Society of
County Treasurers

Latest News

10 Aug 2022

Public services need another £44bn by 2025 to cope with inflation, says IFS

The government will need to spend an extra £44bn over the next three years on public services to keep pace with rising inflation and avoid steep cuts, according to analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
In a review of the rising costs facing the public sector, the IFS said that without further funding, Whitehall budgets faced being overwhelmed by rising cost pressures that would force departments to cut staff and services.
The government said in its November spending review that it would increase departmental budgets by 3.3% on average above the then inflation rate. But with prices soaring since then, the tax and spending thinktank is forecasting the rise in budgets is now unlikely to be more than 1.9%.

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10 Aug 2022

Inflation to add pressures onto public spending, IFS report says

The high rate of inflation will wipe out a significant chunk of planned real-terms spending rises for public services, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies. It estimates the Treasury will have to find an extra £8 billion this financial year to compensate for the impact of inflation. The LGA has warned that inflation, energy costs and projected increases to the National Living Wage will add £2.4 billion in extra cost pressures to council budgets this year alone, rising to £3.6 billion in 2024/25. LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson said: “These pressures are putting council services at risk. Budgets are having to be reset with potential cuts to the essential services people rely on, in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.”

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10 Aug 2022

Energy bills to pass £4,000 a year

Six million UK households owe more than £200 to energy suppliers, according to a survey by Uswitch. Citizens Advice has also said it has helped more than 47,000 people with energy debts so far this year. It comes as it is estimated that energy bills for a typical household could hit £4,266 next year.

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10 Aug 2022

Borrowing within the prudential code must be for public benefit

CIPFA’s Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities was updated in December 2021.
The code is important for local authorities because it sets out the capital finance framework they should operate in.
However, there are a few misconceptions about how the prudential borrowing fund can be used to fund investments.

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10 Aug 2022

Swimming pools: Concern as closures across the UK revealed

Swimmers across the UK have lost access to more than 60 public pools in the last three years, BBC News has found.
Freedom of Information requests to UK councils revealed 65 pools had closed, either temporarily or permanently, in the three years to March 2022.
Ukactive said a lack of staff, rising energy costs and chemical shortages had created a "perfect storm" for centres.

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09 Aug 2022

Government launches consultation into social care charging reforms

The government has opened a consultation into the distribution of funding for adult social care charging reforms set to come in from October 2023.
Included in the reforms is an £86,000 cap on the amount anyone in England will need to spend on their care and an increase in the point at which a person is eligible for local authority means-tested support.
The upper capital limit for means-tested support is set to rise from £23,250 to £100,000 and the lower capital limit will rise to £20,000 from £14,250.

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09 Aug 2022

County with £60m funding gap hit by £5m costs surge

Norfolk County Council has been hit by more "financial headwinds", with costs surging by another £5m - on top of an ongoing £60m funding gap.
At Monday's cabinet, finance portfolio holder Andrew Jamieson (Con) said inflationary pressures were "particularly severe in children's services".

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Other Headlines

09 Aug 2022 - Lib Dems call for £36bn ‘energy furlough’ scheme

A programme of a similar scale to the unprecedented Covid-19 employment scheme might be necessary to keep rising energy bills from pushing millions of people into financial desperation, according to Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey.
He urged the government to cancel Ofgem’s planned energy price cap increase in October, when the limit could rise by as much as £1,400 per year per household, and fund energy companies’ shortfalls with public money.
The move, which the Lib Dems have dubbed an “energy furlough” scheme would cost £36bn, and could be paid for with higher VAT revenue and by expanding the windfall tax on energy companies.

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09 Aug 2022 - Council eyes office savings after rise of flexible working

Hybrid working arrangements will allow East Hampshire District Council to downsize its office, costing £1.7m but with the promise of saving nearly twice that in the coming decade.
The authority’s cabinet agreed to move from its current Penns Place headquarters on the outskirts of Petersfield to a council-owned office closer to the town centre.
A report discussed at the meeting suggested the move will save £3.3m over 10 years, with initial capital reserve funding of £1.7m to furnish the building and install new IT and energy efficiency upgrades.
Council leader Richard Millard said: “This move is a win-win for us as an authority and for our residents and businesses.

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08 Aug 2022 - Homes for Ukraine refugees face homelessness when six-month stays end

Svitlana Stadnyk, head of the Association for Family Mediation of Ukraine, has warned a “moment of crisis” is looming as Ukrainian refugees housed by UK families reach the end of their six month stay. There are fears that if refugees who have fled the war have not become self-sufficient in that time, councils could struggle to find alternative accommodation and some could end up homeless. Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the LGA, said: “As we get closer to the end of the six month initial placements, we are working with government and key partners to look at what is needed for what is increasingly likely to be long term support for Ukrainian refugees and their hosts in the UK.”

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08 Aug 2022 - Devolution deals sign off put back to ‘end of the year’

The government has put back its timeframe for the announcement of further devolution deals from the autumn until the end of the year, LGC has learned.
Nine areas were lined up for county deals in February when the levelling up white paper was published with the government committed to getting those deals over the line by the autumn. Ministers were thought to have been keen to have devolution announcements to unveil at the Conservative party conference in early October.
At the LGA conference at the end of last month, then communities secretary Michael Gove told LGC he was “confident” all nine county deals would still be agreed by the autumn – even including Leicestershire, where negotiations had broken down.

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08 Aug 2022 - Proposal mooted for Durham to join Tees Valley CA

Plans for a county deal for Durham CC have all but fallen by the wayside, in favour of the unitary joining an expanded north east devolution deal - or even the Tees Valley CA, LGC has learned.
Durham deputy leader Richard Bell (Con) told LGC the county, which was announced as a front runner for a county deal in the levelling up white paper earlier this year, has now been told by government there will be more money on offer if they join with neighbours rather than go it alone.
To Durham’s north, talks are taking place to expand the current North of Tyne CA devolution deal covering Newcastle City Council, Northumberland CC and North Tyneside Council to include Gateshead and South Tyneside MBCs and Sunderland City Council. To its south, the existing Tees Valley CA covers Middlesbrough Council and Darlington, Hartlepool, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton on Tees BCs.
Cllr Bell told LGC the Tees Valley proposal was "being considered" and that he is "supportive" of it.

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08 Aug 2022 - Councils left 'in the dark' on funding

Turmoil at Number 10 means councils will have to wait for details on next year’s funding arrangements.
Last month, then-communities secretary Michael Gove said a new approach with a two-year financial settlement would be introduced from next year with a consultation to take place ‘shortly’.
But The MJ understands consultation now won’t take place until after the next Prime Minister takes office in September at the earliest.

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07 Aug 2022 - Care home fees increase

An investigation has found that elderly care home residents who pay their own way face typical annual bills of £50,000 after their fees jumped by more than a fifth this year. Self-funders were already paying more than councils do for state-funded residents at the same properties. The LGA said: "Councils, care providers, charities and the NHS are united around the need for central government to fully fund adult social care."

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07 Aug 2022 - More than half of government departments delay key decisions

Analysis shows that in more than half of the Government’s key departments, ministerial announcements have been pulled at short notice, legislation has stalled and deadlines have been missed on the publication of policy documents. These include proposals to reform gambling laws and new legislation for an online safety bill.

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06 Aug 2022 - Councils warn government of social care crisis

The LGA has written to the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay, to warn that the social care reforms could push some councils “over the financial edge” and force others to cut back on “vital council services”. It is calling for key reforms – such as an £86,000 cap on the costs of care and a new means tested system – to be delayed by six months to urgently ease pressure on councils. Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: “Social care’s lack of capacity to deliver the care that people need has been evidenced time and time again and the Government needs to step in. If it doesn’t, we can expect one of the most challenging winters in recent times, with knock-on effects that will continue to impact on people and their loved ones.” Cllr Fothergill also appeared on ITV News at Ten to discuss the issue.

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05 Aug 2022 - Landlords running scared of regulation fuel record-high tax take

Around 600 people every day are joining growing waiting lists to be assessed for social care and support in England, figures from councils suggest.
Unprecedented numbers of people needing help at home, hospital patients and unpaid carers are waiting months for assessments and longer for vital care, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass) said.
The organisation said a combination of increased demand, people seeking help with more complex conditions, and a lack of social care staff is behind the “enormous” waiting lists.

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05 Aug 2022 - Social care delays rise

Almost 300,000 people are waiting for social care assessments in England, with 600 a day joining growing waiting lists, according to figures from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services. Council budgets, staffing issues caused by Brexit and the impact of the pandemic are all cited as contributing factors behind the large waiting lists, with increased demand and more complex conditions reportedly also to blame.

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05 Aug 2022 - UK to fall into recession

The UK is on course to fall into recession later this year, according to the Bank of England. Interest rates were raised to 1.75 per cent as the Bank attempts to combat soaring prices, with inflation now set to hit over 13 per cent. The economy is now forecast to shrink in the final three months of the year and continue to do so until the end of 2023.

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05 Aug 2022 - Majority of lead members call for delay to social care reforms

The majority of senior councillors are worried social care reforms will make council services worse rather than better, according to the results of a new survey.

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05 Aug 2022 - Poll reveals majority support full funding for local government

The vast majority of people support full funding for local authorities, a new report has revealed.
A survey of over 2000 people by the think tank New Local found 79% of people think national politicians should guarantee funding for local councils so that they can invest in communities.

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05 Aug 2022 - County eyes service cuts to fund fair cost of care reforms

Nottinghamshire CC is projecting a "significant shortfall" of up to £33m in what is required for it to pay for the fair cost of care reforms, and is warning it may have to cut services elsewhere without further government support.

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05 Aug 2022 - Sunak boasts of his funding formula changes against ‘deprived urban areas’

Rishi Sunak has been caught on camera boasting he had “started the work of undoing” funding formulas he inherited from Labour, that had “shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas”.
The former chancellor, who is vying to be the next prime minister, made the comments to Conservative party members in Tunbridge Wells on 29 July in a video that was shared with New Statesman.
He said he had “managed to start changing funding formulas to make sure areas like this are getting the funding they deserve, because we inherited a bunch of formulas from Labour that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone” . “I started the work of undoing that," he added.

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05 Aug 2022 - Truss pledges to allocate £13bn to social care

Conservative leadership hopeful Liz Truss has said she would give £13bn to the adults’ social care sector if elected.
Speaking during the Sky News leadership debate, Ms Truss said she would “make sure we’re putting the recent funding we allocated – the £13bn – into social care”.
“There are many people at the moment in hospital who ought to be in social care but there aren’t the beds available,” she said, “so I’d first of all make sure we’re investing the money available in social care.”

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05 Aug 2022 - Draft accounts: delays continue despite deadline dash

Sunday 31 July 2022 was the deadline for local authorities to publish their draft accounts for 2021/22. Despite some last-minute weekend working, almost one-third of councils did not meet the deadline.

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05 Aug 2022 - Back to the dark days

Councils face a return to the darkest days of austerity as a triple whammy of pay rises, inflation and growing need hits
Councils will be plunged back to the darkest days of austerity unless there is a funding boost to cover pay rises, inflation costs and soaring energy bills, leading chiefs have warned.

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05 Aug 2022 - Social care waiting lists set to ‘double’ by November, ADASS warns

A shocking 600 people a day are joining growing waiting lists to be assessed for care and support in England, warn directors of adult social services.
A new survey by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) suggests that almost 300,000 people are now waiting for an assessment of their needs by social workers, an increase of 90,000 (44%) in five months.

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03 Aug 2022 - Flexible Use of Capital Receipts Rules Tightened

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up Greg Clark has written to all council leaders amending rules which saw some councils attempting to circumvent rules allowing for the flexible use of capital receipts.
The change makes clear these flexibilities can be used to fund transformation projects only where councils do not retain either direct or indirect control of disposed assets.
The move will prevent councils from using novel practices which put taxpayer money at risk and drain resource. It will also help put a stop to accounting firms and consultancies wasting taxpayer money advising councils on creative accounting.

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03 Aug 2022 - Help house 10,000 Afghan refugees, minister tells councils

The refugees minister has appealed to councils to help house 10,500 Afghans currently living in UK hotels at a cost to the taxpayer of £1m a day.
Lord Harrington told councils the government had fewer than 100 properties available in June, but expects 500 Afghan arrivals each month.
Several Afghans said living in hotels had left them unable to settle.

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03 Aug 2022 - School funding ‘problematic’ next year

Rising wages are set to make school finances difficult next year as funding increases fall below forecast spending growth, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned.

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03 Aug 2022 - Council beach hut sales halted after government intervention

The government has stepped in to block a coastal council’s attempt to sell valuable beach huts to fund its transformation programme.

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03 Aug 2022 - ‘Ravaged’ social care sector needs more money before year is out – MPs

England’s “ravaged” adult social care sector urgently needs more money from Government before the year is out, MPs have warned.
A cash injection and a long-term plan is needed to help the sector meet immediate cost pressures and become sustainable over the coming years, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee said.

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02 Aug 2022 - Schools in England face funding crisis as costs soar, study warns

New research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that schools in England are facing a looming funding crisis, with spending per pupil in 2024/25 expected to be 3 per cent lower than in 2010.

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02 Aug 2022 - Council beach hut sales halted after government intervention

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council outlined plans earlier this year to sell its beach hut portfolio, worth more than £50m, to a subsidiary company.
However, levelling up secretary Greg Clark wrote to the authority yesterday, restricting the use of regulatory “loopholes” to help plug financial gaps.
He said: “Every council has a duty to use the tax they receive from hard-working people in a responsible way.

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01 Aug 2022 - York and North Yorkshire to get mayor under £540m devolution deal

York and North Yorkshire are to elect a mayor and receive £540m of government investment over 30 years in a landmark devolution deal to be signed on Monday.
The agreement will create a new combined authority across the region led by a directly elected mayor, who will have the power to spend the money on local priorities such as transport, education and housing.
It is the first city and rural region to see devolution on the scale enjoyed by city regions such as South and West Yorkshire, according to the Department for Levelling Up. The unveiling of the plan coincides with Yorkshire Day.

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01 Aug 2022 - Ministers were unwilling to agree above cap council tax rise for Slough

Ministers’ views were tested on whether to authorise an above cap council tax rise as part of the current year's budget settlement for Slough BC, but this was not proceeded with, LGC understands.
A report by the council's commissioners warned last week that Slough requires council tax rises in the range of 12-20% above the current cap level in each of the next three years if it is to be able to balance its books.

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01 Aug 2022 - Councils attack Right to Buy expansion plans

Expanding Right to Buy will dramatically cut the number of council homes as they are “impossible” to replace, local authorities have warned.
The Local Government Association, which represents councils, has slammed plans to expand the Right to Buy scheme to housing association tenants. It said that the Government’s promise to replace these properties one for one was unattainable due to red tape.
Under Right to Buy, first introduced under prime minister Margaret Thatcher, council tenants can buy their homes at a discount, depending on how long they have been living in the property. The scheme has helped millions of people onto the housing ladder. However, it has been criticised for depleting the supply of council homes, which are being replaced at a rate of just one in three in England, new data showed.

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01 Aug 2022 - Government announces Yorkshire mayoral deal

The deal would give an elected mayor powers to introduce bus franchising, control local transport functions and set a new council tax precept.
Details published following the announcement revealed the combined authority would receive £540m split equally over 30 years to support long-term growth – 35% of it to be used for capital spending and 65% for revenue spending.
This would be reviewed every five years to “confirm that the investment has contributed to economic growth and levelling up”, the government said.

