Tackle high needs before it is too late
Lorna Baxter says the statutory override in place until March 2023, which allows for a negative high needs reserve is 'not even a sticking plaster - frankly, it’s bonkers. The money has been spent'.
‘Wholesale improvements’ required at Slough
External auditors have issued a scathing report on financial management at Slough BC.
Lambeth to reimburse £27m of water bills
The decision follows years of legal wrangling over charges collected on behalf of Thames Water.
What can be learnt from the recent Public Interest Reports?
Paul Dossett of Grant Thornton UK considers the key lessons for local government that have emerged from the recent Public Interest Reports.
Lancaster mulls tax increases and drawing on reserves
Successive tax increases and use of reserves have been proposed to close Lancaster City Council’s budget gap.
Council warned not to overly rely on reserves
Auditors have warned Sutton LBC to be careful about relying too much on its reserves to offset current and future demand and cost pressures.
What can we take away from Croydon’s s114 notice?
It’s immediately clear from Croydon LBC’s section 114 action that local government must recognise and respect their collective responsibility for maintaining a council’s financial health, says Rob Whiteman.
Peterborough reserves near exhaustion
The council has taken a financial hit of £38.9m due to the coronavirus crisis.
Remove the ring fences
Councils are prevented from focusing on key priorities due to ringfences or restrictions on things such as the housing revenue account, says Tony Kirkham. If these were eased temporarily, councils could act in a more agile way, he adds.
Future Forum: Business rates retention is doomed
Moves to fund local government using the proceeds from business rates are ‘doomed,’ according to a financial expert.
IFS finds £2bn budget black hole
Councils face a budget black hole of £2bn this year due to unfunded coronavirus costs, a new study has found.
Council may have to issue s114, warns CIPFA
Windsor & Maidenhead RBC may not be able to set a legal budget in future years and may have to issue a Section 114 notice, finance experts have warned.
Time to relax borrowing rules
An Institute for Fiscal Studies report on coronavirus regional variations paints a stark picture for councils’ budgets, says Michael Burton.
No council should go bust due to efforts to combat coronavirus
It would be a public disaster if councils went bust due to their heroic efforts in combating COVID-19, says Cllr Carl Les – and he is confident a rescue package is on the horizon.
IFS urges government to relax the rules on finance amid crisis
Finance experts have called on the Government to temporarily relax rules that prevent councils borrowing to cover day-to-day spending as they deal with the coronavirus crisis.
Combined authority 'spending reserves like it's going out of fashion'
Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s chief executive has expressed doubts about whether his region would be able to cope with a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Ready, steady, CFO!
Tim Willis outlines the new challenges COVID-19 has inflicted on his council, including estimated losses of ‘nearly a third of our £17m net revenue expenditure’. Government needs to fund the shortfall, he says.
Councils lack reserves to deal with coronavirus crisis
More than 100 councils in England have no reserves to draw upon to cover the financial impact of COVID-19.
COVID-19: Councils need more money to survive in the longer term
Andrew Burns says the Government must offer councils ‘significant additional, direct and speedy’ financial support to ensure their resilience and survival in the longer term.
Councils are faring well on finance
Last month, CIPFA published its resilience index tool – and the picture for local government is better than expected. Heather Jameson looks at the data.