Centre has 'poor understanding' of what works on local growth, says NAO expert
A large proportion of Government spending is ‘not robustly evaluated’ and there is poor understanding by the centre about the approaches to local economic growth that work best, an expert from the National Audit Office has said.
The NAO will be paying close attention to the progress of levelling up
Abdool Kara says it is straightforward to direct Government capital and infrastructure cash towards the places the market is not investing in, albeit how such places are prioritised can be contested. It is a harder task for revenue spending.
Children’s services: leaving crisis management behind
With the National Audit Office’s investigation into the state of children’s services due later this year, it recently held a round table with The MJ, bringing together sector senior leadership figures. Martin Ford reports.
New accountability body 'stops short' of Audit Commission reinvention
Plans for a body to oversee the accountability of local government stop just short of re-inventing the Audit Commission, according to experts.
Auditors in levelling up warning
The Government’s levelling up plans could be undermined by Whitehall failure to monitor what works when investing in local areas, auditors have warned.
EXCLUSIVE: NAO to consider early intervention report
The National Audit Office (NAO) is to consider a report on early intervention and prevention after lobbying from the sector, The MJ understands.
A late-notice, short-term and partial settlement poses problems
There may be a clue about why the sector only has a one-year settlement in the lack of announcements around the fair funding review, the overdue business rates reset, and the delayed levelling up White Paper, says Abdool Kara.
Tackling our next big governance challenge
As the changes that need to be made to local services become more profound, we must involve a wider range of councillors in how to use information about risk. Ed Hammond explains.
Local audit’s perfect storm
The chair of the Public Accounts Committee has suggested the volume of late audits means Whitehall is ‘flying blind’ on council finances. Will the situation improve any time soon and how concerned is the sector? Naomi Larsson reports.
ALATS can aim to cultivate an environment supportive of finance chiefs
Tony Kirkham has taken up the reins as the new president of the Association of Local Authority Treasurers Societies (ALATS). He says that with the right conversations with chief financial officers 'we can deliver improvements'.
Authorities under pressure
Fears about councils’ financial sustainability remain in the wake of the Spending Review, including concerns about the costs of reform to adult social care. Ann McGauran reports.
CIPFA blocks publication of failed project review
The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has refused to publish a report assessing whether it has learnt lessons from a failed counter-fraud project.
Government needs to better clarify the responsibility of councils in net-zero
A report from the County Councils' Network finds that a city-centric focus to climate funding and policies has been to the detriment of counties, says Nicola Beach.
Data shows the difference
Despite all the legislation and guidance, there is still endless variation in local government, says Abdool Kara. Data helps compare the difference.
Mind the Gap
Geoff Tucker at Norse explains how partnership income is easing councils’ funding gap.
Don’t panic! We’ll still collect your bins!
Brian Norris and Rob Bradshaw look at communicating budgetary restraint in local government. Clarity, transparency, and a clear focus on residents’ priorities are key, they say.
Is funding meeting councils’ needs on decarbonationisation?
Analysis by Nesta raises some questions about the effectiveness of competitive grant funding schemes to support local authorities’ role in home decarbonisation, says Madeleine Gabriel.
Johnson has flunked levelling up explanation chance, says MP
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ‘flunked’ his chance to explain what levelling up means, the chair of a parliamentary committee has claimed.
Who will crack care?
The Government must raise enough funding to end the unsatisfactory adult social care system and ensure a skilled workforce is both attracted and retained, writes Sir Bob Neill.
Councils need more data for test and trace, says watchdog
Local authorities’ involvement in test and trace has improved the service – but councils still need more data, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said.