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31 Jul 2022 - Government urged to act as nine in 10 schools in England in need of repair

The government needs to urgently tackle England’s crumbling school buildings, teachers have said, as figures show nine in 10 schools have at least one part of their buildings needing repair or replacement.
The National Education Union, which represents more than half a million teachers, said it was “shocking” that of 20,000 school buildings inspected between 2017 and 2019, a total of 19,442 had at least one building component that had “major defects” or was “not operating as intended”.

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31 Jul 2022 - Nine in 10 schools in England in need of repair

Nine in 10 English schools are in need of repair, as research by the National Education Union found that around 90 per cent of schools have at least one building in need of repair or replacement. Of 20,000 school buildings inspected between 2017 and 2019, a total of 19,442 had at least one building component that had “major defects” or was “not operating as intended”.

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29 Jul 2022 - (From SCT Survey) Local authorities warn the government’s special educational needs reforms will not address councils’ £2.4bn deficit

Councils in England have seen their deficits in special educational needs (SEN) top a record £2.4bn this year, as local authority leaders warn the government’s proposed reforms will not address this substantive funding black hole.
New analysis from the County Councils Network (CCN) and the Society of County Treasurers reveals that local authority deficits in SEN are now at approximately £2.4bn in 2022-23 – six times higher than levels in 2018 – with councils warning they face ‘catastrophic financial decisions’ if this debt is not written off. If nothing changes, this figure could rise to £3.6bn in 2025.

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29 Jul 2022 - Details of £400 energy payment to households revealed

The government has announced how all households in England, Scotland and Wales will receive £400 to help with rising fuel bills this autumn.
The money, part of the Energy Bill Support Scheme, will be paid in six instalments.
Households will see a discount of £66 applied to their energy bills in October and November, and £67 a month from December to March 2023.
But how the money is received will depend on how you pay your bill.

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29 Jul 2022 - Pay award and overspend to exhaust council’s set-aside reserves

The authority has forecast a £20.4m overspend on this year’s budget, mainly fuelled by slow progress meeting £53m of savings targets, only £34m of which are now seen as deliverable, Ryan Keyworth, director of finance and commercial services said.
Speaking to members of the finance subcommittee, he said the council set aside £25m of reserves to meet overspends, which it would currently cover, but he warned the newly proposed local government pay rise would mean the set-aside reserves would be exhausted.
“When we set the 2022-23 budget, we knew that there were risks around the timing and delivery of some of the savings that were built into it,” Keyworth said.

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29 Jul 2022 - More than 100,000 Ukrainian refugees arrive in UK

More than 100,000 people fleeing the war in Ukraine have been granted visas in the UK since the outbreak of the invasion, according to government figures. Some 104,000 people had arrived in the UK under Ukraine visa schemes as of Monday. LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson praised the “incredible role” played by sponsors who opened up their homes. He said: “Both they and their guests need continued support to help people to start to rebuild their lives and plan ahead, and to ensure more people feel able to step forward to offer their help and their houses as arrivals continue.”

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29 Jul 2022 - Community Renewal Fund recipients get extra time after delays

The deadline for councils to spend funding received under the Community Renewal Fund has been extended by six months, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has confirmed.
This is not the first time that the deadline to spend the fund has been extended. Originally, it was intended that councils would spend the money they received from the CRF by March 2022, however, in November 2021 DLUHC extended the deadline to 30 June 2022.

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28 Jul 2022 - (From SCT Survey) ‘Funding black hole’: councils grapple with ‘catastrophic’ debt for SEN children

Local authorities in England are grappling with a £2.4bn “funding black hole” for special educational needs, according to new analysis, with councils warning the impact on young people could be “catastrophic”.
Rising demand has resulted in councils’ SEN deficits growing six-fold since 2018, according to analysis by the County Councils Network (CCN) and the Society of County Treasurers. A third more children have become eligible for extra funding support over the past three years and the number now stands at 473,000 children.
The CCN is warning that the government’s planned SEN reforms later this year – which will try to reduce the “postcode lottery” in services and make the system less adversarial – will not be enough to plug the deficit that could rise to £3.6bn without action.

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28 Jul 2022 - Council tax rebates now issued to 80% of eligible households

Nearly 80% of eligible households have now received their £150 council tax rebate, the latest figures have shown.
The rebate was announced in February by the Government to help people struggling with rising energy bills.
The figures show that 15 million households have received the rebate, including over 90% of those who usually pay using direct debit.

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28 Jul 2022 - Leora Cruddas: Councils should not set up multi-academy trusts

Unless there is a very pressing reason, councils should prioritise more strategic roles in their local education system over being a provider, writes the chief executive of the Confederation of School Trusts.

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28 Jul 2022 - Councils face record £2.4bn deficits in SEN this year

Local authority deficits in special educational needs (SEN) have reached an ‘unmanageable’ £2.4bn this year, new research has uncovered.
The analysis from the County Councils Network (CCN) and the Society of County Treasurers shows the deficit is six times higher than levels in 2018.

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27 Jul 2022 - Review into role of civil service

Jacob Rees Mogg, Minister for Government Efficiency, has commissioned a review into the role of the civil service to ascertain whether civil servants could adequately implement the decisions made by cabinet. The review will also examine whether departments’ non-executive directors are able to “discharge their functions adequately”.

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26 Jul 2022 - Cotswold District Council members face 'unacceptable' abuse

Councillors in the Cotswolds have spoken out about the "totally unacceptable" abuse they face.
Cotswold District Council unanimously agreed to denounce such behaviour, which members said was spreading from social media into real life.
A recent Local Government Association (LGA) poll found that seven out of ten councillors across England and Wales experienced abuse over the last year.

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26 Jul 2022 - Public spending in the north falls behind rest of England despite government's Levelling Up agenda

Public spending in the north has fallen behind the England average despite the government's flagship "levelling up" agenda, according to a new think tank analysis.
IPPR North - a branch of the Institute for Public Policy Research - said that, despite Boris Johnson's repeated pledges to level up the country, "money simply hasn't followed the rhetoric".
Their analysis of ONS figures found that per-person public spending in the north went from being £246 higher than the England average in 2019, the year Mr Johnson took office, to £86 under the average in 2021.

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26 Jul 2022 - Reserves drop by £8bn as councils brace for service cuts

The levels of reserves held by councils dropped by £8bn in the last financial year, with councils now planning budgetary cuts to some services to shore up their positions.
The latest data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities reveals that council expenditure is higher than on pre-pandemic levels. Net expenditure on services for 2022-23 is budgeted to be £3.7bn (3.5%) higher in real terms than it was in 2019-20. However, it is 1.5% (£1.6bn) lower than in 2021-22 when the country was still in the throes of the pandemic.

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26 Jul 2022 - Pay offer ‘not enough’ to make up for decade of ‘lost wages’ say unions

The pay offer made by the National Employers for Local Government Services is “not enough to make up for a decade and more of lost wages” but is "better than expected", unions have said.
Council staff have been offered a £1,925 pay rise from 1 April 2022, equating to a 10.5% increase for the lowest paid members of staff, and 4% for the highest paid.

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26 Jul 2022 - More than 100 projects secure money from Safer Streets Fund

More than 100 projects have been awarded £50m to make streets safer and tackle violence against women and girls.
The latest round of money from the Safer Streets Fund will be given to local authorities, police forces and eligible community groups across England and Wales.

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25 Jul 2022 - Labour Would Scrap Business Rates

Discussing the economy during speech in Liverpool, Sir Keir Starmer restated Labour's intention to replace business rates with a "fairer system". See also: https://labour.org.uk/press/labour-to-scrap-business-rates-and-replace-with-fairer-system/.

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25 Jul 2022 - Social care facing 'greatest workforce crisis in history'

An extra 490,000 social care jobs will be required in the coming years, a new report has found. Councils have called for the social care recruitment crisis to be made a Government priority in the wake of the Health and Social Care Select Committee's findings.
The committee emphasised that more needed to be done to ensure the recruitment, training and retention of health and social care staff. It estimated that an extra 475,000 jobs in health and 490,000 jobs in social care will be required by the early part of the next decade. Health and social care committee chair Jeremy Hunt said there was an 'absence of a long term plan by the government to tackle' the shortage.

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25 Jul 2022 - Council prevents £500,000 of cyber fraud

The council thwarted two attempted bank mandate frauds, whereby criminals send spoof emails mimicking suppliers to change payment details, a report discussed at a governance and ethics committee meeting said.
It said the attempted frauds were prevented because council staff improved controls to help monitor and verify bank account amendments.
“We have systems in place to double check [whether the recipient] is actually the right person or organisation before any changes are made, and then indeed to alert both the bank and ourselves before [the payment] takes place,” a council officer told councillors.

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25 Jul 2022 - Oxfordshire becomes latest trailblazer for social care reform

Oxfordshire County Council has become the sixth local authority to become a trailblazer for the government’s social care reform.
The six local authorities will implement the changes of the charging reform ahead of national roll out in October 2023.

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25 Jul 2022 - Kent calls for urgent response to Dover chaos

Kent CC and its local partners have called for an urgent national response to the chaos and delays approaching the Port of Dover after distributing water and food to those affected through the weekend.

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25 Jul 2022 - Pay ‘crucial’ to social care workforce reforms

Councils will not be able to fix recruitment and retention issues afflicting social care services if they do not have enough money to ensure staff are paid properly, MPs have warned.

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24 Jul 2022 - Private care home profit margins increase over pandemic

Profit margins for the private care sector increased during the pandemic, research has shown. A study by Surrey University found that the UK’s biggest care home chains saw their profit margins jump by 18% on average during the pandemic.

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22 Jul 2022 - 50 children are waiting for secure homes every day

The number of children in England waiting for a place in a secure children’s home has doubled in the past year, with about 50 waiting for a place each day, according to latest data from Ofsted. The LGA said the current approach of relying on a very small number of councils to run a national service does not support the “necessary expansion of services” and means that children often live far from their homes. It has also called on the NHS to play a greater role in supporting placements for children with the most complex needs. Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: “It is absolutely vital that we have sufficient places available to provide what is essential, very specialised support. Without this, the impact on children can be devastating.”

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22 Jul 2022 - Cost of living package does not go far enough, say charities

Child poverty campaigners have accused the Government of “abandoning” struggling families after it announced a cost-of-living package which included free theatre tickets and supermarket discounts. The Help for Households scheme is intended to help families facing soaring food and fuel bills including a mix of new and pre-existing discounts on meals, mobile tariffs and theatre tickets from businesses such as Asda, Morrisons, Amazon and Vodafone

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22 Jul 2022 - Families cut back on fuel and clothes as prices rise

Families are cutting back on fuel and clothing as rising prices make them question what they can afford, new figures suggest. Petrol and diesel sales fell by 4.3 per cent in June as prices at the pumps hit new records, monthly retail data shows, while clothing sales dropped by 4.7 per cent as UK inflation reached new highs.

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22 Jul 2022 - Michael Hudson: ‘meaningless detail’ in audits causing delays

Local government audit is in crisis. Strict adherence to the International Finance Reporting Standards (IFRS) is causing delays and accounts that are ‘no longer readily understandable’, writes the s151 officer for Worcestershire County Council.

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22 Jul 2022 - Truss and Sunak promise councillors more funding for adult social care

Conservative party leadership hopefuls Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have pledged to make more funding available for adult social care if they become the next prime minister during a hustings with councillors yesterday.
Sources present at the event have told LGC Ms Truss made the pledge despite also promising to scrap the recently introduced national insurance rise designed to raise £12bn a year for health and social care over the next three years.

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22 Jul 2022 - Successful delivery of planning reform and electoral integrity ‘appears unachievable’

The government's planning reform and electoral integrity projects are among those that seem to be "unachievable", while there are significant issues with the levelling up fund, an official report has warned.
The Infrastructure and Projects Authority's (IPA) annual report, which outlines progress on large-scale projects across government up to March 2022, gave four Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities programmes a red confidence rating.

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22 Jul 2022 - Sandwell refuse workers secure 9% pay rise to avoid strike action

Refuse workers in Sandwell MBC have called off a planned strike due to start next week after accepting a 9% pay increase and securing additional annual leave.

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22 Jul 2022 - Overheating roads 'a challenge for councils'

Highways authorities will struggle to future-proof their assets as climate change leads to higher road surface temperatures, despite improvements in the performance of materials, a key sector figure has warned.

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22 Jul 2022 - Councils spending £9bn a year more on local suppliers, research finds

Councils are spending 46% of their procurement budgets with local suppliers, new research has revealed.
The research, conducted by Tussell, shows councils are spending £9bn a year more on local suppliers than they were in 2016. This is up from £16bn in 2016, to £25bn in 2021.

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22 Jul 2022 - Truss tax cuts ‘likely to break fiscal rules’

Tax cuts proposed by Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss could cost more than £30bn and break the government's fiscal rules, economists at the Institute for Fiscal Studies have warned.

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21 Jul 2022 - NHS pay rise could leave ‘£1.8bn shortfall’ in service budgets

The government’s reluctance to fully fund pay rises for NHS staff this year could leave trusts with a funding gap of £1.8bn, a leading health service figure has warned.

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21 Jul 2022 - New Somerset chief faces £44m deficit

Reining in a higher than expecting budget gap will be among the priorities for the newly-announced chief executive of Somerset CC, Duncan Sharkey.
Mr Sharkey is currently chief executive of Windsor and Maidenhead LBC and will take up the post initially with the county council in the autumn and of the new unitary Somerset Council from April.

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21 Jul 2022 - Exit payments plummet

Council staff exit payments have plummeted since 2014-15 when they hit more than half a billion pounds
The latest figures released by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) show the total value of exit packages for 2021-22 was £214,161,226, down from a high of £517,103,453 in 2014-15.But when it comes to senior staff exit payments, councils paid out £21,572,159 in 2021-22 compared with £20,934,952 in 2014-15.

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21 Jul 2022 - Filled posts in adult social care are down for the first time

The number of filled posts in adult social care is down for the first time on record, highlighting recruitment challenges, a new report has found.
According to the annual report for Skills for Care on the adult social care sector and workforce in England, the number of filled posts decreased by around 3% (50,000) between 2020/21 and 2021/ 22.

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20 Jul 2022 - Social care at the ‘centre of the storm’ of inflation

The cost-of-living crisis is set to exacerbate existing funding constraints for councils and the social care market, and more central government funding will be necessary to avoid a winter crisis, service directors have warned.

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20 Jul 2022 - Poorest areas made biggest cuts to early interventions for children

Council investment in early intervention support for children almost halved over the ten years leading up to the pandemic , with many of the deepest cuts made in the poorest areas, a new report reveals.
Early intervention support for children fell from £3.8bn to £1.9bn. Total spending on children’s services fell by 2.4% between 2010-11 and 2020-21 to £10.2bn.

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20 Jul 2022 - Rise in care providers leaving market heightens fears for winter

Workforce pressures and increases in demand that have not been matched with enough funding mean social care directors have “never been more concerned” about the winter ahead, their representative body has warned.
Directors also raised concerns about more unpaid care arrangements buckling under pressure and a rise in care providers returning contracts or closing.

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20 Jul 2022 - Only a quarter of local authorities have enough holiday childcare this summer

Just over a quarter (27%) of local authorities in England have enough holiday childcare available to meet the demand of parents working full-time in their area, new research has shown today.

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20 Jul 2022 - Early intervention cuts trigger crisis interventions

Councils, young people and families are trapped in a ‘vicious cycle’ due to the halving of investment in early intervention over the last decade, the largest children’s charities have warned.

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20 Jul 2022 - IMF: Cutting taxes now ‘would be a mistake’

Conservative leadership candidates have spent much of the past two weeks talking about their ideas of tax cuts, but a senior International Monetary Fund official has warned it could be economically unwise to do so.

