• We need less inspection and more prevention

    17 August 2022

    Most councils have nothing to fear from plans for an Office for Local Government (Oflog), says Heather Jameson. 'But let’s make it less about inspection, more about prevention and a means of having an honest conversation about future funding needs.'

  • Councils' crucial role in response to the cost of living crisis

    16 August 2022

    Local government’s ability to tailor support for the cost of living crisis based on knowledge of place will be essential to an effective national response, says Alison Griffin.

  • Rampant inflation will impact poorest most

    30 June 2022

    Chair of the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities, Sir Stephen Houghton, says unless emergency support is provided to councils this financial year local authorities face a chilling return to austerity.

  • A model answer to funding questions

    29 June 2022

    The IFS-CIPFA Local Government Finance Model is intended to help councils with their medium-to- longer term financial planning in a context of uncertain finance pressures and as-yet unspecified funding reforms, says David Phillips.

  • Councils told to improve on diversity

    27 June 2022

    Councils have a 'really bad brand and reputation issue’ and must get better at attracting talented and diverse staff, a panel has heard.

  • Max calls councils out

    21 June 2022

    Former London borough chief Max Caller has carved out a niche for himself as a serial reviewer of failing authorities. He tells Heather Jameson what he has learned – and how councils can avoid collapse.

  • Councils’ problems are due to culture, not cash

    21 June 2022

    Heather Jameson says Max Caller is clear that the failures he has seen in local government are not due to austerity. 'They are almost always due to a lack of grip on the governance and a failure of speaking truth to power.'

  • Ministers must stop flip-flopping over commercial deals

    25 May 2022

    Heather Jameson says ministers should 'stop the policy flip-flop over commercialisation – choose a stance and stick with it'.

  • Future Forum: Need to reduce rising child care numbers

    12 May 2022

    The local government sector needs to bring down the increasing numbers of children in care, the immediate past president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services has said.

  • Count on culture not cash

    04 May 2022

    With inflation outstripping planned wage increases, it will be the culture, working for an innovative authority, in a community – ultimately the job satisfaction – that will attract and keep good people in local government, says Heather Jameson.

  • The voluntary sector is not a surrogate for the state

    04 May 2022

    Councils can and must show leadership to tackle the deep challenges of the years ahead – but a healthy and dynamic relationship with the local VCS also has a critical role to play, explains John Tizard.

  • How can councils address the rising cost of energy?

    03 May 2022

    Don McLean asks if building energy efficiency is the key to mitigating energy crisis impacts on local councils, and he looks at how to make savings using technology.

  • England’s poorest areas hardest hit by austerity

    03 May 2022

    Residents living in England’s most deprived areas were hit hardest by the largest local authority spending cuts during a decade of austerity, a think-tank has found.

  • Councils need radical thinking at a time of crisis

    12 April 2022

    Professor Richard Murphy says councils need to cooperate to tackle the multiple crises faced by communities, and he puts forward four ways of addressing social need.

  • A crucial union of business and place

    12 April 2022

    Sir Nigel Wilson says the four-year partnership between Legal & General and the UCL Institute of Health Equity - the Marmot Review for Industry - offers hope for bringing an end to the injustice of health inequality.

  • The cost of living crisis needs a strong locally-led response

    12 April 2022

    We need to use more collective imagination to build a more adaptive and empowered local state that can work in new ways with people to respond to current crises, says Jessica Studdert.

  • Council call to invest in staff

    11 April 2022

    Local government leaders have warned the Scottish Government must recognise and invest in council staff to deliver its key priorities for the next three years.

  • Social value must not be a tick box exercise

    08 March 2022

    Mo Baines says councils should not simply apply the principles of the Social Value Act to outsourced contracts, but ‘engage in the spirit and intention of the Act, which is to get the very best outcomes from public money’.

  • Councils need ongoing funds to tackle infections

    08 March 2022

    Corporate memory and capability built up by councils during the pandemic will be lost if some Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF) does not continue, warns ADPH president Jim McManus.

  • For councils the retention challenge is particularly stark

    22 February 2022

    Claire Kober says the chances of a ‘brain drain’ as council staff leave for better pay and prospects (as well as an easier life) in other sectors are undoubtedly real, and she looks at what steps can be taken to mitigate this risk.