Northamptonshire to request early years budget deadline extension
Northamptonshire CC is to miss the deadline for setting its early years block budget after U-turning on proposed cuts.
Local government employment down 2%
Local government employment has fallen by 2% over the last year, new figures have shown.
Councils agree to ramp up efforts to tackle children's services pressures
Local authorities in London have agreed to intensify their efforts to tackle the increasing financial pressures on children’s services.
Surrey parents lose SEND budget legal battle
Surrey CC has fended off a legal challenge to its budget for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Measuring the effectiveness of scrutiny in Herts through outcomes and the impact on residents
Cllrs David Andrews and Seamus Quilty outline how Hertfordshire CC's two scrutiny committees take a 'proactive, curious and forensic' approach that also involves officers on the council's graduate scheme in the process.
Let's trial fiscal devolution in areas like Westminster
Westminister has seen England's biggest fall in children's services budgets since 2010. Cllr Heather Acton says the council has had to be creative and think differently about ways of providing care and support to families.
Hungry kids and foodbanks could become 'normal'
Children arriving at school hungry and families queuing up at foodbanks ‘could become part of the wallpaper’ of everyday life, the president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) has warned.
It’s time to act on child poverty
We are one of the richest countries in the world, yet poverty levels are rising. Councils must act now, says Stuart Gallimore - or we will look back in shame.
‘We have to be a bit audacious’
On the first anniversary of taking up the top job at Surrey CC, Joanna Killian says she has a grip on the finances, but there is still a long way to go to improve services – and she is not afraid to ask for help. Heather Jameson reports
Change will be necessary to fix a broken funding system
Compromises along the way will be needed if the sector is to secure the implementation of the fair funding review, says Simon Edwards.
Rebooting the relationship
The transfer of public health responsibilities to councils has been a success, say sector experts interviewed for an independent report commissioned by the County Councils’ Network. But health stakeholders are not so positive.
Hold on to public health
Shifting public health functions to councils has led to ‘clear progress and tangible success,’ says Cllr David Williams - and he warns it would be a retrograde step if NHS England took back some elements of commissioning.
Councils are a good investment
The Local Government Association's #CouncilsCan campaign aimed at influencing the 2019 Spending Review has begun by highlighting the threat to popular - but non-statutory - services if the £8bn funding black hole is not tackled, says Lord Porter.
A good plan is more important than ever
In the absence of facts - whatever they may be these days - we need to make assumptions based upon our best professional judgement, says Gary Fielding. 'Never has it felt more important that we have a good plan', he adds.
It’s the extraordinary who carry on in hard times
Senior local government staff and members are often extraordinary, but everyone has their limits, says Heather Jameson
Durham risks losing a 'staggering' £19m in public health cash
Durham Council would lose out more than any other local authority if the revised Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) formula is used to redistribute public health cash, says Amanda Healy.
Taking back some public health commissioning from councils would be a 'retrograde step'
With 'clear progress and tangible success' on public health delivery in local government, the suggestion that NHS England could take back some elements of public health commissioning would be a retrograde step, says David Williams.
Nottinghamshire to lobby Government on SEND funding
Nottinghamshire CC is to take ‘significant concerns’ over funding for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) to the Government.
Dorset to harmonise council tax
The new unitary Dorset Council has announced details of its harmonised council tax scheme.
The £1m question: How corporate are you?
As we approach the end of the financial year senior managers anxiously request projections. Will the budget be overspent or underspent? It will be one or the other, says Blair Mcpherson.