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20 Jul 2022 - Ukraine refugee homelessness concerns

More than 1,000 people who have arrived from Ukraine have presented to councils as homeless as a result of placement breakdowns. Discussing the issue on Radio 4 yesterday, LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson said the majority of homelessness presentations seen by councils are coming as a result of breakdowns in the family scheme, as opposed to the sponsorship scheme. He said the Government needs to ensure those on the family scheme can be transferred onto the sponsorship scheme and called for an urgent plan for when 6 month minimum sponsorship placements end with councils picking up locally that many sponsors do not want to continue hosting Ukrainian arrivals after that time.

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20 Jul 2022 - Fire and Rescue Services declare major incident as temperatures reach over 40 degrees for first time

A number of UK fire and rescue services declared major incidents yesterday due to wildfires amid the heatwave. Services in London, Lincolnshire Leicestershire, South Yorkshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Suffolk, Nottinghamshire and Humberside were among services that all declared major incidents yesterday. Cllr Ian Stephens, Chair of the LGA’s Fire Services Management Committee said: “It is imperative that people do not take unnecessary risks and make efforts to stay safe. This means not having BBQs on balconies and grass, parks and other open spaces, disposing of rubbish safely, including cigarettes, broken bottles and glass. Anyone who sees a fire should report it immediately. The pressures we are seeing fire and rescue services under today demonstrate the importance of continuing to fund them for potential risk rather than just day to day demand.”

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20 Jul 2022 - Public sector strike action threatened over pay deals

Public sector unions have begun preparation for strike action after the publication of pay deals yesterday. The deal for NHS staff recommended on average between a 4 and 5 per cent pay rise but unions have criticised the deal, saying it did not cover the increases in inflation.

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20 Jul 2022 - Inflation hits 40 year high

Rising petrol and food costs has pushed inflation to 9.4 per cent, the highest it has been for 40 years. Inflation stood at 2.5% in June 2021, with rapid increases taking place over the last year.

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20 Jul 2022 - Public sector pay: Police and most NHS staff get below-inflation rises

The government has announced pay rises for millions of public sector workers as inflation eats into salaries.
More than a million NHS staff in England will get a pay rise of at least £1,400, with lowest earners getting up to 9.3%.
Police in England and Wales will get £1,900 salary uplift, equivalent to 5% overall pay award.
Unions are pressing for pay to reflect living costs, with inflation running at 9.1%.

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20 Jul 2022 - Shaun Davies: ‘We are going to have to pay staff more’

Labour's new lead at the Local Government Association talks pay, devolution and why he is a 'natural' fit for the role
Failure to make more funding available for council staff pay rises will herald a new age of austerity for local government and exacerbate the sector’s recruitment and retention crisis, Labour’s most senior councillor has said.
In his first interview with LGC since being elected as the Local Government Association Labour group lead in June, Shaun Davies, said the government needed to be part of the discussions between unions and local government employers.

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20 Jul 2022 - Inflation threatens levelling up schemes, Tory council leader warns DLUHC

A prominent Conservative council leader has called on the government to provide a one-off grant to offset the impact of inflation, which she warns is threatening the viability of levelling up projects.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown (Con) has written to levelling up secretary Greg Clark outlining nearly £10m in extra budgetary pressures facing the city.
She drew attention to the "emerging and growing financial pressures faced by the city council and the rest of the local government sector, which is being driven by the rapidly rising levels of inflation and direct and indirect impact these external economic factors on our residents, businesses and the services we are able to provide”.

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20 Jul 2022 - Employers warn against local pay deals

Councils have been warned against undermining the ‘fundamental integrity’ of national talks by agreeing local deals as pressure grows on pay.
In a bulletin to the sector, Local Government Association deputy chief executive, Sarah Pickup, said she was aware some councils were considering making an up-front payment before the national award had been finalised and advised ‘very strongly against any such payments being made’

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19 Jul 2022 - Foodbank use goes up

Citizens Advice issued around 700 food bank referrals a day last month, compared with 400 a day during the same period last year. Cllr Andrew Western, chair of the LGA’s Resources Board said: “Councils have been at the forefront of helping their residents through the current crisis, by providing advice and financial support, including making referrals and allocating funding to food banks.

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19 Jul 2022 - Public sector pay: Millions of workers await deal decision

The government is due to unveil this year's pay deal for 2.5 million public sector workers.
The awards cover one in four public servants, including teachers, nurses, doctors, police officers, and members of the armed forces.
Unions are pressing for pay to reflect the cost of living, as inflation rises at the fastest rate for 40 years.

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18 Jul 2022 - Homes crisis ‘worsened by environmental red tape’

Planning experts have said Britain’s housing shortage is being exacerbated by red tape relating to the levels of nutrients in waterways. Councils have brought plans for more than 100,000 homes to a halt due to guidance requiring authorities to limit the pollution caused by residential developments, according to the Home Builders Federation.

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18 Jul 2022 - Council tax levy could replace TV licence fee in future funding model

The TV licence fee could be scrapped and replaced with a new council tax levy, according to the cross-party House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee, which has looked at the best way to fund the BBC in the future. The proposal would see all households pay for the BBC through their local authority bill.

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18 Jul 2022 - Household support fund access issues

Vulnerable people are reportedly struggling to access food vouchers and cash grants as part of the Government’s £1 billion household support fund, as councils work to find suitable payment methods. The fund was launched last autumn, with an initial £500 million pledged to help poorer households, and councils were instructed to distribute the money to their communities.

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18 Jul 2022 - Where do devo deals stand after the turmoil in Westminster?

Michael Gove's departure as communities secretary prompted fears within local government that the devolution agenda might be kicked into the long grass, but many of the first wave of deals are said to be on track.
LGC has been told by insiders working on the deals that Mr Gove's replacement, Greg Clark, is determined to push on and stick to Mr Gove’s target of the first nine deals being signed by the autumn.

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18 Jul 2022 - Warning about financial reporting ‘crisis in timeliness’

Ongoing delays to get councils’ financial accounts signed off by auditors are placing extra burdens on stretched teams, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy has warned.
Some delegates at the organisation's conference suggested more should be done to hold auditors to account for their part by introducing a statutory deadline for the audit to be completed.

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18 Jul 2022 - Newly appointed Secretary of State for Levelling Up opens up second round of funding

On Friday afternoon, the government announced that it has opened up the second round of the Levelling Up Fund for applications, and it will remain open until midday on the 2nd August.
This will allow councils around the country to bid for a share of the £4.8 billion that is available for them to improve the standard of living, reduce the levels of regional inequality, and provide improved opportunities for everyone. Town centres, transport links, cultural sites, and improved infrastructure have all been key focuses for those bidding for the funding so far, helping to “give people pride in the places where the live.”

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15 Jul 2022 - Elderly rural areas adding pressure to social care services

A rise in the number of elderly people living in rural areas of England could see the quality and access to social care services decline without additional government funding, a report by the County Councils Network (CCN) warns. The number of people aged over-65 living in county and rural areas has increased by more than a million over the past decade. Cllr Martin Tett, adult social care spokesman for the CCN, said: “The failure to reform an outdated council formula has left social care services in these areas already hundreds of millions of pounds worse off.”

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15 Jul 2022 - NHS Confederation blames social care workforce shortages for crisis in hospitals

The NHS Confederation has said the shortage of social care staff is part of the reason for the health service's poorest ever performance figures in June.
The NHS faced its busiest June on record for A&E attendances and 999 calls, with average ambulance response times for category two emergencies such as heart attacks and strokes rising from 40 minutes in May to 51 minutes in June. The target is 18 minutes.

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15 Jul 2022 - Pocklington tells councils to take ‘sensible’ approaches to budget gaps

Councils cannot expect extra funding and must take a “sensible approach to risk” when faced with growing budget gaps, the top civil servant at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has urged.
Permanent secretary Jeremy Pocklington reiterated warnings that councils should not expect any additional funding from central government to cope with inflation, rising social care costs and the cost-of-living crisis.

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15 Jul 2022 - Mary Bousted: Councils setting up academy trusts run a huge risk

Academisation is a form of outsourcing that would distance schools from the local authority and the community, writes the joint general secretary of the National Education Union.

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14 Jul 2022 - Special educational needs provision

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism found earlier this year that of 137 English councils for which it had data, 87 were forecasting a loss on their Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) budgets in 2021/22, adding to multimillion-pound cumulative deficits built up over many years. Extra funding available to the worst-hit councils under so-called “safety valve” agreements with the Department for Education will be expanded to cover 34 councils, with 55 more brought into another, less prescriptive, scheme. But a planned change in council accountancy rules from next April will mean councils, particularly those without safety valve deals, will have to show they have enough money in their general reserves to cover the accumulated DSG deficits. The LGA warned more money is needed. It said: “It was good the Government provided much-needed additional funding to help councils meet the rising demand for support from children and young people with SEND. However, this has fallen short of enabling councils to eliminate high needs deficits.”

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14 Jul 2022 - Cost of living crisis widens Britain’s north-south divide by 30%

Poor home insulation and greater car dependency means inflation is up to 30 per cent higher in northern English cities than it is in London, according to a new report. The Centre for Cities thinktank said a study of cities in England and Wales showed the north-south cost of living divide was intensifying regional inequality.

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14 Jul 2022 - Pocklington: we will work with councils to ‘simplify funding landscape’

The permanent secretary at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has confirmed that the government intends to rationalise the number of funds involving a bidding process for councils.
Jeremy Pocklington, speaking at CIPFA’s annual conference in Liverpool, said he was conscious that the number of government funds is now “well into the hundreds” and is putting a “significant burden” on council finance functions.

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14 Jul 2022 - CIPFA conference: s151s call for statutory deadlines for local audit

Audit firms faced heavy criticism from audience members at a CIPFA conference fringe meeting, with suggestions that there needs to be statutory deadlines for accounts to be finalised.
Currently there is a requirement for local authorities to publish audited accounts by a particular date (30 November for 2021/22 accounts), but this is not a statutory deadline. A number of audience members, including section 151 officers, argued that introducing a stricter regime would encourage auditors to finish their work more quickly.

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14 Jul 2022 - Newcastle restructure sees departure of resources director

Newcastle City Council has restructured its senior management team resulting in two director posts being axed including the director of resources role held by Tony Kirkham.
The council said that savings of £320,000 could be delivered by making the director of resources role redundant and not directly replacing the director of city futures following his retirement.

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14 Jul 2022 - Hampshire’s leader and CFO call for funding reforms amid concerns over budget gap

The leader of Hampshire County Council has called for “root and branch” changes to the way local government is funded as the authority faces a budget gap of £200m by 2025/26.
Cllr Rob Humby said the council was currently facing an “unprecedented financial situation” due to the increased cost of adult social care, growth in the use of services and rising inflation.

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14 Jul 2022 - Cipfa president fears uncertainty will ‘pull focus’ from delivering services

"Huge uncertainty" risks diverting attention from the levelling up and net zero agendas, and from delivering services, the new president of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy has warned.
Jayne Owen, who is finance and resources director of North Wales Housing Association, has replaced outgoing Cipfa president Mike Week and yesterday set out the vision for her term at the body's annual conference yesterday.

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13 Jul 2022 - UK economy grows more than expected in May

The UK economy rebounded in May after shrinking in April and March, official figures show. The economy grew by 0.5 per cent during the month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, higher than the flat growth most analysts expected.

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12 Jul 2022 - UK weather: Gritters are being taken out of hibernation to save the nation's melting roads

Melting roads caused by soaring temperatures are posing such a risk that motorists may soon see glimpse a sight normally only seen in the freezing depths of winter.
When snow and ice threaten to make the nation's highways slippery and dangerous, it is the gritters that are dispatched to make conditions safer.
But with the extreme heat posing a risk of damage to roads, Hampshire County Council says it is taking its fleet of gritters out of hibernation months earlier than usual.

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12 Jul 2022 - COVID-19 restrictions could be reintroduced if rise in cases hits NHS backlog, minister warns

COVID restrictions could be reintroduced if a rising number of cases has an impact on the NHS backlog, a minister has said.
Official data shows 2.7 million people in private households are estimated to have had COVID-19 over the past week, up 18% from 2.3 million the previous week.
And in the House of Lords, health minister Lord Kamall was asked what the government was prepared to do if rising cases began to impact the health system.

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12 Jul 2022 - Child poverty falls nationally

Research carried out for the End Child Poverty Coalition found that around the UK child poverty was at the lowest level in seven years. However it went up by 12 percentage points in the North East, six percentage points in Yorkshire and the Humber, and by five in Wales.

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12 Jul 2022 - Retail sales fall

Retail sales are falling as price rises hit household budgets, the British Retail Consortium have said. Shoppers are cutting back on white goods such as fridges and dishwashers as well as opting for cheaper brands, and sales in shops and online have dropped for three months in a row.

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12 Jul 2022 - Next round of School Rebuilding Programme announced

Sixty-one schools will be rebuilt or refurbished under the latest round Government's School Rebuilding Programme.
The projects will include updating and modernising buildings, and creating facilities such as new sports halls, music rooms, science labs and dining areas.

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12 Jul 2022 - Council tax revaluation announced for Wales

The Welsh Government today announced it will revalue all 1.5 million properties in the country under bold plans to modernise the council tax system.
Wales’s minister for finance and local government Rebecca Evans announced a 12-week consultation on a revised regime.

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12 Jul 2022 - No plans to make academisation mandatory amid mounting concerns

A senior mandarin says the government has no plans to force all schools to become academies, amid growing concerns many schools lack the ambition to form or join trusts in their areas.
The schools bill currently working its way through Parliament sets the ambition for children to be taught in a strong multi academy trust (mat) or for their schools to have plans to join or form one by 2030.

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11 Jul 2022 - Public support for Ukrainian refugees already waning in UK, poll shows

Polling by YouGov has suggested public support for Ukrainian refugees is already waning in Britain. In March it found three-quarters of people supported resettling Ukrainians in the UK and 42 per cent thought the figure should be in the tens of thousands “at least”. However, the figures have now fallen to 71 per cent of people supporting resettlement and 29 per cent wanting to see tens of thousands of refugees welcomed.

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11 Jul 2022 - Covid: one in 10 in England told to work despite signs of infection

Nearly one in 10 workers with COVID-19 symptoms are being pressured by managers to come into work, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has claimed, as a new wave of coronavirus infections and hospitalisations sweeps across the country. Polling by the TUC reveals that 9 per cent of employees displaying symptoms have been forced into workplaces and in the past 12 months, 10 per cent have been asked to work alongside colleagues who had tested positive.

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11 Jul 2022 - Bus fares to cost no more than £2

Affordable bus fares are due to be introduced in England from October, with a £2 cap on all local and regional journeys. A taxpayer subsidy will reportedly cut the cost of travel for six months during autumn and winter, with bargain rates for cross-country trips of up to 80 miles and lasting more than three hours, according to a government scheme intended to address a long-standing anomaly whereby bus services in England are more expensive and less frequent than in London.

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11 Jul 2022 - DLUHC Lords minister quits following PM’s resignation

Lord Greenhalgh announced his resignation from the government this afternoon, saying he was “saddened” by the events that had led to the prime minister’s resignation.
This leaves the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities without a main spokesperson in the House of Lords.
He was the minister of state for building safety and fire jointly at the DLUHC and the Home Office, and had overseen the Grenfell inquiry. He was also responsible with overseeing DLUHC's business in the House of Lords.

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11 Jul 2022 - Chief executive pay: Tough times and wage stagnation

The years 2020 and 2021 were two of the strangest and most disruptive in living memory, and this is reflected in the results of LGC’s latest chief executive’s salary tracker.
Between February 2020 and January 2022 64 councils welcomed a new head of paid service.

