Local government was poorly prepared for pandemic, report finds
A decade of spending cuts, staff shortages and poor contacts with Whitehall meant local government was poorly prepared to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, a report from the Institute for Government think-tank has said.
CIPFA calls for strengthening of council borrowing rules
Legislation governing the rules on council borrowing should be strengthened, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) said today.
Plan to hand social care to NHS is for ‘wrong reasons’
Plans to hand social care to the NHS are being mooted for ‘all the wrong reasons,’ local government finance expert Rob Whiteman has said.
MPs slate ministers over sector funding
MPs have slated ministers for failing to give local government sufficient funding and urged them to ensure a 'clear and timely financial settlement’ in readiness for the next phase of the pandemic.
EXCLUSIVE: Deficit puts councils on cliff edge
Many councils could be pushed over the ‘financial cliff edge’ if the £500m of high-needs deficit faced by the sector is not written off, the Government has been warned.
It takes two
A £3bn winter funding boost for the NHS has highlighted a lack of focus on an adult social care sector that's been under pressure long before the COVID pandemic. Ann McGauran looks at the growing need for a joined up approach.
CIPFA mulls legal action against council
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has put aside £500,000 to fund potential legal action against Ealing LBC over a contract dispute.
Council may have to issue s114, warns CIPFA
Windsor & Maidenhead RBC may not be able to set a legal budget in future years and may have to issue a Section 114 notice, finance experts have warned.
Don’t seek to override local choice on development
Rob Whiteman hopes the ‘sorry episode’ of the Westferry Printworks application ‘once and for all stops the periodic demands from developers to erode councils’ planning powers’
The care home sector 'entered the pandemic on the back foot'
The suggestion that a 'protective ring' was cast around care homes is difficult to swallow, writes Rob Whiteman. The sector was 'certainly not given the tools to cope with any kind of financial shock ahead of time', he adds.
IFS urges government to relax the rules on finance amid crisis
Finance experts have called on the Government to temporarily relax rules that prevent councils borrowing to cover day-to-day spending as they deal with the coronavirus crisis.
Time to wake up to social care reform
As it is revealed that just 4% of social care directors are confident they can deliver their statutory duties with the budgets available, Dr Eleanor Roy says now is the time to take action on social care reform
CIPFA issues temporary s114 guidance
Council finance chiefs have been given new guidelines for dealing with financial collapse during the coronavirus crisis.
Slipping through the cracks
CIPFA and Xantura have set up a data partnership to support the local authority fight against COVID-19.The key aim is to find and protect those in immediate need, say Rob Whiteman and Wajid Shafiq.
EXCLUSIVE: Four months before action taken on second business rates error
Senior Whitehall officials were not told about a second major error in the administration of business rate pilots until four months after it was flagged, The MJ has learnt.
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.
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.
EXCLUSIVE: Districts braced for lost income
Woking, South Norfolk and Craven DCs are likely to be the hardest hit when it comes to lost income.
Treasury criticised for 'attack' on council sovereignty
A Treasury crackdown on local authorities using cheap finance to buy commercial property for rental income is an ‘attack on the sovereignty of councils,’ a senior councillor has said.
Facing down an uncertain future
Already cash-strapped following a decade of austerity, councils now face fighting a national crisis on a basic budget with their financial futures left in the balance. Heather Jameson reports.