A delicate balance
Whether it will achieve its lofty, yet nebulous, objectives and relentless focus north of the Watford Gap, the Government’s levelling up agenda has a long way to go. Martin Ford reports.
A chance to show long term vision on levelling up
This year’s spending round must focus on supporting places to managing the virus while signalling the longer-term strategy for building resilience into recovery, says Rosie Stock Jones.
The positive process of peer review
Tony Kirkham recently took part in a Local Government Association peer review. He says the process was intensive and hard work - but he 'enjoyed every minute'.
DCN: Council tax allowance not sufficient
The Government’s proposed council tax referendum threshold of 2% or £5 for shire district councils is ‘not sufficient,’ the District Councils’ Network (DCN) has said.
The sector cannot simply make blank cheque arguments
It will be crucial to show the new Government that investing in local government will provide a return for ministers, says Simon Edwards.
Jenrick hails 'biggest multi-billion pound spending increase in a decade'
Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed what he describes as the ‘biggest multi-billion pound spending increase for councils in a decade’.
Counties are key to unleashing the entire country's potential
David Williams says Boris Johnson’s Government has been elected on a domestic pledge to ‘level-up’ the ‘left-behind’ parts of the country, and, in taking his agenda forward, it has a ready and willing partner in counties.
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.
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.