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11 Jul 2022 - LGPS funds 'optimistic' about funding levels post valuation

Nearly half of Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) funds expect to be more than 100% funded at their next valuation, new research has revealed.
The survey, conducted by Alpha Real Capital, shows 46% of LGPS fund professionals in England and Wales are optimistic about funding levels at their next triennial actuarial valuation.

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11 Jul 2022 - More Funding to Bid For: Brownfield development fund

Councils will be able to bid for £40m to deliver up to 4,000 new homes on derelict and underused brownfield sites across England.
The first round of funding is available from the Brownfield Land Release Fund 2, with an additional £140m being allocated to councils over the next two years.

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11 Jul 2022 - Metro mayor calls for 'unwavering support' for levelling up

Metro mayor Ben Houchen has called on MPs vying to be the next prime minister to fully commit to levelling up the red wall and left behind areas.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has outlined a five-point ‘Levelling Up Pledge’ that he is urging all candidates to sign up to.

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11 Jul 2022 - ADCS conference: Abuse hampering recruitment of children's service directors

‘Public disapprobation and abuse’ is preventing children’s services staff from filling director roles, a council director has warned.
President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS), Steve Crocker, told The MJ there was not enough recognition of the valuable work done every day.

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11 Jul 2022 - ADCS conference: Whitehall examining private sector ‘profiteering’

Civil servants are looking at ways of tackling exploitation of the social care sector by private firms.
Accusations of ‘profiteering’ were levelled at providers in areas such as care homes, fostering and agencies at the annual conference of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS).

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11 Jul 2022 - City council agrees debt restructure for local attraction

The council lent Brighton i360 Ltd, which operates a 530ft viewing tower by the seafront, £36.2m in 2014 using money from the Public Works Loan Board, and interest has pushed the outstanding figure to almost £43m.
More than £6m in repayments that the i360 was due to make between 2019 and 2021 were deferred, and when Covid-19 saw already-low visitor numbers plummet and income at the attraction tumble a planned restructure was paused.
The authority’s policy and resources committee has now agreed the council will undertake cash sweeps of the business twice a year, leaving it only an “operational cash float”, as part of an overall debt restructure with a reduced interest rate and minimum payments based on forecast visitor numbers and revenue, over a 25-year term.

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08 Jul 2022 - Former local government minister among new DLUHC ministers

Boris Johnson has appointed replacements for two ministers who resigned from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities in protest at his leadership.
Marcus Jones, a former local government minister, and Paul Scully take the places of Kemi Badenoch and Neil O’Brien who quit as part of a wave of government resignations which eventually led to Boris Johnson’s decision to stand down as leader of the Conservative party.

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07 Jul 2022 - Prime Minister resigns

Boris Johnson has announced his resignation as Prime Minister, with the process to appoint a new leader of the Conservative party set to begin immediately. It is not yet clear when Mr Johnson will leave his post, but a source for Number 10 said a new leader is expected to be in place for the party’s conference in October, although a number of MPs reportedly want him replaced sooner. In his speech from Downing Street, the Prime Minister thanked those who voted for his party in the last election, before highlighting his involvement in the UK leaving the European Union and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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07 Jul 2022 - UK debt on ‘unsustainable path’

The UK’s national debt is on an “unsustainable path” unless taxes are raised and spending is tightened, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility. The independent forecaster said that rising energy prices and the country’s ageing population risked a recession, with debt levels forecast to possibly more than treble in 50 years’ time.

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07 Jul 2022 - Clark named levelling up secretary ahead of Johnson resignation

Greg Clark has been appointed the new levelling up secretary, replacing the sacked Michael Gove in one of Boris Johnson’s last moves before announcing his resignation.

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07 Jul 2022 - Case study: Warwickshire County Council’s economic regeneration

A local authority is using central government borrowing to provide business loans aimed at sparking a post-Covid-19 economic recovery.

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07 Jul 2022 - Levelling up bill’s future uncertain after ministerial resignations

There is uncertainty about the future of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill after today’s committee meeting was cancelled.
The two government representatives involved in the committee stage of the bill resigned as part of widespread criticism of Boris Johnson’s leadership.

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07 Jul 2022 - Exclusive: The councils under fire from DLUHC over investments

Three borough councils in Surrey and two unitaries have been approached directly by the Department for Housing, Communities & Local Government over their levels of excessive debt.
LGC has learnt that Woking, Runnymede and Spelthorne BCs as well as Thurrock and Warrington, which all have relatively high levels of borrowing, have been contacted by DLUHC regarding their commercial property portfolios.

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07 Jul 2022 - North-South self-funding split revealed

The South East has the highest proportion of self-funders in community care services and the North East the lowest, according to the Office for National Statistics.
An estimated 26% of people using community care services were self-funders and 74% were local authority funded in 2020-21.
But the least deprived areas had a much higher proportion of self-funders (41%) than the most deprived areas (17%).

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07 Jul 2022 - Education of children in care in England held back by ‘system failings’

A report by MPs has identified “a host of indefensible system failings” behind the educational disadvantage affecting children in care, and called for academies that illegally turn them away to be punished by Ofsted.
The report by the education select committee accused the government of failing to act as a “pushy parent” by placing looked-after children in the best schools available, resulting in children in care “receiving educational experiences that we certainly would not deem acceptable for our own children”.
The MPs highlighted the difficulties that many looked-after children have in accessing good or outstanding schools in England, and detailed how some academies attempt to keep them out despite their high priority for places.

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07 Jul 2022 - New levelling up secretary is a ‘friend to local government’ senior Tories say

Senior Conservative councillors have voiced their support for Greg Clark, after his appointment this afternoon as levelling up minister.
Mr Clark will replace former levelling up secretary, Michael Gove, who was sacked by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, last night following a wave of cabinet resignations.

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07 Jul 2022 - Minister delays self-funding care reforms

Residential care self-funders will not be able to ask their council to arrange care for them at the lower local authority rate until April 2025, minister Gillian Keegan has announced.

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06 Jul 2022 - Zahawi chancellor after Sunak resignation

A turbulent evening in UK politics left Nadhim Zahawi as the new chancellor of the exchequer, after Rishi Sunak resigned citing his “fundamentally” different approach to government from Boris Johnson.

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06 Jul 2022 - Unions granted permission for pension judicial review

Two public sector unions have been granted permission for a judicial review against pensions proposals that would see younger members foot the bill for changes linked to the McCloud ruling.

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06 Jul 2022 - PM promises to let Ukrainian refugees switch schemes

Boris Johnson said that the government would make it possible for Ukrainian refugees to switch from the family scheme to the sponsor scheme to avoid people becoming homeless.

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06 Jul 2022 - Concern ministerial resignations will cause delays for local government

Senior local government figures have expressed sorrow at the loss of ministerial colleagues who have worked with them on key issues.
Three ministers at the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities resigned today over a lack of confidence in the prime minister’s ability to govern.
The housing minister, Stuart Andrew, local government minister, Kemi Badenoch, and junior DLUHC minister Neil O’Brien all shared their resignation letters on Twitter this afternoon.

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04 Jul 2022 - Alison Ring: don’t waste the huge effort you put into annual accounts

Council finance teams put a lot of time and resources into preparing financial statements each year but often the results are impenetrable. A focus on streamlining and clarity can make a huge difference, writes the ICAEW’s public sector director.

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03 Jul 2022 - Hospital pledge faces watchdog

The National Audit Office (NAO) intends to conduct a "value for money review" on the Conservatives' 2019 election pledge to build 40 new hospitals by 2030. Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting asked for an investigation into delays surrounding the programme.

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02 Jul 2022 - Bus route cuts

Around 135 bus routes across England could be cut or closed this summer due to falling passenger numbers, staff shortages and funding constraints. David Renard, transport spokesperson for the LGA, said: “Passenger numbers will take longer to return to those seen before the pandemic and without continued support, it is clear that some routes will no longer be viable and will have to be reduced. We want to encourage greater use of public transport and this means the government must embark on a long-term funding plan for bus services.”

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01 Jul 2022 - Levelling up fund deadline postponed

The Government’s flagship £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund has been delayed, with the online portal for applications remaining inaccessible more than a month after it was scheduled to go live. Local authorities bidding for the second round of the fund were supposed to have been able to lodge their applications from May 31 ahead of a deadline for submissions of noon on July 6. The LGA said the competitive bidding process was creating “uncertainty” and using up “vital” council resources. An LGA spokesperson said: “Any delay to the distribution of vital funds will inevitably have an impact on what can they deliver.”

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01 Jul 2022 - NHS shake-up underway as 42 integrated care systems launch around the UK

Blood pressure checks in betting shops and diabetes support at sports clubs are among new schemes in parts of England to catch health problems before people become seriously ill.
An NHS shake-up on Friday sees the launch of 42 integrated care systems (ICSs) covering the whole of England. They bring together GP teams, hospitals, local authorities and other partners to plan and deliver services tailored to the needs of their populations.
Under the previous framework, competition between organisations was promoted but this has been scrapped in favour of more joined-up working.
Some regions have already rolled out new services under the changes, including a GP practice in Stockport providing blood pressure checks in betting shops.

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30 Jun 2022 - Staffing crisis causing ‘irreparable damage’ to care sector

NHS leaders have called on the Government to implement a national care worker minimum wage of £10.50 an hour to prevent staff from leaving the sector and causing long-term damage to the health and care system.

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30 Jun 2022 - LGA Conference: Sector should consider offering four-day week

Councils may have to consider offering a four-day week in order to attract the staff desperately needed by the sector, a workshop at the Local Government Association’s (LGA) annual conference has heard.

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30 Jun 2022 - 7 in 10 councillors have experienced abuse and intimidation in the last year – LGA survey

Responses to the LGA’s call for evidence of abuse and intimidation have also indicated that many councillors believe abuse is becoming more common, with the majority who experience abuse and intimidation, experiencing it multiple times and half experiencing it on an ongoing basis.
The LGA said councils are calling for government to work with local authorities and partners to urgently address toxic discourse and abuse against councillors or risk long-term impacts on local democracy and representation.
At the final day of its annual conference in Harrogate today, the LGA is publishing a new report, ‘Debate Not Hate: the impact of abuse on local democracy’, which highlights how councillors are facing increasing abuse and intimidation from the public, with little power to deter perpetrators or support to tackle the issue.

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30 Jun 2022 - Councils struggling to meet shared prosperity fund deadline

Councils have warned ministers of their struggle to complete investment plans to unlock the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), with the deadline fast approaching.
In a behind-closed-doors meeting between the Local Government Association (LGA) and levelling up minister Neil O’Brien, councils are understood to have spoken of ‘challenging timescales’ to draw up local investment plans by 1 August.

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30 Jun 2022 - Minister tells councils to ‘prioritise when delivering core services'

Councils will need to ‘prioritise when delivering core services,’ the Treasury has warned.
In a recorded message to the Local Government Association’s annual conference, chief secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clarke, said he was ‘mindful’ that councils would be ‘feeling the pinch’ after inflation reached a 40-year-high of 9.1%.

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30 Jun 2022 - Councils told to budget more for pay

Councils are busy reviewing their budgets after hearing more funding will be needed for higher-than-anticipated pay rises, The MJ understands.
With inflation expected to hit double digits, most councils, which have on average budgeted for a 2% pay rise this financial year, are already being forced to think again.

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29 Jun 2022 - Census indicates lower than expected London population

The census, the results of which were published yesterday, suggests London’s total population in March 2021 was almost 300,000 (3%) lower than the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) previous population projection for 2021, with some boroughs’ figures almost a quarter (24%) lower.

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29 Jun 2022 - Government set to ask Homes for Ukraine hosts to extend arrangement

The government is preparing to ask people who have taken Ukrainian refugees into their homes under the sponsorship scheme if they can continue beyond the initial six-month stay.
Where people are unable to continue, the government will look to expand rematching schemes and seek support from the private rental sector.

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29 Jun 2022 - Gove warns against ‘false hope’ of extra funding

The communities secretary has warned councils not to have "false hope" about government support to cover the inflationary pressures, in an exclusive interview for LGC.
Speaking to LGC ahead of his speech to the Local Government Association Conference this afternoon, Michael Gove also gave more detailed of his ambitions for devolution, committed to the fair funding review this year and revealed he is confident all nine county deals will be agreed by the autumn.

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29 Jun 2022 - Gove announces multi-year funding and new Office for Local Government

Councils can expect a funding settlement covering the next two financial years and are to face greater scrutiny from a new Office for Local Government, the levelling up secretary has announced.
Speaking at the Local Government Association’s annual conference in Harrogate, Michael Gove said the new body would be set up to assess local government performance across England.

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29 Jun 2022 - Jamieson calls for local government funding ‘triple-lock’

The chair of the Local Government Association has called for a triple lock on government funding for local authorities.

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28 Jun 2022 - Serious incidents more common in for-profit children’s homes in England

Serious incidents involving the police and whistleblowing complaints are more common in private children’s homes run to make a profit than in homes run by charities and councils, data suggests.
Analysis of Ofsted data by the Guardian and BBC signals that children’s homes operated by profit-making firms had a disproportionately higher number of police callouts compared with those of not-for-profit providers. There was also a disproportionately higher number of complaints from often concerned staff members.
The dataset, released after a parliamentary question, shows private businesses provided 69% of the bed spaces in children’s homes in England but accounted for 76% of the serious incidents last year and 78% of the complaints over the last three years. Not-for-profit providers such as councils and charities provided 31% of the bed spaces and accounted for 24% of the serious incidents and 22% of the complaints.

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28 Jun 2022 - Warnings of mental health crisis among ‘Covid generation’ of students

The pandemic has had a lasting legacy on the mental health of the “Covid generation” of students, exacerbating rates of anxiety, depression and self-harm and resulting in a “significant rise” in young people struggling at university, experts have said.
UK universities have reported that more students are experiencing mental health problems in the aftermath of the pandemic, and that this is expected to continue with the cohort arriving in September, whose school experience was heavily disrupted by the pandemic.
The president of the National Union of Students, Larissa Kennedy, said she was “deeply concerned” by the student mental health crisis, which was “getting worse”, with NUS research suggesting “the majority of students are burdened by anxiety”.

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28 Jun 2022 - Councils forced to ‘rip up financial plans’ as inflation bites – LGA analysis

Rising energy prices, spiralling inflation, and National Living Wage increases are set to add £2.4 billion in extra cost pressures onto council budgets this year, rising to £3.6 billion in 2024/25, LGA analysis reveals today. As its annual conference starts in Harrogate, the LGA said councils face the prospect of having to make funding cuts to local services, such as collecting bins, filling potholes, or care for older and disabled people as a result and has called for government to ensure councils have the resources they need to meet demand and cost pressures and protect services. LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson – who was also interviewed by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning - said: “Inflation is not going to come down overnight. As our analysis shows, the impact on our local services could be disastrous. This will stifle our economic recovery, entrench disadvantage, and undermine government ambitions to level up the country.” LGA Labour Group Leader Cllr Shaun Davies also spoke to the Today programme about the new financial pressures facing councils.

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28 Jun 2022 - Cost pressures set to rise to £3.6bn next year, LGA warns

The extra cost pressures on council budgets will soar to £3.6bn by 2024-25 - posing a “serious risk” to the future financial viability of some councils, analysis by the Local Government Association reveals.
As its annual conference opens its doors in Harrogate today, the LGA warns that the gathering storm of rising energy prices, spiralling inflation and projected increases to the national living wage are forcing its member councils to rip up budget plans set just three months ago.
These cost pressures will add £2.4bn onto budgets this year alone, rising to £3.6bn in 2024-25, the LGA says.

