Ian Miller

  • We're not the 'parents'

    07 July 2020

    District and shire county councils would all face abolition if the Government’s formula for the devolution White Paper is implemented, says Ian Miller. And let’s hope Whitehall doesn’t think town and parish councils will need 'parenting', he adds.


  • The Government has moved away from undertaking to meet the pandemic's costs

    19 May 2020

    The finances of districts and other councils, already under strain before the pandemic, may deteriorate further, writes Ian Miller. - and questions about which services can be sustained are among those that will come to the fore.


  • We need to be ready to cope with the next shock

    27 March 2020

    When the opportunity to reflect comes, Ian Miller feels the conclusion may be reached that the UK was not well prepared for COVID-19.


  • Councils need a breathing space

    23 March 2020

    Councils’ priorities are now focused on fighting coronavirus, says Ian Miller – and this urgently requires a Government-wide approach suspending policy and legislative initiatives for at least three months.


  • Sharing of powers is not devolution

    12 February 2020

    District councils need a broader range of fiscal devolution, starting with the taxes, fees and charges that councils already collect, says Ian Miller.


  • Don't seek to frustrate legitimate use of powers by the back door

    03 December 2019

    Councils must have regard to the MHCLG guidance on investments, says Ian Miller. But a power to give guidance 'is not a power to limit councils' statutory powers by diktat', he adds.


  • Spending Round still leaves uncertainties

    09 October 2019

    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.


  • Scrap the cap on council tax

    05 September 2019

    Ian Miller issues a call to arms to give councils freedom over council tax rises to truly 'turn the page on austerity'.


  • Districts are still waiting for those funding assurances

    20 August 2019

    The opening of the Treasury's purse since the new Prime Minister came into office may augur well for district councils and the rest of local government, says Ian Miller.


  • It's time for a radical rethink on exit payments

    03 July 2019

    The Treasury's proposals for a cap on exit payments need a radical rethink - and ministers must also rapidly address a shopping list of more important issues for districts, says Ian Miller..


  • Counting the costs of the 'break-neck speed' EU elections

    04 June 2019

    Returning officer Ian Miller writes in a personal capacity about the lessons Government and the House of Commons must learn after two major elections within three weeks - and he backs the recent Localis call for five-year terms for councillors.


  • Counting the costs of the EU Exit process

    15 May 2019

    When the dust settles on the UK's departure from the European Union there will surely be a formal public inquiry into how the government has handled the process, says Ian Miller


  • Counting the cost of Defra's waste plans

    26 March 2019

    A plethora of issues affecting districts keeps emerging from Whitehall, says Ian Miller - but making it easier for those with two homes to know which bin to use is not a sensible basis for policy development.


  • A wasteful proposal

    06 February 2019

    A universal free garden waste collection service cannot represent an efficient use of Government resources, even if funding could be extracted from packaging producers, says Ian Miller


  • Let's have fiscal levers for local areas

    28 November 2018

    The Government should take steps to enable local areas to fund services through various fiscal levers and such flexibilities would not cost it a penny in extra grant, says Ian Miller.


  • Ups and downs for districts

    21 August 2018

    Ian Miller gives an overview of the latest decisions and indecisions to affect district councils.


  • Our economies are constrained by centuries old boundaries

    04 July 2018

    Ian Miller calls for a bottom up approach to LEP boundaries in the future.


  • Calls for a new Audit Commission are an affront to localism

    25 April 2018

    Ian Miller rejects recent calls for the reinvention of the Audit Commission.


  • Truth hates delay

    27 February 2018

    The Government can’t keep using the 2017 General Election and work on Brexit as excuses for inaction, writes Ian Miller.


  • Let's hope the ministry works with us on finance

    16 January 2018

    Ian Miller analyses the impacts of the finance settlement on districts.