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.
Will May be a missed chance?
The Prime Minister wants the elections to go ahead. But Dr Jonathan Carr-West says that whether a U-turn ‘has already happened or is still to come, we have missed an opportunity to make an early and clear decision’.
Elderly in new campaign of civil disobedience
Up to two million older people in the UK denied the social care support they need could refuse to pay their council tax in protest.
Looking ahead with hope
‘You would be mad not to feel some trepidation’ as we look ahead to 2021, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West. ‘But while we have so many amazing people doing such incredible things for their community, I think we can also feel some hope’.
Let’s talk about homes
Homes provide so much more than shelter, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West. He argues that a different sort of conversation is needed that isn’t just about planning or ‘how many houses you build’.
Where are the homes this winter?
COVID has shown we need even more affordable housing and further government initiatives to tackle rising levels of homelessness made worse by the pandemic’s economic impact, writes Robert Pollock.
Central government needs to stand back
Dr Jonathan Carr-West asks if anyone has any sense of a sustained strategic focus on tackling the pandemic from government, and he feels only local government can manage the alignment of social, environmental and economic recovery that we need.
Taxing questions on a flawed system
The Treasury announced a call for evidence on business rates. Martin Ford speaks to experts about the system’s flaws, and whether the Government can enact radical change in a time of coronavirus and Brexit.
Government relaxes recovery plan demand
The Government has scrapped its requirement for all councils with a cumulative dedicated schools grant (DSG) deficit of more than 1% to submit a recovery plan.
Trust in the public realm really matters
Trust in public institutions cannot be rebuilt if different levels of government are seeking to divert blame on to each other, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.
Real imagination needed for a green reset
More ambitious progress on place-based approaches to reducing carbon emissions will need ‘a great deal of political will and resources’, according to a Penna/The MJ virtual seminar. Heather Jameson reports.
Redrawing our future after COVID
What we have learnt from coronavirus is that we need flexibility, adaptability and civic solidarity, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West - and in the next phases of the pandemic the need for relocalisation will become more urgent for at least three reasons.
PR strategist's hall of shame
Diary is inundated with press releases, speeches and blog posts on a regular basis.
Councils urged to think about economic recovery
Councils have been urged to start thinking about the economic recovery from coronavirus after high double-digit declines in sales.
Engaging our global family
Local government needs to pool its combined knowledge and learn from the perspective of others - near and far - as Dr Jonathan Carr-West explains.
‘Stop kicking us three steps back’
Our annual local government finance survey shows most councils are planning to raise council tax – and reveals support for fiscal devolution is by no means universal. Dan Peters reports.
Our unsustainable finance system needs a reboot
Heather Jameson says the finance system is increasingly unsustainable and local government has no confidence in the Government’s plans to resolve it or to tackle the issue of funding adult social care.
Business rates blow
Plans to use business rates to fund local government have been dealt a major blow by a survey that finds wavering confidence in the policy.
EXCLUSIVE: 100% business rates retention could be back on agenda
Full retention of business rates could shoot back up the agenda as part of a long-awaited Government review, The MJ understands.
Majority of councils expect to spend more on Brexit than Government has allotted
More than half of chief executives (56%) expect to spend more on Brexit preparations than the Government has allotted to their council, with a quarter (26%) expecting to spend significantly more.