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28 Jun 2022 - Inflation and living wage to add ‘billions’ to council budget pressures

Rising prices and wages have been tipped to cost councils an additional £3.6bn in two years’ time, putting pressure on authority budgets and risking the need for them to cut services.
Analysis by the Local Government Association has suggested inflation, energy costs and projected increases to the national living wage will add £2.4bn of cost pressures this year, rising by a further £1.2bn by 2024-25.
The body said this means councils are being forced to change spending plans set as recently as three months ago in order to balance the books.

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28 Jun 2022 - Wales launches basic income pilot for care leavers

The Welsh government will give more than 500 people leaving care a guaranteed income of £1,600 per month for two years to help them along in their transition to adulthood.
First minister Mark Drakeford said the “radical” £20m programme will be evaluated carefully to examine its effects on the lives of recipients.
The payments – £1,280 per month after tax – will be made to care leavers who turn 18 between July 2022 and June 2023, and will have no conditions attached.

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28 Jun 2022 - Number of holiday-let homes in England up 40% in three years

The number of holiday lets in England has risen by 40% in three years, BBC analysis of council figures suggests.
Tourist areas which already had large numbers of such properties - including Scarborough, the Isle of Wight, North Devon, the Cotswolds and Norfolk - have seen sharp increases.
Ministers are looking at whether holiday lets should be registered.

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28 Jun 2022 - Labour accuses Gove of acting like ‘Grant Shapps tribute act’ by ignoring looming storm for councils

Labour’s Lisa Nandy will accuse levelling up secretary Michael Gove of behaving like “a Grant Shapps tribute act” as she warns the government is putting its head in the sand over the crisis facing essential public services.
Ms Nandy will on Wednesday warn that there is “a perfect storm looming on the horizon” as local councils struggle to cope with the cost pressures imposed by high inflation.
Her comments come after the Local Government Association warned of cuts to services such as bin collections, pothole repairs and adult care as soaring energy prices and inflation drain £3.6bn from annual budgets over the next few years.

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28 Jun 2022 - Surge in children seeking special educational needs support

The number of children in England seeking special educational needs and disability (SEND) support from councils has risen by nearly a quarter in a year, according to the latest data.
The Local Government Association has called for emergency action to ensure this rising demand for support is met.
The LGA has said that Government needs to resolve the high needs deficits built up by councils as a result of rising costs which outstrip the SEND budgets available to them.

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27 Jun 2022 - No extra money for pay rises – Treasury

In an interview, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Clarke, has warned that cabinet ministers will have to make cuts or find efficiencies if they want to offer public sector pay rises of more than 3 per cent.

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27 Jun 2022 - By-election results

Two key by-elections have seen the Liberal Democrats and Labour pick up key victories, with Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden resigning from his post following the results. The Lib Dems won in Tiverton and Honiton in Devon, overturning a 24,000 Conservative majority with a 30 per cent swing, and Labour emerged victorious in Wakefield, Yorkshire, after losing the seat to the Conservatives in 2019.

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27 Jun 2022 - Councils warn of adult social care reform underfunding

Councils are warning that £5.4 billion of the health and social care tax ringfenced for adult social care reforms will leave them “hugely underfunded”. Ahead of its annual conference in Harrogate tomorrow, an LGA survey found that 98 per cent of councils were concerned that they do not have confidence that funding from the reforms were sufficient. The survey suggested that councils also lacked staff to implement changes and were worried that other services could suffer as a result.

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27 Jun 2022 - Levelling up plans to cost more than expected

Government plans to "level up" areas around the UK will cost billions more than thought, a report by the Resolution Foundation has warned. The think tank said levelling up will require investment that goes "far beyond anything currently being contemplated" due to stark differences in income in different local authority areas across the country.

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27 Jun 2022 - Households could be paid to use less electricity to avoid blackout risk

Millions of households could be paid by the National Grid to use less electricity at peak times this winter, it has been reported. The company are working urgently to establish a scheme to pay consumers with smart meters to ration their usage.

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27 Jun 2022 - Levelling up to cost billions more than government thinks, says think tank

Government plans to "level up" cities around the UK will cost billions more than thought, a think tank has said.
Research by the Resolution Foundation found differences in income across the UK were "significant" and "persistent".
The government's levelling up agenda is designed to close economic gaps between different parts of the UK.
But only traditionally poorer areas of London such as Hackney and Newham have seen significant improvement over the last 25 years, the new report found.

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27 Jun 2022 - Not enough money for adult social care reforms, say 98 per cent of councils in LGA survey

Concerns have grown among councils in recent months that the Government’s adult social care charging reforms are potentially hugely underfunded, which will risk their implementation as well as exacerbating existing pressures on the system.
Of the £36 billion the new UK-wide health and social levy will raise over the next three years, only £5.4 billion is ringfenced for social care reforms in England. These include the introduction of a ‘fair rate of care’ that councils will pay providers and tackling the issue of self-funders paying more for their care than those who access support at the council rate.
The survey of senior councillors responsible for adult social care across the country, ahead of the start of the LGA’s Annual Conference in Harrogate tomorrow, also found three quarters of responding councils said that they are not confident they will have the required capacity in frontline staff to deliver the reforms.

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27 Jun 2022 - Javid announces £150m for mental health crisis support

A multi-million-pound investment will help people experiencing a mental health emergency get access to more crisis houses and safe havens, the Government has announced.
The Government today announced a £150m investment which is aimed at bolstering NHS mental health services, better supporting people in crisis outside of A&E, and enhancing patient safety in mental health units over the next three years.

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27 Jun 2022 - Three in four councils lack capacity to deliver ‘underfunded’ care reforms

Three quarters of councils are not confident they will have enough frontline staff capacity to deliver adult social care reforms, a new survey by the Local Government Association reveals.
There is also widespread concern among councils the reforms are “significantly underfunded”, with only 2% of the 80 top tier authorities that responded to the survey expressing confidence the funding the government has provided will be sufficient.

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27 Jun 2022 - North Yorkshire unitary to inherit ‘frightening’ deficit

North Yorkshire’s new unitary council could inherit a budget deficit of £50m, it has been revealed.
A meeting of North Yorkshire CC heard that its successor authority would take on the deficits of the councils it will replace.
Executive member for finance, Gareth Dadd, said: ‘We could be looking at a possible structural deficit that the new authority will face of nigh on £50m per year.

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27 Jun 2022 - City council given fortnight to respond to government over proposed intervention

The announcement follows Nottingham’s failure to run subsidiary company Robin Hood Energy effectively, and the discovery that the authority misused £40m that should have been ring-fenced for housing.
An August 2020 report from auditors Grant Thompson raised concerns about the governance of RHE, into which the council had invested more than £40m.
And earlier this year it was found that since 2014-15 the authority and Nottingham City Homes had together unlawfully spent £40m that should have been used in the council’s housing revenue account – a much larger figure than the initial £15.9m discovered last December.
In a statement to parliament, local government minister Kemi Badenoch said: “In light of this evidence, the secretary of state is satisfied that Nottingham City Council is failing to comply with its best value duty, and is minded to implement [an] intervention package… to secure compliance with that duty.”

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24 Jun 2022 - ‘Unsustainable’ Send services ‘cannot continue’ as finance probe begins

The government has officially launched a programme where specialist advisors will probe the financial data of 55 councils to try and cut their dedicated schools grant (DSG) deficits, as part of a series of measures aimed at putting councils’ high needs budgets on a more sustainable footing.
The £85m Delivering Better Value in Send programme was launched today by the Department for Education, along with new guidance for councils on managing their high needs systems.

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24 Jun 2022 - ‘Tax gap’ estimated at £32bn in 2020-21

The 2020-21 ‘tax gap’ – the estimated difference between the amount of tax expected and the amount collected – was £32bn, according to HMRC.

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24 Jun 2022 - ‘Tax gap’ estimated at £32bn in 2020-21

This would mean the government did not collect 5.1% of the tax it was due in theory – the same percentage HMRC estimated for 2019-20, and slightly higher than the record (since the measurement began in 2005-06) low 4.9% estimated in 2018-19.
In absolute terms, the latest tax gap was £2bn lower than in the previous year, but this was in line with the fall in the amount of tax HMRC believes should have been collected amid lockdown restrictions.
“On the face of it, the pandemic has not had a significant effect on the tax gap, although as HMRC themselves note, the estimates for 2020-2021 are subject to even more uncertainty than usual due to Covid-19,” said John Barnett, chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s technical policy and oversight committee.
“The figures suggest HMRC are still collecting about 95% of tax due, which compares well internationally.”

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24 Jun 2022 - DfE evaluation of children’s care projects an ‘example for other public bodies to follow’

Since 2014, £333m has been spent on 94 projects aimed at helping councils improve outcomes for children and exploring new ways of working.
These included projects such as an integrated mental health, education and families service supporting children in or nearly needing care; relationship support for women whose children have been taken into care; and targeted support for young people to receive stable placements.

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23 Jun 2022 - English schools warn of acute teacher shortages without ‘inflation plus’ pay deal

Schools in England say they face an acute crisis over retention and recruitment without a significant pay increase, as the country’s biggest teaching union warned of strike action this autumn without an “inflation plus” deal.
The threat came as new research shows that every 1% increase in pay gives a 2% boost to graduate recruitment in high-demand disciplines such as science, maths and technology.
Trainee recruitment is down by 25,000 compared with last year and experienced teachers are leaving the profession at the fastest rate for more than a decade.

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23 Jun 2022 - Unions warn of teacher shortages without new pay deal

The National Education Union is warning that there will be growing teacher shortages without a new ‘inflation plus’ pay deal. They have warned the Government of potential strike action in the autumn if a new deal is not agreed. The Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has described teachers going on strike as ‘unforgiveable’.

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23 Jun 2022 - Minister tells councils not to depend on fine income

Councils should not be depending on income from litter fines when drawing up their future budgets, a minister has suggested.
The intervention from Jo Churchill, a minister in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, came after she was made aware of ‘worrying reports’ that suggested some councils were using private litter enforcement contractors who were incentivised on the level of fines issued.

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23 Jun 2022 - County offers lowest paid staff 7.85% rise

The lowest paid workers at Surrey CC are set to receive a pay rise after unions and council officers came to an agreement on a proportionate pay offer.
Those at the council on the lowest pay grade will get a 7.85% increase, a minimum hourly pay rate of £10.24. This exceeds the UK Living Wage Foundation’s Real Living Wage, which is £9.90 outside London.

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23 Jun 2022 - Interview: the road ahead for the UK Infrastructure Bank

Anna Cartwright has drunk a lot of tea recently. During the past six months, she has visited countless local authorities to find out about their planned regeneration projects – and how they will be funded.
Cartwright says the conversations will inform the design of new systems currently being put in place by the UK Infrastructure Bank, where she is deputy director of local authority lending. “We are trying to shape ourselves so that we work within the grain of what authorities are already doing, rather than getting them to shift dramatically,” she says.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the creation of the UKIB at his March Budget last year, less than three months after the withdrawal period from the EU came to a close and ended UK involvement in the European Investment Bank.

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23 Jun 2022 - Inflation pushes up UK interest payments

Interest payments reached £7.6bn, up 70.4% from the same month last year, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.
The ONS said the rise was because of high Retail Prices Index inflation – this week it was revealed RPI inflation reached 11.7% year-on-year in May – to which about one-quarter of UK government debt is linked.
“On an accrued basis, this month saw the third highest debt interest payment made by central government in any single month and the highest payment made in any May on record,” the ONS said.

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23 Jun 2022 - Council to save £600,000 a year with new solar farm

Leicestershire County Council has approved plans for a new solar farm that could save the council £600,000 a year in energy bills and cut carbon emissions.

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23 Jun 2022 - County council’s finances face ‘unprecedented level’ of uncertainty

A new report into the state of East Sussex County Council’s finances has warned of an ‘unprecedented level of financial uncertainty.’
The annual State of the County report said that the impact of the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, along with global supply chain issues and high levels of inflation, were putting the local authority’s finances under pressure.

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23 Jun 2022 - Council closes four care homes due to ‘market conditions’

Gloucestershire County Council has decided to close down four care homes due to the pressures of ‘wider market conditions’.
The council agreed to close down Orchard House, Westbury Court, Bohanam House and The Elms following a six-week consultation with residents, their relatives and staff that involved a series of meetings in each of the four homes.

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23 Jun 2022 - ‘Real concerns’ as Ukraine scheme extends to unaccompanied children

The government should have provided “robust guidance and sufficient funding” for councils upon announcing the expansion of its Homes for Ukraine scheme to cover unaccompanied children, the sector has said.
Children fleeing the war in Ukraine who already applied to the Homes for Ukraine scheme will be allowed to come into the country alone under new rules announced yesterday.

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23 Jun 2022 - Inflation pushes up UK interest payments

The UK government’s debt interest payments in May were among the highest it has ever made, largely because of high inflation.

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22 Jun 2022 - UK inflation hits 9.1% as prices rise at fastest rate for 40 years

Prices are continuing to rise at their fastest rate for 40 years as food, energy and fuel costs continue to climb.
UK inflation, the rate at which prices rise, edged up to 9.1% in the 12 months to May, from 9% in April, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The figure is now at the highest level since March 1982, when it also stood at 9.1%.

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22 Jun 2022 - Auditing the auditors

Local audit is a vital part of public accountability and transparency, and timely publication of audited local authority financial statements is a very serious issue.
Without it, there is no proper independent assurance over the billions of pounds spent by local authorities.
Last year’s National Audit Office report on local audit timeliness found that in 2019-20, 55% of audits did not meet the extended statutory deadline.

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21 Jun 2022 - Teachers’ strike 2022: Concern schools may be forced to shut as supply staff could be among walk-out workers

Supply teachers could be among staff that vote to go on strike later this year after a minister dismissed demands for above-inflation pay rises.
Schools may have to close, or bring in volunteers, as supply staff would be among union members voting on strike action.
The National Education Union (NEU) said on Monday that it would ballot members on industrial action in the autumn term if the Government did not agree to pay rises in line with inflation for teaching staff.

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21 Jun 2022 - Top tiers face at least £1.6bn additional costs amid soaring inflation

Top tier councils expect at least £1.6bn in additional budget pressures from spiralling inflation, surveys from bodies representing around two thirds of these authorities suggest.
London’s 32 boroughs are facing £260m of pressures on top of what was already planned for when budgets were set in April. Municipal authorities are looking at £570m and counties £729m totalling at least £1.6bn of additional costs in all.
Research shared exclusively with LGC by the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (Sigoma) shows all 22 councils surveyed this month plan service reductions in the upcoming year, with one in four (23%) facing a threat to key services or financial sustainability.

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21 Jun 2022 - Burnham: End Whitehall ‘bidding culture’ to empower councils

The mayor of Greater Manchester, speaking at an event organised by the Institute for Government think-tank, said simplifying local funding will unlock “the next phase” of devolution.
He described the existing culture as “this idea of making everyone get on bended knee to whichever Whitehall department, or not speaking out of turn because you might not get [funding]”.
“It’s just wrong on every level, and it’s wasteful of people’s energy and people’s time,” Burnham said.

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21 Jun 2022 - National living wage boost threatens council finances – LGA

In the spring statement, he government said it wants the NLW to reach two-thirds of median earnings by 2024.
According to the Local Government Association, this increase alone (which the Low Pay Commission has said could mean the NLW rises by 20%) would cost nearly £400m.
The body added that the change could also cause other pay grades to rise, and increase the costs of commissioned and outsourced services such as social care, meaning the total cost could be much higher.
“Supporting those on the lowest pay is not only fair, but improves the motivation, loyalty, productivity, and retention of hard-working council staff,” said chair of the LGA’s Resources Board Andrew Western.

