The PAC casts a gimlet eye on the ministry
The phrase ‘glass houses and throwing stones’ comes to mind when Government departments finger wag at local authorities over managing resources, says Michael Burton.
MPs savage abandoned £192m housing scheme
A £192m affordable housing programme that failed to deliver any homes has been labelled ‘deplorable’ by the Public Accounts Committee.
Lawyers brought in over Towns Fund row
Legal advisers have been summoned to break a deadlock between civil servants and MPs over a key document relating to the Towns Fund.
Senior ministry officials to be quizzed by MPs
Senior government officials will be hauled in front of MPs next week after a rare move from the Public Accounts Committee.
Spelthorne councillors to be more involved in commercial decisions after criticism
Spelthorne BC councillors will be more involved in future investment-related decisions after the council’s borrowing was criticised for ignoring government guidance.
Government intervention threat over code flouters
The Government has warned councils could be subject to statutory intervention if they continue to ignore the prudential framework.
Mayors snubbed over Towns Fund
Ministers ignored advice to consult mayors during the controversial selection process for the Towns Fund, MPs have been told.
EXCLUSIVE: Whitehall draws up early warning system
The Government is plotting to create an early warning system alerting Whitehall to councils that may be in trouble, The MJ can reveal.
Committee condemns ‘pie-in-the-sky’ cladding promises
Thousands of people are at risk because of ‘serious shortcomings’ in the Government’s long-term response to the Grenfell Tower fire, MPs have said.
Government reaffirms support for LEPs
The Government has reaffirmed its support for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) ahead of this autumn’s local recovery and devolution White Paper.
Ministers: Don't rely on more funding
Ministers have warned councils not to rely on more funding on top of the announcements made so far.
Government handling of social care during pandemic attacked
MPs have delivered a blistering attack on the Government’s handling of social care during coronavirus.
MPs slate ministers over sector funding
MPs have slated ministers for failing to give local government sufficient funding and urged them to ensure a 'clear and timely financial settlement’ in readiness for the next phase of the pandemic.
Ministry was 'blind' to council investment risks, says PAC
Ministers have been blind to the risk of commercial investments by councils, Parliament’s spending watchdog has claimed.
Government 'failed to prepare' on PPE, say MPs
The Government has failed to ensure there is enough personal protective equipment (PPE) in the event of a second wave of coronavirus, a watchdog warned today.
Watchdog head in 'bankruptcy' warning
The head of Parliament’s financial watchdog has warned that ‘a lot’ of councils remained at risk of ‘effectively going bankrupt’ despite another £500m cash injection.
It makes good sense to diversify income
Some of the commentary on commerciality implies councils are going into these investments recklessly, and that is simply not the case, says Simone Hines. Continuing to be creative and innovative with council finances is going to be vital, she adds.
The COVID review is yet to come
The NAO is being careful not to compromise the emergency response to COVID-19, but there will be a review to come, says Abdool Kara
Government to review commercial investment data
The Government will review the data it collects on commercial investments by councils after it was accused of ‘flying blind’ by a senior MP.
Treasury criticised for 'attack' on council sovereignty
A Treasury crackdown on local authorities using cheap finance to buy commercial property for rental income is an ‘attack on the sovereignty of councils,’ a senior councillor has said.