Call for sector to 'resist' MPs' role in Levelling up Fund
A council leader has urged local government to ‘resist’ the role of MPs in the Levelling up Fund.
Reaping the benefits from urban green space need not cost the earth
Urban areas, even those that are densely populated, can still play host to biologically diverse plant and animal life, especially if they are supported to do this by sensitive and intelligent local land management, says Paul O'Brien.
A fresh start for the sector?
Josh Bembridge asks if, post-pandemic, the landscape has changed for future delivery of services across local government?
Building back better and fairer
Tameside MBC’s Budget and focus on Inclusive Growth offers a platform to work together to seize an opportunity to build a new and better future, argues Cllr Oliver Ryan.
Future Forum North: 'Business rates will be like Tudor beard tax'
A senior finance director has said ‘anachronistic’ business rates are ‘going in the direction of the Tudor beard tax’.
Picking up the pieces and rethinking public services
As Rishi Sunak braces the UK for tax rises 'it has to be about more than just replenishing the public purse', writes Heather Jameson. 'This is a chance to rethink public services and how we fund them.'
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.'