• Councils ‘set up to fail’ on SEND

    29 October 2019

    A committee of MPs has acknowledged the Government’s proposal for a significant increase in high needs block funding next year - but say it will make little difference without ‘a systemic cultural shift’. Ann McGauran reports.

  • ‘A paradigm shift is what is required’

    29 October 2019

    The unintended consequences of the 2014 SEND reforms are starting to impact on the viability of many councils, according to Ian Thomas. He says Kingston upon Thames RLBC and its partners are focusing on reducing demand through earlier intervention.

  • Investment is at risk from borrowing hike

    23 October 2019

    Increasing the interest rate on borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board puts much-needed investment at risk and to do it without consultation doesn't say much for the relationship between local government and the Treasury, says Tony Kirkham.

  • Victims in the line of fire

    23 October 2019

    Local government monitoring officers are increasingly being caught in power struggles between senior officers and are becoming targets for politicians. How should the problem be tackled? Martin Ford reports

  • Nearly £100m in overpaid benefits owed to Manchester local authorities

    17 October 2019

    Residents owed Greater Manchester’s councils nearly £100m in overpaid benefits at the end of 2018/19, according to the latest Government figures.

  • Social action - core to community wellbeing

    24 September 2019

    John Tizard explains how local authorities can rebuild and transform relations with the voluntary and community sector.

  • Effecting change in more ways than one

    20 August 2019

    Saima Ashraf has journeyed a long way to get to her current position of deputy leader of Barking & Dagenham LBC – and she has used her story to encourage other BME women to aim high within the sector.

  • Derby spending clampdown to close budget gap

    02 August 2019

    Officers at Derby City Council have been told to clamp down on spending as the authority heads for a budget overspend this year.

  • Union 'bewildered' by backing of city of culture bid

    31 July 2019

    Bradford City Council has come under fire after backing a campaign to become the UK’s city of culture.

  • Birmingham budget heading for £17m overspend

    29 July 2019

    Issues with bin lorries are contributing to a £17m projected overspend by Birmingham City Council.

  • Planning amid the certainty of uncertainty

    17 July 2019

    John Hewitt says finance directors and their teams have been working ‘minor miracles’ in signing off balanced budgets for the last 10 years. He outlines a number of steps Government could take to help local authorities plan more effectively.

  • ‘Legacy issues’ delay South Ribble accounts

    09 July 2019

    The leader of South Ribble BC has told councillors the authority will miss the statutory deadline for publishing its annual accounts.

  • Catch them early and save their lives

    03 July 2019

    A child’s experiences at an early age can make a major difference to their long-term outcomes. Rachel Dickinson explains how austerity and a lack of cash is preventing local needs being met,

  • Shetland Islands' spending 'unsustainable'

    02 July 2019

    Spending at Shetland Islands Council has been labelled ‘unsustainable’ by an external auditor.

  • 'You can't cut what you don't have!'

    05 June 2019

    We need the sort of detailed analysis carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers for the County Councils ' Network, which uses evidence to project 'spending need' over the period 2015-25, says Richard Flinton.

  • Care provider warns of sector collapse unless action is taken

    30 May 2019

    The executive director of Mears Alan Long sets out what he believes is needed to save a domiciliary care sector in crisis:

  • Let austerity end for the children first

    28 May 2019

    Rachel Dickinson says a host of conflicting policy initiatives are making it harder for councils to give children and young people the help they need.

  • Cliffs, knives and U2

    28 May 2019

    Abdool Kara is not sure that falling over or off cliffs is the right metaphor for what we could see in local government if the current funding trajectory continues.

  • Norfolk and Essex face multi-million pound funding gaps

    22 May 2019

    Norfolk CC’s leader met local government minister Rishi Sunak as his authority attempts to close a budget gap of £40m next year.

  • Salford strides ahead on integration

    15 May 2019

    Charlotte Ramsden says almost 20 years of integrated working by Salford City Council and Salford CCG is delivering better outcomes - and the majority of children's services are now included in the pooled health and care fund.