Emergency settlement call as councils face financial cliff-edge
Calls have been made by a think-tank for a one-year emergency local government settlement with councils facing a ‘financial cliff-edge’.
Bringing new members up to speed on funding
England’s new cadre of councillors need to navigate a perfect storm of financial challenges. How can finance directors help them cope successfully with the complexities they face? Ann McGauran reports
Rolling out a new institutionalism
Dr Jonathan Carr-West wonders if, alongside new localism, we need a new institutionalism too?
Combined strategy call to tackle homelessness
The Government should commit to a coherent combined housing and homelessness strategy, a report published today by a commission of experts has urged after a year-long investigation.
Government bidding culture attacked
The growing trend of forcing councils to bid for small, policy-specific grants has been attacked as an ‘inefficient use of public resources’ by a think-tank.
The local is where the repairs begin
The things these elections should really be about – homes, schools, high streets, care and children’s services - are being fatally undermined by dysfunctional national politics, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.
Further delay to devolution drive
The Government’s repeatedly-delayed devolution framework will not be published until after Brexit, minister Jake Berry has admitted.
Government to push ahead with 75% rates retention in 2020/21
Whitehall will push ahead with plans to implement 75% business rates retention in 2020/21 despite calls for a one-year delay, The MJ understands.
Fighting back against homelessness
A year ago the Local Government Homelessness Commission (LGHC) was launched by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU). Ann McGauran looks at what evidence it uncovered and what recommendations are likely to emerge.
Whitehall pledges Brexit improvement
Civil servants have insisted they are working to improve information sharing with local authorities around Brexit.
Squeezed and broken
Dr Jonathan Carr-West urges local government to make a unified case for greater funding, by seizing the moment in the run-up to the Spending Review
EXCLUSIVE: Down to the core
Six out of 10 senior council figures admit their authority is now only delivering a basic core offer of service, The MJ and LGiU think-tank’s annual local government finance survey has revealed.
Mind the gap
The MJ/LGiU survey exposes the growing gap between the public’s expectations and councils’ ability to deliver – with nearly two-thirds of respondents (61%) providing only ‘a little bit more’ than their statutory obligations.
Mets feeling deprived over funding formula
Can the sector reach a consensus on the weighting given to deprivation in the fair funding formula? Ann McGauran examines the local government reaction
LGA backs deprivation in fair funding row
The Local Government Association (LGA) has broken its silence to back the importance of deprivation in the fair funding debate that threatens to divide the sector.
Female empowerment is in need of a boost
Women are under-represented in local government leadership roles and the West Midlands is behind the rest of the UK. Ann McGauran examines how this imbalance can be rectified
Cracking the code
The complexity of the budgetary challenges faced by English councils has raised the alarm within the sector about its ability to resist future financial shocks. Will CIPFA's new resilience index help? Ann McGauran reports
Denver tax 'demonstrates fiscal devolution need'
The introduction of a 0.25% sales tax in Denver is ‘further proof of the need for devolved political power in the UK,’ a local government finance expert has suggested.
The extra-ordinary people doing extraordinary things
The individual councillors celebrated in the LGiU C’llr Achievement Awards are part of the glue that holds civic life together, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West
Tax experts dismiss local VAT call
Tax experts have dismissed the idea of local VAT despite calls from MPs and the London Finance Commission.