Future Forum North: 'It's councils and councillors who are trusted to shape local places'
With less than a week left before the General Election, the chief executive of the Local Government Association (LGA) has highlighted ‘it’s councils and councillors who are trusted to shape what goes on locally’.
‘We are arguing about a system that’s just flawed’
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.
Get rid of 'delays, deadlock and paralysis'
Continuing to stumble through this 'political Groundhog Day' has real consequences for the services that affect real people every day, says Rob Whiteman - and it’s well past time their needs came to the top of the political agenda.
Spending promises ignore the state’s changing nature
Michael Burton asks how much of the 'largesse, if any' of both of the main parties' election spending pledges might flow back into local government, which has borne the brunt of cuts in the last decade.
Working together after the storm
At first glance there’s much for local government to get its teeth into in the Queen’s Speech, not least the promise of further devolution, says Bob Neill. But more frustratingly the wait continues for the Green Paper on social care.
Investment is at risk from borrowing hike
Increasing the interest rate on borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board puts much-needed investment at risk and to do it without consultation doesn't say much for the relationship between local government and the Treasury, says Tony Kirkham.
Kent’s very own powerhouse
Cllr Paul Carter has stepped down as leader of Kent CC. Now he plans to apply his energies to local care and the vocational agenda, including apprenticeships. Ann McGauran reports
Working towards collective responsibility in financial management
Rob Whiteman says CIPFA’s Financial Management (FM) code launched today will provide consistent standards for the sector, rooted in transparency.
Spending Round still leaves uncertainties
The proposed threshold of 2% for referenda on 'excessive' council tax increases is a retrograde step, when the principle was 3% for the current financial year, says Ian Miller.
Putting our finances on a secure footing
Andrew Burns examines how councils can ensure financial sustainability and put local services on the right path.
Brexit casts its shadow over budgets
This week’s Green Budget by the Institute for Fiscal Studies warns that the increases in the Spending Round still need to be funded, by tax rises or more borrowing, while a bad Brexit deal will jeopardise the public finances. Michael Burton reports.
Austerity could be back, warns IFS
Austerity could make a comeback if the Government is unable to fund its spending increases through tax rises or more borrowing, according to the ‘Green Budget’ published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Don't erode new funding with fresh obligations
The Spending Round was good news for councils, but if there is a systematic erosion of that funding with new obligations 'it risks leaving a sour taste', says Gary Fielding.
Norfolk considers £16m new savings
Norfolk CC is considering new savings of £15.8m next year on top of already-agreed savings of £31.1m in 2020/21.
Easing the homeless crisis
Ann McGauran reports on the alarming rise in homelessness and what local authorities are doing to mitigate its effects.
Austerity takes a back seat – for the election
The election battleground is now about which party can be more forceful in turning its back on austerity, says Michael Burton - but the reality of new spending pledges should also be examined carefully.
Solace preview: A good start, but there are decisions to make
Speakers at next month's Solace Summit Paul Johnson and Ben Zaranko say big choices remain for the sector’s finance system following the Spending Round – particularly around the distribution of funding across councils.
A solid financial result
The annoucement of £3.5bn for councils in the Spending Round was a solid result for districts, with many asks being met, says Cllr John Fuller. For the moment, he is focused on making the case for establishing a stable financial future.
Where next for devolution?
The Government needs to turn its devolution vows into action, by showing that its renewed enthusiasm has solid foundations and is more than 'mere pork barrelling', says Arianna Giovannini.
Buckle up, it's going to be bumpy
Louise Round says districts have received small amounts of cash to help with planning for the impact of a no deal scenario, but this in no way compensates for the amount of time this planning is taking.