On behalf of its membership, the cross-party LGA regularly submits to Government
consultations, briefs parliamentarians and responds to a wide range of parliamentary inquiries. Our recent
responses to government consultations and parliamentary briefings can be found here.
The Government published the Reforming the Mental Health Act white paper in August 2021, which sets out proposed changes to the Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) and wider reforms of policy and practice around it. This briefing summarises the key points of the white paper with regard to people with a learning disability and autistic people.
No leaseholder should have to pay the costs of making their homes safe and the Secretary of State’s threat to use the legal system to ensure developers meet their responsibilities to leaseholders is a positive step in the right direction. However, leaseholders are not the only innocent victims of the construction industry’s failure to build safe homes.
Currently, pedicabs are exempt from the regulations which cover taxis and private hire vehicles. They do not need a licence to operate, are able to set their own prices and are not subject to checks on the safety and ability of their drivers, or the road worthiness of their vehicles. Councils have been made aware of various issues involving pedicabs, including unsafe driving, noise nuisance and pavement parking.
The National Safe and Wellbeing Review Programme was identified as part of the NHSE response to the Safeguarding Adult Review (SAR) that will be undertaken to check the safety and wellbeing of all people with a learning disability and autistic people (children, young people, and adults) who were in any mental health hospital, learning disability or autism inpatient setting and including people on Section 17 leave funded by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) or provider collaboratives, NHSEi specialist commissioning on 31 October 2021. The reviews are expected to be completed by 31 January 2022.
LGA polling in June 2021 found that 73 per cent of respondents most trusted their local councils compared to 17 per cent that most trusted government when it came to local decision making. Based on the results of this polling, government should strongly consider forming a close working relationship with councils, via the LGA, to help facilitate consumers in making the right technical and economic choices.
The LGA supports the objective of the Local Government (Disqualification) Bill to ensure the highest standards of integrity and conduct in public life. We agree that it is right that individuals convicted of sexual offences outlined in the Bill should be disqualified from running for public office or retaining their seat if already elected.
The LGA’s view is that the best way to increase housing security is to address the unaffordability of housing, which is a key reason why many people lose their tenancy and become homeless. To fix the unaffordability of housing, the Government needs to reform Right to Buy so that councils can build more genuinely affordable homes, by allowing councils to keep 100 per cent of receipts from homes sold to reinvest in housing delivery.
Prior to the Spending Review, the LGA estimated that councils faced cost pressures of £2.6 billion in each year up to 2024/25, to keep services at their 2019/20 levels of access and quality – without addressing any pre-existing pressures.
Councils want to work as partners with central government to tackle climate change and are well-placed to do this as place-shapers, convenors of communities and partners, delivery agents, commissioners and owners of assets. Net zero can only be achieved with decarbonisation happening in every place across the country and this will require local leadership.
The LGA broadly supports the Bill’s focus on improving the health and wellbeing of the population through greater integration between NHS organisations and between the NHS and local government. We also support the duty on the integrated care board (ICB) and all local authorities within the integrated care system (ICS) to have regard to the integrated care strategy in making decisions.