LGA Research bulletin

This monthly publication keeps you informed of key issues and developments in research impacting on, or of interest to, local government.

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This monthly publication keeps you informed of key issues and developments in research impacting on, or of interest to, local government.

Sign up for the LGA Research Bulletin.

January Analysis and Research Bulletin

Welcome to the Local Government Association (LGA) Analysis and Research Bulletin.

This comprehensive monthly publication keeps you informed about key issues and developments in research impacting on local government.

The bulletin brings together the work of the LGA and also features relevant publications from the wider research community. The information in this bulletin is grouped under themed areas. This publication is produced by LGA Research and Information and we provide high quality analysis and research across all aspects of local government.

Health and social care

Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: 13 to 17 January 2021
These indicators from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Opinions and Lifestyle Survey cover the period 13 to 17 January 2021 and show the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people, households and communities in Great Britain.

UK poverty 2020-21
This Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) annual report considers the nature and scale of poverty across the UK.

Overview of the UK population: January 2020
This ONS article provides an overview of the UK population, including how and why it has changed and how it is projected to develop in the future.

Food poverty mapping
Household food insecurity is an ongoing challenge in England, with little data collected to identify where more people experience this situation. In response to this gap in knowledge the Food Insecurity Risk Indices were developed for small areas in England (Middle Super Output Areas, with an average population of 7000). These areas tend to fit to ward boundaries. The risk index was first published in 2018 as a peer-reviewed paper with subsequent updates provided annually, using freely available data from the Census, ONS and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Data and methods, as well as the ability to map the risk data by local authority are available at https://www.mylocalmap.org.uk/iaahealth/. Updates are planned for early 2021 including Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) level risk and area-specific risk measures to better reflect the barriers to food security for people living in different types of areas such as rural or coastal communities.

Pandemic pressures
This briefing note from The Resolution Foundation suggests that whilst household spending has fallen during the COVID-19 pandemic for some, this is not the case for many of those on the lowest incomes. This note explores the reasons behind, and consequences of, the cost pressures that many of those on the lowest incomes have faced since the pandemic began.

Male suicide
This report from the Wales Centre for Public Policy provides an overview of male suicide rates and some of the causes, at both the UK and Wales level.

Education and young people

The 2021 Prince’s Trust Tesco youth index – UK

This report from The Prince’s Trust examines the happiness and confidence levels of young people in the UK across a range of areas – from working life to both physical and mental health. This report, which surveyed 2,180 16 to 25-year olds across the UK, suggests that more young people are feeling more anxious than ever in the twelve year history of the Index.

Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak – 23 March 2020 to 14 January 2021, England

These Department for Education (DfE) statistics provide a summary of attendance in education and early years settings between 23 March 2020 to 14 January 2021 in England.

Active lives children and young people survey: academic year 2019/20, England

These Sport England reports summarise activity levels in England among children and young people for the 2019/20 academic year. The first report covers the full 2019/20 academic year and, in addition to the pandemic, also includes the significant impact of the storms that were disruptive in January and February 2020. The second report focusses specifically on children and young people’s behaviours in the summer term as activity restarted after the first national lockdown.


Passenger rail service complaints: July to September 2020, Great Britain

These Office for Road and Rail (ORR) statistics provide information on passenger rail service complaints in Great Britain between 1 July 2020 and 30 September 2020.

Transport use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

These Department for Transport (DfT) statistics are produced to monitor the use of the transport system during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide information on transport use by mode from March 2020.


People & Nature Survey quarterly release 1 April to 30 September 2020

These quarterly experimental statistics from Natural England provide information from the from the People and Nature Survey for the 1 April to 30 September 2020 period.The survey gathers information on people’s experiences and views about the natural environment, and its contributions to health and wellbeing.

Energy trends July to September 2020, UK

This data from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) provides information on energy production, trade and consumption in the UK between July and September 2020.

