T’is the season!
The possibility of a UK Parliamentary General Election on 2 May combined with local polls is the plan causing most concern in the electoral sector, says Peter Stanyon.
Oflog independence row stems from broken relationships
The concerns over Oflog’s independence illustrate councils’ low level of faith in Government, which stems from Government’s evident low level of faith in local authorities, says Paul Marinko.
Voter ID legal challenge launched
A legal challenge has been mounted against the Government over voter ID requirements for elections.
Sunak doesn't accept the council tax system is broken
Without the additional £17m a year Somerset Council could have generated through council tax the future looks very bleak indeed, says leader Bill Revans.
General Election manifestos begin to take shape
Labour is gearing up for the looming General Election by beginning work on its manifesto.
Nick Bowes sets out the reasons why more progress hasn’t been made on devolution in London and looks at what’s likely to happen next.
Reform council tax to level up
Henri Murison says the archaic council tax system has to change – and work should begin immediately on a revaluation of all properties in England before the General Election.
Don’t just ‘hope’ for change
Matthew Taylor argues change in the healthcare system needs to come from the bottom up as well as top down, regardless of who wins the next General Election.
Rayner floats three-year pay deal
An incoming Labour Government could throw its weight behind a longer-term pay deal for the sector to avoid the embarrassment of strikes, well-placed sources have suggested.
It cannot be about the way we cut the cake, but the size
With a General Election on the horizon the one thing the sector needs – financial certainty – will be last on the agenda, says Michael Hudson. But it has never been more important for local government to speak with a collegiate voice, he adds.
Is it going to be giveaways or propping up councils?
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has asked Treasury staff to scout for potential cash for local government, and he received news of a fiscal windfall this week. Could that mean a boost to the settlement, asks Heather Jameson.
Lyons: Where are we now?
The Lyons review of local government was published 17 years ago. If the inquiry recommendations had been put in place, would local government be in the position it is now? The MJ gathered a panel of experts – including Sir Michael Lyons – to ask just that. Michael Burton reports.
All parts of the country have been levelled down
For the next Government there will be serious choices and decisions to make in order to deliver the economic growth all parts of the country need, says Andrew Carter.
The lack of a national strategy for cities is a national failing
After the General Election, regardless of who wins it, Core Cities will unite with partners to call for a national plan for cities, says Marvin Rees OBE.
Cities find their future
Cllr John Merry looks back at Key Cities’ successes and considers what he would like the network and local government to achieve during the next decade.
A new Government provides the opportunity for long-term reform
The SEN system and the broken children’s social care residential market are the main drivers of cost for councils, and CCN will be proactively setting out its own case for reform of both as we gear up for a new Government, says Simon Edwards.
Clarity will be crucial to reform
As 2024 begins, Emmet Regan sets out a framework for any incoming government to consider when mapping out their plans for public service reform.
Is this the end of innovation?
Is there a tendency among council members to play it safe and avoid risks? Norse Group and The MJ brought together chief executives and senior managers from across local government to ask if innovation is now a thing of the past for councils. Paul Marinko reports.
Stormy waters ahead
Mark Conrad talks to three major groups of councils about what the provisional finance settlement means for each of them, and he considers the outlook for 2025 and beyond.
The challenge of governing isn't just what, but how
Whoever wins the election, by whatever platform, their entry into office will quickly be met with the challenge of how to deliver on their promises in practice, says Jessica Studdert.