Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton

  • Vicious cycle curbs prevention

    21 May 2024

    The significant variation across the country in the rates of children in care highlights the importance of preventative services, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • Budget leaves councils in peril

    08 March 2024

    Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton says many will highlight that cuts in local government spending mean the return of austerity – ‘but council leaders will know that it never went away’.

  • The impact of ending the Household Support Fund would be disastrous

    28 February 2024

    The Household Support Fund is a crucial way for councils to help residents with the costs of living and should be top priority in the upcoming Budget, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • Cuts put hard squeeze on most deprived councils

    27 February 2024

    New analysis reveals upper tier local authorities in the most deprived decile have seen a real-terms cut in their core spending power of more than a quarter since 2010-11, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • High quality properly funded services must underpin levelling up

    30 October 2023

    Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton says local government funding needs a reset of business rates growth, an update of the data used in the formula and certainty with multi-year settlements if it is to achieve a more resilient long-term footing.

  • Funding formulas are back in the news

    11 September 2023

    Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton says small steps can be taken to begin to fix a broken system of council funding. ‘For starters, there needs to be a proper recognition of deprivation in funding formulas.’

  • The fight against unfair cuts must continue

    11 July 2023

    The upcoming election offers a fantastic opportunity to get debates around local government funding into the mainstream, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • Budget 2023: The austerity elephant

    17 March 2023

    Forced cutbacks and savings from councils over the next few years risk outweighing the new regeneration projects and partnerships announced this week, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • The success of Labour’s 5 Missions will depend on councils being properly funded

    01 March 2023

    As the Labour Party begins to release more information on how its 5 Missions are to be achieved, the role of local government should be placed front and centre, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • Making the case for leisure centres

    25 January 2023

    Joining the dots between funding cuts and the impact on life expectancy has not been hard, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton. It’s time for the Government to step in and keep at-risk leisure facilities open, he adds.

  • Councils deserve better from the Government

    22 December 2022

    The provisional financial settlement fails to offer any real Christmas cheer for local authorities, and 'the ghost of settlements-past still haunt our councils', says chair of SIGOMA Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • How Gove can resurrect ‘levelling up’

    31 October 2022

    Chair of the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) Cllr Stephen Houghton has three recommendations for getting the levelling up agenda back up and running.

  • More grant funding, not devolved tax powers, will support levelling up

    31 August 2022

    Sir Stephen Houghton says fiscal devolution is not a ‘levelling up’ silver bullet – and a new reformed local government finance system where funding is based on need is required.

  • Deprivation should be the cornerstone of council funding

    21 July 2022

    The Fair Funding Review presents a huge opportunity to get ‘levelling up’ back on track, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • Rampant inflation will impact poorest most

    30 June 2022

    Chair of the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities, Sir Stephen Houghton, says unless emergency support is provided to councils this financial year local authorities face a chilling return to austerity.

  • Government must back up claim that UKSPF provides real terms match

    04 May 2022

    If the Government is sure the UK Shared Prosperity Fund provides a real terms match for every LEP area, then they should release the comparative data that backs up their argument, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • How ‘levelling up’ got left out of the Spring Statement

    29 March 2022

    The chancellor mentioned the ‘levelling up’ agenda just once in his Spring Statement. Without serious financial backing, the missions in the White Paper are at risk of remaining unfulfilled, says chair of SIGOMA Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.

  • Government must support councils on the COVID frontline

    25 March 2022

    If the financial pressure for councils due to COVID is continuing then government support must follow – including the continuation of the Contain Outbreak Management Fund, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton of SIGOMA.