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21 Jun 2022 - Social outcomes contracts save £3 for every £1 spent

Public service commissioning that uses investor capital to tackle complex social issues saves nearly £3 for every £1 spent by Government, according to a new study.
Commissioned by social impact investor Big Society Capital, the new research found that so-called social outcomes contracts have saved £397m from Government budgets so far as well as generating public benefits 10 times greater than the contract value.

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21 Jun 2022 - MRP on capital loans: a step in the right direction

David Green says the latest government proposals on Minimum Revenue Provision should be welcomed by local authorities. There are still some unintended consequences, but the suggested approach for capital loans is generous and broadly retains the status quo.

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21 Jun 2022 - MRP U-turn welcomed but ‘unintended consequences remain’

Local authority finance directors and treasury advisers have welcomed the government’s revised Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) proposals, while pointing out that some unintended consequences still remain.
The government’s previous proposals on MRP, announced in November 2021, were criticised by many in the sector because of the unintended consequences that could follow where authorities have made capital loans. In response, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has amended the proposals to provide “additional flexibilities”.

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20 Jun 2022 - Nine in ten staff are still working from home at some councils as data shows many buildings are only a quarter full

More than 90 per cent of council staff are working from home in some areas, it emerged last night.
Council buildings are between a quarter and a half as full as offices in the private sector, according to freedom of information requests.
Yet local authorities are still using taxpayers’ money to service ‘barren’ office space.
Nearly 3,000 desk spaces are supported by Conservative-run Buckinghamshire County Council, but an average of only 340 of its 2,400 office-based staff come into work each week.

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20 Jun 2022 - Delays to £350 ‘thank you’ for hosts of Ukrainian refugees, charity says

Some hosts of Ukrainian refugees are still waiting to receive monthly £350 "thank you" payments from the Government, according to charity Mums4Ukraine. The LGA said the priority for councils has been putting in place quickly and at scale both the necessary checks to ensure that hosts and their guests are safe and supported. An LGA spokesperson said: “Councils are aware that another key task is to pay hosts the ‘thank you' payment. Now the funding and guidance from government is in place, those hosting new arrivals will be receiving these payments as soon as possible if they haven't already, including backdated payments."
Listen at 2:42

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20 Jun 2022 - Funding cuts left the social care system in crisis even before Covid

Sky News analysis reveals that the social care sector was straining from a shortage of funding and a rising need long before the pandemic revealed a system in crisis. More than half of local authorities experienced a fall in per person spending in the decade to 2020, according to data from NHS Digital, with the numbers even starker in London where almost nine in ten local authorities experienced a funding cut.

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20 Jun 2022 - Rise in pension age has led to surge in poverty

One in seven 65-year-olds have been pushed into income poverty as a direct result of the Government’s move to raise the state pension age, new research shows. Raising the state pension age for men and women from 65 to 66 means that income poverty rates among 65-year-olds have more than doubled, with nearly 100,000 people pushed into subsistence by the end of 2020, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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20 Jun 2022 - Study finds public health cuts associated with worse health

Cuts to public health spending during the period of austerity were associated with increases in poor health, new research published by the Lancet has found.
They write: “Our findings suggest that cuts to total local government spending are associated with increased prevalence of multi-morbidity.
“Our estimates suggest that the average cut to total service spending of 22% between 2009-10 and 2017-18 was associated with an average increase of 2.2 percentage points in prevalence of multi-morbidity.

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20 Jun 2022 - ‘Serious failings’ left children exposed to abuse in Oldham, finds damning review

Vulnerable children were left exposed to sexual exploitation in Oldham because of “serious failings” by the police and council, a damning independent review has found.
The report found there were multiple missed opportunities to prevent abuse stretching back to 2005, including offences committed by a council welfare officer who was later convicted of 30 rapes.
The review also suggested senior police and council officers may have misled MPs on the Commons home affairs select committee when denying wrongdoing over the “profound sexual exploitation” of a 12-year-old girl.

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20 Jun 2022 - London councils call for funding increase amid ‘eye-watering’ inflation

London Councils called for additional funding to enable boroughs to provide a safety net for people struggling amid rocketing fuel and food prices.
“Boroughs welcome the government providing some much-needed extra support to households, and we are seeking a similar intervention to help councils deal with their massive finance pressures,” said London Councils chair Georgia Gould.
She said the additional cost of Consumer Prices Index inflation reaching 8% (which was forecast when London Councils carried out its survey in May – the current rate according to the Bank of England is 9%, and is set to reach 11% by the end of 2022) will increase costs by £700m.

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19 Jun 2022 - Funding cuts left the social care system in crisis even before COVID

Sky News analysis reveals that the social care sector was straining from a shortage of funding and a rising need long before the pandemic revealed a system in crisis.
More than half of local authorities experienced a fall in per person spending in the decade to 2020, according to data from NHS Digital.
The numbers are even starker in London, where almost nine in ten local authorities experienced a funding cut.

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19 Jun 2022 - Starmer: Levelling up agenda ‘destined to fail’

The Government’s levelling up agenda is destined to fail because ministers are unwilling to decentralise power from Whitehall, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer will say. In a speech to today’s Labour LGA conference, he will accuse the Conservatives of “hoarding” power and say that a Labour government in Westminster will offer a new partnership with local government, with decisions being made “as locally as practicable”. This was also reported in the Mail and Evening Standard.

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19 Jun 2022 - What if we banned all second homes?

Three percent of English households own a second home, according to the English Housing Survey, with purchases of an additional property accounting for 4.2 percent of sales within a mile of the coast. Government figures from 2018 suggest that if housing stock were to increase by 1 percent, house prices would fall by about 2 percent, although measuring second-home owners’ contribution to local economies is difficult. In Cornwall, tourism is the biggest employer and supports one in five jobs, according to the LGA.

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19 Jun 2022 - County council cuts nearly £700,000 of social care grants

A council has taken hundreds of thousands of pounds of grants out of next year’s budget as part of a savings drive aimed at saving the authority millions.

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19 Jun 2022 - Ministers told to boost school meal funding as children ‘getting smaller portions’

Ministers have been told they must raise the amount of money spent on children’s school meals amid claims that pupils are going home hungry because of shrinking portion sizes. Caterers have already been forced to replace some items with cheaper alternatives, while schools struggle with a mismatch between free school meals funding and the prices set by caterers.

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19 Jun 2022 - Schools and libraries face huge cuts after £1.7bn shortfall

School-building projects, swimming pools and libraries have been earmarked for emergency funding cuts because councils have been hit by an unexpected £1.7 billion hole in their budgets, it is reported. Inflation and rising energy bills mean that council leaders have been forced to change their financial plans from a few months ago, with higher than anticipated staff pay bills also contributing to their newfound deficits. Local authority leaders are understood to have already approached ministers to ask for extra financial support to soften the impact of rapidly rising costs, which they said will reduce their capacity to support residents facing the cost of living crisis. The LGA said paying the forecasted increase in the national living wage for the lowest paid council staff alone could cost councils at least £400 million over the next two years and without central government support to cover this cost, councils would be forced to cut jobs and services.

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17 Jun 2022 - Another bid-based funding pot - £7.8m for tree planting

Up to 50 local authorities will share £7.8m to train and employ new staff to drive forward tree planting and woodland creation.
All upper tier authorities are eligible to apply for the Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund to access the professional expertise they need to deliver plans.

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17 Jun 2022 - Exclusive: County devo talks descend into ‘dog’s breakfast’

A Conservative council leader whose area had expected to be among the first to receive a county deal has lashed out at the government over the breakdown of its mayoral devolution discussions.
Leicestershire CC leader Nick Rushton (Con) claimed the area had gone from wearing “yellow jerseys" in the Tour de France to “riding at the back of the peleton”.

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17 Jun 2022 - Ukrainian new arrivals presenting as homeless

Over 600 Ukrainian new arrivals have presented to councils as homeless since the end of February, according to latest government figures. At least 480 Ukrainian families with children and 180 single adults have applied for help, despite arriving on visas designed to secure a place to live. The LGA has warned that most homelessness presentations are from those arriving through the family scheme, as borne out by the latest figures. Cllr David Renard, housing spokesperson for the LGA, said: “Currently councils receive no data on, or funding for, people who are coming under the family visa scheme. Some of those families present as homeless once they have arrived, but we are asking that they should be able to be re-matched with a sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine scheme.”

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17 Jun 2022 - Renters reform white paper

Plans to safeguard renters in the private rented sector are moving forward as the Government published their Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper. The measures will form part of the Renters Reform Bill and will see tenants handed more powers to challenge poor practice, and the scrapping of ‘no-fault evictions.’ Cllr David Renard, housing spokesperson for the LGA, said: “Removal of ‘no fault evictions’ is a key step towards increased protection for private renters and will allow renters to challenge poor practice and unfair rent increases without fear of eviction. It will also be important that landlords are able to get their properties back in a timely fashion where they have a valid reason to do so.”

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17 Jun 2022 - Interest rates raised

Interest rates in the UK have risen from 1 per cent to 1.25 per cent, the fifth consecutive rise, as the Bank of England attempts to tackle soaring prices. Inflation is now at a 40-year high of 9 per cent, with the Bank warning it could surpass 11 per cent later this year.

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17 Jun 2022 - Record number waiting for routine treatments

A record 6.48 million people were waiting to start routine hospital treatment in England at the end of April after being referred by a consultant, NHS figures reveal. The number of people forced to wait over a year for treatment is now almost 200 times higher than it was before the pandemic, with 300,000 on the list at the end of February this year.

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17 Jun 2022 - Fears that members are ‘opting out of LGPS over cost-of-living crisis’

The head of pensions at the Local Government Association has expressed concern over members opting out of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) due to the rise in inflation and the cost-of-living crisis.
Joanne Donnelly, addressing the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association local authority conference, said: “My personal concern is about opt outs from members because of the cost of living. I personally feel very lucky to be a member of the LGPS, but it is expensive.”

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17 Jun 2022 - County council cuts nearly £700,000 of social care grants

Hampshire County Council decided to cut £680,000 of grants – £320,000 for voluntary organisations in the health and social care sector and £360,000 for social inclusion services for homeless people.
Councillors said the authority needs to find £40.6m of savings in its health and social care budget by the end of March 2023 – a significant proportion of the total £80m of savings needed across all areas of the council’s spending.
“What we cannot do is carry on giving grants to organisations and neglect our statutory responsibility to those who are perhaps most vulnerable in our society – the frailest, the elderly, people with disabilities,” said Liz Fairhurst, executive member for adult services and public health, at a council meeting.

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16 Jun 2022 - Care home owners paid 13 times more than carers

The pay of executives at equity firms that own care homes is 13 times higher than the wages of the care home workers they employ, new research has revealed.
A report from the University of Surrey and analysts Trinava Consulting – entitled Held to Ransom – found that the average salary has rocketed by more than 100% in five years for top executives at some of the largest care home owners including Barchester, HC-One, Care UK, Avery Healthcare, and Signature Senior Living.

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16 Jun 2022 - Demand for second homes fall

Demand for second homes has fallen, according to analysis by Rightmove. In Ilfracombe and Brixham in Devon, buyer competition fell by 64 per cent and 40 per cent respectively whist in Cornwall a 27 per cent drop was seen this year.

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16 Jun 2022 - Council to reprofile regeneration project amid surging costs

A council in south-west England will scale back a town centre regeneration project in the face of rising construction costs.

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16 Jun 2022 - Counties face winter of ‘difficult decisions’ amid soaring inflation

English counties could be forced to reduce services or postpone local infrastructure repairs in 2022-23, as inflation far exceeds initial forecasts.

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16 Jun 2022 - Former Chancellor warns of recession

Lord Hammond, former Chancellor has said that the UK is heading for a recession, saying "all the data points that way". He told Sky News the country faces a "very, very difficult period ahead in the short term" and thinks the UK economy will slow down quite sharply in the autumn

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16 Jun 2022 - Plans to create fairer private rental sector in England take a step forward

Plans to create a fairer private rented sector in England are taking a step forward with the publication of a Government White Paper on Thursday.
Tenants will have stronger powers to challenge poor practice and unjustified rent increases under the proposals, and they could also be saved the expense of having to move as often from one rented home to another.
It will also be made illegal for landlords or agents to place blanket bans on renting to families with children or those in receipt of benefits.

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15 Jun 2022 - We need to talk about internal audit

CIPFA’s recent report, Internal Audit: Untapped Potential, lifts the lid on internal audit in public services. For some chief financial officers and chief executives, it will confirm the value and contribution of internal audit teams. The report found 87% of clients recognised the contribution internal audit makes, which is good news. However, for some leadership teams it might come as a surprise that internal audit can do more than provide a basic service at minimal cost.

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14 Jun 2022 - Thousands catching Covid in hospital amid new wave warning

Thousands of patients are still catching COVID-19 on hospital wards, analysis shows, as scientists have warned that Britain could be facing a new wave of coronavirus. Just days after the NHS dropped a requirement to wear masks within hospitals and GP practices, data shows that 19 per cent of positive patients on wards are likely to have caught the virus in hospital.

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13 Jun 2022 - UK economy shrinks as higher prices bite

The UK economy shrank again in April as businesses felt the impact of price rises and the NHS Covid Test and Trace operation was wound down.
The economy contracted by 0.3% in April after it shrank by 0.1% the month before, official figures showed.
April was the first time all main sectors of the economy - services, manufacturing and production - had shrunk since January 2021.

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13 Jun 2022 - Government has not done ‘full’ impact assessment of Right to Buy extension, Michael Gove admits

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has admitted the government has not conducted a “full” impact assessment of Boris Johnson’s extension of Right to Buy.
Quizzed by MPs, the Levelling Up secretary was also unable to say where the funding for the newly announced policy would come from, insisting: “Watch this space”.
It comes after the prime minister unveiled proposals to extend Margaret Thatcher’s flagship housing scheme, Right to Buy, to housing association tenants last week.

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12 Jun 2022 - Move to minimise impact of strikes

The Government is preparing to repeal a legal ban that prevents agency staff filling in for striking workers.

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12 Jun 2022 - Tax cuts 'dispute'

It is reported that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will refuse to cut taxes to ease cost of living concerns unless Prime Minister Boris Johnson identifies government spending that he is willing to cut to fund such a move.

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12 Jun 2022 - Second home vote

Voters will go to the polls tomorrow in the Yorkshire town of Whitby on the issue of second-home ownership. Residents will be asked if they want new-build properties to be reserved for locals.

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10 Jun 2022 - Government denies wasting £11bn on debt servicing costs

The Treasury has defended itself against a think-tank’s claim that it spent billions of pounds more than necessary on interest on the government’s debts.

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10 Jun 2022 - Councils sound warning over right-to-buy extension

Proposals to expand the right-to-buy scheme to housing associations and earmark national infrastructure levy income for new social housing have sparked funding concerns among councils.

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10 Jun 2022 - Some areas ‘likely to lose out on levelling up funding’

Some regions across the UK are likely to miss out on initial development funding as the government directs its support towards the most deprived areas first, according to experts.

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10 Jun 2022 - Some areas ‘likely to lose out on levelling up funding’

The government must work out which areas need funding the most in order to best use the “finite resources” pledged to levelling up, said Andrew McPhillips, chief economist at the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
Speaking at an Institute for Government event, he said this would be politically difficult but necessary to help define and track the progress of the government’s much-vaunted agenda.
McPhillips said: “There will be some [areas] that are just below and just above the cut-off line.

