Councils ‘set up to fail’ on SEND
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’
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
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
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
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
John Tizard explains how local authorities can rebuild and transform relations with the voluntary and community sector.
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.