News

More powers needed to unlock land for housing - LGA

More powers needed to unlock land for housing - LGA

Councils should be allowed to charge developers full council tax where land is left after securing planning permission, the Local Government Association (LGA) has argued.

LGA urged to act on LOBO loans

Campaigners have called for Smith Square to investigate and pursue the brokers, banks and advisers ‘complicit in the misselling’ controversial Lender Option Borrower Option (LOBO) loans.

Hotel levy talks over Commonwealth Games

Talks between Birmingham City Council and the Government over how the Commonwealth Games will be funded are continuing, The MJ understands.

East Anglia devolution back on agenda

An influential council leader has urged his colleagues to resurrect plans for devolution to East Anglia.

Raft of cuts after first Section 114 in almost 20 years

The stark reality of the financial cliff-edge facing Northamptonshire CC has this week been revealed by its budget plan.

Scotland: Government underestimated childcare funds

The Scottish Government has severely underestimated the money councils will need to fund the planned increased provision of childcare, the Audit Commission has warned.

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Opinion

Shout if you want to be heard over the media storm

More powers needed to unlock land for housing - LGA

Local government finance has received rare media attention - but much of the commentary has been simplistic and dumbed down. Heather Jameson urges the sector to shout louder or risk losing the battle for hearts and minds.

Britain will continue to divide unless we devolve to more cities

The sense of dislocation across the country is only going to be exacerbated in the coming years. Andrew Carter argues the answer is to move away from one-size-fits-all policy-making and to increase decentralisation.

Where next for Northants?

Simon Edwards looks at where next for Northamptonshire CC after it became the first authority in two decades to issue a S114 notice.

The case for investment in adult social care

While council revenues constrained, Alex Khaldi urges the sector to make use of capital expenditure and other mechanisms to invest in adult social care.

Time to revisit our commissioning strategies and challenge contracts?

As some of the more traditional contracting arrangements get called into question, Louise Round asks whether it is time to challenge the notion that large scale contracts bring economies of scale and enhance service quality.

Un-breaking local news

The decline of readily-available quality local news continues, but with the Government’s recent review announcement Bob Neill feels there is hope for the future – and now is the time to join in.

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Best Practice

Culture shock: creating a changemaking culture

Culture shock: creating a changemaking culture

Adam Lent and Jessica Studdert introduce four case studies of councils beginning to benefit from a changemaking culture shift.

Analysis

Recruitment and retention: Who will be left to care in the future?

Recruitment and retention: Who will be left to care in the future?

Auditors, academics, practitioners and unions are pointing to the recruitment and retention issues in adult social care as one of the country’s biggest domestic issues. Mark Conrad examines the problem.

Private sector

What next for procurement under Brexit?

Is now the time to set out some markers for how a future procurement regime might look post-Brexit? This was the subject debated by council chief executives and directors at a recent round table event hosted by The MJ in partnership with Marston [..]

High Court backs Haringey's joint venture with Lendlease

The High Court has ruled in favour of Haringey LBC’s controversial regeneration plans with private developer Lendlease.

Sadiq Khan: Government must pay for fire safety work on privately-owned blocks

London’s mayor has called upon the Government to pay for remedial work on privately-owned tower blocks in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire.