• Battle lines drawn for local elections

    03 April 2024

    Rows over levelling up have dominated the opening clashes as campaigning kicked off for next month’s local elections.

  • Carving out a financial solution

    13 March 2024

    With local government currently in the spotlight in General Election year, Dr Jonathan Carr-West looks at ways councils can capitalise to make their case for funding reforms.

  • Freedom to be and to do

    15 January 2024

    Local government needs a multi-year sustainable funding settlement; central government needs to trust its local counterpart to do its job and councils need to win back the trust of the people they serve, writes Jonathan Carr-West.

  • Scottish finance settlement 'is not enough'

    19 December 2023

    The Scottish Government has said councils will receive the equivalent of a 5% council tax increase next year.

  • Call for MPs' help over ‘inadequate’ settlement

    18 December 2023

    Councils are to turn to MPs to make the case to the Government following the announcement of an ‘inadequate’ £64bn finance settlement.

  • One in four Scottish councils have doubts over budgets

    12 December 2023

    One in four Scottish councils fear they will be unable to balance their 2024-25 budgets, a new Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) Scotland survey has found.

  • One in five councils 'likely' to issue section 114

    06 December 2023

    Almost one in five councils believe bankruptcy is likely within two years, while doubt hangs over next years’ budgets for 70% of counties, according to new surveys.

  • The next level begins

    08 November 2023

    Last month saw the Levelling Up Act receive Royal Assent, but what will that actually mean for local authorities? Martin Ford takes a look.

  • High quality properly funded services must underpin levelling up

    30 October 2023

    Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton says local government funding needs a reset of business rates growth, an update of the data used in the formula and certainty with multi-year settlements if it is to achieve a more resilient long-term footing.

  • Lessons still to learn

    30 October 2023

    It looks like Scotland’s Verity House agreement has fallen at the first hurdle, but in England we should not consign it to the dustbin of failed experiments, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.

  • Upholding the good name of local government

    04 September 2023

    The Government says Oflog will be using data ‘to prompt questions – not judgements’. But, with nervousness in the sector that ‘excessive intervention’ remains a risk, Dan Peters assesses the landscape.

  • Shocked… but not surprised

    04 September 2023

    Dr Jonathan Carr-West remains shocked at the state of local government finance, but it is no longer a revelation. The real surprise would be a solution.

  • Optimistic nihilism

    04 July 2023

    It feels like local government is close to breaking point, but it doesn’t have to be this way, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.

  • The truth about council failures

    19 June 2023

    As the sorry saga of financial failures at the likes of Woking BC and Thurrock Council continues to emerge, Paul Marinko explores the likely consequences and remedies for local government.

  • An out-of-the-ordinary election

    09 May 2023

    Jonathan Carr-West says successive administrations have weakened local government: starving it of power and resources. With less weight and less agency, it is more exposed to the national political weather.

  • Local government resilience will continue to be needed

    18 April 2023

    Norse CEO Justin Galliford looks at the lessons from two recent reports on the state of local government.

  • Election fever

    14 March 2023

    For the first time polling station staff will be faced with having to turn people away and not letting them vote, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West. We’re likely to have large numbers of very disgruntled non-voters, he adds.

  • Levelling Up Fund under fire

    19 January 2023

    Councils have demanded a new way of funding the sector following the announcement of the Levelling Up Fund’s second round winners.

  • The political campaign starts now

    09 January 2023

    The looming General Election means we’re unlikely to see radical progress in social care, local government finance or devolution this year – but we might in 2024, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.

  • Think global, act local on climate change

    16 November 2022

    As the UK’s COP presidency draws to a close, Dr Jonathan Carr-West claims there is too much focus on national and international action on climate change and not enough thought given to local action.