measure of the significance the Government attaches to ensuring that the essential public services will not be disrupted by the date change that the prime minister, Tony Blair, has agreed to address the conference. There will also be speakers from the other national players, the Audit Commission, Action 2000 and the utilities. A full programme will be despatched shortly. A booking form for the conference has been circulated Please telephone Conference and Events on 0171 664 3013

Contact: Keith Beaumont (0171 664 3336) LGA Circular Reference: 777/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

LGA support for 'Proud to serve British' campaign

A short briefing paper on the 'Proud to serve British' campaign which aims to encourage catering outlets of various types to source with British produce whenever possible has been circulated.The briefing paper covers:

-what the campaign is seeking to achieve -our recommendations to local authorities -why we are supporting the campaign -where further information is available from

Contact: Crispin Moor (0171 664 3035) LGA Circular Reference: 780/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE

Private finance initiative - revenue support for PFI projects.

Information for authorities on the latest projects approved by the Government for revenue support

Contact: Keith Beaumont (0171 664 3336) LGA Circular Reference: 778/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

Local government finance matters

Update on local government finance matters.

Contact: Mike Grealy (0171 664 3335) LGA Circular Reference: 785/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

Additional briefing on RSG consultation paper for 1999/2000

further analysis of the SSA changes proposed by the deputy prime minister for 1999/2000 and a description of the tables included on the LGA Web Site at www.lga.gov.uk.

Contact: Stephen Lord (0171 664 3220) LGA Circular Reference: 770/98 Date of Issue: 08/12/98

PUBLIC PROTECTION

Ragwort and the Weeds Act 1959 - an update

A number of authorities have advised the LGA of apparently misleading guidance issued by MAFF concerning local authorities powers with regard to Ragwort. This circular updates authorities on the current position of this issue.

Contact: Ian Foulkes (0171 664 3025) LGA Circular Reference: 781/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

Door supervisors - draft British Standard Code of Practice

The British Standards Institute (BSi) have released for public comment a draft standard which deals with the organisation, staffing , operation and management of companies providing door supervision services to licensed premises and/or outdoor events, and to other individual companies, organisations ands licensees who employ their own door supervisors. Copies of the draft can be obtained from BSi, 389 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 4AL (0181 996 9000), priced£10 for subscribing BSi members,£20 non-members (accompanied by an addressed label). Payment must accompany the order. The relevant document reference is 98/712693 DC.

Contact: Ian Foulkes (0171 664 3025) LGA Circular Reference: 782/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

Good practice guide on the implication of the Public Entertainments Licences (Drug Misuse) Act 1997

'The Good Practice Guide on Implementation of Public Entertainment's Licences (Drug Misuse) Act 1997' has been published. The publication begins by looking at the interpretation and clarification of the Act, answering the issues raised by the Home Office. Also examined are the measures that club owners should follow in order to discourage drug use or selling in their establishment, along with the health and safety of those attending. The practice which BEDA members should adopt is also discussed, noting that the police role is not altered by the Act, nor does it alter existing powers. Copies are available from: British Entertainment and Discotheque Association 5 Waterloo Road Stockport SK1 3BD Tel: 0161 429 0012

Contact: Noel Towe (0171 664 3258) LGA Circular Reference: 769/98 Date of Issue: 08/12/98

'The key to easier home buying and selling'

On 7 December, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Lord Chancellor's Department published a joint consultation paper 'the key to easier home buying and selling'. The consultation paper is available from the DETR Publications Sale Centre, Unit 21, Goldthorpe Industrial Estate, Goldthorpe, Rotherham S63 9BL (Tel No: 01709 899 318) or on the Internet at: http://www.housing.detr.gov.uk

Contact: John Rees (0171 664 3274) LGA Circular Reference: 775/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

SOCIAL SERVICES

'Partnership in Action' - LGA Response

Local Government Association response to the discussion document 'Partnership in Action' which was recently issued by the Department of Health, and an update for member authorities on the latest position.

Contact: Jeff Jerome (0171 664 3251) LGA Circular Reference: 786/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

'Supporting Families'

Authorities' views are invited on the Government's consultation document on the family by 18 January, to meet the 31 January response date. Further copies of the consultation paper, which was sent to all local authorities on 4 November, are available on the internet: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk and also from the Stationery Office, price£5.00.

