Give districts full freedoms on precepts
Why not remove precepts entirely for all local authorities and leave increases to be determined at the (local) ballot box, says The MJ's new Money Matters' columnist Tracy Bingham.
PM wants councils to ‘lead the fight’ on vaccinations
The Prime Minister has promised councils will receive data on the COVID-19 vaccination programme in their areas within days.
Our new beginning is here – let’s not make a meal of it
There are some major hurdles ahead, says Heather Jameson. 'Government’s quick fixes – to raise council tax precepts and push councils towards commercialism – now cause more problems than they solve', she adds.
Scottish councils call for fair funding to avoid 'damaging consequences'
Council leaders in Scotland have called for an end to small ring-fenced pots of funding and no cap on council tax in this year’s Budget.
Warning over integrated care plan
Proposals to merge health bodies into larger regional integrated care systems (ICS) are ‘in danger of missing the real prize of collaborative place-based leadership,’ councils have warned.
Give local councils freedoms on workforce vaccination
Councils need the freedoms and flexibilities to determine which parts of their workforce should be prioritised for vaccination, whether they fit the official ‘key worker’ definition or not, says Paul Najsarek.
Major incidents over COVID declared
Major incidents have been declared for London, Essex, Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire amid fears the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases could overwhelm health services.
More a relay race than a marathon
John Henderson describes how Staffordshire CC has mobilised its staff so far to match changing needs throughout COVID-19, and is ‘making choices about which aspects of what we’ve learned and changed we want to retain’.
Council taxpayers to ‘pay more and get less’
Local authorities have been left in the unenviable position of raising taxes in an effort to balance their books following the Spending Review, Local Government Association members have said.
The devil is in the detail
Tracie Langley says that while the additional Spending Review cash helps, ‘it doesn’t help the base budget position we were already managing’.
More cash, but not enough
With its £5.5bn extra funding for local government next year the Spending Review may have delivered more than expected – though this won’t be enough to reverse the cuts since 2010. Heather Jameson reports.
Survey shows public trusts councils more than Government on COVID
The findings of a new opinion poll show the public trusts councils more than Government on the response to COVID, says APSE.
Spending review: Greater certainty is needed on social care reform
The Spending Review was a missed chance to provide adequate funding and a firm basis for the reforms the Government has committed to bring forward, says Dr Eleanor Roy.
Ofsted warns of unseen child abuse
Opportunities to protect children at risk of harm are being missed due to the pandemic, Ofsted has warned.
SPENDING REVIEW: Live to fight another year
Local government has probably got just about enough from the chancellor to keep the show on the road, says Jonathan Werran. 'And possibly extend the road for the sake of kicking the familiar battered can that is social care funding down it...'
Spending Review: NHS receives £3bn funding boost
The chancellor has announced £18bn will be spent on preventative coronavirus measures next year, including vaccines, testing and personal protective equipment.
How to cut debt and fund our social care
A flat-rate health and social care levy to raise £17bn was a centrepiece of a new study last week. Michael Burton looks at the figures and reports from a webinar on the public finances with ex-chancellor Philip Hammond.
Birmingham loses a political giant
Brigid Jones pays tribute to Theresa Stewart – the only woman to have led Britain’s largest local authority – and says her ‘legacy lives on in the women councillors she encouraged and inspired’.
Report proposes sweeping tax increases
A new health and social care tax raising £17bn should be the centrepiece of sweeping tax increases to raise £40bn a year, according to a new report from think-tank the Resolution Foundation.
Peter Baeck says an enhanced understanding of how to make the most of collective intelligence will ensure public institutions are better placed to respond to the pandemic – and prepare for any others that follow.