What are the chances of a Budget boost?
New SIGOMA analysis highlights the huge decline in funding in recent years and the sector desperately needs a boost, says Heather Jameson. 'But the chances of one arriving in a tax-slashing pre-election Budget are slim.'
Turning local goverment’s fortunes around
Kevin Muldoon-Smith and Mark Sandford look to Germany, Italy and Japan for inspiration as they put forward four proposals for transforming the fortunes of local government finance in England
Audit Commission fears continue to haunt Oflog
A senior sector figure has expressed concerns about the Office for Local Government’s (Oflog) direction of travel.
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.
MPs question Oflog independence
MPs have questioned whether the Office for Local Government’s (Oflog) work can be ‘truly independent’ as it prepares to begin council visits this summer.
Oflog data explorer to cover all main sector services by mid-2025
The Office for Local Government’s data explorer will cover all the main services offered by the sector by the middle of next year, the watchdog has pledged.
LGA moves towards performance support role
The Local Government Association (LGA) is to take a more proactive role as it seeks to do more to prevent Whitehall intervention in councils, The MJ understands.
Time for a new economic playbook for place
More than ever, place-making needs to be at the centre of what councils do and not at a single spatial level. A coherent national plan is needed, says Robin Tuddenham.
ALACE warns of mental health risk from inspections
The chief executives’ trade union has revealed it already supports officers responding to inspection reports, as mental health fears grow with the emergence of watchdog Oflog.
Providing piecemeal offerings fails to fix the underlying causes
'As the public sector purse becomes tighter at a time when demand outstrips supply, a longer-term strategic style of service delivery emerges as a platform for reform', says Rob Whiteman.
Expanding Oflog’s vision
Jack Shaw says the Office for Local Government needs to go further than its current long-term vision, and moving to a statutory footing would mean it could set up a more robust performance regime.
John hits out after being ditched by Oflog
A former London Councils chair has hit out at the Office for Local Government (Oflog) ditching him from a review team at the eleventh hour.
Oflog chair recruitment to begin
Recruitment of a permanent chair for the Office for Local Government (Oflog) will begin later this month.
Radical overhaul required to drag us into the 21st century
From central government and the NHS, to police, prisons and local government: the ‘state of the state’ is dire, says Heather Jameson. 'There are few quick fixes, but propping up the status quo is not an option.'
A huge year – but will local government’s voice be heard?
'While politicians are holding the line – that councils have plenty of cash and financial failure equals poor management – there are indications that they know it’s not so clear cut', says Heather Jameson.
Oflog chair ‘aware of the systemic pressures’
Chair of the Office for Local Government (Oflog), Lord Morse, has said he wants to ‘set the record straight’ over a controversial interview.
Lord Morse: I do not blame all council failure on 'bad management'
A recent newspaper article portrayed him wrongly as arguing that any council financial failure could only be due to ‘bad management’, says Lord Morse.
'A lot to be done' to improve councils' governance
There is ‘a lot to be done’ to improve management in failing local authorities, the sector watchdog’s chair has said.
The more things change
Funding and asylum policy are just two of the themes that have bookended an eventful year in local government. Martin Ford and Ann McGauran look at some of the big developments and talking points from the year as the sector braces for 2024.
Future Forum North: 'Move Oflog out of London for independence'
If the new Office for Local Government (Oflog) wants to demonstrate its independence it should moved out of London.