Government must back up claim that UKSPF provides real terms match
If the Government is sure the UK Shared Prosperity Fund provides a real terms match for every LEP area, then they should release the comparative data that backs up their argument, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.
How ‘levelling up’ got left out of the Spring Statement
The chancellor mentioned the ‘levelling up’ agenda just once in his Spring Statement. Without serious financial backing, the missions in the White Paper are at risk of remaining unfulfilled, says chair of SIGOMA Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.
White Paper has welcome ambition but fails to mention role of austerity
Even if the Government streamlines funding arrangements it will not be able to achieve any of the Levelling Up White Paper missions unless the scale of intervention drastically increases, says Stephen Houghton.
Inflation’s a concern for councils and residents
Councils and residents are facing severe price rises that will hit the more deprived hardest, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.
Social care needs more cash whether tax hike happens or not, says SIGOMA
Adult social care will need extra funding whether the Government’s planned tax hike goes ahead or not, the chair of the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) has said.
This settlement is very much a stop gap
Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton of SIGOMA says a ‘stopgap’ settlement with a welcome funding boost needs to be followed by a fair funding review that supports the Government’s levelling up agenda.
Welcome words on business rates should be backed up in settlement
The secretary of state now has a real opportunity to improve matters by introducing a business rates ‘re-set’ as part of the provisional settlement, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.
Spending Review is another missed chance on ‘levelling up’
While we still await detail behind the Spending Review headlines, what we do know raises serious questions about the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.
Spending Review fails to deliver for local government or levelling up
Despite heralding the largest increase in core funding for councils in a decade, the chancellor has failed to deliver sustainable funding for local government, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton
SIGOMA moots 'three-block' funding for councils
A new ‘three block’ system of funding local government has been mooted by a group of urban authorities in the run up to the Spending Review.
Expect tax double whammy on residents to pay for social care
After a long wait, the Government’s announcements offer nothing for local authorities or the care sector, says Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.
Levelling up too focused on infrastructure, claims report
Ministers’ ‘levelling up’ agenda is too focused on new infrastructure projects at the expense of improving key public services, councils representing English towns and cities have warned.
Why we’re being levelled down
Levelling up should be about quality sustainable public services supporting those most in need, according to Sir Stephen Houghton. But, he points out, the deficit faced by SIGOMA member councils is more than £350m in this financial year.
It’s only a win if everyone succeeds
For SIGOMA members – unitary and metropolitan councils across England – funding service fairly is the key, says Sir Stephen Houghton.
MPs call for urgent finance reforms
Councils should be given more flexibility to raise their own taxes and social care funding urgently needs to be reformed, MPs have said.
Building back better and fairer
Tameside MBC’s Budget and focus on Inclusive Growth offers a platform to work together to seize an opportunity to build a new and better future, argues Cllr Oliver Ryan.
Business rates are past their sell-by date
Business rates are an unsustainable way to fund local government, argues chair of SIGOMA Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, and he believes what cannot be delivered locally from council tax should be met from national taxation.
Urban councils' fears over debt recovery rules
Urban councils have voiced concern over new rules that could prevent them from recovering council tax debts.
Spending review: Treading water next year is our best hope
Chair of SIGOMA Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton says Spending Review 2020 is a missed opportunity ‘and will mean the best that many of our councils can hope for next year is treading water’,
More Section 114 notices predicted next year
Local authorities are facing deep cuts to frontline services and Section 114 notices next year, the sector has warned.