Local government

Localising decision making: a guide to support effective working across neighbourhood, place and system

This guide was produced by the LGA and NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) to provide key prompts and actions for local leaders to consider when promoting strong localised decision making across health and local government.

Advanced and Predictive Analytics Network in Local Government (APAN)

The LGA has recently launched a new and informative Advanced and Predictive Analytics Network (APAN) for local government practitioners and invited experts. Responding to the increasing use of advanced analytics within public sector organisations, this network will act as an interactive space for shared discussion, learning, support, and increased transparency. The network brings together resources for practical help alongside opportunities for discussion about the benefits, risks and opportunities of using advanced and predictive analytics in local government.

Membership of the network is free and open to any local government officials – especially data practitioners. LGA are currently consulting on the APAN vision and terms of reference, so if you work in local government and are involved or interested in this area, then please join and introduce yourself. You can find out more about the network and register as a member by visiting the APAN online site.

LGA Model Member Code of Conduct: Consultation response analysis

In June 2020 the LGA conducted a consultation to gather views on its draft Model Member Code of Conduct as part of its work on supporting the sector to continue to aspire to high standards of leadership and performance. Responses to the consultation were gathered through an online questionnaire as well as by email via a dedicated inbox. This report combines all of the responses received and presents an overview of the themes that emerged. The LGA Model Councillor Code of Conduct 2020 has also now been published.

National non-domestic rates collected by councils in England: 2019 to 2020

These Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) statistics provide details of the national non-domestic rates collected by local authorities in the 2019/20 financial year in England.

Local authority revenue expenditure and financing England: 2019 to 2020 final outturn

These MHCLG statistics provide final outturn estimates of local authority revenue expenditure and financing for 2019 to 2020 in England.

Local Authority and school expenditure: 2019 to 2020 financial year

These Department for Education (DfE) statistics provide information on expenditure by local authorities on education and children’s and young people’s services. This includes education by sector, Sure Start children’s centres, looked after children, family support services and youth justice. The latest information relates to the 2019-20 financial year and therefore relates to local authority expenditure prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Free, fair and safe: 2021 local elections

This Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) research is based on a survey of 353 Chief Executives, Democratic Services Officers and Council Leaders across England. It reveals that the majority of council officials are concerned about their ability to hold local elections in May 2021 with more than two thirds suggesting an autumn timetable is more achievable. 

LG Inform updates:

Test drive the new LG Inform and LG Inform Plus Explorer

In 2020, LGA completed an upgrade of the LG Inform Plus Search facility. With better usability, subscribers can now navigate over 13,000 data items at local authority area, Ward, Medium Super Output Area (MSOA) and Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) level. There are now almost 8,000 local authority level metrics alongside 1,200 at MSOA, 1,200 at LSOA and 1,300 at Ward level. You can try out  the new LG Inform Plus Explorer here.

Meanwhile, the LG Inform Search facility has been updated with the new Explorer and Search capability so that the local authority metrics can more easily be accessed from LG Inform. Go direct to the LG Inform Explorer here.

If you would like to learn more please contact: lginform@local.gov.uk 

Metrics added to LG Inform this month include:

People on Universal Credit – November 2020, England
The total number of people on Universal Credit in England in November 2020 was 5,068,953 an increase of 90,445 from 4,978,508 in October 2020. This total includes both claimants who are not in employment and those eligible who are in employment.
Available Geographies: Council Area - Country – District – London borough – LSOA - Metropolitan District MSOA – Region - Unitary

Council Taxbase – 2020/21, England
For 2020/21 the total number of properties in Council Tax Bands A to H in England that are liable for council tax is 24,109,277, compared to 23,922,051 in 2019/20.   This metric is calculated by taking the total number of properties on the valuation list and deducting those that are exempt from council tax.
Available Geographies: Country – District – London borough – Metropolitan District - Unitary

