£1bn business grants still to be allocated
Nearly half of £2bn handed to local authorities for discretionary business grant funding has yet to be allocated, the Government has said.
Meet the new breed of sustainable bonds
UK local authorities are well placed to access the capital markets through Envrionmental, Social and Governance bonds, and the range of projects they can fund is vast, says Christian Wall.
The future of social care
After 25 years of inaction, the Government has the chance to create a lasting legacy of a reformed, sustainably-funded social care system, says Kathryn Smith.
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’.
Planning is the key to success
Cornwall Council's finance team has delivered a huge amount during the past year, says Tracie Langley. The team is already thinking about how to improve next year’s budget setting and monitoring processes, she adds.
Real power has to be moved away from London
It's time to move real power away from London, not just government offices, argues Dr Arianna Giovannini.
Time for a think-tankery
The people of Britain aren’t generally inclined to get too emotional about things. But if there’s one topic that’s more certain than most to bring a tear to the eye of any British person it’s the closure of pubs.
Corridors of power
The chancellor accidentally takes a truth drug just before his Budget speech…
Councils in a jam shouldn’t have to scrape for funding crumbs
Heather Jameson lays out what ministers need to do if they 'really want to streamline local government, create efficiency and allow councils to reach their potential'.
A tale of two Budgets?
While the Budget delivered an economic quick fix, critics have highlighted its silence on support for public services and rising inequality, and a ‘scattergun’ approach to levelling up. Heather Jameson reports.
Under pressure from many directions
Last week’s Budget made optimistic assumptions about post-pandemic costs that could mean cuts in services like local government down the line, reports Michael Burton.
The vision in Budget 2021 focused on a global, green, high tech economy, ‘but there was no sign of local government, local public services or local institutions of any sort’, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.
Taking the opportunity to digitally ‘level up’
Glen Ocsko says councils should take a digital-first approach to maximise the benefits of the Towns Fund.
Levelling up risks becoming less than the sum of its parts
There is always political appetite for short-term infrastructure projects, but we need transparency and transformational change to level up, says Zoe Billingham.
Changing the economic geography
Paul Swinney believes last week’s Budget showed a Government intent on maintaining control from the centre when it should be seeking to level up.
You can't level up from (just) the top down
Andy Burns says while the ‘levelling up’ measures in the Budget are welcome, more strategic coherence and bottom-up, placed based approaches are needed
Levelling Up through Community Ownership
Andrew Laird welcomes the plan to create a £150m Community Ownership Fund and says the agenda should also look at local public services and assets.
BUDGET 2021: £220m fund to move away from European funding
The Government announced a £220m fund in the Budget as part of the move away from European funding after Brexit.
Getting Westminster open for business again
The new pillar of Westminster’s City for All plan puts a revival of the West End and local shopping streets at the centre of the council’s vision, says Rachael Robathan.
BUDGET 2021: Leeds named as site of new infrastructure bank
The new national infrastructure bank will be based in Leeds, chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed alongside other announcements badged under the Government’s levelling up agenda.