Supporting more democratic, responsive urban planning and design
In one of a series of essays on how the wisdom of citizens could support councils in managing cities after COVID-19, Peter Baeck and Sophie Reynolds look at the urban planning and design process - and share inspiring examples from across the world.
Helping local councils make their towns and cities smarter
People are using digital tech to connect, engage with and shape their town or city by talking to street objects. Tiernan Mines explains.
Now the clapping has stopped the listening needs to start
John Knight says COVID-19 has given citizens a much sharper focus on the local services they value and need. It’s time for councils to open a conversation with residents on what they want for the future, he believes
The Future of Local Government – no way back
The findings of a survey on the future impact of COVID-19 on councils provide an opportunity to consider ways to level up how services are delivered, says John Knight.
COVID-19 and consultation – Can it be online-only?
Does COVID-19 end consultations? The simple answer is ‘no’, according to Laura Thornton. But she says consideration needs to be given to mitigation measures that ensure consultation is fair.
Audit scale fees frozen
Audit scale fees for 2020/21 have been frozen though there could still be rises for individual councils ahead.
EXCLUSIVE: No Whitehall standstill despite coronavirus
Whitehall officials have insisted that they want to make progress with other government business despite the coronavirus crisis.
Gateshead to look at bring housing back in-house
Gateshead MBC is to formally consult on proposals to bring its housing services back in-house.
EXCLUSIVE: Ministry to look at easing sector burdens
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) officials have said they will look at further easing the burdens on the sector amid the coronavirus crisis.
Call for growth deal to cover funding gap
A £3bn growth deal is needed to avoid a gap in the delivery of capital projects while the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is introduced, the organisation representing local enterprise partnerships (LEP) has said.
Districts call for 'more robust' audit procurement
District councils have called for a ‘more robust procurement process’ as an increasing number of auditors shift away from their tendered prices.
Expanding the approach to public engagement
There are many ways to make it easier to forge public consensus on the difficult decisions needed for the long-term, says Laurie Smith. Here, he outlines three ‘participatory futures’ case studies from across the globe.
Right to Buy reform calls grow
Calls intensified this week for the Government to reform its ‘outdated’ Right to Buy (RtB) policy in next week’s Budget.
Working together to stop hate in Waltham Forest
Cllr Ahsan Khan outlines why Waltham Forest LBC is holding a Citizens’ Assembly to find practical local ways of stopping hate in all its forms.
Doing politics differently post-Brexit
Adults do not want to be treated like children to be nannied by the state, says Claire Fox – but she is not convinced that Citizens’ Assemblies are the right way forward.
Treasury could rake in £80m from PWLB rate hike - LGA
The Treasury could benefit from an £80m windfall from controversially increasing the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) interest rate by 1%, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.
DCN: Council tax allowance not sufficient
The Government’s proposed council tax referendum threshold of 2% or £5 for shire district councils is ‘not sufficient,’ the District Councils’ Network (DCN) has said.
Pressure on Government grows over schools grant deficits
Pressure is growing on the Department for Education (DfE) to take responsibility for growing dedicated schools grant (DSG) deficits as the number of councils reporting them rises.
'One-fifth of audit contracts should be put back out to tender'
The organisation responsible for appointing auditors should take away up to 20% of current contracts from existing suppliers and put them back out to tender, a top accountancy body has said.
Treasurer concern at isolation of audit reviews
Council treasurers have expressed concerns that two consultations on the future of audit are being carried out in isolation, The MJ understands.