Today things feel tougher than they ever have
We remain unsighted on the totality of financial support for coronavirus in this year, says Gary Fielding - and without a Spending Review there is no clarity beyond next March. Out of all of this councils still need to have a plan for the future.
Council planning powers under threat
Planning powers could be shifted from local authorities to development corporations as part of an economic stimulus package to be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson later this month.
Recognition for the work of our unspoken heroes
The lack of PPE for frontline care staff is utterly shameful, says Heather Jameson, but not the most shameful thing highlighted during the pandemic. The attacks on key council staff risking their own health to help others are disgraceful, she adds.
No chance of a return to Groundhog Day
One clear lesson from the virus is how much we need properly-funded public services, writes Michael Burton - and 'with a tidal wave of support for the public sector this is not the time for the Government to be revisiting Groundhog Day 2010'.
There is still plenty for this Government to ‘get done’
The Budget package does not give councils any certainty over funding for the short to medium term, let alone the long term, and failed to address much-needed reforms to social care, says Solace spokesman for finance Martin Reeves.
Budget 2020: Sunak gambles on capital spending splurge
Despite volatility caused by coronavirus and a sluggish increase in the economy, the chancellor has decided to gamble that a big increase in capital spending will deliver higher growth and productivity by the next election.
Infrastructure means more than counting cranes
Local government and wider public services have a challenge, says Graeme McDonald. How do we ensure investment in immediate preventative activities is able to compete for finite resources with investment in tangible 'bricks and mortar' projects?
EXCLUSIVE: Shared prosperity fund to be linked to devolution
The new regime for doling out structural funding after the Brexit transition period will be closely linked to the Government’s devolution agenda, The MJ has learnt.
A Budget isn't what's needed
By nature a Budget is short-term, says Rob Whiteman. He argues that while more funding is always welcome it does not solve the systemic funding crises facing many areas of the public sector.
‘Local works best’
The fact that devolution hasn’t happened yet across Yorkshire ‘isn’t for the want of trying’, says Tom Riordan. But he adds that a solution may finally be close, and it’s vital that all parts of the region benefit.
Exploring all the options
The ‘radical rethink’ needed to reform the adult social care system calls for bold decisions, full exploration of all the options – and a funding solution that may need some manoeuvring around manifesto pledges on tax, says Cllr Dave Fothergill.
Better reform for better lives
Social care is being addressed as a priority in Number 10. President of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) Julie Ogley talks to Ann McGauran about what she hopes will emerge.
Localis hired for fiscal devolution study
The Local Government Association has commissioned research to better understand how greater control of financial and fiscal levers might operate in non-metropolitan areas.
‘We must do more than tinker at the edges’
The system needs a truly sustainable multi-year financial settlement to ensure children and young people with SEND get the support they need, argues Phil Norrey.
Bridging the divide
The Prime Minister’s aim of bringing the country back together is welcome, says Lord Kerslake - and dovetails with the UK 2070 Commission’s findings on the scale and direction of travel of the imbalance between North and South.
This will be a different Conservative Government
Head of local government at Grant Thornton UK, Paul Dossett, says the fact that the Conservative majority has been won by gaining seats in towns in Wales, the Midlands and the north of England will make a difference.
The year that was
It’s been a year notable for things that never were – the Spending Review, social care Green Paper, devolution framework or, indeed, Brexit. But proof emerged that most male councillors are actually called John.
All we want for Christmas is
In all, 2019 is a year epitomised more by deficiencies than its successes, says Heather Jameson. We are still awaiting the adult social care Green Paper; the Spending Review; the devolution framework; the local government finance settlement.
Devolution legislation planned for Queen's Speech
The Government is planning to launch the next round of devolution legislation in the Queen’s Speech, The MJ understands.
Metro mayors call for place-based funding
England’s nine metro mayors have urged the Government to take a place-based approach to funding in the 2020 Spending Review.