Getting back in the groove
As the country prepares to open up to gatherings again, Heather Jameson rounds up last week’s major annual virtual conferences – and finds an air of optimism within the sector despite the challenges ahead.
A pop at Parliament
It’s all the in timing.
EXCLUSIVE: Councils push back over reserves raid threat
Council chiefs have pushed back as the Treasury eyes up the sector’s reserves in the run up to this year’s Spending Review, The MJ understands.
Half may miss September audit deadline
A top auditor has predicted that as many as half of councils may miss this year’s September 30 audit deadline.
Health and care improvement starts locally
Local health and care organisations must seize the initiative to improve people’s lives rather than waiting for the next overhaul by national government.
Councils 'broadly support' focus of Health and Care Bill
Councils ‘broadly support’ the focus of the Health and Care Bill introduced into Parliament today on improving the health and wellbeing of the population, says the Local Government Association (LGA).
Section 114 chief: We will not be the last
Slough Council’s chief executive this week urged other sector bosses to ‘trust your intuition’ to avoid their local authority following in her Section 114 footsteps.
Slough becomes second council to issue Section 114 in a year
Slough Council has become the second local authority in less than a year to issue a dreaded Section 114 notice.
Levelling up funds risk 'amplifying regional inequalities'
A new report from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) is critical of the current approach of bidding for pots of money.
Sector should challenge ‘poisonous narrative’ around commercialism
Councils should not be held back from responsible commercial investments because of high-profile failures by their counterparts, according to a panel of experts.
CIPFA to publish strengthened local government prudential code
A new code of practice to ensure local authorities’ financial plans are 'affordable, prudent and sustainable' will be published by the end of the year.
Where did it all go wrong on audit?
Lorna Baxter says we need to be able to show taxpayers how we have spent their money and that provided by Government. 'But do our residents need to understand the fair value of financial instruments and what category they are?'
Brum finances dubbed 'exemplary'
Birmingham City Council – which was once on the brink of financial collapse – has been praised for improvements in its financial management.
Sharpening the commercial edge
The case for well-managed council commercial activity is one that needs to be defended if we want a mature and sustainable local state, argues Jonathan Werran.
Is Black Lives Matter making a difference?
Managing director of Penna Julie Towers reflects on the rightful and renewed focus on diversity and inclusion since the tragic murder of George Floyd.
The Times They Are a-Changin’
Section 151 officers are all still trying to work out what scarring there will be to finances as a result of the pandemic, and what course recovery will take to what will be a new normal, says Tony Kirkham.
Council tax collection deficit hits £500m
Councils will need ‘additional help from taxpayers’ to balance their books, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy has warned.
Consider the risks of terminating COVID support prematurely
Currently additional COVID support beyond June is in doubt. 'The uncertainty this poses for councils cannot be underestimated', says chief executive of CIPFA Rob Whiteman.
The funding puzzle stays unsolved
CIPFA's council tax data revealed the average council tax bills for band D properties in two regions of England will now exceed £2,000. Taxpayers will begin to ask what they get for this, says Rob Whiteman.
Reining in the risks?
South Somerset DC takes an entrepreneurial approach that it says has turned it into a council that no longer cuts services. But will the current review of the prudential framework inhibit the sector from spreading investment risk? Dan Peters reports.