The MJ - your free ebook

The MJ - your free ebook

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we want to do all we can to support you, so we will provide The MJ as an enhanced ebook here every Thursday, completely free, for the duration of the crisis.


EXCLUSIVE: New rules would see councils warn ministers before a s114

EXCLUSIVE: New rules would see councils warn ministers before a s114

Finance directors would need to warn the government before they issued a Section 114 notice during the coronavirus pandemic, if new rules get the go-ahead.

£3.7bn coronavirus-hit for London boroughs and counties

The total estimated financial impact of coronavirus on London boroughs and counties is expected to total £3.7bn in 2020/21, an initial analysis of the latest returns to the Government has revealed.

Councils given £300m and key tracking role

Councils in England will be handed £300m by the Government as they are given a key role in driving forward testing and tracing. 

Nottinghamshire to return to reorganisation proposals

Controversial proposals for the reorganisation of local government in Nottinghamshire have resurfaced as part of work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

EXCLUSIVE: No bail outs for commercial investments

Plans to bail out councils struggling with their finances could vary between authorities - but they will not cover commercial investments, The MJ understands.

Call to release ‘trapped’ troubled families funding

Bureaucracy threatens to hold up cash needed to support vulnerable children, the County Councils Network (CCN) has warned.

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Why localism is needed for behaviour change

EXCLUSIVE: New rules would see councils warn ministers before a s114

Councils can be key – as can local community groups and charities – in setting social norms that people will want to follow, says Dan Corry.

COVID-19 and consultation – Can it be online-only?

Does COVID-19 end consultations? The simple answer is ‘no’, according to Laura Thornton. But she says consideration needs to be given to mitigation measures that ensure consultation is fair. 

Economic recovery and reform: the role of community power

The resurgence of community action has been impressive and needs to be seen as a ‘power source’ to build back a better economy, say Tom Lloyd Goodwin and Neil McInroy.

COVID-19: Is Government really led by the science?

Jason Lowther argues that building in practical knowledge from councils and emergency planners could help avoid recommendations that prove impossible to implement effectively.

‘No heroes and generals; no Government saviour’

Jo Miller feels New Zealand’s citizen-focused approach to the coronavirus response highlights that we are all in this together, 'working as a collective to adapt and protect one another'.

There is no return to yesterday

Social services have adapted rapidly to the disruption of COVID-19, says Tony Hunter. As we emerge from the crisis, we need to think about what lessons we should learn and how we can harness data to make better social care decisions.

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Best Practice

Superstars delivering in the face of adversity

Superstars delivering in the face of adversity

When the pandemic hit, South Somerset DC quickly decided to redeploy staff in changed or closed services to carry out duties related to the local coronavirus response. Kirsty Larkins explains the approach.


The power of local systems to save lives

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of  COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.

Private sector

Will COVID-19 mean we tackle poor leadership head-on?

COVID-19 has put leadership right in the spotlight, says Julie Towers. The early findings of the annual MJ Leadership Survey pre-COVID noted a positive move towards more authentic and adaptive leadership, she adds.

Successful homeworking: from BT’s people to you

Homeworking might be new to your organisation, but there are lots of ways to make it work for you says Dr Nicola Millard.

Creating the rainbow together

Councils' response to COVID-19 has been phenomenal, says Dr Andrew Larner - and he hopes that Government will respond to the sector as capably as the sector has risen to the challenge of the pandemic.