Councils are owed certainty on funding
The Public Accounts Committee has published its fifth annual report. Chair Meg Hillier says there is much for local government to be concerned about and ‘even the best councils face real struggles ahead’.
Ministers appear 'complacent' over care home closures, MPs warn
The Government ‘seems complacent’ about the risk of care homes collapsing in the wake of the pandemic, MPs have warned today.
Government warned of 'soaring summer of homelessness'
The Government will fail to fulfil its manifesto commitment of ending rough sleeping for good by 2024 without a cross-Whitehall strategy for reducing homelessness, it has been warned.
MHCLG is 'too optimistic' about councils' cash, says PAC
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is overly optimistic about councils’ financial resilience after the pandemic, MPs have warned.
Hillier in financial sustainability transparency warning
The chair of an influential government spending watchdog has warned of a lack of transparency around the financial sustainability of councils.
Shielding scheme took too long to identify up to 800,000, says PAC
MPs have hit out at the Government’s ‘quickly drawn up’ COVID-19 shielding programme for taking too long to identify up to 800,000 people who may have missed out on help.
Region refuses to take more asylum seekers
The West Midlands has refused to take any more asylum seekers unless the Home Office agrees to a ‘more equitable spread’ across all UK councils.
Let's see what happens on longer-term funding
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.
Pandemic forces finance reform rethink
Whitehall plans for local government finance reform were thrown into doubt this week after civil servants indicated the pandemic would force them to rethink.
A testing legacy?
The NHS Test and Trace programme is not only hugely expensive, it is also ineffective, says a committee of MPs. Could councils do a better job if given more resources? Ann McGauran reports.
Councils left seriously underfunded, NAO finds
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.
MPs call for review of local authority flood funding
The Government needs a better understanding of whether funding allocated to local authorities to prevent flooding is matching local risks, MPs have warned.
Spelthorne told it must 'understand and manage risk'
A council that invested almost 40 times its budget in property must ‘understand and manage risk and its impact on future financial performance and sustainability,’ a Local Government Association (LGA) finance peer challenge has said.
More councils will be forced to issue Section 114 notices, MPs warn
More councils will ‘soon be unable to balance their books and be forced to issue Section 114 notices,’ the influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has warned.
The PAC casts a gimlet eye on the ministry
The phrase ‘glass houses and throwing stones’ comes to mind when Government departments finger wag at local authorities over managing resources, says Michael Burton.
MPs savage abandoned £192m housing scheme
A £192m affordable housing programme that failed to deliver any homes has been labelled ‘deplorable’ by the Public Accounts Committee.
Lawyers brought in over Towns Fund row
Legal advisers have been summoned to break a deadlock between civil servants and MPs over a key document relating to the Towns Fund.
Senior ministry officials to be quizzed by MPs
Senior government officials will be hauled in front of MPs next week after a rare move from the Public Accounts Committee.
Spelthorne councillors to be more involved in commercial decisions after criticism
Spelthorne BC councillors will be more involved in future investment-related decisions after the council’s borrowing was criticised for ignoring government guidance.
Government intervention threat over code flouters
The Government has warned councils could be subject to statutory intervention if they continue to ignore the prudential framework.