Contact: Dorothy Blatcher (0171 664 3338) LGA Circular Reference: 783/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

TOURISM

Action 2000 update

Latest Update from the English Tourist Board, outlining some key developments which will be of interest to local authorities. These are:

-- 'Measuring the Local Impact of Tourism' Guidance packs - distributed by the LGA on 13 October which has generated a lot of interest here, particularly as Janet Anderson, the Minister for Tourism, highlighted the role of local authorities in devising tourism strategies and how statistics can play a key part in doing this; -- England for Excellence Awards by Liverpool(Day Tripper Award for Holiday Destinations), Salisbury (Tourist Information Centre of the Year) and North Devon Marketing Bureau (Training for Tourism Award); -- ETB Recommendations on the Organisation of Tourism Support in England - the LGA did of course send its own response in September and copies are available from David Bays at the LGA (0171 664 3243). The Government announcement of the outcome of this part of the Comprehensive Spending Review is expected around Mid December.

Contact: David Bays (0171 664 3243) LGA Circular Reference: 768/98 Date of Issue: 08/12/98

TRANSPORT

The Local Government Joint Channel Tunnel Initiative

Update on the activities of the Joint Channel Tunnel Group (CTI), including meetings with DETR and railway industry

Contact: Vince Christie (0171 664 3047) LGA Circular Reference: 779/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

Bus Industry Awards 1998

The Association is one of the principal supporters of the Bus Industry Awards competition. LGA Circular 323/98 informed members about the 1998 competition. The awards ceremony was held towards the end of last month and Dr Reid, minister for transport, was the principal guest. A number of local authorities, Passenger Transport Executives, and a municipally owned bus company, appear in the list of 1998 major award winners. One of the prize categories is aimed specifically at partnership initiatives involving local government.

Contact: Vince Christie (0171 664 3047) LGA Circular Reference: 767/98 Date of Issue: 08/12/98

Integrated Transport Conference

The association, in conjunction with New Civil Engineer and Coach & Bus Week magazines, has organised a major conference on the Integrated Transport White Paper, to be held at the QEII Conference Centre, London, on Thursday 28 January 1999.The keynote speaker will be Dr. John Reid, minister for transport. Two conference programmes, including booking forms, have been circulated. Completed forms should be returned to Anna Gosnell, Partnership Solutions for Integrated Transport, Emap Construct, 151 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4GB or faxed to her on 0171 505 6610, and not be sent to the LGA.

Contact: Michael Ashley (0171 664 3022) LGA Circular Reference: 784/98 Date of Issue: 10/12/98

CIRCULAR 42/98

EDUCATION

LGA briefing seminar on the teaching profession green paper

On Thursday 3 December the government is published its green paper on the future of the teaching profession. The LGA is organising a briefing seminar for member authorities on 14 December 1998. The seminar is being held at the Conference Forum, The Sedgewick Centre, Aldgate East, London E1 8DX, from 2.15-4.30 pm. Estelle Morris, minister of state for school standards, has agreed to address the event. Also speaking will be Peter Smith, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, and Cllr Graham Lane, chair of the LGA education committee. An LGA briefing paper on the green paper is available on the LGA website (www.lga.gov.uk).

Contact: Conferences & Events (0171 664 3013) LGA Circular Reference: 762/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

ENVIRONMENT

New Deal - Welfare to Work

Update for authorities on developments in relation to implementation of the government's Welfare to Work programme. Including: Employment Service Programme of continuous improvement in New Deal Environment Task Force Advisory Group - Sub-group on linking funding sources with ETF money New LGA officer contact for New Deal

Contact: Gill Bolan (0171 664 3032) LGA Circular Reference: 763/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

New commitment to regeneration

The LGA is making excellent progress with the implementation of its New Commitment to Regeneration. 22 pathfinder areas are now working on the detail of strategies for taking forward the new commitment approach. The new commitment to regeneration has full government support and has been developed with the co-operation of a range of national partner organisations. The association has now produced a single sheet brochure which explains the main features and policy opportunity created by the new commitment. The text is available on the LGA website: www.lga.gov.uk under the policy initiatives section.

