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.
Can't we keep things simple?
Gary Fielding would much rather get his finance team off the accounts as quickly as possible and 'engaged in helping to provide financial management'.
Are reserves such a bad thing?
The public naming of 11 councils deemed at risk of running out of cash reserves has thrown the spotlight on how this money should be spent. Gary Fielding says careful use of reserves can be the solution to a range of issues.
Can we all work smarter?
Gary Fielding says that even if the government loosens austerity, we probably need to do more work on our savings plans - but can we all work smarter?
We need the widest possible look at council finances
The MHCLG review of the money councils get is welcome - but we need a wider look at local authorities' responsibilities and funding from across Government departments, argues Gary Fielding.
A good plan is more important than ever
In the absence of facts - whatever they may be these days - we need to make assumptions based upon our best professional judgement, says Gary Fielding. 'Never has it felt more important that we have a good plan', he adds.