District Councils Network
Call to scrap ‘arbitrary’ New Homes Bonus
A county council has called for the New Homes Bonus to be dropped altogether in a withering response to a government consultation.
Districts to warn government over New Homes Bonus changes
District councils are expected to urge the Government not to mess with a scheme that acts as a ‘powerful incentive’ to build new homes.
Council concern over grant pressure
Councils have raised concerns with government that local authorities will have to demonstrate their efforts to spend a key business grant before getting more cash.
End to welfare support threatens council finances
Cutting off pandemic welfare support could lead to ‘disaster’ for families and local government funding, councils have warned.
Getting the balance right
While the Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund are further welcome additions to investment in recovery, the complexity and time-consuming nature of such bidding regimes must be of concern to local government, says Sheila Oxtoby.
DCN bids to attract unitaries with new offer
The District Councils’ Network (DCN) will create a new category of membership in a bid to keep new unitaries within the association, The MJ has learnt.
It's time to focus virus 'contain' funding on families and streets
We need to recalibrate and resource the Contain Outbreak Management Fund activity on preparing for a series of hyper-local responses that directly focus on families and streets, says Cllr John Fuller.
The problem with polls
Local government has finally learned that two years’ worth of elections will take place on ‘Super Thursday’ 6 May, with a ‘high bar’ for any delay. Martin Ford talks to the sector about the challenges ahead.
Local government settlement shows Government is not in listening mode
It is clear from the final local government settlement that the Government did not pay attention to the submissions of councils, including districts, says Ian Miller. The consultation with the sector on council tax increases 'seems a sham', he adds.
DCN bid for place on chief executives' network rejected
Senior Whitehall officials have knocked back a District Councils’ Network (DCN) bid to win a place on the influential nine-strong group of local authority chief executives, The MJ understands.
Making the wrong grade
Talking of Lord Porter, Diary expects the lockdown has created its fair share of unusual haircuts to rival his lovely locks.
Cementing growth plans in The Bay
Whatever your thoughts may be on local government reorganisation it has brought together the three councils of Barrow, Lancaster and South Lakeland 'like nothing before', says Lawrence Conway.
Councils submit latest financial data
Councils have submitted their ninth data return on the pandemic-related pressures facing their finances.
EXCLUSIVE: DCN attempts to use tiers frustration to boost reorganisation case
The District Councils’ Network (DCN) has attempted to boost its local government reorganisation arguments by capitalising on Conservative unhappiness about the tiers system.
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.
Questions over councils' regeneration role
A lack of funds and expertise prevents local authorities from reversing the decline of many town centres, MPs have heard.
The NHS must harness the strengths of districts
Cllr John Fuller says that while the NHS delivers the vaccinations, districts can 'help shape the ecosystem, build trust through familiar settings, bring in hard to reach communities', and more - 'a partnership in place'.
Leisure services: exist or thrive?
The pandemic has placed leisure services under immense stress, writes Ian Fytche. Short-term financial support is fundamental to survival, but investment in the long-term is also essential, he adds.
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: The road ahead is still paved with uncertainty
The efforts of local government during the pandemic have been astounding, which makes the public sector pay freeze much harder to swallow, says Cllr Sharon Taylor.