• The search for the Holy Grail of growth

    19 February 2024

    In an exclusive interview, Lord Heseltine, the longstanding advocate of elected mayors, tells Michael Burton why powerful, devolved local government is essential for delivering the growth agenda.

  • Government ‘stands ready to speak’ to any council on funding

    18 December 2023

    Local government minister Simon Hoare says the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement delivers ‘an above inflation increase’ and shows the Government’s commitment to supporting councils.

  • Five unitaries moot devolution deal

    18 December 2023

    A ‘non-binding expression of interest’ is expected to be submitted to the Government in February.

  • Sector unites in plea to chancellor

    22 November 2023

    The local government sector in England has put out a call to Jeremy Hunt to ‘address the significant financial challenges faced by councils’.

  • A Bill to drive innovation and local accountability

    12 October 2023

    With the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill going through its final parliamentary stages, Tiffany Cloynes and Rebecca Gilbert look at some of the changes it would bring in.

  • Bigger may not be better

    04 October 2023

    In their new book Steve Leach and Colin Copus conclude there is no consistent or conclusive evidence that increases in council size improve performance.

  • Somerset in section 114 warning

    31 August 2023

    Somerset Council is the latest authority to raise the prospect of a possible section 114 notice.

  • Keep it communal

    15 August 2023

    Former levelling up secretary Greg Clark is wrong to advocate shifting planning from district to county councils, argues Cllr Barry Wood.

  • Building a post-merger Bucks

    11 July 2023

    Clive Jones describes how merging five councils into one unitary authority led to a streamlined revenues and benefits service with potential savings of around £725,000 and improved services

  • A week in the life of a section 151 officer

    04 July 2023

    Tracie Langley has had a technically challenging and fulfilling week, 'but I am feeling the full weight of accountability that comes with the s151 role'.

  • Placemaking budgets should combine capital pots with revenue, says report

    04 July 2023

    Ministers should combine revenue and capital pots into a single placemaking budget to fund neighbourhood services, according to a new report.

  • The size conspiracy

    20 June 2023

    The journey towards implementing the recommendations in the Redcliffe-Maud report is based on the fundamentally flawed idea that bigger local government is always better than its smaller counter-parts, argues Colin Copus.

  • BCP is a different ball game

    10 May 2023

    Chief executive of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council Graham Farrant likes a challenge and he is positive about the future of his politically complex organisation. Heather Jameson reports.

  • Space: the final frontier

    02 May 2023

    Ian Miller wonders why there is such a rush with the Government's revised national Air Quality Strategy. It was poor planning by Defra, he believes.

  • Forging the future of local government

    02 May 2023

    Joanna Killian, the chief executive of Surrey CC and the newly-elected chair of the Association of County Chief Executives, sets out her objectives for local government.

  • Transferring LEP functions to upper tier councils goes with the policy grain

    04 April 2023

    The County Councils’ Network will be engaging Government to ensure the transfer of LEPs is compatible with the wider policy direction that believes local democratic institutions are best placed to lead on the growth agenda, says James Maker.

  • Giant county unitaries run counter to people power

    30 March 2023

    The challenge to the new unitaries is to prove that, far from being a distant monolith, they can indeed be a force for localism, says Sam Chapman-Allen.

  • Raring to go

    28 March 2023

    Councils are preparing to celebrate becoming unitaries on 1 April. Paul Marinko talks to the key players and gets advice from those who have been through the process.

  • A cheer for Vesting Day

    28 March 2023

    As councils gear up to become unitaries on 1 April. Andy Starkie offers advice on how to make the most of this momentous change.

  • Lincolnshire districts back unitary idea

    28 March 2023

    A partnership of three district councils has backed the idea of becoming a unitary to help secure a Lincolnshire-wide devolution deal.