Rob Whiteman is chief executive of CIPFA
The financial hole is not as deep as it looks
We can say with confidence that the hole councils are in is not as deep as it looks, says Rob Whiteman - 'but we still have a tremendous amount of work ahead to ensure the financial sustainability of councils, moving forward'.
Consider the risks of terminating COVID support prematurely
Currently additional COVID support beyond June is in doubt. 'The uncertainty this poses for councils cannot be underestimated', says chief executive of CIPFA Rob Whiteman.
The funding puzzle stays unsolved
CIPFA's council tax data revealed the average council tax bills for band D properties in two regions of England will now exceed £2,000. Taxpayers will begin to ask what they get for this, says Rob Whiteman.
Libraries are vital to tackling loneliness
The UK's libraries are a key element in tackling loneliness and isolation, says Rob Whiteman. Yet CIPFA data shows that total spending on libraries in Great Britain has decreased by 2.6% from 2018/19.
What can we take away from Croydon’s s114 notice?
It’s immediately clear from Croydon LBC’s section 114 action that local government must recognise and respect their collective responsibility for maintaining a council’s financial health, says Rob Whiteman.
Move to a true local state
We have now reached a turning point 'where devolution to a true local state would not only achieve improved public service outcomes but could genuinely save lives', says Rob Whiteman.
We share the Redmond Review's key aims
CIPFA supports the key objective of the Redmond Review to ensure the statutory framework for local government financial reporting aids transparency and accountability, and its focus on longer-term sustainability is vital, says Rob Whiteman.
Don’t seek to override local choice on development
Rob Whiteman hopes the ‘sorry episode’ of the Westferry Printworks application ‘once and for all stops the periodic demands from developers to erode councils’ planning powers’
The care home sector 'entered the pandemic on the back foot'
The suggestion that a 'protective ring' was cast around care homes is difficult to swallow, writes Rob Whiteman. The sector was 'certainly not given the tools to cope with any kind of financial shock ahead of time', he adds.
Slipping through the cracks
CIPFA and Xantura have set up a data partnership to support the local authority fight against COVID-19.The key aim is to find and protect those in immediate need, say Rob Whiteman and Wajid Shafiq.
Questioning the quantum
The ‘business as usual’ funding envelope is not enough in a time of emergency. Rob Whiteman advocates a rethink of the planned fair funding review.
The importance of reserves
Coronavirus is going to place an unparalleled strain on local government services, says Rob Whiteman. The instinct of many councils not to plunder their reserves has been entirely vindicated by the arrival of this most rainy of ‘rainy’ days.
Budget 2020: Public Works Loan Board consultation is welcome
The Chancellor’s announcement of a consultation on revising the terms of borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board is welcome, says Rob Whiteman - but the Chancellor’s fiscal announcements 'didn’t match what we in the sector had hoped for'.
A Budget isn't what's needed
By nature a Budget is short-term, says Rob Whiteman. He argues that while more funding is always welcome it does not solve the systemic funding crises facing many areas of the public sector.
How will Brexit impact UK public services?
A area of primary concern for CIPFA is the lack of an economic impact assessment on the Prime Minister's Brexit deal, says Rob Whiteman - and without that we are 'flying blind'.
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.
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.
Rebuilding trust is a long-term ambition
Making local authority accounts more accessible to the modern-day user will help us shape a more transparent tomorrow, says Rob Whiteman
As the dust settles on the Conservative leadership announcements, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy’s (CIPFA) Rob Whiteman writes an open letter to the new Chancellor Sajid Javid hoping for bold, transformative action.
Talking about tomorrow today
How can local leaders ensure the continued health of local government finances and deliver sustainable services, but recapture and retain the faith of their communities in their ability to achieve this? Rob Whiteman explains what needs to be done.