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09 Jun 2022 - UK set for highest inflation among G7 until 2024, say economists

The UK is expected to have the highest inflation in the G7 not just this year but also in 2023 and 2024, according to economists, reflecting how Britain is struggling with a toxic combination of price rises recorded in Europe and North America.
A Financial Times analysis of the causes of price increases across the world’s leading economies shows that Britain — where the inflation rate hit a 40-year high of 9 per cent in April — combines the worst aspects of other G7 countries.
The UK is contending with a huge rise in the price of energy, like many countries in mainland Europe. But Britain is also grappling with a broad rise in the prices of other goods and services, like North America.
Energy prices, combining electricity, gas and road fuels, contributed 3.5 percentage points to the UK’s 9 per cent inflation rate in April, much the same as in Germany and Italy. It highlights how Europe has been badly exposed to rising energy prices as the global economy reopened following the Covid-19 pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has magnified the problem.
Meanwhile, other goods and services contributed 5.5 percentage points to UK inflation in April, similar to the US and Canada. As the pandemic has eased, goods and services have increased in price as consumer spending has outstripped companies’ ability to meet demand.

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09 Jun 2022 - ‘Watch this space’ for another section 114 notice, warns council finance director

Northumberland County Council issued a notice in May after its interim director of finance Jan Willis found the authority provided international commercial services without a subsidiary company, breaching the Localism Act 2011.
Responding to councillors at an extraordinary full council meeting this week, she was unable to rule out the council issuing further notices.
“Are there going to be any further section 114s? I don’t know,” she said.
Willis said there are some matters she is “still looking into”, including two exit payments given to senior officers, but gave no further details.

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09 Jun 2022 - Government expects further delay to school funding reforms

The government first proposed the national funding formula (NFF) in a white paper in 2010, with the aim of ensuring all schools receive a fair level of support per pupil.
The NFF was ‘soft launched’ in 2018-19, with funding given to authorities to allocate to schools through a separate formula.
However, a Department for Education consultation has now revealed that arrangements meaning central government will fund schools directly may not be implemented until 2027 – three years later than the government said as recently as last year.
The DfE said it is “not setting a definitive final end date” for rolling out the policy, saying it will depend on how the initial transition progresses.

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09 Jun 2022 - Nandy claims fair funding pledge to Tory MP is ‘awfully dodgy’

The shadow levelling up secretary, Lisa Nandy, was forced to withdraw a suggestion that the government had acted corruptly in promising a fair funding review for the Isle of Wight.
On Tuesday, Bob Seely (Con), the MP for the Isle of Wight, wrote in a statement to his constituents that his support for the prime minister in Monday’s confidence vote had been encouraged by a commitment from ministers to look into the Isle of Wight Council’s funding arrangements.
Speaking during the debate on the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, Ms Nandy said: “I ask the secretary of state: did he have knowledge of this? Did he sign it off? Let me say to him: that sounds awfully like corruption to me.”

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09 Jun 2022 - Call for ‘substantial’ pay rise for chiefs amid ‘dangerous workloads’

Union representing local government chiefs are calling for pay rises on par with other council employees after it revealed chiefs’ wages have fallen by almost a third since 2008.
Unison and GMB, representing the officers' side of the joint negotiating committee for chief officers, says their members are continuing to report “dangerous workloads” after going “above and beyond” during the pandemic, and that a “substantial increase” in pay would represent a “form of recognition for the very high levels of unpaid overtime that our members contribute”.

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09 Jun 2022 - County ‘lost its way over a number of years’, says review

Northumberland CC needs a “fundamental reset of its philosophy, processes and relationships” because staff and politicians are consumed with in-fighting, a damning review of its governance has concluded.
Last month the council issued a section 114 notice over a £40,000-a-year payment to its chief executive and the structure of a trading company.

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09 Jun 2022 - Council ‘bitterly disappointed’ by oil drilling decision

The Government has been criticised for granting permission for oil drilling to go ahead on a site in Surrey against the county council’s wishes.
Housing minister Stuart Andrew has announced that UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) will be allowed to carry out exploratory drilling on a site for three years.
Surrey CC’s planning and regulatory committee refused planning permission for UKOG’s proposal in December 2019 but the Planning Inspectorate recommended that the appeal be allowed.

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09 Jun 2022 - Right to Buy extended to housing association tenants

Council leaders have warned that any homes sold under the newly-extended Right to Buy scheme must be replaced on a like-for-like basis.
Today Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that up to 2.5 million housing association tenants will be given the right to buy them outright.

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09 Jun 2022 - 'Perfect storm' warning over supply chain pressures

Supply chain pressures are mounting up on local government, with place directors warning of a ‘perfect storm’.
COVID-19, a shortage of lorry drivers, global supply chain issues and the Ukraine crisis have led to unforeseen price increases across a range of council service areas.
Rising fuel costs have hit waste, highways and transport contracts while directors have reported increasing construction supply costs, with a number of early warnings on current schemes.

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08 Jun 2022 - Levelling up fund rules allow ministers to hand billions to favoured areas, MPs warn

Ministers have been accused of drawing up rules which allow billions of pounds of levelling up funding to be handed to their favoured areas. The Commons Public Accounts Committee revealed that the “principles” for successful awards from a flagship £4.8 billion fund were decided only after the Government knew which of 170 bidders “would win and who would not”. Its report also said councils are unable to plan properly because of the “unpredictability of the ‘alphabet soup’ of funding pots to support regeneration”. In response Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said: “Turning levelling up from a political slogan into a reality will only be achieved if councils have the powers and funding they need. Competitive bidding for short-term, small pots of funding creates uncertainty and uses up vital resources in councils, which could be better spent on planning ahead for their communities.” The LGA’s response was also reported in the FT, iNews and Mirror.

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08 Jun 2022 - Health and social care to face biggest shake-up of leadership in decades

The Government has promised “the biggest shake-up in health and social care leadership in a generation” after a review found evidence of bullying, discrimination and blame culture. The review by retired general Sir Gordon Messenger, which will be published in full later, also found there is "instructional inadequacy" in how leaders and management are trained, valued and developed.

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08 Jun 2022 - Right to Buy policy to be extended

Boris Johnson is expected to say that he wants 2.5 million people who rent housing association properties to have the chance to buy their homes at a discount. Under the existing Right to Buy policy, tenants living in council houses can get a discount of up to 70 per cent of the market price depending on how long they have lived there, or £87,200 rising to £116,200 in London, while the Prime Minister is also understood to favour the idea of building more modular homes.

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08 Jun 2022 - New unitary begins search for a chief

Councillors for the new North Yorkshire unitary council have started the process of recruiting a chief executive.
The new unitary will replace the county’s existing governance model when its county council and seven district councils are abolished in April 2023.

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08 Jun 2022 - MP backs Johnson after fair funding promise

The MP for the Isle of Wight was told that a fair funding package will be considered in the "very near future" during talks with ministers yesterday.
Bob Seely (Con), said he had talks with government ministers around why a fair funding package has not yet been delivered for the island’s council.

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08 Jun 2022 - Government to bailout more councils over SEND

The Government is in talks to expand its programme of bailing out under-pressure councils to wipe out their special educational needs (SEND) deficits.
It said it would be ‘expanding’ its so-called safety valve intervention after striking deals with nine councils totalling more than £300m earlier this year.

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08 Jun 2022 - IFS: Government should not ignore senior public sector staff pay

Public bodies could find it difficult to retain senior staff if the decade-long trend of sharper pay reductions at the top of the sector continues, an expert has warned.

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08 Jun 2022 - Unions demand ‘inflation-busting’ local government pay rise

The three major unions representing council workers in England have requested a “substantial pay rise” this year to help mitigate the impact of soaring inflation on their members.

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08 Jun 2022 - Concern over levelling up bill’s potential power grab from districts

Councillors are concerned about some of the reforms laid out in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, with district councillors worried at how their councils' powers could be usurped without their consent under the proposals.
The bill, which is having its second reading in the Commons today, stipulates that only county councils or unitaries can be constituent members of the new bodies, with districts relegated to becoming non constituent members.

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08 Jun 2022 - Delay to application process for levelling up fund

The government has admitted there has been a delay to the launching the portal that will let councils apply to the next round of the levelling up fund.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities apologised for the “inconvenience” in an update on its website yesterday – one week after the portal should have launched.

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08 Jun 2022 - MPs criticise ‘lack of transparency’ of levelling up funding

A report by the MPs found ministers had seen a “high-level summary” of the bids for the £1.7bn first round of the Levelling Up Fund before finalising the principles they would be judged on, meaning they knew which councils would win and which would not.
The government was unable to clarify how much say ministers had in awarding funds, nor did it publish lists of how bids were scored, which were shortlisted or which were unsuccessful, the report said.
The committee said it “remains concerned over the timing of ministerial input for final awards”.

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08 Jun 2022 - Another ‘unsatisfactory’ report card for DLUHC seems unlikely to spark improvement

MPs have delivered another critical report on the government’s levelling up funding but LGC's news editor Kirsty Weakley doubts it will lead to any change

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07 Jun 2022 - Fines for parents rise as schools try to reach absent kids

Parents in England are being hit with an increasing number of fines as schools try to encourage children to stop missing school.
The number of non-attendance fines being handed out dropped off during the pandemic, as self-isolation rules and lockdowns led to millions of children learning at home.
But there has been growing concern since it was revealed that almost 1.8 million children regularly missed school in the first term of this academic year.
As part of a mission to tackle this, parents have been fined £3.7m for the school year so far, figures obtained by the BBC show.

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07 Jun 2022 - Rishi Sunak says windfall tax may be extended to electricity giants

The government is “urgently” exploring a windfall tax on electricity companies within weeks, Rishi Sunak has said, extending the Treasury’s £5 billion energy tax raid to cushion the cost of living blow for struggling households.
The chancellor told MPs on the Treasury committee that electricity companies were racking up “extraordinary profits” on the back of a global oil and gas price surge that has driven up UK household bills by more than 50 per cent this year.
“We are working urgently with the industry to understand the scale of what those [profits] might be and the best way to address that,” Sunak said.

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06 Jun 2022 - Thousands of UK workers begin world’s biggest trial of four-day week

More than 3,300 workers at 70 UK companies, ranging from a local chippy to large financial firms, start working a four-day week from Monday with no loss of pay in the world’s biggest trial of the new working pattern.
The pilot is running for six months and is being organised by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with the thinktank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week Campaign, and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.
The trial is based on the 100:80:100 model – 100% of pay for 80% of the time, in exchange for a commitment to maintain 100% productivity.

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06 Jun 2022 - Unions call for ‘substantial’ pay rises to reflect soaring inflation

The three unions representing local government workers have asked for a “substantial” rise to reflect the current rate of inflation, or a minimum of £2,000, in the pay claim they have just submitted for this financial year.
The National Employers say that Unison, Unite and GMB have asked for “a substantial increase with a minimum of £2,000, or the current rate of RPI [retail price index inflation] - whichever is greater, plus changes to a number of terms and conditions” in the claim that was submitted to them last week.

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05 Jun 2022 - Civil service cuts will leave Whitehall unable to cope with Brexit workload

Boris Johnson’s plans to slash the number of civil servants by 91,000 – around 20% – within three years, will leave Whitehall unable to handle the huge extra workload caused by Brexit, independent experts and unions have warned the government.
They say such a reduction would leave the state too small to cope with the added responsibilities taken on by officials in Whitehall since the UK left the EU, including in areas of trade, agriculture, immigration and business regulation.
This weekend the TUC releases figures showing that the planned cuts would mean the ratio of civil servants to members of the UK population would fall beneath the low recorded after former chancellor George Osborne’s ruthless austerity drive, when government departments were told to pare back numbers to achieve savings of up to 40% after the 2010 general election.

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04 Jun 2022 - Food bank concerns without free school meal extension

Food banks are anticipating a surge in demand this summer unless the Government expands free school meals over the summer holidays, with the Independent Food Aid Network saying some are being pushed to breaking point. Around 1.7 million children are currently eligible for free school meals, but 2.6 million children live in households that missed meals or struggled to access food, according to the Food Foundation.

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01 Jun 2022 - New driving laws introduced will see motorists hit with fines

From June 1 a handful of new driving laws will be introduced. The Highway Code is about to get its annual update, which will lead to some alterations.
On the list are changes to how electric cars are charged at home, details around clean air zones and increased council powers. It's thought the new driving law changes could lead to an increase in driving fines.

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01 Jun 2022 - Teaching unions calls for greater numbers to be included in free school meal schemes

More children should be given free school meals to help tackle the cost of living crisis in England, teaching unions have said. Unions have called for the Government to include families on Universal Credit in the scheme to ease pressure on household budgets.

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01 Jun 2022 - One in seven own a second property at age 70

One in seven people aged 70 own a second home, a report by the IFS has found. In 2018-19 an estimated 772,000 households reported having second homes, about 500,000 of which were in the UK.

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31 May 2022 - One in seven own a second property at age 70

One in seven people aged 70, who have been dubbed the “Platinum Jubilee generation”, own a second home, according to official statistics.
Those born in 1952, the year of the Queen’s accession to the throne, have been richer on average at every point of their adult lives than the general population, researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said.
When they were 25, at the time of the Silver Jubilee in 1977, people now aged 70 had average incomes of £12,500 (expressed in 2020–21 prices), compared with £10,700 for the whole of the UK.

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31 May 2022 - Johnson fails to level up Britain as London leaves Red Wall behind

Boris Johnson has been accused of failing in his "defining mission" to level up Britain after official data showed a growing economic gulf between London and much of the Red Wall.
GDP in the capital surged by 2.3pc in the third quarter of 2021, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), driving overall UK output higher despite a 1.2pc slump in the North East.
Regional data published by the stats body also showed GDP falling in the West Midlands, East Midlands and East of England – all areas the Prime Minister has pledged to "level up" as part of his efforts to address regional inequality.

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31 May 2022 - Savings key for council to improve financial stability

Wirral Council has taken “many of the right steps” to resolve longstanding financial issues, balancing the 2022-23 budget without any government financing flexibilities (being allowed to use capital receipts to fund revenue spending) for the first time since 2019-20, an independent report said.
The approved budget includes £18m of savings, but the independent panel said cutting spending by this amount in a single year is challenging, and the authority faces further cuts next year.

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31 May 2022 - New regulator to bring ‘greater transparency’ to council finances announced

The Government today confirmed plans to establish a new regulator aimed at increasing the level of transparency in local authority finance systems.
In his review into the oversight of local audit and the transparency of local authority financial reporting, published in September 2020, Sir Tony Redmond found that there was a lack of coherence across the current local audit framework.

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31 May 2022 - Council tax support ‘postcode lottery’ prompts reform call

The system for collecting and enforcing council tax needs modernisation and there should be a fairer approach to supporting people who struggle to pay, councils have said.
The Commons’ levelling up, housing and communities committee has published written evidence for its inquiry into council tax.

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30 May 2022 - Almost 500,000 UK small businesses ‘at risk of going bust within weeks’

Rising costs have created a “ticking timebomb” for UK small business owners, the chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned, with almost half a million firms at risk of going bust within weeks without a fresh wave of government support.
While the FSB chairman, Martin McTague, applauded the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s latest support for consumers through the £15bn cost of living package announced last week, he said some of those recipients could lose their jobs unless the government rolled out targeted measures for their employers.

