Westminster turmoil piles on uncertainty for sector
Turmoil in Westminster has piled further uncertainty onto local government, as the sector awaits the provisional finance settlement and prepares for trips to the polls.
Squeezed Somerset reins in overspend
Under-pressure Somerset CC has reduced its projected overspend in 2018/19 from £3.2m to £2.4m, senior councillors will hear next week.
Transformation savings at risk
The transformation programme underpinning Surrey CC’s return to financial sustainability has ‘a medium to high risk of slippage,’ the troubled county’s auditors will warn councillors today.
Nottinghamshire CC abandons reorganisation plan
Nottinghamshire CC has dropped its reorganisation plans, which the leadership had hoped would save the authority millions of pounds each year.
When care cannot cope
Care provider Allied Healthcare may have found a buyer for its business, but Glen Garrod warns pre-Christmas uncertainty may lead some staff to walk away and some councils could transfer their contracts to other providers or bring them ‘in-house’
We need to talk about finance
Piali Das Gupta wants central Government, caught up with Brexit, to start paying attention to the voice of local authorities who argue that the practical needs of the people are not being met.
Farewell to a tumultuous year
It’s fair to say this has been a year of extraordinary events and extreme inertia, writes Heather Jameson. As finances were squeezed the resilience of local government has been tested to its limits – and it has started to crumble in places.
Digital fund winners announced
Some 16 projects involving 57 councils have secured the first grants from the Government’s local digital fund.
Building handover after council loan deadline missed
A state-of-the-art commercial workspace will be handed over to a council after one of the UK’s largest not-for-profit enterprise agencies missed the deadline for repaying a £2.75m loan.
Councils may have to hand back grant
Some of the extra £55m Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) announced by the chancellor in the Budget may have to be handed back by councils.
Listen to local government to avoid Universal Credit disaster
If 'managed migration' - moving more than four million claimants of legacy benefits on to Universal Credit from summer 2019 - is to succeed, local authorities must have a leading role in supporting applicants, says Cllr Muhammed Butt.
Over-40s care tax could net £15bn
A tax levied on people aged over 40 could raise £15bn per year for social care, according to new analysis.
VOA to appeal cash machines ruling
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) wants to appeal to the Supreme Court after a judge ruled shop-based cash machines were exempt from separate business rates.
Future Forum North: May's Brexit deal will leave UK worse off economically
It is undeniable that the UK will be worse off economically under prime minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal, the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank has said.
Future Forum North: 'Get a grip on mysterious DCS role'
Local authority bosses should get a grip on the ‘mysterious’ director of children’s services [DCS] role, Wakefield City Council’s chief executive has urged.
Future Forum North: Whiteman rages at removing finance directors from top team
Council chief executives that demote the finance director role from the top team were being ‘too clever by half,’ Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy boss Rob Whiteman has said.
Brexit debates delay provisional finance settlement
Tomorrow’s provisional local government finance settlement has been delayed – just weeks after Whitehall agreed to bring it forward and fix a date.
Review into council fraud and corruption launched
Marsham Street is seeking input from councils as it carries out a review into procurement fraud.
Swansea to enlist private sector for tidal lagoon project
Swansea City Council is turning to the private sector in the hope of resurrecting a project for a tidal lagoon.
Don’t throw out the rule book with the bath water
Like all complainants, the Local Government Ombudsman is both a nuisance and an asset, but his latest message is clear, says Michael Burton: Don't lose the focus on the frontline.