The first steps towards fixing a damaged system?
Local government will still be left to pick up the pieces of the cost of living crisis that the Queen’s Speech has failed to address, says Heather Jameson. There needs to be a new plan to make public services fit for purpose.
Queen's Speech: Business rates set for overhaul
It has been confirmed a ‘Non-Domestic Rating Bill’ will form part of the agenda during the next Parliamentary session.
New Bill to put beauty at the heart of planning, says Gove
The Queen’s Speech is set to include a new bill to revamp planning and kick start housebuilding, levelling up secretary Michael Gove has revealed.
Labour urges Government to overhaul business rates
Labour has said the Government must overhaul the business rates system to help businesses thrive in the face of a cost-of-living crisis.
Sector set to clash over rates reform
A sector clash is threatening to erupt over business rates retention, with views split on the future of the policy.
Closing the ‘them and us’ housing divide
The decision to close a tax loophole that allows second homeowners to avoid paying council tax or business rates should make communities stronger in places like South Hams, says Cllr Judy Pearce.
Tax reforms offer solutions to finance flaws - report
Changes to the current system could resolve issues around sufficiency and unfairness, and support local economies, according to new research commissioned by the Local Government Association.
Will this year see lift-off for local government?
If Mr Gove is to deliver the aims of levelling up, to strengthen local leadership, boost civic pride and create equal opportunities for everyone, through devolution, he will need to act quickly, says Heather Jameson. Then there is finance....
This settlement is very much a stop gap
Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton of SIGOMA says a ‘stopgap’ settlement with a welcome funding boost needs to be followed by a fair funding review that supports the Government’s levelling up agenda.
Welcome words on business rates should be backed up in settlement
The secretary of state now has a real opportunity to improve matters by introducing a business rates ‘re-set’ as part of the provisional settlement, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.
Committee urges ministers to review high street role
MPs have urged ministers to review the role of high streets in their COVID-19 recovery strategy amid fears councils could lose further income through reforms.
Empowering engagement: The future of Council Tax collection post-pandemic
Stephen Johnson looks at some steps councils can take to help build a next-generation service to effectively collect revenue and recover debt, whilst supporting wellbeing.
Council U-turns on second homes tax hike
Conwy CBC is the latest authority in Wales to struggle with its approach to reining in the number of second homes.
Rates revenue shoots up
Business rates revenue shot up by more than 40% last month compared to the previous year as the economy improved, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Will funding land next month to help levelling up?
Councils will await with interest December’s annual financial settlement to see where funding lands at the local level, says Paul O'Brien. Will this signify the beginning of significant attempts at levelling up, he asks.
Can we have both levelling up and devo?
Levelling up local government finance needs a more centralised system of funding, says Heather Jameson - but 'how do you do devolution when central Government hangs on to the purse strings?'
Doubt over future of 75% rates retention under Gove
New local government secretary Michael Gove has indicated that 75% business rates retention could be a casualty of levelling up plans.
A bounce back Budget
We got spending – and lots of it – in the Budget, yet its contents reflected conflict within the Cabinet on whether to push ahead with a Milton Friedman-style smaller government. Sir Bob Neill explains.
A mixed fiscal bag for councils
Isn't it ironic that a chancellor devoted to low taxes has funded a bonanza Budget through taxes that will soon reach their highest level since the 1950s, says Heather Jameson.
The power of quiet diplomacy
Outgoing chair of the District Councils’ Network, Cllr John Fuller, talks to Martin Ford about his legacy. He says districts showed their mettle during COVID and are best placed to deliver the levelling up agenda.