Contact: Tony Blake (0171 664 3348) LGA Circular Reference: 757/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

New life for smaller towns - A handbook for action

A new report 'New Life for Smaller Towns - A Handbook for Action' - produced by the consultancy URBED, states that there are nearly 1000 smaller towns in England and Wales with a population of between 3,000 and 15,000 covering more than 40 counties. The range of towns covered in the report includes traditional market towns, seaside resorts and some modern suburbs. Many are facing immense challenges resulting from competition from out of town developments, growth in car ownership and consequent personal mobility, and the growing popularity of one-stop shopping. In response, many smaller towns are putting in place strategies to cope with these changes which aim to build on their inherent strengths and respond to the needs of a diverse group including: residents, shoppers, trades people and visitors. Inquiries regarding the publication to Action for Market Towns (tel. 01284 756 567; fax 01284 761 816) email: mkt.towns@argonet.co.uk

Contact: Tony Rich (0171 664 3052) LGA Circular Reference: 754/98 Date of Issue: 01/12/98

'New deal for communities'

As part of the LGA's work on Social Exclusion and in recognition of the importance of the New Deal for Communities Pathfinder Projects, the association recently held a meeting for all those authorities involved in the current round of applications. Representatives were able to share information about prospective projects, consider potential implications for local government and identify ongoing support and other initiatives which may be valuable. This meeting was the latest in a series of support mechanisms which the association is putting in place for member authorities involved in pilot exercises as part of national area-based initiatives (including the NewCommitment to Regeneration Pathfinders, Health and Education Action Zones, Best Value Pilots). As part of its work in these areas, the association will also aim to ensure that emerging lessons are passed on to all other authorities. A further meeting of New Deal for Communities Pathfinder authorities (listed) is planned for January 1999: - Birmingham - Bradford - Brighton and Hove - Bristol - Hackney - Kingston upon Hull - Leicester - Liverpool - Manchester - Middlesbrough - Newcastle upon Tyne - Newham - Norwich - Nottingham - Sandwell - Southwark - Tower Hamlets

Contact: Mona Sehgal (0171 664 3209) LGA Circular Reference: 752/98 Date of Issue: 01/12/98

HOUSING

LGA Annual Housing Conference 1-3 February 1999

Built around the theme of sustainability, this Conference is primarily aimed at elected members and housing professionals in local government. It will provide the first national opportunity to assess the new agenda for housing following the conclusion of the Comprehensive Spending Review. The event provides a well timed opportunity for delegates to examine the new approaches advocated and to explore how local authorities might respond to these new challenges. This Conference will feature a range of top speakers, including Hilary Armstrong MP, Andrew Foster, Audit Commission and Patricia Coleman, Local Government Improvement Project. This event will also give delegates an opportunity to choose from a number of workshops and study tours as part of the programme. An exhibition will accompany the Conference. Plaease telephone Conferences & Events on 0171-664-3013.

Contact: Karen Powis (0171-664-3234) LGA Circular Reference: 765/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

LGA MEMBER SERVICES

LGA/MJ Wallchart

Last week's Municipal Journal included a Wallchart listing leading LGA members and officers as well as sources for additional information on national local government bodies. A very limited number of additional copies of the poster are available from the LGA Information Helpline on 0171 664 3166

Contact: Jim Duvall (0171 664 3131) LGA Circular Reference: 755/98 Date of Issue: 01/12/98

LOCAL DEMOCRACY

Seminars on local authority relationships with local quangos

Information for authorities on a series of four regionally-based seminars to explore ways in which relationships between local authorities and local health, education, training, housing and other public bodies can be improved in the context of the modernising local government agenda.The seminars will take place in four locations in February 1999. The dates, locations and venues are shown overleaf and a booking form is attached (delegates fee:£55 plus VAT). The programme for each event will include speakers from academic, senior local authority and local appointed body backgrounds. Please note that all booking enquiries are being handled by Hannah May at The Conference People, Lismore House, 14 Lismore Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3AT, or telephone 01323 644644, fax 01323 644904, e-mail: confpeople@aol.com.

