SWCouncils

Welcome

Bryony Houlden, Chief Executive, South West Councils

Merry Christmas and welcome to the latest edition of  SWCouncilsNews – we hope you continue to find it useful. 

Wow another very busy year for South West Councils!  As well as serving our customers and developing new services to meet their needs we have been keen to maintain:

• 100% membership of local authorities
• 100  Associate members
• 100% customer satisfaction with the value for money of our services and
• Gold Standard as an Investors in People (IIP) organisation.  
 
Watch our SW Councils blog next week for our review of 2016!

As always, please do continue to let us know what you think of this newsletter or submit stories for publication, as well as ideas for future events and please keep telling us about your successes you want to share in this newsletter. 

Yours, Bryony

To find out more about our activities, you can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

Stronger Communities

Have your say on changes to Parliamentary constituencies
Visit the BCE Consultation Portal to have your say on changes to Parliamentary constituencies...

Electoral Canvass Pilot
Bath & North East Somerset and East Devon Councils announced as an electoral canvass pilot launched in a bid to save up to £20 million...

 
more news...
 

Transport

Cuts force council to use volunteers to fill in potholes
Devon County Council is committing £100,000 to train volunteers to repair potholes in their local areas due to budget reductions.... 
 

 
more news...
 

Local Economy and Finance

SW Local Growth Conference - 23 March 2017 
A key LGA event for senior councillors and officers who want to hear about and explore how to achieve sustainable growth within their own localities...

Supporting local firms to make a global impact
Talks between Tewkesbury Borough Council, Join In China, Star Hydraulics from Tewkesbury and Wuxi City Government have taken place to build what will hopefully be a long-lasting and fruitful relationship between Tewkesbury borough and eastern China....

Councils urged to bid for estate regeneration funding
A new government funding scheme has been announced, with the intention of pumping new life and strategy into tired estates ......

Economists call for 20 taxes to be scrapped
Council tax, business rates and a raft of other taxes should be abolished and replaced with a simpler system, according to a new report published today....

Councils can use devolution to benefit from growth in ‘staycations’
Local authorities can use the devolution agenda to capitalise on the growing ‘staycation’ market, council chiefs say....

New guidance for local commissioners published
A new skills and employment commissioning guide has been released in order to help local commissioners take advantage of the devolution agenda....

 
more news...
 

Housing

New Homes Bonus Consultation comes to an end
The consultation on the New Homes Bonus has reached a conclusion and the Government has released its response....

Government unveils £3bn fund to deliver 25,000 new homes by 2020
A £3bn fund to boost the house building programme has been launched by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid....

Care home residents deprived of liberty in record numbers
Care home residents deprived of liberty in record numbers...

Councils forced to cut housing, cultural and transport budgets
Press Association has used new government data to compare the change in council day-to-day expenditure across the decade....

Investment of £1 million in tackling empty homes
Plymouth City Council to invest £1 million in tackling empty homes and bring them back into use...

Cornwall Housing tenants are some of the happiest in the country
In a recent survey Cornwall Housing tenants are shown to be some of the happiest in the country...

 

 
more news...
 

Health and Wellbeing

Funds to improve housing for people with learning disabilities
Nine Local Authorities in the South West awarded £6.7m from housing and technology fund .......

Government to respond to urgent calls for a new funding approach for Adult Social Care
Councils in South West call on Government to respond to urgent calls for a new funding approach for Adult Social Care ...

‘Devastating’ lack of social care causing problems for the disabled
A 'devastating' lack of social care is causing mental and physical health problems for people with disabilities, a leading charity has warned....

Blue Light Project Tackles Devon’s Long Term Alcohol Users
A national project to tackle long term alcohol users who place a burden on public services is being successfully rolled out across Devon...

Report shows Employment helps to tackle addiction
Employment is an important factor in the value people with drug or alcohol addictions put in themselves, report shows....

24% decrease in swimming participation in UK
The number of adults who swim at least once a week has decreased by 23.7% in the last decade; equating to more than 750,000 people....

Childhood obesity on the increase shows figures
The number of children who are overweight or obese has risen over the past year, according to official figures....

Government's schools plan would cost council taxpayers 'significantly', says LGA
Government plans for a new wave of grammar schools and academies could cost councils hundreds of millions in legal fees and conversion expenses, according to new estimates....

Role for Whole of Government in Improving Mental Health Support
Role for Whole of Government in Improving Mental Health Support...

Smoking rates in England fall to lowest on record
Smoking rates in England have fallen to the lowest on record ......

 

 
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Top Stories

 

New Updates to DBS Workforce Guides
The government have announced a new list of updates to the current DBS workforce guides....

Plans to end the postcode lottery of school funding revealed.
Fairer funding proposals published so that every child is funded according to their needs....

Government seeking views on proposed changes to the fees and frequency of inspections regulations.
The Government are holding a consultation on proposed changes to the fees and frequency of inspections regulations....

Cornwall congratulated for acting on bees and pesticides
The Cornish authorities have been commended for their actions on bees and pesticides....

UK Complaint Handling Awards 2017 Finalist
Homes in Sedgemoor has been shortlisted for the finals of the UK Complaint Handling Awards 2017....

Implementation of Neighbourhood Planning Provisions announced by Government
Following consultation, the government has released details of the implementation of neighbourhood planning provisions...

Government Consultation on Planning Conditions has been Concluded
The Government has concluded the consultation over improving the use of planning conditions...

Bath and North East Somerset wins British Food Fortnight’s 2016 competition
Bath & North East Somerset Council has won the National British Food Fortnight competition for 2016....

Automation set to become fundamental to public sector transformation
In a recent survey of 134 public sector decision makers, 53 per cent of respondents said their departments had explored the use of automation technology over the last 12 months....

Draft Public Services Ombudsman Bill
A new complaints body will provide the public with greater confidence that their voices have been heard....  

more news...
 

Learning and Development Services

 

Apprenticeship Levy Update
Update on the Apprenticeship Levy .......

South East Coaching and Mentoring Conference
2nd February 2016 - Marwell Hotel, Winchester

Working in conjunction with the South East Employers, this Conference will bring together individuals committed to continuous development and the promotion of a coaching approach within their organisations and beyond.

PA and Executive Assistant Conference
9th February 2017  - Taunton Racecourse

To celebrate this festive season, SW Councils would like to offer 10% discount for those that book before 25th December

 

more news...
 

Children and Young People

 

Free school meals plan will help more pupils, heads say
Head teachers are urging MPs to back a plan to ensure all children from poorer homes in England are automatically registered for free school meals....

Late intervention costing councils £6.4bn a year
It costs local councils £6.4bn a year to deal with damaging social problems affecting children and their families...

Action Plan to tackle child poverty in Plymouth
Plymouth County Council agree three-year action plan to tackle child poverty in the city...

 

more news...