How two councils are facing the cultural challenge of cybersecurity together
Budget challenges as a consequence of austerity led Bolton and Wigan Council Partnership to take a fresh look at its cyber security response to the changing threat landscape. This has led to deeper innovation, says Dave Pearce
Newham to improve financial management after £9m fraud allegations
The mayor of Newham has announced plans to form a commission to advise the council on how to ‘become a beacon of good practice’ in its financial management.
It’s all about inclusion
Once at the forefront of diversity, local government is now struggling to keep up the momentum. A recent MJ/Green Park round table looked at some of the issues. Heather Jameson reports
Who will protect us from the bullies?
Where there is a bullying problem there is also a lack of confidence in HR to tackle it - and it is their role to police personnel policies and ensure fair play, argues Blair Mcpherson
In the real world those with an independent spirit, a willingness to challenge authority and the courage to back their own judgement do move up the local government career ladder, says Blair Mcpherson.
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.
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.
Breaking down the barriers to change
A survey of local authority chief executives and directors by The MJ and BT found strong resistance to transformational change among their management teams. The issues were discussed at a round table with senior staff in the Midlands
In recruitment the art is more important that the science
Julie Towers advocates rigorous assessment and due diligence to test the suitability, experience and capability of candidates; but in her view it’s the ‘art’ that is more important.
Opportunities for the brave lie ahead
How can local authorities best harness the talents of their future workforce – and could councils be replaced by entirely new sorts of organisations? Ann McGauran reports on a recent round table debate hosted by Penna considering the big questions
EXCLUSIVE: Top 10 most productive councils revealed
‘Fetishising failure’ distracts increasingly scarce management time away from improving outcomes, according to a new report naming the top 10 most productive councils in England.
Is AI a big opportunity or merely Big Brother?
Artificial intelligence could streamline the delivery of council services but are local authorities or indeed their residents ready for such change? A recent round table debate hosted by The MJ and Zurich Municipal examined these key questions as Michael Burton reports
Social media: steering a path
Research by The MJ and the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives shows approximately seven out of 10 council bosses use Twitter for work – but Dan Peters wonders if they are making the most of the ‘huge benefits’ social media can offer
Working for a Brighter Future
Kath O’Dwyer reveals how an LGA review of Cheshire East Council’s organisational culture has been used as a springboard to improving the skills and experience of the workforce as well as encouraging employee retention
'New beginning' for Bristol after 'significant void'
Bristol City Council (BCC) ‘lost a year’ due to inertia caused by a lack of officer leadership, Local Government Association peers have been told.
Reassurance and revolution
Steve Mair closed the door to his office at Westminister City Council for good at the end of October. The future for local government’s top finance teams will involve ‘radical change,’ he predicts
EXCLUSIVE: Middle management delaying transformation
Transformational change is being delayed by staff resistance especially at middle management level, according to an exclusive survey of senior council directors and chief executives by The MJ and BT.
Overspend could hit £600,000 by March
South Lakeland DC is on track to overspend more than £500,000 by next spring if no action is taken.