Unpicking the pilots
The Government’s quick reversal of its stay local guidance in new variant surge areas has led to calls for clear messaging from the centre, says Paul Marinko. He also looks at the rationale behind pilot initiatives to enhance self-isolation rates.
No accord on levelling up
An analysis by Localis calls the Government’s Plan for Growth ‘a centralist strategy’ in which ‘the question of devolution is not given much emphasis’. It's not surprising that confidence in the programme seems to be draining away, says Paul Marinko.
The risks of Sunak’s freeports
The freeports policy is poised to be a main plank of the levelling up agenda. But there are concerns they could become hotspots for organised crime – risks that could lead to significant extra burdens for councils. Paul Marinko reports.
Will the voices of the South be heard on devo?
Paul Marinko examines the prospects for devolution deals for the South of England – and concludes that if ministers are hoping for grand reorganisation plans for grabbing some of the ‘devolution cake’, they may be disappointed.
Councils' plea to support voluntary sector
A group of councils has written to the Government demanding action to protect community organisations during the coronavirus crisis.
Gateshead to look at bring housing back in-house
Gateshead MBC is to formally consult on proposals to bring its housing services back in-house.
Jenrick: Centres bring together public services in virus response
Strategic co-ordination centres are being formed across the country with the nation on an ‘emergency footing’ to tackle coronavirus.
Union and council end dispute amid coronavirus crisis
Trade union Unite has said its dispute with Veolia over holiday pay for refuse staff working at Tower Hamlets LBC has been resolved.
Johnson stops short of closing parks but some shut anyway
Some UK councils have closed parks and other public spaces in a bid to protect people from the spread of coronavirus.
Union brands protective promise 'too little too late'
Trade union Unite has branded the Government’s promise that social care workers would have full protective equipment in a week as ‘too little too late’.
Government working to ensure 'networks remain resilient'
The Government has said it is ‘in regular contact’ with broadband and mobile operators to make sure ‘networks remain resilient’ during the coronavirus pandemic.
Councils ease parking restrictions to help coronavirus fight
Councils across the UK are reducing parking restrictions as part of the fight against coronavirus.
Jenrick comes under pressure to extend audit deadline
Local government secretary Robert Jenrick is coming under pressure to extend the deadline for council audits to be completed.
Ministers urged to embrace ambitious devolution agenda
The UK’s biggest cities have urged ministers to embrace an ambitious devolution agenda and not ‘merely level up’ powers across the country.
Learn lessons from the snap election, says AEA
Council returning officers have demanded lessons ‘be learned’ after December’s snap General Election exposed the ‘fragility’ of the UK’s electoral system.
K&C against contractors' immunity bid
Kensington and Chelsea RLBC has distanced itself from efforts by Grenfell Tower contractors to receive immunity from prosecution for their evidence to the disaster’s inquiry.
Examining the boarding school effect
Councils appear to be reluctant to explore the option of placing the children they support at boarding schools, but Paul Marinko finds that the evidence points to improvements in outcomes.
Ofsted chief in 'blind spots' warning
Ofsted’s chief has warned of ‘blind spots’ in the children’s services inspection system that could mean youngsters are ‘potentially coming to significant harm’.
Jenrick in fresh anti-semitism definition demand
Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has sent a fresh demand to council leaders for them to confirm their adoption of an internationally-recognised definition of anti-semitism.
Lessons for digital change from the new unitaries
Nine months after the creation of two new unitary councils in Dorset, what have been the lessons from implementing change programmes, especially digital change? Chief executives discussed the issue at a round table debate hosted by The MJ and BT.