Contact: Lee Searles at (0171 664 3162) LGA Circular Reference: 760/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE

RSG consultation paper for 1999/2000

The deputy prime minister announced on 2 December 1998 details of the provisional local government finance settlement for 1999/2000. A detailed analysis, including figures on the effect of control total, data and methodology changes by service sub-block for individual member authorities, are available from the LGA Web Site (www.lga.gov.uk).

Contact: Stephen Lord (0171 664 3220) LGA Circular Reference: 766/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

PLANNING

National Planning Forum: Terms of Reference and Working Methods

National Planning Forum: 'to provide a mechanism for effective dialogue between representatives of local planning authorities nationally and representatives of national and other organisations with an interest in the operation of the planning system including developers, environmental groups and professional institutions. Its overall aim is to encourage the efficient and effective operation of the planning system and to ensure best value, high quality outcomes.' Draft Principles for a Review of the Planning System Working Party Development Control and Enforcement Working Party Race and the Built Environment Working Party Working Methods of the Forum

Contact: Joy Millett (0171 664 3045) LGA Circular Reference: 759/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

SOCIAL SERVICES

'Modernising Social Services' - White Paper

On the 30 November the Government published the White Paper - Modernising Social Services. It promises radical change to the way social services are run by local authorities in England. The association welcomes the establishment of a Social Care Council, but there is disappointment that the government has chosen to take inspection out of local government control. If these new measures are to be successful in the long term however, it is vital that they are properly funded. The LGA looks forward to further consultation with the government on this, and other issues.

Contact: Conference and Events (0171 664 3013) LGA Circular Reference: 761/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

Drug Problems: Where to Get Help

This new publication was published on the 13th November 1998. It provides the only comprehensive listing of agencies in England and Wales offering help, advice and treatment for drug users, their families and friends. The directory gives information on the services provided by community and residential agencies. It also contains details of national organisations and Drug Action Teams. The price per copy is£15 and payment must be sent with your order (cheques should be made payable to 'SCODA Ltd.'). The Standing Conference on Drug Abuse (SCODA) 32/36 Loman Street London SE1 OEE Tel: 0171 928 9500

Contact: Noel Towe (0171 664 3258) LGA Circular Reference: 758/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

TOURISM

Visitor Attractions in the New Millennium

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), one of the LGA`skey partner national organisations, has an active Tourism Action Group, chaired by Michael Jolly, chairman and chief executive, the Tussauds Group, and that the CBI `s senior adviser, tourism, June Alison-Sealy, is an observer representative on the LGA`s Tourism Panel. The LGA keeps in close touch with the work of the CBI`s Tourism Action Group and you may interested in their forthcoming conference 'Visitor Attractions in the New Millennium' to be held on Wednesday, 16 December 1998 at CBI headquarters, Centre Point, 103 New Oxford Street LONDON WC1A 1DU . The fee for the conference is£150 + VAT. If you have any queries about the Conference or would like to make a booking, please contact Tom Whitrow, CBI Conferences, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1P 4QP (tel. 0171 828 0999 fax 0171 828 0737).

Contact: David Bays (0171 664 3243) LGA Circular Reference: 764/98 Date of Issue: 03/12/98

The EURO and Tourism

October's EU Conference on 'The EURO and Tourism : Opportunities and Strategies for Businesses' in Brussels highlighted the importance of businesses becoming aware of the new arrangements from 1 January 1999 when 11 EU Member States (not including the UK) will form an economic and monetary union with a single currency: the EURO. Although the UK will not be in the first wave of 11 countries joining, there is expected to be an increase in the amount of trade between the EURO-zone countries that will increase the level of consumer choices and competition between businesses there. A British Tourist Authority booklet 'The EURO and Your Business' which is particularly geared towards getting the message across to small businesses who are much less aware than national and international firms of the effects has been published. Copies are available from Kurt Janson at the BTA offices, Thames Tower, Black's Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9EL (Tel 0181 563 3395).

Contact: David Bays (0171 664 3243) LGA Circular Reference: 756/98 Date of Issue: 01/12/98

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