News

Call for VOA cuts review

Call for VOA cuts review

‘Significant cuts’ in Valuation Office Agency (VOA) staffing levels should be reviewed to ensure the organisation is ‘fit-for-purpose’ amid a backlog of 250,000 appeals, London Councils has said.

Tributes for Scottish local government giant

An instrumental figure in laying the foundations of Scotland’s Improvement Service (IS) has died.

Business rates relief control call

District councils have called for full control over the business rates relief that is awarded in their area amid claims that it is ‘unnecessarily generous’.

Hull commits £2m to improve ‘inadequate’ children’s services

Hull City Council has promised to ‘accelerate’ its improvement plans and invest an extra £2m into its children’s services after they were rated ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.

Council tax system needs 'fundamental reform'

The council tax system is ‘highly regressive and unsustainable,’ and needs ‘fundamental reform,’ progressive think-tank IPPR has argued.

Fresh call for business rates avoidance action

The Local Government Association (LGA) has made a fresh call for ministers to tackle business rates avoidance – more than two years after commitments were first made.

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Opinion

Press pause on fair funding review

Call for VOA cuts review

Crippled by austerity and uncertainty, councils are financially paralysed and facing failure. Heather Jameson says it's time to press pause on the fair funding review until central government decides on the amount of cash for local government.

Local government has a crucial role to play in maximising crowdfunding’s potential

Jonathan Bone says maximising the opportunities available through crowdfunding will require a 'different kind of local government with a different culture, ways of working and relationship with communities’.

Recruiting for Liverpool’s future

Liverpool City Council is recruiting more social workers to cut workloads and improve outcomes for children in an unprecedented investment, says Steve Reddy

Local government should factor in inequalities review

The UK's policy vacuum has been left to think-tanks, noticeably the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IfS) which has launched a five year study into inequalities. So far its panel does not include anyone from local government, says Michael Burton.

Counting the costs of the EU Exit process

When the dust settles on the UK's departure from the European Union there will surely be a formal public inquiry into how the government has handled the process, says Ian Miller

Local industrial strategies go to the very heart of what LEPs are judged by

The West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy - one of the first of its kind - is published today. Warren Ralls says the key to the success of the strategies is partnership, driving up productivity and exploiting unique local strengths

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Best Practice

Salford strides ahead on integration

Salford strides ahead on integration

Charlotte Ramsden says almost 20 years of integrated working by Salford City Council and Salford CCG is delivering better outcomes - and the majority of children's services are now included in the pooled health and care fund.

Analysis

21st century leadership, technology and climate change

21st century leadership,  technology and climate change

A number of councils in the UK have declared a climate change emergency. Max Wide says that while better technologies will help, what’s really needed to change behaviour is ‘bold, artful and technologically aware leadership’

Private sector

Suez wins £210m Somerset waste contract

Suez has picked up one of the largest waste contracts in the country after being named as preferred bidder for Somerset Waste Partnership’s overhaul of collections.

Councillors urge London borough to 'change mind-set' on procurement

Greenwich LBC has been pressed to ‘change its mind-set’ in procurement by its members as it overhauls its policies.

Aberdeen breached procurement laws, audit finds

A city council breached procurement laws and may have spent public money on contracts without proper authorisation, an audit has found.