Austerity

  • Scottish Budget 'not good' for communities

    28 February 2024

    Next year’s Scottish Budget is ‘not good’ for communities, council leaders have said.


  • The first cuts are the deepest

    27 February 2024

    Sector experts talk to Martin Ford about the effects of job cuts on councils’ resilience, the impact of austerity on the number of leadership positions and the downsides of ‘super’ directorates.


  • What are the chances of a Budget boost?

    27 February 2024

    New SIGOMA analysis highlights the huge decline in funding in recent years and the sector desperately needs a boost, says Heather Jameson. 'But the chances of one arriving in a tax-slashing pre-election Budget are slim.'


  • How can we plan for the future of urban regeneration?

    22 February 2024

    With public funding for development down and expectations up, Nick Walkley says the future of regeneration will need new forms of collaboration across sectors.


  • Brum proposes £300m cuts

    20 February 2024

    Cash-strapped Birmingham City Council will cut spending on services by £300m to balance its books.


  • It’s time for a ‘big bang’ to fix our workforce

    06 February 2024

    'There is a need to rethink workloads across the public sector, to harness new technologies to do the grunt work while staff focus on the things only people can provide', says Heather Jameson.


  • It’s not a bail out: it is tax-funded public services

    30 January 2024

    Councils are grateful for the extra cash, says Heather Jameson. 'So thankful, I fear, the sector may be suffering from a touch of Stockholm Syndrome.'


  • Starting over with Total Place

    29 January 2024

    Born out of attempts to streamline services and cut costs across the public sector, Total Place captured the imagination of the sector before falling victim to a poltical shift. Is it time to revisit it, asks Heather Jameson.


  • Hope amid the gloom

    22 January 2024

    The coming year may look bleak but outgoing chief executive of the Centre for Progressive Policy Charlotte Alldritt says the inclusive growth agenda leaves her with lots of hope.


  • Money, money everywhere?

    15 January 2024

    Councils’ reserves are not there to be guarded, says a local government minister. In straitened times, councils argue, the higher the risk, the more reserves you need to mitigate it. Martin Ford reports


  • A huge year – but will local government’s voice be heard?

    10 January 2024

    'While politicians are holding the line – that councils have plenty of cash and financial failure equals poor management – there are indications that they know it’s not so clear cut', says Heather Jameson.


  • Is this the end of innovation?

    10 January 2024

    Is there a tendency among council members to play it safe and avoid risks? Norse Group and The MJ brought together chief executives and senior managers from across local government to ask if innovation is now a thing of the past for councils. Paul Marinko reports.


  • Can we learn from the authorities who are coping with austerity well?

    04 December 2023

    AI has huge potential to save time in local government if people can be encouraged to use it, says Ben Page. 'As the best leaders in the sector know, people need time to make changes and adapt', he adds.


  • Autumn Statement: public services bear brunt of tight spending plans

    24 November 2023

    Jeff Matsu fears the Autumn Statement paints a picture of a chancellor trading up investment in public services for quick wins rather than committing to longer-lasting systems of reform.


  • Peer reviews: The heat is on

    20 November 2023

    Is corporate peer review a robust enough way to predict the risks of a future section 114 or is it just one improvement tool in a system of assurance? Dan Peters examines the evidence.


  • Right place and time for change

    20 November 2023

    Despite more than a decade of austerity and no end in sight, local authorities do have the power to get wealth flowing more directly to residents, and many are doing so, writes Sarah Longlands.


  • 'Slim pickings and missed opportunities'

    14 November 2023

    Baroness Sharon Taylor reflects on the King's Speech, and says it's time to stop leaving councils to pick up the pieces on their own and give them the powers to take back control.


  • Prevention is still better than cure

    08 November 2023

    Solving the public health crisis means preventing the next one, and looking beyond the NHS, according to Ruth Luscombe.


  • Bradford latest to issue section 114 warning

    31 October 2023

    Bradford City Council has warned it may become the latest to declare an emergency section 114 notice unless it takes urgent action to cut spending.


  • The sector faces a perfect storm

    30 October 2023

    An overhaul of the improvement and intervention system is long overdue and must urgently take place, says Claire Kober.