Planning for when the blight lifts
Westminster City Council’s leader Rachael Robathan says the central Government funding system to help businesses stand on their own two feet must be in place when lockdown eventually lifts.
Pandemic’s route to devolution
We must use what has been learned from COVID-19 to agree a new relationship with Government, based on a shared commitment to devolution, argues Anthony May.
Top insights on adversity
Leadership in local government was tested in 2020 like never before. Here, chief executives reflect on the lessons they will take with them into this year and beyond. Ann McGauran reports.
Our councils are our true heroes - now is the time to shine the spotlight on them
When councils had to step up during COVID-19, they ‘leapt up’ says Sean Anstee. Here he explains why Cratus has decided to sponsor a new Community Hero category in the The MJ Awards.
Councils should have key role in getting jabs to the vulnerable, says public health chief
Councils’ knowledge is crucial in order to ‘get the vaccine to people’ in homes and workplaces, rather than expecting the vulnerable to travel for jabs, says Liverpool’s public health chief.
Councils’ knowledge should be fully utilised in vaccine rollout
Empowering local areas to deliver the rollout of the COVID vaccine could make a major difference to uptake and effectiveness, argues Liverpool’s public health chief Matthew Ashton.
Give local councils freedoms on workforce vaccination
Councils need the freedoms and flexibilities to determine which parts of their workforce should be prioritised for vaccination, whether they fit the official ‘key worker’ definition or not, says Paul Najsarek.
Hats off to those who have worked tirelessly on the pandemic frontline
The efforts of local government at the pandemic frontline during the past year have been nothing short of heroic, says Heather Jameson. 'Never have local authorities been so ambitious, so innovative and so committed', she adds.
Key role for local government vital to vaccination rollout
The sector, through its talented staff, elected representatives and influencers should be fully utilised to guarantee the success of the COVID vaccine rollout, says Allen Graham.
A dose of reality
What will the main challenges be for the sector as local government gears up for a prominent role in new COVID-vaccination strategies? Ann McGauran talks to key figures about the task ahead.
Councils are critical to beating this pandemic
Stoke-on-Trent was the first area to pilot new quick turnaround lateral flow testing. Here, council leader Abi Brown outlines what the technology is achieving and what is being learned from the trial.
In choppy waters, back districts to deliver
The debate on local government reform must end now, ‘so that all areas can focus on the crisis in their communities’, argues chair of the District Councils Network Cllr John Fuller.
Report exposes local-national divide over pandemic
Fractures between local and national decision-makers have been highlighted in a new report examining responses to the coronavirus crisis.
EXCLUSIVE: Leaked report warns sector less ready for Brexit transition
Local government is less ready for the end of the transition period than it was for a no-deal Brexit last October, a Whitehall document leaked to The MJ has warned.
The strain caused by COVID is starting to show
Lawrence Conway says the continued variations to coronavirus measures introduced by Government 'mean we have to be agile, flexible and quite often we must use our own local leadership and innovations to best implement and serve our communities'.
Let’s fix our connectivity dysfunction
The Government is used to operating in broadcast mode rather than engaging in ongoing dialogue with local government, says Jessica Studdert, and she warns that without stronger connectivity, councils will constantly be on the back foot.
Personal resilience in tough times
Drawing on her experience of dealing with the aftermath of terror attacks, Louise Neilan emphasises the need for senior managers to support their communities and teams, and themselves – especially during the pandemic crisis.
Streamline PPE funding for the sake of social care
COVID-19 will continue to severely stretch the financial resilience of providers like Leonard Cheshire and funding must be urgently refreshed and streamlined, says Hugh Fenn.
'A really terrible time' for reorganisation
There is never going to be a good time for local government reorganisation, says Paul Shevlin. 'There is definitely a really terrible time and this is it.'
Time 'lost' when centre and local at odds over COVID
Effective global responses to COVID-19 depend on local leadership as the 'critical convenor' and time is lost when national and local authorities are ‘at odds with each other’, according to international policy experts.