Sir Stephen Houghton

  • Expect tax double whammy on residents to pay for social care

    30 September 2021

    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

    01 September 2021

    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

    25 January 2021

    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

    30 November 2020

    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

    18 September 2020

    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

    13 March 2020

    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

    18 December 2019

    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.