Lancashire first to borrow using municipal bonds agency
Local government’s dormant vehicle for lending councils cash was boosted today after announcing details of its first municipal bond with Lancashire CC.
Time for a ‘grown-up’ chat about audit
Serious questions have been raised about the level of failure to complete council audits just one year into the new procurement regime, says Chris Buss. What is going wrong?
‘It’s a near perfect storm’
Tony Crawley of Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) addresses the key issues raised in Chris Buss’s critique and agrees; there are no easy solutions and a need for collaboration from all parties.
Kirklees favours bringing thousands of council properties back in-house
Kirklees MBC is favouring the option of returning thousands of council homes to the management of the local authority.
Scrutiny is still the 'poor relation' in councils
A survey has revealed scrutiny remains a poor relation to the executive function in local government.
What is the future for audit?
Paul Dossett puts the case for a new type of oversight body for local audit that would take a strategic approach to addressing the sector’s sustainability challenges.
Council to change finance approach after review
Warrington BC has ‘consistently overspent’ against parts of its budget and needs to change its approach to deliver services ‘from a more sustainable financial footing’.
As communities secretary James Brokenshire launched a review of the local government audit regime, he spoke to Heather Jameson about his plans to drive governance and performance
Bringing new members up to speed on funding
England’s new cadre of councillors need to navigate a perfect storm of financial challenges. How can finance directors help them cope successfully with the complexities they face? Ann McGauran reports
Review into Northamptonshire highways contract announced
A review into Northamptonshire CC’s highways contract with KierWSP has been launched.
Council to borrow extra cash after project cost hike
Stockton-on-Tees BC councillors last night approved an extra £6.5m borrowing after costs for the restoration of a live entertainment venue increased.
It’s time to scrutinise scrutiny arrangements
A round table discussion highlighted key questions about what the Government should be doing, says Rob Whiteman, including whether, in the absence of an Audit Commission, it should provide some oversight and coordination to review common themes.
Call for Liverpool intervention after mayoral review frustration
Liverpool City Council’s Lib Dem leader has called for the Government to intervene after he claimed the authority blocked his attempts to review the elected mayor position.
Scottish councils need more power - think-tank
Scottish local government needs a ‘renewal,’ a think tank has urged, with directly elected mayors and complete control over council tax and business rates.
Chief executive and two deputies placed on 'special leave'
The chief executive and two deputy chief executives at a Lancashire authority have been asked to temporarily step down from their roles.
Council governance systems ‘inadequate’ for austerity era
The Government has not done enough to ensure that governance systems in local authorities are suitable for an ‘era of financial pressure and rapid change,' MPs have warned.
Third of LEPs 'require improvement'
Almost one in three Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) ‘require improvement’ in their attempts to deliver projects by the Government.
Call for councils to 'embrace' scrutiny
The Government called on councils and combined authorities to ‘embrace’ scrutiny as it issued new guidance.
Time for a governance refresh
May is a prime time to review governance - and this can be done by understanding and addressing the needs of democratic accountability, says Ed Hammond.
Open up to scrutiny
For many councils scrutiny has failed to live up to its potential, says Ed Hammond. But he hopes new statutory guidance out today will help them take active steps to promote and support the function.