It's time for councils to politely say 'no'

Cooperating with a Government request for details of councils’ four-day week practices would encourage an unhealthy focus on this issue, says Ian Miller.

Hot on the heels of the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill, the latest evidence that the Government is not focused on the really important issues that face the local government sector in England arrived in the consultation on the provisional settlement for 2024-25.

The ‘culture war' - already started under best value legislation against South Cambridgeshire DC's pilot of a four day working week - has spilled over into what many should feel is the most unwelcome proposal ever to feature in funding arrangements for democratically elected councils: ‘The Government is currently considering which financial levers could be used in future settlements to disincentivise local authorities from operating a ‘4 day working week' …. and want to seek the views of the sector about how this could be affected (sic) and what impact it would have.'

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