• The business rates system needs to go

    18 September 2020

    Today is the deadline for the call for evidence for the Treasury’s  review of business rates. Rather than tinkering with the current system, it needs to go, writes Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton. 

  • EXCLUSIVE: Survey reveals spending control plans

    01 September 2020

    A dozen metropolitan councils have been forced to impose spending controls or plan to do so, survey results shared exclusively with The MJ have revealed.

  • Where do we go from here to ‘level up’ this country?

    09 June 2020

    The survival of the local state might be at stake, but this ‘failing’ is not of its own making, says Dr Arianna Giovannini. Our ‘broken centralised system of governance is the root cause of the meltdown that most councils are facing’, she adds.

  • Our first responsibility is to be a good ancestor

    20 May 2020

    We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with Government and trust that the original commitment to ensuring councils have ‘whatever it takes’ will stand, says Tony Kirkham.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Lincoln and Stevenage latest to make Section 114 warning

    15 May 2020

    Lincoln City Council and Stevenage BC have become the latest local authorities to warn ministers they may soon have to consider issuing a Section 114 notice.

  • Fair redistribution must play a continuing part in council funding

    18 December 2019

    SIGOMA chair Sir Stephen Houghton trusts ministers will ‘recognise the key role that councils must play in their ambition for a united and equal nation’ - and Government should commit to supporting the same level of service across the country.

  • Right to buy hinders housing, claims Houghton

    27 November 2019

    Right to buy is ‘the biggest thing that gets in the way’ of council housebuilding and the policy should be scrapped, according to the chair of the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA).

  • ‘We are arguing about a system that’s just flawed’

    27 November 2019

    Sir Steve Houghton talks to Ann McGauran about the funding challenges faced by metropolitan districts and urban unitary authorities – and what the next Government needs to deliver to the ‘hardest-hit’ places.

  • Jenrick: Spending Round puts sector on 'more sustainable footing'

    10 September 2019

    The Spending Round has put local government on a ‘far stronger and more sustainable footing for the future,’ communities secretary Robert Jenrick has told The MJ.

  • Short-term funding does not make for long-term solutions

    09 September 2019

    The chancellor's Spending Round may have brought some respite for local authorities, but there is still no long-term solution, says SIGOMA chair Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • Cash to be held back from LEPs unless stalemate broken

    24 July 2019

    Boris Johnson’s new ministers will be tasked with ending the stalemate on overlapping local enterprise partnerships (LEP) after a crunch meeting failed to secure a breakthrough.

  • Porter in top up cash call

    04 June 2019

    Councils will need a cash top up if the political turmoil forces the new Prime Minister to delay plans for a three-year Spending Review, Local Government Association (LGA) chairman Lord Porter has warned.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Call for inspection pause in case of Brexit hit

    10 April 2019

    Council chiefs have urged Whitehall to be ready to ease pressures on the sector for up to six months if Brexit threatens to stretch capacity.

  • Mets feeling deprived over funding formula

    06 February 2019

    Can the sector reach a consensus on the weighting given to deprivation in the fair funding formula? Ann McGauran examines the local government reaction

  • Met councils' chair says proposed changes to funding formula 'grossly unfair'

    21 January 2019

    The chair of the Special Interest Group of Metropolitan Authorities (SIGOMA)  has written to James Brokenshire complaining  about ‘grossly unfair’ and ‘illogical’  proposed changes to the fair funding formula.

  • Call a halt to fiscal gerrymandering, says SIGOMA

    24 September 2018

    Council finances have been skewed by the Government directing more cash towards wealthier authorities, a coalition of urban councils has claimed. 

  • Simplified rates retention approach mooted

    13 August 2018

    A separate grant to reward councils that help Government achieve its policy objectives under business rates retention could be introduced, The MJ understands.

  • LGA backs transition grant

    29 November 2017

    The Local Government Association (LGA) has backed calls for an extension of the controversial transition grant, The MJ understands.

  • Concentrate on consensus

    29 November 2017

    Chair of the Special Interest Group for Municipal Authorities, Sir Stephen Houghton, urges local government to resist the temptation to argue among itself on fair funding.

  • Business rates appeals process in 'disarray'

    28 September 2017

    The Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA) new business rates appeals process is in ‘disarray,’ council finance chiefs have claimed after further delays were confirmed.