The MJ - your free ebook

The MJ - your free ebook

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we want to do all we can to support you, so we will provide The MJ as an enhanced ebook here every Thursday, completely free, for the duration of the crisis.


News

£63m hardship fund was not meant to pay for free school meals

£63m hardship fund was not meant to pay for free school meals

The £63m ‘hardship fund’ ministers claim should be enough for councils to help hungry schoolkids was not designed to pay for free school meals.

Greater Manchester secures £65m lockdown fund

Mayor Andy Burnham has said he expects to get ‘at least’ £65m from the Government to support people affected by tier three coronavirus restrictions.

Unions pile on pressure over exit pay cap

More organisations are preparing legal action to challenge the Government's cap on public sector exit pay.

Seven areas across England set to receive nearly £180m investment

Communities in seven areas across England are set to benefit from up to £178.7m in new Town Deals, communities secretary Robert Jenrick has announced.

Two Scots councils set for level four

Two Scottish local authority areas are in line for a new severe level four lockdown according to a letter from the Scottish government to the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

Blue wall rebels call for economic kickstart

Northern Tory MPs led by the former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry have urged their government to kickstart its promised ‘levelling up’ agenda with a Northern Economic Recovery Plan.

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Opinion

Ensuring a brighter future for care leavers

£63m hardship fund was not meant to pay for free school meals

As Care Leavers' Week begins today, the Government is publishing best practice guidance for councils on accommodation and support that's designed to help them ensure young people can flourish, say ministers Kelly Tolhurst and Vicky Ford.

Give local leaders a ‘levelling up’ role

Zoe Billingham and Charlotte Alldritt say inequality within regions is rife across the UK. Here, they put forward a strategy to address this– but they say that ‘with greater devolution must also come greater accountability’.

Building for the future

Ben Houchen says that with the former SSI steelworks site in Redcar now the UK’s largest industrial zone, something monumental is now underway – ‘and we can continue to help recover the wider Tees Valley’.

Hackney cyberattack shows councils must bolster their cybersecurity

Local authorities need to strengthen their cybersecurity posture to deliver high-quality public services and protect sensitive data, says Terry Greer-King.

We mustn’t lose sight of the next crisis

Despite warnings about the likelihood of a global pandemic, nations failed to prepare, says Cllr Krupa Sheth. We must not lose sight of the climate emergency crisis, she adds.

Building a New Local

NLGN has changed its name to New Local. Professor Donna Hall says the network will have the same objectives, but they will be expanded to welcome a wider range of sectors. But there will be ‘no watering down of the focus on local government’.

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Best Practice

A step forwards for children in Sandwell

A step forwards for children in Sandwell

The STEPS school-like setting has transformed the lives of children newly arrived in the UK. Lesley Hagger says Sandwell MBC won the Innovation in Children’s Services category of The MJ Achievement Awards 2020 'due to the hard work of our staff'.

Analysis

Tiers of trouble

Tiers of trouble

More than half of England’s population is now living under high or very high-alert postcode COVID-19 restrictions. Ann McGauran asks if the new measures are sufficient, and looks at their impact on centre-local relations.

Private sector

Five ways the cloud can safeguard our NHS

Steve Haines, Managing Director, PSC Health & Care, Civica, discusses the impact of rising cyber attacks and shows five ways the cloud offers the NHS more peace of mind

Protecting and connecting our over-70s

Local authorities have played a vital role in keeping citizens safe during the pandemic, says Civica's Tony Hughes. By factoring the over-70s more into digital thinking, local bodies can further keep them safe and connected, he adds.

Kent councils take back control of housing stock

Four councils in east Kent have taken back control of housing management services.