Budgets and efficiency
Finance warning despite record savings
Surrey CC’s longer-term financial resilience is a ‘serious challenge’ despite the authority achieving a record £79m savings in 2017/18, senior councillors have been warned.
The journey towards wellbeing
Five years since the transfer of public health responsibilities to local authorities, Paul Najsarek, SOLACE lead for wellbeing and chief executive of Ealing LBC, reflects on the journey.
Placing faith in the pilots
From this month, a second wave of pilots have started 100% rates retention. Neil Amin-Smith and David Phillips from the Institute for Fiscal Studies examine the Government’s claims regarding these pilots.
The funding system must prevent unsustainable funding and misaligned incentives
Richard Flinton on the Association of County Chief Executives submission to the fairer funding consultation.
ADASS: Finance chief relationship key
The relationship between directors of adult social care and their chief finance officer is key, delegates to a conference have been told.
PFM launches finance software in UK
Financial adviser PFM has announced the launch of its modelling and budgeting software, Whitebirch, in the UK.
Accounts Commission in new finance warning
Finding ways to save money is now an ‘increasingly critical’ activity for cash-strapped councils, Scotland’s local authority watchdog, the Accounts Commission, has found.
Don’t stunt our progress
Cllr Dave Conway says clarity is urgently needed from the Government on post-2020 funding in order to continue the work being done at Stoke-on-Trent.
Funding reform – or bust?
Councils are leading the way in modernising public services as a response to the ongoing challenges of austerity, but local government is fast reaching breaking point. Martin Reeves calls for urgent steps to be taken by central government to make the most of this opportunity.
Council forced to exhaust reserves
Troubled Northamptonshire CC has taken a ‘last resort’ decision to exhaust its entire reserves as it struggles to agree a legal budget for 2018/19.
Holyrood debates scrapping council tax
The Scottish Green Party has demanded an end to the ‘out of date, archaic, regressive’ council tax.
Councils plan largest council tax rise in 13 years
Council Tax levels will increase by an average of 5.1% across England in 2018/19, the largest rise for 13 years, ministers have confirmed.
Kober: Politics is a team game. Councils nationally must unite
Claire Kober calls on local government politicians across the country to come together to argue for a fairer funding formula.
Northamptonshire: MHCLG letter details intervention
Northamptonshire CC will continue to make most day-to-day decisions over how the county is run, despite heavy oversight from two government-appointed commissioners that could last three years.
Northants must start afresh, says inspector
Borough and district council leaders from across Northamptonshire this week met local government minister Rishi Sunak after a Whitehall-appointed inspector called for local government reorganisation.
MHCLG alone cannot ease funding pressures, says NAO
The National Audit Office (NAO) has insisted all government departments need to work towards finding solutions to local authority funding pressures, not just Marsham Street.
Northamptonshire is walking a legal tightrope
The struggling county may be able to set a lawful budget, but by not delivering on its statutory services, it is both open to legal challenge and undermining its citizens’ rights, writes Olwen Dutton.
Local government will muddle on with examples of brilliance and excellence
Ben Page says only time will tell exactly how local government will make it through the next few years.
Are funding reforms doomed before they start?
There is a cacophony of voices calling for local government finance reform. Heather Jameson suggests the current round of funding reforms might be out of date before they have even been fully implemented.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
The chancellor’s Spring Statement was to the point. The UK economy has reached calmer waters, but Bob Neill points out there was scant help for local authorities and the existing state of affairs cannot continue beyond the short-term