Austerity

  • Merseyside combined authority announces first precept

    18 January 2019

    The Liverpool city region combined authority is to levy a council tax precept for the first time.


  • When care cannot cope

    12 December 2018

    Care provider Allied Healthcare may have found a buyer for its business, but Glen Garrod warns pre-Christmas uncertainty may lead some staff to walk away and some councils could transfer their contracts to other providers or bring them ‘in-house’


  • More hard graft ahead next year

    12 December 2018

    Brexit, improved system leadership and fixing the divisions between Whitehall and local government are just a few of the issues to tackle in order to put local services back to the top of the agenda, as outgoing SOLACE president Jo Miller reflects


  • Does the People's Vote clamour herald a move to more referendums?

    12 December 2018

    Electoral events are, of course, at the cornerstone of our democracy. But Louise Round asks if it is possible to have too much of a good thing.


  • We need to talk about finance

    12 December 2018

    Piali Das Gupta wants central Government, caught up with Brexit, to start paying attention to the voice of local authorities who argue that the practical needs of the people are not being met.


  • Anderson quits Northern Powerhouse Partnership in frustration

    10 December 2018

    Former chancellor George Osborne has voiced sympathy with Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson’s decision to quit the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.


  • Future Forum North: 'Government still doesn't think sector is efficient'

    07 December 2018

    Whitehall remains unconvinced that local government is as efficient as it can be, Smith Square’s deputy chief executive, Sarah Pickup, has said.


  • Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest to answer

    05 December 2018

    Asked what he thought the impact of Brexit would be on local government frontline services, Paul O'Brien was able to give an answer which sounded akin to the famous Donald Rumsfeld response about ‘known knowns and unknown unknowns'.


  • Londoners are more pessimistic about the economic effect of Brexit

    28 November 2018

    As Mrs May takes her Deal from Brussels on tour before a showdown in the House of Commons, Brexit is now seen in London as just as important as the crime wave and the housing crisis, according to Ben Page.


  • Reserves warning in face of predicted overspend

    23 November 2018

    Hartlepool Council has warned it may have to dip into its reserves if it fails to make savings to reduce a £920,000 in-year overspend.


  • Welsh council leaders welcome cash injection

    21 November 2018

    The Welsh Government has raised the funding floor from -1% to -0.5% to allow council leaders to address the most significant service pressures.


  • Who tells the truth about education spending?

    21 November 2018

    The old adage ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ is never truer than when it comes to education spending. Is it up or down? Is the Government telling porkies when it says we’re spending more than ever on schools, asks Mike Burton


  • The finite capacity of civil society

    13 November 2018

    How much capacity has civil society got to absorb the increased demands on its financial and human resources, asks Sarah Longlands


  • Time to speak as one

    13 November 2018

    Members and officers have to be more frank about what will happen if local government is not placed on a sustainable footing in the long term, says chair of London Councils Cllr Peter John as the organisation gets ready for its annual conference.


  • Let's have less flash and more substance

    07 November 2018

    What the public and local government want is less flash and more substance - fewer grand statements and some real investment instead, says Claire Kober


  • Core offer still leaves £33m deficit

    05 November 2018

    East Sussex CC’s chief executive Becky Shaw has laid out a ‘core offer’ that could risk the council’s ‘ability to meet statutory guidance and deadlines’.


  • Balanced Budget as we live in hope for jam tomorrow

    30 October 2018

    It may have been billed as the Budget to end austerity, but the chancellor’s speech was not exactly jam today, says Heather Jameson. More like a thin spread of cheap margarine for now, with the hope of a good strawberry crop in the spring


  • The money messages may be getting back to the centre

    24 October 2018

    The accusation from local government that it is seldom listened to by central government has some merit, says Simon Edwards - but he believes key recent announcements do suggest that perhaps some of the messages from councils are cutting through.


  • Lancashire CC to face 'difficult decisions'

    23 October 2018

    Lancashire CC will have to make some ‘difficult decisions’ over the next few months to ensure that it remains financially viable, auditors have concluded.


  • Politics may be coming home

    17 October 2018

    Local government had a ‘pretty good showing’ during the party conferences says Dr Jonathan Carr-West. He hopes it could be the start of a much-needed public debate on the local state