• Sticking plasters for a wound

    20 March 2024

    Short-term funding and decision-making does not solve the underlying issues surrounding children’s services. It only stores up more pressure for the future says John Pearce.

  • The dead hand of centralism holds back productivity

    20 March 2024

    If councils had the tools, most if not all of them could by now have set fees to recover the full cost of a fast-track planning system, argues Ian Miller.

  • A conspiracy of silence

    13 March 2024

    Both Conservatives and Labour have been coy about how they intend to improve public services, reduce taxes and raise living standards as Michael Burton reports.

  • A quick fix – but is there any choice?

    13 March 2024

    With news of capitalisation directions being given to several councils, Heather Jameson asks if this risky measure – designed to provide fiscal support – will ultimately provide greater problems down the line.

  • Carving out a financial solution

    13 March 2024

    With local government currently in the spotlight in General Election year, Dr Jonathan Carr-West looks at ways councils can capitalise to make their case for funding reforms.

  • Has the levelling up agenda died or is it only resting?

    13 March 2024

    Levelling-up's recent political incarnation was designed to appeal to voters with a four-year attention span, says Heather Jameson. 'It was only a matter of time before the public noticed there was little life in the bird.'

  • Tough times ahead for public services

    12 March 2024

    Public finances face their toughest outlook for 80 years and there is no magical solution on the horizon following the Spring Budget, writes Nicole Wood.

  • Desperately seeking a long-term diagnosis

    11 March 2024

    A successful economy needs to be built around world-class infrastructure  - and skilled, healthy people and public services are essential to the delivery of both, says Iain Murray.

  • Right to Buy lobbying fails as Treasury ends temporary boost

    08 March 2024

    The Treasury has confirmed councils will no longer keep 100% of Right to Buy (RTB) receipts after the current financial year despite lobbying by the sector.

  • OBR: Council borrowing for capital to halve

    08 March 2024

    Council borrowing for capital projects is expected to almost halve due to curbs on commercial loans and interest rate rises.

  • Budget leaves councils in peril

    08 March 2024

    Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton says many will highlight that cuts in local government spending mean the return of austerity – ‘but council leaders will know that it never went away’.

  • We need fairer funding of local government, and we need it now

    07 March 2024

    Cllr John Merry says that while the chancellor stressed the need for more efficiency in this week's Budget, he would highlight the importance of fixing what is, in Key Cities’ view, councils' broken funding model’.

  • Budget: Boost for preventative services 

    06 March 2024

    Funding for preventative services has been announced as part of the Budget in an attempt to relieve local government’s demand pressures.

  • Budget: West Midlands to get £15m culture funding boost

    06 March 2024

    The West Midlands Combined Authority is to get a £15m boost in funding for culture, heritage and investment projects in the region, the chancellor has announced.

  • Budget: Chancellor launches productivity push

    06 March 2024

    Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has unveiled a Budget with little respite for local government but demands for increased public sector productivity.

  • Budget: Trailblazer devo deal for North East

    06 March 2024

    The North East has secured a trailblazer devolution deal that could provide a package of new funding potentially worth more than £100m, chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced in his Budget.

  • 'Scorched earth' Budget likely to offer little for local government

    06 March 2024

    Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is expected to unveil a ‘scorched earth’ Budget today, slashing National Insurance and leaving little left for public services.

  • Making economic development a statutory duty for councils would be a rare win-win

    06 March 2024

    The sector wants to make economic development services a statutory duty for councils. Abdool Kara says the challenge for local authorities is to open the Treasury’s eyes to the prize it considers could be available.

  • Local investment can reap national rewards

    06 March 2024

    Sir Bob Neill feels the Budget was an opportunity to provide financial aid for councils, which in turn will help the Government deliver national policies – but has the chancellor taken the chance?

  • Chancellor needs to show compassion to most vulnerable

    05 March 2024

    Tomorrow’s Budget provides an opportunity for the chancellor to protect those most in need of financial support by renewing the Household Support Fund, says Cllr Elizabeth Campbell.