Index reveals funding woes
Most councils allowed to use capital cash to prop up their finances faced problems before the impact of the pandemic hit, new figures have revealed.
The cap didn’t fit, and lessons must be learned from it
The Government has revoked the £95,000 cap on exit payments rule. Heather Jameson says the plan was 'an erosion of employment rights not just for the highly paid execs it was aimed at'.
Shielding from future shocks
Amid a global pandemic, councils are dealing with an ‘eye-wateringly high’ list of obstacles to long-term financial planning, says Gary Fielding. He offers guidance on how to plan a way through uncertainty.
More cash, but not enough
With its £5.5bn extra funding for local government next year the Spending Review may have delivered more than expected – though this won’t be enough to reverse the cuts since 2010. Heather Jameson reports.
SPENDING REVIEW: Live to fight another year
Local government has probably got just about enough from the chancellor to keep the show on the road, says Jonathan Werran. 'And possibly extend the road for the sake of kicking the familiar battered can that is social care funding down it...'
Time to stop what isn’t working
Before setting their budgets, councils must rethink themselves and the purpose they serve within their communities, argues Professor Donna Hall.
Helping councils defuse the early years ticking time bomb
Nesta has launched a new programme of Early Years Innovation Partnership, and is seeking councils to radically reimagine the way support is given, says Tom Symons.
Report proposes sweeping tax increases
A new health and social care tax raising £17bn should be the centrepiece of sweeping tax increases to raise £40bn a year, according to a new report from think-tank the Resolution Foundation.
EXCLUSIVE: Sector faces 'second lost decade'
The local government sector has been warned it faces a ‘second lost decade’ as a new index revealed the most financially vulnerable district councils.
The Government’s actions ‘don’t match the words’
Rather than recognising the role of council workers during COVID-19, the Government has prioritised hitting their terms and conditions, says Christina McAnea of Unison.
Tax increases more likely than austerity, says Flanders
A top economist has predicted that tax increases are more likely than another bout of austerity.
Labour would adopt 'local by default' approach
A Labour government would strike a ‘new settlement between citizens and the state’ and adopt a ‘local by default’ approach, shadow communities secretary Steve Reed has pledged.
Whatever happened to devolution?
Devolution is an ‘unfinished’, disconnected project that benefits some areas but excludes others, says Dr Arianna Giovannini. Shelving the White Paper will foster new inequalities and competition between devo deals ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, she adds.
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best
In the current climate all that local government can do is prepare a range of scenarios and reactions, says Gary Fielding. 'It feels like the best approach is to prepare for the worst, hope for the best and be unsurprised with anything in-between.'
No solution in sight for social care crisis
Sir Keir’s criticism is spot-on, says Heather Jameson. Social care during the pandemic has been a national disgrace, and 'constantly pushing social care solutions into the long grass is unforgivable'.
Meeting citizens’ expectations after the pandemic
Hilary Jones highlights how COVID-19 has been the catalyst for shifting up a gear when it comes to communicating with local residents, providing the environment and the permission for digital to take centre stage.
EXCLUSIVE: Croydon reaches out for MHCLG lifeline
Croydon LBC is understood to have made initial contact with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) as it approaches Section 114 territory, The MJ understands.
Leicester should be 'klaxon warning' to councils
The example of Leicester should be a ‘klaxon warning’ to councils that government ‘will not hesitate to scapegoat municipalities wherever and whenever it suits’, according to an academic.
Leicester’s Politicised Lockdown: A warning to local government
Jonathan S. Davies says government's 'failure to admit responsibility for the sweatshops, whilst indulging in racialised smears' is both 'a malicious attack on Britain’s leading multicultural city' and a threat to the fight against COVID-19.
EXCLUSIVE: Labour support for bigger pay rise revealed
Labour has distanced itself from rival parties’ decision to block the Local Government Association (LGA) lobbying for a bigger pay rise for council workers.