Sector calls for closer working after COVID confusion
The Government has been told it must work more closely with local authorities to successfully emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.
Working our way back to normality
Steve Guest says creating and maintaining COVID-safe and sustainable working environments is just the first step – and ‘workspace’ thinking is the way forwards – as we return from the pandemic.
Let's continue to open national politicians’ and civil servants’ eyes to the potential of local government
Writing in advance of the Queen's Speech, Graeme McDonald wondered if it would set up a new relationship between Whitehall and councils. or leave local government fighting for relevance within a Westminster-imposed straightjacket.
Getting the basics right on standards
Joanne Roney says it is ‘high time’ the Government responded to the recommendations in the 2019 Committee for Standards in Public Life’s report on ethical standards in local government.
EXCLUSIVE: Cross-cutting regions project faces Whitehall downgrade
The scheme was designed to unite Whitehall departments and regions across the country.
Storm brewing over exit payment data demands
Government demands for details of senior staff pay-offs have been branded ‘particularly pernicious’ and unfairly aimed at local government.
Forging a top team in the middle of a crisis
Recruited during the pandemic, St Helens MBC’s new senior management have only physically met once. But they have created a high performing top team that’s now working hard on reset and recovery. Kath O’Dwyer highlights what has been achieved so far.
Bucket list for fixing council finances
Co-designing a truly sustainable finance system for councils for the long-term ‘won’t be quick and it won’t be easy’, says Martin Reeves. A few more years of ‘make do and mend’ will not work for our communities and economies, he adds.
The importance of data and networks in advancing racial equality
Over the last six months Graeme McDonald has been a commissioner on Tower Hamlets’ Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission. What stuck out for him in the recommendations from the final report?
A conference has delved into the most crucial issues facing local government public health leaders and their communities a year on from the first lockdown. Ann McGauran reports.
Pandemic forces finance reform rethink
Whitehall plans for local government finance reform were thrown into doubt this week after civil servants indicated the pandemic would force them to rethink.
Plea for commitment to finance reform
Local government has asked for short-term certainty and long-term reform of funding for the sector.
A tale of two Budgets?
While the Budget delivered an economic quick fix, critics have highlighted its silence on support for public services and rising inequality, and a ‘scattergun’ approach to levelling up. Heather Jameson reports.
Public health commissioning move 'illogical'
A suggestion from the body representing NHS trusts that the commissioning of key public health services should be removed from local government is ‘illogical,’ councils have said.
LGA code of conduct 'unlikely to gain traction'
The Local Government Association’s model code of conduct is ‘unlikely to gain any traction across the sector’ because of the lack of sanctions breaches attract, council chief executives have warned Whitehall.
Local public health proves its worth in a crisis
COVID has emphasised the importance of public health teams being part of local government, says Professor Maggie Rae. But councils need the resources to address the fallout from this pandemic and prepare for the next one.
Procurement in the time of pandemic
One of the largest studies into how the annual £100bn local government procurement spend is being dispensed during the pandemic has just been launched. Its project director Dr Richard Simmons outlines the study’s aims.
Work and wellbeing in a COVID world
Gemma Stevenson-Coupe emphasises the importance of ensuring the mental health and wellbeing of yourself and your colleagues as the pandemic forcibly changes the environment we live and work in.
Finding more funding
A flurry of Government grants have been received by local authorities in the wake of the pandemic. While this has helped some councils stabilise finances, what longer-term approach is needed to balance budgets? Martin Ford reports.
Fresh calls for standards code sanctions
Fresh calls for meaningful sanctions on badly behaving councillors were made this week after the Local Government Association (LGA) unanimously approved a model code of conduct.