Westminster turmoil piles on uncertainty for sector
Turmoil in Westminster has piled further uncertainty onto local government, as the sector awaits the provisional finance settlement and prepares for trips to the polls.
Ombudsman concerned over council care policies as complaints increase
Council systems and policies are increasingly to blame for a surge in complaints over charges for social care, according to the ombudsman.
Reserves warning in face of predicted overspend
Hartlepool Council has warned it may have to dip into its reserves if it fails to make savings to reduce a £920,000 in-year overspend.
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.
Devolution framework to kick-start 'neo-localist' agenda
The Government’s new devolution framework next month will ‘begin a new conversation about our emerging neo-localist agenda,’ communities secretary James Brokenshire has said.
EXCLUSIVE: The Bucks stops here
Local government secretary James Brokenshire will only invite new unitary proposals in the case of another Northamptonshire CC-type collapse, The MJ understands.
Government 'in denial' over cuts impact
The Government is in a ‘state of denial’ over the damage it is doing through cuts to council funding and its policy on welfare reform, according to a United Nations (UN) report.
Tax experts dismiss local VAT call
Tax experts have dismissed the idea of local VAT despite calls from MPs and the London Finance Commission.
Labour hits out at housing cash shift
Labour has called for all areas to receive greater Government backing after Whitehall shifted the focus of its housing cash.
Burnham leads revolt over 'mounting chaos' in asylum dispersal system
Critics have claimed the Government’s policy on asylum seekers is ‘entirely driven by cost considerations’.
Doubts raised over council house-building revolution
Doubts have been raised over the anticipated council house-building revolution promised by ministers after figures suggested the Government’s predictions may be over-ambitious.
New ethics guidance for under-pressure officers
The organisation representing council finance officers has updated its ethics guidance as the pressure grows on public sector accountants.
EXCLUSIVE: Councillors silenced on secret fiscal devolution report
Senior councillors have been warned not to talk about a secret Local Government Association (LGA) report that models what fiscal devolution might look like, The MJ has been told.
Researchers to look at '200-mile long Whitehall screwdriver'
Experts have laid out their plans to examine whether the Government’s 20-year-old intervention regime remains fit-for-purpose.
EXCLUSIVE: Ministry moves on Brexit
Senior Marsham Street officials have stepped up their preparations for Brexit after complaints from frustrated councils that they were being shut out of the process.
Government races ahead with further voter ID pilots
The Government is to push ahead with further controversial voter ID pilots in the face of criticism that the project is being ‘rushed’.
Theresa May has lifted the cap on how much councils can borrow against their Housing Revenue Account assets – but more problems lie ahead, says Heather Jameson
Chiefs to take on key policy roles for SOLACE
The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) plans to strengthen its leadership team with a string of high-level appointments covering key policy areas.
Seeing the light on fiscal devolution
Boris Johnson has had an epiphany, according to Heather Jameson. While his Conservative Party conference ‘fringe’ session was dismissed as a bit of a damp squib, he has seen the light on fiscal devolution to councils.
Party conferences – big on ideas, small on detail
Party conferences can be odd affairs for local government, says Heather Jameson