• The funding puzzle stays unsolved

    24 March 2021

    CIPFA's council tax data revealed the average council tax bills for band D properties in two regions of England will now exceed £2,000. Taxpayers will begin to ask what they get for this, says Rob Whiteman.

  • Reining in the risks?

    23 March 2021

    South Somerset DC takes an entrepreneurial approach that it says has turned it into a council that no longer cuts services. But will the current review of the prudential framework inhibit the sector from spreading investment risk? Dan Peters reports.

  • Future Forum North: 'Business rates will be like Tudor beard tax'

    17 March 2021

    A senior finance director has said ‘anachronistic’ business rates are ‘going in the direction of the Tudor beard tax’.

  • A fresh look at the future of finance

    17 March 2021

    Associate director, local government, at CIPFA-Penna Philippa Watkins shares the lessons learned from a virtual event putting finance on the stage.

  • Plea for commitment to finance reform

    16 March 2021

    Local government has asked for short-term certainty and long-term reform of funding for the sector.

  • Fewer than half of local audits done by deadline, watchdog finds

    16 March 2021

    Fewer than half of local public bodies’ 2019-20 audits were completed by last November, despite a deadline already pushed back due to COVID, says a spending watchdog.

  • Council tax hits £2,000 barrier in two regions

    11 March 2021

    The typical council tax bill for an average property in England’s north-east and south-west will be more than £2,000 a year for the first time, according to research from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

  • A tale of two Budgets?

    09 March 2021

    While the Budget delivered an economic quick fix, critics have highlighted its silence on support for public services and rising inequality, and a ‘scattergun’ approach to levelling up. Heather Jameson reports.

  • You can't level up from (just) the top down

    05 March 2021

    Andy Burns says while the ‘levelling up’ measures in the Budget are welcome, more strategic coherence and bottom-up, placed based approaches are needed

  • Rating resilience

    02 March 2021

    Heather Jameson looks at what the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s latest resilience index tells us – and what it doesn’t – about the financial health of councils.

  • Councils defend 'misunderstood' commercial investments

    25 February 2021

    The Government’s clampdown on commercial investments has come under fire from councils.

  • Easing the cash flow

    24 February 2021

    Martin Ford looks at the reaction to the first set of capitalisation directions given to councils struggling under the financial weight of COVID.

  • A confirmation of local government’s true resilience

    24 February 2021

    Heather Jameson ponders what the latest CIPFA resilience index tells us about the state of local government finances. It contains 'a curious mix of highly informative and utterly irrelevant information'.

  • Index reveals funding woes

    24 February 2021

    Most councils allowed to use capital cash to prop up their finances faced problems before the impact of the pandemic hit, new figures have revealed.

  • Grant fraud to soar

    22 February 2021

    Grant fraud is expected to soar because of the amount of COVID-19 funding channelled through local government, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

  • Procurement in the time of pandemic

    17 February 2021

    One of the largest studies into how the annual £100bn local government procurement spend is being dispensed during the pandemic has just been launched. Its project director Dr Richard Simmons outlines the study’s aims.

  • Starting from the wrong place?

    15 February 2021

    The first White Paper on NHS reform in nearly a decade confirms England will be covered by statutory integrated care systems. Ann McGauran canvasses local government sector experts on the contents.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Pressure mounts on Jenrick over audit

    09 February 2021

    Whitehall officials are putting communities secretary Robert Jenrick under pressure to change course after he failed to implement a key recommendation of the Redmond Review, The MJ understands.

  • Finding more funding

    02 February 2021

    A flurry of Government grants have been received by local authorities in the wake of the pandemic. While this has helped some councils stabilise finances, what longer-term approach is needed to balance budgets? Martin Ford reports.

  • Council business park remains offshore

    01 February 2021

    Labour-run Warrington Council has still not decided whether to bring an out-of-town business park onshore more than three years after being accused of avoiding tax, The MJ can reveal.