County Councils Network

  • Working with Government can deliver real dividends

    15 February 2024

    Collaboration with Government can achieve real results for communities and councils should not be afraid of embracing productivity, says Cllr Kevin Bentley.


  • Extra funding eases the pain for councils

    05 February 2024

    Whether MPs really would have voted the finance settlement down, we will never know, says James Maker. But the letter from 46 MPs 'was undoubtedly the tipping point in the negotiations'.


  • Sector should adopt national branding campaign to boost workforce

    05 February 2024

    Local government should adopt a national branding campaign to recruit and retain staff amid a worsening workforce crisis, the County Councils’ Network has urged.


  • Staff shocks

    02 February 2024

    A new report from the County Councils' Network and PwC lays out some solutions to a complex sector recruitment problem that’s worsening by the year, says Simon Edwards.


  • Challenges remain following funding boost

    24 January 2024

    A £600m boost to the Local Government Finance Settlement has been welcomed, but has not resolved the sector’s funding issues, the Government has been warned.


  • Finance settlement set for £500m boost

    24 January 2024

    The Local Government Finance Settlement is to expected to be boosted by £500m, following pressure from sector lobbying and MPs.


  • Is it going to be giveaways or propping up councils?

    23 January 2024

    Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has asked Treasury staff to scout for potential cash for local government, and he received news of a fiscal windfall this week. Could that mean a boost to the settlement, asks Heather Jameson.


  • The Hunt for cash

    23 January 2024

    The Treasury has asked an internal team of experts to hunt down potential extra cash for local government, The MJ understands.


  • SEND school transport’s impossible situation

    23 January 2024

    Suzanne Smith and Ann Carruthers set out recommendations to government from a report highlighting the unsustainable pressures councils face from the cost of providing SEND school transport.


  • MPs call on Sunak to boost council settlement

    22 January 2024

    More than 40 MPs have called on the Government to rethink the finance settlement in a bid to rescue floundering authorities.


  • A new Government provides the opportunity for long-term reform

    15 January 2024

    The SEN system and the broken children’s social care residential market are the main drivers of cost for councils, and CCN will be proactively setting out its own case for reform of both as we gear up for a new Government, says Simon Edwards.


  • Stormy waters ahead

    08 January 2024

    Mark Conrad talks to three major groups of councils about what the provisional finance settlement means for each of them, and he considers the outlook for 2025 and beyond.


  • The next step for children’s services

    08 January 2024

    Dominic Luscombe asks if the new Data Strategy and Children’s Social Care reform strategy are opportunities to widen our ambition and strengthen our focus on children’s needs.


  • Call for MPs' help over ‘inadequate’ settlement

    18 December 2023

    Councils are to turn to MPs to make the case to the Government following the announcement of an ‘inadequate’ £64bn finance settlement.


  • Devo and Christmas ghosts of past, present and future

    14 December 2023

    Alun Hughes spins a Christmas story about devolution, with Greg Clark as the ghost of Christmas past, looking at how the policy has shifted towards one more focused on empowering local leaders in England’s counties.


  • No Christmas cheer from Gove the Grinch

    13 December 2023

    In a year that Michael Gove handed £1.9bn in departmental underspends back to the Treasury, and the Government gave the public a 2% cut in National Insurance, underfunding councils is a political choice, says Heather Jameson.


  • One in five councils 'likely' to issue section 114

    06 December 2023

    Almost one in five councils believe bankruptcy is likely within two years, while doubt hangs over next years’ budgets for 70% of counties, according to new surveys.


  • Using data to make better decisions for our children

    04 December 2023

    Dominic Luscombe and Debbie Barnes look at how an approach to capturing and tracking children’s needs over time, while connecting it with the cost of their care, has worked in five councils.


  • Public services out in the cold

    27 November 2023

    There was little joy for under-pressure public sector budgets including local government from last week’s Autumn Statement as Michael Burton reports.


  • Sector unites in plea to chancellor

    22 November 2023

    The local government sector in England has put out a call to Jeremy Hunt to ‘address the significant financial challenges faced by councils’.