Councils mull raids on reserves and job cuts
Gateshead MBC is considering cutting up to 155 jobs and North Yorkshire's reserves will take an £8m hit under budget proposals.
Council tax rises could undermine levelling up
The Government’s reliance on council tax increases to boost local government funding could hinder the recovery of deprived communities, a think-tank has concluded.
Taxation tribulations for a post-COVID nation
Last weekend was the turn of policy ideas on council tax and stamp duty to be run anonymously in the Sunday papers, says Heather Jameson. 'But more intriguing was last week’s ten-minute rule Bill, calling for business rates to be scrapped.'
Treasury in property tax rethink
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is believed to be rethinking property taxes – including council tax and business rates – in a bid to balance the books post-COVID.
Give districts full freedoms on precepts
Why not remove precepts entirely for all local authorities and leave increases to be determined at the (local) ballot box, says The MJ's new Money Matters' columnist Tracy Bingham.
Our new beginning is here – let’s not make a meal of it
There are some major hurdles ahead, says Heather Jameson. 'Government’s quick fixes – to raise council tax precepts and push councils towards commercialism – now cause more problems than they solve', she adds.
Scottish councils call for fair funding to avoid 'damaging consequences'
Council leaders in Scotland have called for an end to small ring-fenced pots of funding and no cap on council tax in this year’s Budget.
Starmer demands halt to ‘absurd’ council tax rises
Labour leader Keir Starmer has called for central government to increase funding for local authorities to prevent council tax hikes.
Councils grapple with multi-million pound budget deficits
Councils are mulling service cuts and council tax rises as they attempt to balance next year's budgets.
Urban councils' fears over debt recovery rules
Urban councils have voiced concern over new rules that could prevent them from recovering council tax debts.
Questions over settlement boost
The scale of the increase in core funding in the local government finance settlement claimed by ministers has been questioned by finance experts.
Council taxpayers to ‘pay more and get less’
Local authorities have been left in the unenviable position of raising taxes in an effort to balance their books following the Spending Review, Local Government Association members have said.
Tewkesbury puts its customers in control
Graeme Simpson explains why Tewkesbury BC is changing to a new digital platform to transform the way it interacts with its customers online.
A mixed bag for councils
While Sir Bob Neill says there was much in the Spending Review to applaud, ‘what’s ultimately needed is a complete repair job of local government finance’.
There’s not enough votes in funding councils
'Whatever the finance settlement brings, it will not be enough', says Heather Jameson. 'Councils will cope as they always do – or most will – and there is another year to make the case for local services, while the Government hopes it all goes away.'
More cash, but not enough
With its £5.5bn extra funding for local government next year the Spending Review may have delivered more than expected – though this won’t be enough to reverse the cuts since 2010. Heather Jameson reports.
The devolution waiting game
The Prime Minister has said that ‘devolution…should be used as a step to pass power to local communities and businesses to make their lives better’. Is this the sort of devolution that councils expect, asks Ian Miller.
Councils allowed to delay precept rise
Local authorities will be allowed to delay big council tax increases next year ahead of elections, it has emerged.
Spending review: Ensuring an economic recovery which benefits everyone
Investment in local public services is critical to national recovery, and councils can only lead local efforts to tackle the inequalities the pandemic has exposed and made worse with the right funding and freedoms, says Cllr James Jamieson.
SPENDING REVIEW: Live to fight another year
Local government has probably got just about enough from the chancellor to keep the show on the road, says Jonathan Werran. 'And possibly extend the road for the sake of kicking the familiar battered can that is social care funding down it...'