Our Ofsted journey to outstanding
Cllr Shaun Davies explains how Telford & Wrekin Council’s Ofsted rating for children’s services leaped from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘outstanding’ due to an innovative approach to investment and a focus on workforce and good practice.
Local government needs to ‘hold the ring’ on pooled public services’ budgets
Shadow minister for local government Jim McMahon tells Heather Jameson it was irresponsible that the Budget did not mention adult social care – and he says we need an ‘honest assessment’ of councils’ and public services’ funding needs.
Winners and losers under a reformed council tax
A new study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) says revaluation of the £31bn council tax system is long overdue and proposes ways it can be reformed, as Michael Burton reports.
Budget 2020: If this is a national crisis it's one many of us felt was already underway
Local agendas should prevail, according to chair of SIGOMA Sir Stephen Houghton – but he says the headline capital aspirations in the Budget seem to harbour real ambition beyond already thriving areas.
Budget 2020: Councils compensated for rates bonanza
The Government has pledged to compensate local authorities for the entire loss of business rates caused by a raft of relief announcements in today’s Budget.
Budget 2020: Sunak reveals spending spree for first budget
New chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a Budget to end austerity, boost productivity and tackle the problems created by coronavirus.
NHS trusts lodge business rates appeal
NHS trusts have applied for permission to appeal a High Court ruling that said they were not eligible for business rates relief.
Whitfield questions 100% rates retention
A top council finance director has questioned the ability of 100% business rates retention to fund local government.
Business rates’ broader debate
Planning for financial uncertainty, robust data and timely information around business rates appeals, are vital for good risk management, argues Joanne Pitt
Retail with a sting in the tale
The decision to reduce the rateable value of Amazon’s Rugeley Fulfilment Centre has had a major local impact on council finances – and there are wider implications for the sector, says Bob Kean
Retention split negotiations founder on district fears
Talks over future division of business rates foundered over fears district councils could be left worse off, it has emerged.
Rates repatriation revolt collapses
An attempt to repatriate the setting of business rates to Scottish councils has collapsed.
‘Stop kicking us three steps back’
Our annual local government finance survey shows most councils are planning to raise council tax – and reveals support for fiscal devolution is by no means universal. Dan Peters reports.
Our unsustainable finance system needs a reboot
Heather Jameson says the finance system is increasingly unsustainable and local government has no confidence in the Government’s plans to resolve it or to tackle the issue of funding adult social care.
Business rates blow
Plans to use business rates to fund local government have been dealt a major blow by a survey that finds wavering confidence in the policy.
EXCLUSIVE: Rate relief delay expected
Changes to business rates reliefs that the Government wants to make from April will not be introduced in time by some councils, The MJ understands.
Welcome to the twenties
The new Government is rhetorically placing itself as a radical one that will move fast, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West – but he warns that for local government there is a ‘groundhog day’ element.
Districts need more certainty on funding
We need a better idea of proposals and transitional arrangements on New Homes Bonus and business rates, says Simone Hines - and the recent extension of various business rates reliefs are raising tricky questions, she adds.
Deputy hits out at 'flawed' business rates system
Cannock Chase DC has expressed disappointment in the way Amazon-style warehouses are treated under the business rates system after it was hit by a revaluation.
Councils losing £250m a year through business rates avoidance
Councils are losing £250m a year due to businesses avoiding paying their rates, new research has found.