News

Councils losing £250m a year through business rates avoidance

Councils losing £250m a year through business rates avoidance

Councils are losing £250m a year due to businesses avoiding paying their rates, new research has found.

Scottish City Deals ‘lack aims and objectives’

Watchdogs have questioned the transparency and oversight of Scotland’s £5.2bn City Deals.

Grenfell council adopts participatory budgeting

The council at the centre of the Grenfell Tower tragedy has used participatory budgeting for the first time as part of a new strategy.

Medway caves after Ombudsman rap

Medway Council has finally accepted the recommendations in a Local Government Ombudsman public interest report after a two-year stand-off.

Lancashire first to borrow using municipal bonds agency

Local government’s dormant vehicle for lending councils cash was boosted today after announcing details of its first municipal bond with Lancashire CC.

Boost for Yorkshire leaders committee talks

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has agreed to talks on the role and functions of a new committee of leaders from across Yorkshire.

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Opinion

A landmark year for Waltham Forest

Councils losing £250m a year through business rates avoidance

In 2019 Waltham Forest LBC became the first Mayor of London Borough of Culture - and won The MJ’s Local Authority of the Year category in the annual awards. Cllr Clare Coghill and Martin Esom talk to Michael Burton about the council's achievement.

Building thriving towns

Adur DC and Worthing BC are taking a stake in their local economies to catalyse investment in their places, based on establishing firm foundations to help local communities thrive, writes Martin Randall.

Communities hold the key to children’s social care

Pawda Tjoa says community-led approaches to early intervention should offer valuable lessons for policy-making on a national scale – and now is the time to ‘nurture the local initiatives that are already making a difference’.

The stage is set for districts to demonstrate their key role

We hope ministers take away the message from conference next month that it is districts, backed by long-term sustainable funding, who are best placed to turn the new decade into the roaring twenties, says Cllr John Fuller.

OECD will say our over-centralised system holds places back

Core Cities has commissioned the OECD to put together a new and radical report into putting in place the right policies to enable places to fulfil their potential, says Cllr Judith Blake.

More power for the people

Margaret Bolton argues that it’s time to establish a Community Wealth Fund to devolve decision-making power and resources to the residents of the communities that have been ‘left behind’.

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Best Practice

An efficient collaboration

An efficient collaboration

Victoria Gould of Warwickshire CC’s award-winning Young People Legal Service team (YPLS) explains how it is working collaboratively with other local authorities to minimise legal costs in times of increasing demand.

Analysis

Shining a strong light

Shining a strong light

The Local Government Association is about to launch a review of its peer challenge process. Paul Marinko asks whether the approach is robust enough to meet the demands of a tough financial climate.

Private sector

Kier shares surge on trading update

Investors have issued a vote of confidence in Kier’s efforts to turn around the business with a jump in its share price.

Collaboration key to £104m development

Westminster City Council partnered with four private sector organisations to create the mixed-use development.

Scottish councils sign £700m contract to ‘transform waste’

Five Scottish councils have signed a contract that will divert up to 190,000 tonnes of black bag waste from landfill.