Public library statistics – 2019/20, England
The number of physical visits to libraries per 1,000 population was 3,170 in England in 2019/20 a decrease from 3,354 in 2018/19.
Available Geographies: Council Area - Country – District – London borough – LSOA - Metropolitan District MSOA – Region - Unitary

Employment, pay and workforce

LGA Statistical Alert - employment statistics:

January 2021 Statistical Alert produced by LGA Research and Information shows Consumer Price Index including owner occupiers housing costs (CPIH) increased to 0.8 per cent in December 2020 from 0.6 per cent in November 2020. Retail Price Index (RPI) annual inflation increased to 1.2 per cent in December 2020 from 0.9 per cent in November 2020.

The number of people in employment in Great Britain was 31,645,000 for the three months to November 2020; this has decreased by 88,000 compared to the previous quarter to August 2020, from 31,733,000.  Unemployment in Great Britain for the same periods was 1,696,000 for the quarter to November 2020, an increase of 206,000 from 1,490,000 in the previous quarter to August 2020.

Figures provided by XpertHR, an online resource for employment law HR good practice and benchmarking, showed the median whole economy pay settlement level of 2.0 per cent to the three months ending December 2020, unchanged from November 2020.

Results from the Labour Research Department (LRD) survey provided by XpertHR showed the median level of union-negotiated awards for the whole economy was 2.5 per cent for the three months ending December 2020, unchanged from November 2020.

This is the final edition of the statistics bulletin Further information on LGA support on workforce issues is available at: https://www.local.gov.uk/our-support/workforce-and-hr-support

Higher education staff statistics UK: 2019 to 2020

These Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and Department for Education

(DfE) statistics provide details of staff employed at higher education providers in the UK for the academic year 2019 to 2020.


UK trade: November 2020

This ONS data provides the total value of UK exports and imports of goods and services by current price, chained volume measures and implied deflators.

Retail sales; Great Britain: December 2020

These ONS statistics provide a first estimate of retail sales in volume and value terms, seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted in Great Britain at December 2020.

Coronavirus and the impact on output in the UK economy: November 2020

These ONS statistics provide an analysis of monthly growth for the production and services industries between October 2020 and November 2020 in the UK, highlighting the impact from COVID-19.

Coronavirus and the latest indicators for the UK economy and society: 21 January 2021

These ONS statistics provide early experimental data on the impact of COVID-19 on the UK economy and society. These indicators are created using rapid response surveys, novel data sources and experimental methods.

Labour market in the regions of the UK: January 2021

These ONS statistics provide regional, local authority and parliamentary constituency breakdowns of changes in UK employment, unemployment, economic inactivity and other related statistics.

GDP monthly estimate, UK: November 2020

This ONS Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimate, measures the value of goods and services produced in the UK and estimates the size of and growth in the economy.

UK overseas trade in goods statistics: November 2020

These HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) statistics provide details of the overseas trade in goods statistics (OTS) including international trade in goods at summary product and country level of the UK during November 2020.


Better housing is crucial for our health and the COVID-19 recovery

This analysis from The Health Foundation sets out the links between housing and health and explores the scale and impact of housing inequality in England. It considers how the impact of poor housing is likely to have been exacerbated by COVID-19, the future risks, and the potential ways forward.

Homeless and forgotten: surviving lockdown in temporary accommodation

This report from Shelter investigates the experiences of the quarter of a million people in England who were homeless and living in temporary accommodation during the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Prison population figures January 2021 – England and Wales

These Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service figures provide information on the latest prison population figures in England and Wales in January 2021

Regular publications and events

Strategic Use of Data in Children’s Services Conference

4 February 2021

The Children’s Services National Performance and Information Management Group (NPIMG), its project 'Data to Insight' and the NCER (the local authority-owned education data analysis provider) will be hosting an online conference between 14:00 and 16:50 on 4 February 2021, supported by the LGA.

