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.
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.
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.
Is this a sustainable first step away from austerity?
Andrew Burns says the Spending Round sent a strong positive signal, but short- and medium-term questions remain over funding – and the macroeconomic climate does little to put services back on a sustainable long-term path.
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.
Money for something
The Spending Round announcement last week seems a positive move for the sector on the face of it, but raises questions over the the future balance between central control and local discretion says David Phillips.