• Bucket list for fixing council finances

    08 April 2021

    Co-designing a truly sustainable finance system for councils for the long-term ‘won’t be quick and it won’t be easy’, says Martin Reeves. A few more years of ‘make do and mend’ will not work for our communities and economies, he adds.

  • Let's see what happens on longer-term funding

    31 March 2021

    Lorna Baxter gave evidence at the Public Accounts Committee in response to the NAO report on local government finance during COVID. She says there is acknowledgement that the longer-term funding and distribution mechanism needs to be addressed.

  • Short-term funding has held back care, says watchdog

    25 March 2021

    Short-term funding has held back investment in the unstable £16.5bn adult social care market despite a forecast 57% in demand from the over-65s by 2036 says a report from the National Audit Office (NAO).

  • The White Paper recognises coterminosity makes a strategic difference

    23 March 2021

    Abdool Kara asks if the lessons of Lansley will be learned, 'especially the making-redundant-then-rehiring of health professionals strategy that cost the public purse dearly in 2011?'

  • Marsham Street told to improve transparency

    19 March 2021

    The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has come under fire from finance watchdogs for a lack of transparency.

  • Watchdog warns of post-pandemic underfunding crisis

    16 March 2021

    Local government has been praised by the national finance watchdog for its response to the pandemic but faces severe budget pressures unless the Treasury initiates multi-year settlements, Michael Burton reports.

  • Fewer than half of local audits done by deadline, watchdog finds

    16 March 2021

    Fewer than half of local public bodies’ 2019-20 audits were completed by last November, despite a deadline already pushed back due to COVID, says a spending watchdog.

  • Councils left seriously underfunded, NAO finds

    08 March 2021

    Coronavirus has left local authorities seriously underfunded and facing budget cuts unless the Government can create a long-term financial plan for the sector, a study from the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned.

  • Levelling up risks becoming less than the sum of its parts

    08 March 2021

    There is always political appetite for short-term infrastructure projects, but we need transparency and transformational change to level up, says Zoe Billingham.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Pressure mounts on Jenrick over audit

    09 February 2021

    Whitehall officials are putting communities secretary Robert Jenrick under pressure to change course after he failed to implement a key recommendation of the Redmond Review, The MJ understands.

  • Councils' role is vital to a fulsome recovery

    26 January 2021

    Some loved ones will not be around to experience the renaissance when it comes. But for those who are, 'the critical role of local authorities needs to be recognised and underpinned' if the recovery is to be swift, says Abdool Kara.

  • Steering care through crisis

    25 January 2021

    The entire care market still faces massive challenges. As part of the National Audit Office investigation into care markets, we brought together some experts to debate the issues. Heather Jameson reports.

  • What a year!

    15 December 2020

    The MJ reflects on another year in local government, significantly influenced by the pandemic that continues to cause havoc heading into 2021. And there’s a reassuring symmetry to the way the year is ending. Martin Ford and Ann McGauran report.

  • Boost to local test and trace funding

    11 December 2020

    The increase of up to £200m per month follows criticism from the National Audit Office.

  • Flood funding for councils may not be enough, watchdog finds

    27 November 2020

    The Government is unable to prove councils have enough funding for flood defences, a spending watchdog has discovered.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Nine regional chiefs deliver Whitehall ultimatum

    29 September 2020

    An ultimatum has been delivered by the nine regional chief executives working closely with the Government on the sector’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, The MJ has learnt.

  • Future Forum: Spending chief highlights 'amazing financial pressure' on councils

    24 September 2020

    The head of the National Audit Office (NAO) today highlighted the ‘amazing financial pressure’ councils are under in delivering existing services and new COVID-related demands.

  • Before reorganisation we need a clear view of the sector's core purpose

    16 September 2020

    How local government 'can sensibly be reorganised without a clear view of its core purpose (will adult social care services be in or out?) or funding mechanisms' is baffling Abdool Kara.

  • NAO hits out at late accounts

    23 July 2020

    A rise in late auditing of local government accounts has come under fire from the National Audit Office which it says is affecting the quality of Treasury public sector accounting.

  • Ministers deny Town's fund cronyism

    21 July 2020

    Ministers have denied allegations that they favoured Conservative areas when they distributed money under the Town's Fund.