This event will discuss ways councils can make better use of education and social care data and analysis tools already available to them to support policy development and decision making. The event is free to all members of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, local authority senior officers, and performance and information managers with responsibility for, or interest in, education services and school improvement, virtual schools, children’s social care, looked after children or children in need.

NPIMG has worked closely with the NCER to present a showcase of the work of 'Data to Insight' alongside the NCER’s development of their tools and analysis. It will be a fast-paced event and, in particular, will look at how councils work together on this at a national level, how the community of children's services performance and information managers can be used to support developments and how the available tools (e.g. the ChAT) can help add value to the data already being used. Book a place here.

LG Inform Webinar programme January - March 2021 now available

The LG Inform team would be delighted to meet you and share knowledge about the LG Inform and LG Inform Plus platforms. A programme of free webinars for the January to March 2021 period is now available.

It is easy to book a place and discover more about the data, report writing and the various modules on offer. Just visit the online training page for more details and how to book. If you would like something more tailored to your needs please contact: lginformplus@local.gov.uk

Social Research Association (SRA) training courses

The SRA are currently offering a range of online training courses using Zoom. 

Local Area Research and Intelligence Association (LARIA) Spring webinar series: Call for papers
Battling COVID-19 using research, analysis and insight
Beginning 12 April 2021 for 7 weeks
LARIA's webinar series will provide delegates with the ideas, tools and techniques for influencing decision-makers and delivering improved outcomes based on robust data, evidence and research. LARIA are calling for a broad range of papers from the general to the specific on the theme: Battling COVID-19 using research, analysis and insight. 

For full details and to submit a paper to present please download the submission form and return to admin@laria.org.uk. Deadline for submissions: Friday 19 February 2021. If your organisation is interested in sponsoring a webinar, please email admin@laria.org.uk for more information.

SRA - Social Research Practice journal

The latest issue of the SRA's free e-journal is now available.

University of Bristol – policy newsletter 

This policy newsletter from the University of Bristol includes the latest policy research briefings and information on how their research relates to current affairs and legislation.

Project Oracle children and youth evidence hub

Project Oracle is a children and youth evidence hub. The latest newsletter provides a round-up of Project Oracle news, and headlines from across the sector. You can sign up to receive the regular Project Oracle newsletter.

The Rees Centre newsletter

The Rees Centre newsletter is published every two months giving an update on their fostering related research activities and events along with a book review and a section on young voices.

Child Welfare Inequalities Project (CWIP) news

The CWIP at Coventry University studies the links between deprivation and children’s chances of being unable to live safely within their birth families and also aims to establish child welfare inequalities as a core concept in policy making, practice and research. Information about current CWIP projects is available on the website.

Centre for Evaluation newsletter

The Centre for Evaluation develops interventions, systems and strategies to improve public health using rigorous evaluation methods. Visit the website to sign up for the Centre for Evaluation newsletter.

The Centre for Youth Impact newsletter

The Centre for Youth Impact is a community of organisations that work together to progress thinking and practice around impact measurement in youth work and services for young people. The latest 2020 Centre for Youth Impact newsletter is now available.

Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse (CSA)

The CSA newsletter brings together the most up-to-date research into an accessible overview for frontline professionals and commissioners. Visit the website to sign up for the CSA newsletter.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) Centre for Evaluation

The Centre for Evaluation aims to improve the design and conduct of evaluations of complex public health interventions through the development, application and dissemination of rigorous methods, and facilitate the use of robust evidence to inform policy and practice decisions. The Centre produce a termly newsletter.

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) society now

This regular magazine from ESRC provides the latest social science research for key opinion formers in business, government and the voluntary sector.

Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) news alert

EEF news alerts provide information about teaching and learning toolkits, project evaluation reports, grant funding rounds and news and events.


NESTA is an innovation foundation which aims to tackle society’s big challenges. They produce a regular newsletter.

Early Intervention Foundation newsletter

This regular newsletter from the EiF brings together research, evidence and implementation guidance to champion effective early intervention for children and young people.