Effecting change in more ways than one
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
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
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
Issues with bin lorries are contributing to a £17m projected overspend by Birmingham City Council.
Planning amid the certainty of uncertainty
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
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
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'
Spending at Shetland Islands Council has been labelled ‘unsustainable’ by an external auditor.
'You can't cut what you don't have!'
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Pooling funds is a better use of resources
Jill Penn is moving to a new finance role at the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk. She says what we do impacts on the same residents, so working together is better than arguing about the proportion of the cash you're getting.
Tackle the producers of plastics first
The Government is consulting on consistency in household and business waste recycling collections. But Paul Shevlin asks if the numbers stack up, in resource and environmental terms.
Committing to youth wellbeing
Councils are being ‘forced to divert the limited funding they have left away from preventative work. But with levels of knife crime rising, will the Government put more money into targeted youth services responses? Ann McGauran reports
We need sustainable funding
We are lurching towards schemes where we can deliver something good or extra just because there is a new 'one-off' pot of cash that can be exploited, says Adele Taylor.
Mr Benn and the rise of the super directorate
It is clear the role of chief officer is rapidly being reframed - and they often find themselves in a Mr Benn-like world, according to Paul O'Brien.
Halting knife crime is a multi-agency endeavour
Rachel Dickinson says much greater investment is needed in children and young people if we are to make a difference to levels of knife crime - and treating serious youth violence as a public health issue makes absolute sense.