Scottish Budget 'not good' for communities
Next year’s Scottish Budget is ‘not good’ for communities, council leaders have said.
The first cuts are the deepest
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?
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?
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
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
'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
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
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
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?
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?
'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?
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?
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
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
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
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'
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
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
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
An overhaul of the improvement and intervention system is long overdue and must urgently take place, says Claire Kober.