Austerity

  • A letter to the new PM

    11 June 2024

    Steve Leach and Colin Copus write to the next Prime Minister with ideas for strengthening local government, including offering councils complete freedom to agree council tax levels.


  • IFS: Funding increases have not reversed austerity

    10 June 2024

    Local authorities in England have outspent cash boosts in the past few years, leaving core funding 18% lower per person than at the start of the 2010s, a think-tank has revealed.  


  • Building participation that promotes community cohesion

    29 May 2024

    Carly Walker-Dawson looks at the actions UK local and regional governments can take to promote community cohesion alongside partners at place level.


  • Reeves: No return to austerity

    29 May 2024

    Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said there will be no return to austerity under a Labour Government.


  • Will the lights go out locally?

    17 May 2024

    Max Mosley examines the perfect storm that destroyed local government finances and looks at what will happen if an incoming Labour government rejects council bailouts.


  • ‘Fix the broken system’

    15 May 2024

    Local authorities are taking the lead in trying to alleviate the climate crisis but there is a definite disconnect between the actions of Westminster and those on a local level, as Eleanor Radcliffe and Sarah Longlands explain.


  • Council debt up by £52bn since 2010

    02 May 2024

    Local government debt has increased by 78% since 2010 as councils attempted to make up for cuts to Government funding, research has revealed.


  • Gauging the benefit of productivity plans

    30 April 2024

    At the least the new Government requirement for productivity plans will give a platform for authorities to show to their residents, and central government, all they have achieved through improving their efficiency and effectiveness, says Abdool Kara.


  • Reimagining council operations: Hunt vs. Logic

    25 March 2024

    Claire Agutter says councils can navigate financial challenges by adopting robust strategic planning systems, implementing effective risk management, and prioritising service integration.


  • Who can solve the council tax conundrum?

    13 March 2024

    In the latest of The MJ’s series outlining a new vision for local government, drawing from the Lyons review, Jon Rowney considers the options for council tax reform.


  • Budget leaves councils in peril

    08 March 2024

    Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton says many will highlight that cuts in local government spending mean the return of austerity – ‘but council leaders will know that it never went away’.


  • Growth matters

    06 March 2024

    Tom Stannard talks to Ann McGauran about why strengthening local government’s economic development and regeneration role is crucial if the UK is to drive forward on growth.


  • Making economic development a statutory duty for councils would be a rare win-win

    06 March 2024

    The sector wants to make economic development services a statutory duty for councils. Abdool Kara says the challenge for local authorities is to open the Treasury’s eyes to the prize it considers could be available.


  • Scottish Budget 'not good' for communities

    28 February 2024

    Next year’s Scottish Budget is ‘not good’ for communities, council leaders have said.


  • The first cuts are the deepest

    27 February 2024

    Sector experts talk to Martin Ford about the effects of job cuts on councils’ resilience, the impact of austerity on the number of leadership positions and the downsides of super-directorates.


  • What are the chances of a Budget boost?

    27 February 2024

    New SIGOMA analysis highlights the huge decline in funding in recent years and the sector desperately needs a boost, says Heather Jameson. 'But the chances of one arriving in a tax-slashing pre-election Budget are slim.'


  • How can we plan for the future of urban regeneration?

    22 February 2024

    With public funding for development down and expectations up, Nick Walkley says the future of regeneration will need new forms of collaboration across sectors.


  • Brum proposes £300m cuts

    20 February 2024

    Cash-strapped Birmingham City Council will cut spending on services by £300m to balance its books.


  • It’s time for a ‘big bang’ to fix our workforce

    06 February 2024

    'There is a need to rethink workloads across the public sector, to harness new technologies to do the grunt work while staff focus on the things only people can provide', says Heather Jameson.


  • It’s not a bail out: it is tax-funded public services

    30 January 2024

    Councils are grateful for the extra cash, says Heather Jameson. 'So thankful, I fear, the sector may be suffering from a touch of Stockholm Syndrome.'