Sir Stephen Houghton
Queen’s Speech: ‘levelling up’ let down
Sir Stephen Houghton says we must not see blame being levelled on those areas who are not able to meet the levelling up mission targets – 'when it is in fact that local areas are not being given a penny by the Government to be able to reach them'.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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’,
The business rates system needs to go
Today is the deadline for the call for evidence for the Treasury’s review of business rates. Rather than tinkering with the current system, it needs to go, writes Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton.
Budget 2020: If this is a national crisis it's one many of us felt was already underway
Local agendas should prevail, according to chair of SIGOMA Sir Stephen Houghton – but he says the headline capital aspirations in the Budget seem to harbour real ambition beyond already thriving areas.
Fair redistribution must play a continuing part in council funding
SIGOMA chair Sir Stephen Houghton trusts ministers will ‘recognise the key role that councils must play in their ambition for a united and equal nation’ - and Government should commit to supporting the same level of service across the country.