Cost of living

  • Council tax bands need a regional overhaul

    13 February 2024

    Heather Jameson asks: 'Will any incoming government rush to reform council tax? Will they be braver and take on wider public finance reform?'


  • Is leisure now a liability or an opportunity to support healthier communities?

    17 January 2024

    The three key challenges being faced by council leisure services can be addressed positively to protect services and deliver greater benefits to communities. Leading consultancy SLC share their recent successes with local authority leisure procurement.


  • Cities find their future

    15 January 2024

    Cllr John Merry looks back at Key Cities’ successes and considers what he would like the network and local government to achieve during the next decade.


  • It's time to sufficiently acknowledge and fund councils' safety net role

    09 January 2024

    Councils have had to rise to the challenge of a national social security system which is fragmented - and the uncertainty over the future of the Household Support Fund is symptomatic of a deeper issue, says Jon Rowney.


  • DWP fails to commit to continuing Household Support Fund

    08 January 2024

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has failed to commit to making the Household Support Fund (HSF) available to councils in 2024-25.


  • Social rents set for 7.7% increase

    08 January 2024

    The social rent cap has been set at 7.7% for the next financial year.


  • Under pressure

    04 December 2023

    Pressures are increasing in every local authority he speaks to, but with the need to bear down on the cost of living still pressing, this is not the right time for a big rise in council tax, says Greg Clark.


  • Autumn Statement: what lies behind the promises?

    28 November 2023

    Despite a few helpful announcements from the chancellor in relation to cost of living and hospitality the reality is the overall outlook for Westminster residents remains difficult, says Cllr Adam Hug.


  • Fulfilling a crucial role for children

    27 November 2023

    As directors of children’s services prepare to attend the National Children and Adult Services Conference, Ann McGauran assesses the challenges and rewards of this important role


  • Autumn Statement: end of Household Support Fund leaves gaping hole

    25 November 2023

    The Household Support Fund is an essential safety net for families in crisis – removing it means there is nothing to break their fall, says chief executive of Barnardo's Lynn Perry MBE.


  • Autumn Statement: Living Wage hike places council budgets under pressure

    22 November 2023

    Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed the biggest-ever hike in the UK minimum wage – but the move places strained council finances under fresh pressure.


  • Let the citizens decide

    20 November 2023

    Ross Mudie asks if the public hold the key to navigating economic challenges – and he highlights citizens’ jury research that says the chancellor should press ahead with rolling out fiscal devolution nationwide.


  • Getting Britain building homes

    15 November 2023

    We need to devise a system which ensures housing is built and we can provide the right mix of homes to meet the unique needs of local communities, says Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen.


  • Keeping the faith

    15 November 2023

    As local government battles with budgets and rising demand, Heather Jameson spoke to Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan about what he wants to see from the next government.


  • 'Slim pickings and missed opportunities'

    14 November 2023

    Baroness Sharon Taylor reflects on the King's Speech, and says it's time to stop leaving councils to pick up the pieces on their own and give them the powers to take back control.


  • Call for 'urgent action on deepening housing crisis'

    09 November 2023

    The council that increased new homes supply the most last year has urged the Government to take ‘urgent action’ on the ‘deepening housing crisis’.


  • Districts face unpalatable choices

    30 October 2023

    The majority of district councils do not expect to be able to balance their budgets this year, says Cllr Elizabeth Dennis. But she believes it’s not too late for the Government to act.


  • DCN in cuts warning

    20 October 2023

    Cultural services, community support and parks and green spaces are all at risk of cuts without a boost to the local government finance settlement, respondents to a District Councils’ Network (DCN) survey have warned.


  • How to unlock £19bn in benefits

    18 October 2023

    As councils grapple with the cost of living crisis, Deven Ghelani explains how they can use data to help residents access benefits and ease the pressure.


  • Taking on leisure’s crisis

    16 October 2023

    Shaun Dawson shares what he and his teams have learned from the challenge of launching the £30m Lee Valley Ice Centre in East London, including the need to embrace private sector involvement.