• SIGOMA moots 'three-block' funding for councils

    21 October 2021

    A new ‘three block’ system of funding local government has been mooted by a group of urban authorities in the run up to next week’s spending review.

  • Expect tax double whammy on residents to pay for social care

    30 September 2021

    After a long wait, the Government’s announcements offer nothing for local authorities or the care sector, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • Levelling up too focused on infrastructure, claims report

    14 September 2021

    Ministers’ ‘levelling up’ agenda is too focused on new infrastructure projects at the expense of improving key public services, councils representing English towns and cities have warned.

  • Why we’re being levelled down

    01 September 2021

    Levelling up should be about quality sustainable public services supporting those most in need, according to Sir Stephen Houghton. But, he points out, the deficit faced by SIGOMA member councils is more than £350m in this financial year.

  • It’s only a win if everyone succeeds

    27 July 2021

    For SIGOMA members – unitary and metropolitan councils across England – funding service fairly is the key, says Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • MPs call for urgent finance reforms

    19 July 2021

    Councils should be given more flexibility to raise their own taxes and social care funding urgently needs to be reformed, MPs have said.

  • Building back better and fairer

    22 March 2021

    Tameside MBC’s Budget and focus on Inclusive Growth offers a platform to work together to seize an opportunity to build a new and better future, argues Cllr Oliver Ryan.

  • Business rates are past their sell-by date

    25 January 2021

    Business rates are an unsustainable way to fund local government, argues chair of SIGOMA Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, and he believes what cannot be delivered locally from council tax should be met from national taxation.

  • Urban councils' fears over debt recovery rules

    22 December 2020

    Urban councils have voiced concern over new rules that could prevent them from recovering council tax debts.

  • Spending review: Treading water next year is our best hope

    30 November 2020

    Chair of SIGOMA Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton says Spending Review 2020 is a missed opportunity ‘and will mean the best that many of our councils can hope for next year is treading water’,

  • More Section 114 notices predicted next year

    13 November 2020

    Local authorities are facing deep cuts to frontline services and Section 114 notices next year, the sector has warned.

  • 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.