I hope that first readers were able to enjoy a well-earned break from council duties over the summer and spend some time with friends and family.
It was great to see so many Conservative councillors attending this year’s LGA annual conference, albeit once again virtually.
I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to Ian Hudspeth, the former Leader of Oxfordshire County Council and lately Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, who was recognised in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list by being made an OBE.
On 6 May, voters went to the polls for the UK’s biggest ever set of local and national elections.
The final local government finance settlement for 2021/22, which was laid before Parliament in February, confirmed that councils will receive a share of £51.3 billion in funding (a 4.6 per cent increase in cash terms).
As I write this article, we are in another national lockdown to bring the new coronavirus variant under control, which has been spreading very quickly.
After all that we endured in 2020, I hope that first readers managed to enjoy a well-deserved break during Christmas and are feeling refreshed and ready for the challenges that 2021 will no doubt bring.
As we approach the end of 2020, it is time to reflect on what we have learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Without doubt, the coronavirus pandemic has made us re-evaluate our relationship with the environment and has led us to identify the associated threat of biodiversity loss and climate change.