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30 May 2022 - Council agrees last-minute contract extension

The council’s cabinet awarded a two-year £500,000 contract to Oracle Corporation UK for the company to provide technical support services on the authority’s payroll and human resources software.
However, Government-appointed commissioners have criticised the council for only publishing the contract report the day before the meeting, with the agreement set to expire the day after.
The commissioners said in the report: “It is unacceptable that the matter has been brought for decision in the way it has, but given the nature of the service contract in question, and the risks that would ensue by not entering into the agreement proposed, there seems to be little alternative.

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30 May 2022 - City’s financial outlook ‘extremely challenging’ amid funding gap

Sheffield City Council’s 2022-23 spending plans relied on the authority making £53m of savings and using £15m of reserves.
However, the council has already forecast an £18.7m budget gap this year due to a combination of unmet savings and the impact of inflation on services, a report prepared ahead of a strategy and resources policy committee said.
The report said: “The council is facing a challenging financial position driven by rising cost pressures in the two social care areas and emerging inflationary pressure on contracts and energy.”

[ more...]

30 May 2022 - Sage: Hospital discharges not main driver of Covid care home outbreaks

Discharging hospital patients into care homes without testing for Covid was not the main driver of outbreaks in care homes during the first wave of the pandemic, a committee of experts has agreed.

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30 May 2022 - Finance figures reveal levelling up gap

Stark regional and national differences in public spending and tax income in 2020/21 are outlined in new analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing London had both the highest spend and the smallest deficit per head of population.

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30 May 2022 - Affluent areas to lose out in care funding reforms

Local authorities in wealthier areas with higher levels of self-funded care home residents are likely to fare worse from planned changes to the funding regime, according to latest figures.

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30 May 2022 - Councils offered new powers to fine for traffic breaches

English councils will soon be able ask the government for new powers to fine motorists for moving traffic offences such as driving in a bus lane.
Councils will be able to keep any surplus funds raised through the fines to fund public transport, highway improvement and environmental projects, when secondary legislation comes into force tomorrow, a Commons briefing says.

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29 May 2022 - Now public swimming pools face closure because it’s too expensive to heat the water

Hundreds of swimming pools across Britain are facing closure because they are unable to cope with rising energy bills.
Pool operators are planning to reduce opening hours, turn down the temperature of the water and even ask swimmers to reduce the time they spend in the showers to save money.
Almost nine in ten public pool operators said they would need to reduce their service in the next six months, according to leisure and swimming body UKActive. Two-thirds said they would probably need to cut staff number to cope.

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29 May 2022 - Ukrainian refugees are now living in the UK - so how is it going?

Tens of thousands of Ukrainian refugees have fled the Russian invasion and are now living in the UK. But two months on, how has it been working out and are there areas of concern?
More than 60,000 people fleeing Ukraine have arrived in the UK - some with family visas and others under the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme, which enables members of the public to host an individual or group. Latest figures show 115,000 visas have been issued.
But the experience of settling into life in the UK has differed wildly for many Ukrainians.

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29 May 2022 - Downing Street ‘open’ to lifting ban on new grammar schools

The Government is said to be “open” to the idea of revisiting current legislation that outlaws the creation of any new academically selective schools. MPs are urging ministers to allow new grammars to be set up in local authority areas where they already exist as well as in new areas where there is demand for them.

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28 May 2022 - Offshore firms own children’s homes

Half of Britain’s biggest children’s social care operators are owned by offshore private equity firms, The Times has found. Corporate bodies in Jersey, Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates lie behind companies largely paid by the taxpayer to look after some of the country’s most vulnerable children.
As a report on children’s services in England warned of a “broken system”, The Times found that hundreds of UK children’s homes and fostering agencies are ultimately owned by foreign companies.
Regulators said that the role of large-scale childcare providers, primarily funded by local councils, has distorted the market. An independent review this week called for the government to levy a windfall tax on top companies.

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28 May 2022 - Half of UK’s biggest children’s homes owned offshore

Half of Britain’s biggest children’s social care operators are owned by offshore private equity firms, it has been reported. An analysis of the ten largest providers of children’s homes and fostering services, based on LGA data, found that half are owned offshore.

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27 May 2022 - Cost of living measures

A package of new measures has been announced by the Government to tackle soaring energy prices, including an energy bill discount of £400 for all UK households this October. Households receiving benefits will be given an additional payment of £650, with the £15 billion package being partly offset by a 25 per cent windfall tax on oil and gas firms’ profits. In an interview with LBC, LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson, said: “We are very pleased because we are concerned about our residents who are having a tough time. Food prices, energy prices and housing costs have gone up significantly, so this is very helpful. The question for us is this is a measure to do the here and now, but the thing we’re most concerned about is how do we help our residents in the long term.” The LGA’s response to the announcement was also reported by The Mirror.

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27 May 2022 - More children to receive tutoring

More pupils will receive tutoring and additional lessons when catch-up money provided by the Government doubles in September, to help recover from lost learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A £1 billion fund was previously announced to share between schools and one-and-a-half million pupils have already started courses under the National Tutoring Programme.

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27 May 2022 - Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: Family concerns disregarded - report

Family concerns for Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes were too often "disregarded and not taken sufficiently seriously", says a report on how professionals failed to protect them.
Arthur, aged 6 from Solihull, and Star, 16 months from Bradford, were murdered by their parents' partners in 2020.
Both "suffered horrific and ultimately fatal abuse", said Annie Hudson, who chaired the review.

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27 May 2022 - Review calls for creation of local child protection units

A review into the deaths of Star Hobson and Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has recommended that specialist units with a child protection focus should be established in local areas.
The independent review, carried out by the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel, examined the circumstances leading up to the deaths of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and 16-month-old Star Hobson to learn what needed to be done to improve child protection at the national and local level.

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27 May 2022 - Slough told to sell £600m of assets, leaving its HQ’s future in doubt

Slough BC has been told it needs to sell most of its property, probably including its £41m head office, to resolve its financial difficulties.
The council, which is currently subject to a government intervention has £760m of borrowing debts and a forecast £479m financial black hole.

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27 May 2022 - Equal pay challenge warning

‘Huge equal pay challenges in many areas’ could be sparked if employers are forced to retrospectively delete pay points, chief executives have been warned.
In a circular to council chief executives in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, employers’ secretary Naomi Cooke admitted the move may be considered in the ‘later part of a multi-year deal’.

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27 May 2022 - IFRS 9 override ‘should be extended or made permanent’

Treasury managers and section 151 officers are overwhelmingly in favour of the IFRS 9 statutory override being extended or made permanent, according to a Room151 survey.
The survey showed that 87% of respondents supported this approach – 68% thought the override should be made permanent and 19% thought it should be extended. Responses were received from a range of local authorities, including districts (40%), unitaries (18%), London boroughs (10%), other boroughs (9%) and mets (9%).

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27 May 2022 - Government to let councils terminate Russian contracts

The government is set to amend legislation so that local authorities can exit contracts with Russian companies, ensuring public funds do not contribute to the nation’s “barbaric war machine”.

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27 May 2022 - MPs call for levelling up funding ‘transparency’

MPs have called for ‘more information and more transparency’ when it comes to levelling up grants and funding pots.
Clive Betts, chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee, has written to levelling-up minister Neil O’Brien asking for clarity around the funds available for the levelling-up agenda.
He said that the number of funding streams available makes it ‘impossible for those outside DLUHC [Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities] to assess what precisely is going on.’

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27 May 2022 - Council chiefs welcome £15bn cost of living package

Local authority leaders have welcomed the Chancellor’s multi-billion-pound announcement of cost of living payments but called for a ‘longer-term solution’ to the crisis.

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27 May 2022 - Government questioned on ‘complex’ levelling up funding

Clive Betts, chair of parliament’s Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, wrote to levelling up secretary Neil O’Brien asking for a table setting out each local authority’s allocation from every grant mentioned in this year’s white paper.
This will include the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the Community Ownership Fund, the Levelling Up Fund, the UK Community Renewal Fund, the Getting Building Fund, the Towns Fund, the Transforming Cities Fund, the Local Growth Fund, the Coastal Communities Fund/Coastal Revival Fund and the Future High Streets Fund.
“Levelling-up is a crucial part of the government’s agenda but the complex array of grants and funding pots allocated by the DLUHC and other government departments makes it difficult, if not impossible, to assess what precisely is going on to improve communities up and down the country,” said Betts.

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27 May 2022 - Slough urged to sell most of its properties

Government-appointed commissioners said the council needs to sell £600m worth of assets because it does not have money in its revenue budget to service new borrowing.
A commissioners’ report discussed at a cabinet meeting said the council owns £1.2bn of assets, but when unsellable assets such as schools, parks and highways are excluded, the remaining £600m will need to be sold “without exception”.
While normally local authorities are not allowed to fund revenue spending through capital receipts, the government in March signalled it would approve more than £300m of financing flexibilities to allow Slough to do so.

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26 May 2022 - Review calls for child protection overhaul in England after two deaths

Child protection services in England face a shake-up after an independent review of safeguarding failures that led to the killings of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and the toddler Star Hobson.
The review’s central proposal is the creation of specialist child protection teams including social workers, mental health workers, police officers, paediatricians and child psychologists to oversee cases where children are at serious risk of harm.
The report sets out the circumstances of what it calls the “unimaginably horrific deaths” of Arthur and Star and highlights a number of chances missed by child protection teams to save the children. There were multiple warnings from wider family members that the children were in danger.

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26 May 2022 - Chancellor raises household support fund by £500m

The government will top up the household support fund by a further £500m to support families with the cost-of-living crisis, the chancellor of the exchequer announced this lunchtime.
The fund, which is distributed by county councils and unitary authorities, is set out to support those most in need due to rising living costs.
During today’s statement, the chancellor announced the scheme would be extended from October 2022 to March 2023 with the new funding bringing the total available to £1.5bn.

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25 May 2022 - Cost of living: Government plan to help households could come within days

A government plan to help support people with the rising cost of living could come as soon as Thursday, the BBC understands.
The PM and chancellor have been under growing pressure to act as prices for fuel, food and energy continue to soar.
But BBC political editor Chris Mason said the government was also desperate to shift the agenda on from Partygate.

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25 May 2022 - District declares a 'cost of living emergency'

Mendip has become the latest council to declare a cost of living emergency.
Councillors have declared the emergency motion following concerns that local families will be pushed even deeper below the poverty line unless the Government takes immediate action.

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25 May 2022 - Council tax loophole costs councils £150m a year

Local authorities are missing out on millions of pounds worth of council tax income because of a loophole in the business rates system, an investment company has warned.
Colliers argues that the Government’s business rates system is giving many holiday home and second homeowners the opportunity to avoid paying tax by leaving open the option for them to make their properties available to rent.

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25 May 2022 - Adult social care reforms could cost nearly £26bn

The Government’s flagship adult social care reforms could cost a minimum of £10bn more than currently estimated and will require over 4,000 new social work staff, a new study has revealed.
The analysis, released today by the County Councils Network (CCN) and Newton, has looked at the impact of the Government’s reforms, which include a more generous means-test and a cap on care costs of £86,000.

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25 May 2022 - Case studies: How inflation is wreaking havoc on budgets

The view from counties and cities around the country

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24 May 2022 - Police brace for unrest over cost-of-living crisis

Police forces have reportedly begun planning for disorder over the summer amid fears that the cost-of-living crisis and other pressures could trigger civil unrest. Chief constables and policing organisations are said to be sharing intelligence about potential disorder and have also been assessing mutual aid, the process by which forces share officers to bolster their numbers during major incidents, according to a senior source.

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24 May 2022 - Ministers resist calls for further care funding

Councils should not rely on Government grants to fund social care, ministers have said.
The comments come as the sector told MPs more funding was essential to resolve the sector’s workforce crisis.
Appearing before the Health and Social Care Committee, the Local Government Association’s director of social care improvement, Simon Williams, said: ‘Adequate funding is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for moving forward.

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24 May 2022 - Northumberland issues s114 over unlawful finances

Northumberland CC has issued a section 114 notice for unlawful expenditure – including allowances paid to its chief executive Daljit Lally.

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23 May 2022 - Child protection: Without change thousands more kids face care - review

Tens of thousands more youngsters will end up in care unless radical changes are made to child protection in England, a major review has warned.
The independent review on council-run children's services said struggling families needed early intervention to ensure they don't reach crisis point.
The recommendations include phasing out young offender institutions and a drive to recruit more foster parents.

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23 May 2022 - Public building upgrades to save taxpayers £650 million per year

Public buildings across England will cut their use of expensive fossil fuels and save millions of pounds on bills, thanks to £553 million in government funding.

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23 May 2022 - Cost of living: Former Tory leader calls for benefits increase 'to help poorest cope'

Iain Duncan Smith MP has called for benefits to be immediately increased to help the poorest cope with the cost of living. The former conservative leader told Sky News there should also be tax cuts for those in work to help "the squeezed middle".

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23 May 2022 - Cumbria, Somerset and North Yorkshire councils: direction

District Councils in the current Cumbria, Somerset and North Yorkshire county areas are restricted from borrowing over £1m, selling land worth over £100,000 or entering a non capital contract worth over £100,000 without the consent of the shadow authorities.

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23 May 2022 - Cost of protecting vulnerable children has risen by a quarter

The upcoming national care review has been tipped as a “once-in-a-generation” chance to reform how councils support vulnerable children at risk of harm, after rising demand caused costs to increase by a quarter.

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23 May 2022 - ‘Broken’ children’s care market needs ‘whole system reset’

Local authorities in England should be mandated to work more collaboratively as part of a system reset aimed at reducing profiteering in children’s care, according to an independent review.

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22 May 2022 - Record 420,000 children a month in England treated for mental health problems

More than 400,000 children and young people a month are being treated for mental health problems – the highest number on record – prompting warnings of an unprecedented crisis in the wellbeing of under-18s.
Experts say Covid-19 has seriously exacerbated problems such as anxiety, depression and self-harm among school-age children and that the “relentless and unsustainable” ongoing rise in their need for help could overwhelm already stretched NHS services.
The latest NHS figures show “open referrals” – troubled children and young people in England undergoing treatment or waiting to start care – reached 420,314 in February, the highest number since records began in 2016.

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20 May 2022 - Government to spend £600m to suppress benefit fraud

The announcement represents a 75% increase in the department’s counter-fraud spending, and will pay for 1,400 new staff alongside a new team dedicated to reviewing existing benefit claims.
Subject to parliamentary time, the government will also update counter-fraud legislation – giving officers powers to arrest, execute warrants and seize evidence to mitigate fraud, a DWP plan said.
Therese Coffey, works and pensions secretary, said: “The welfare system is there to help the most vulnerable.

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20 May 2022 - Children’s home providers accused of ‘unacceptable’ profiteering

Councils’ budgets are being squeezed while the number and cost of looked-after children soars, but many private companies are profiting from the problem

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20 May 2022 - Andy Street: private sector is the ‘real determinant’ of levelling up’s success

The private sector will be the “real determinant of whether or not levelling up is a success” Andy Street (Con), the mayor of the West Midlands has said.
Speaking at the unveiling of the region’s new £4bn investment deal with Legal & General at the inaugural UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum this week, Mr Street emphasised the role for the private sector.

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20 May 2022 - Government announces £300m fund to tackle youth crime

Councils across England and Wales will be able to draw on a £300m fund aimed at cutting youth crime.
Around 80% of prolific adult offenders begin committing crimes as children, and the estimated cost of late intervention to the economy is nearly £17bn per year.

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20 May 2022 - Eight places given city status to mark Platinum Jubilee

Eight locations have been awarded city status as part of the 2022 Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
Colchester, Doncaster and Milton Keynes in England, Dunfermline in Scotland, Bangor in Northern Ireland, and Wrexham in Wales have been given the royal honour this year.

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20 May 2022 - Boris Johnson among 30 people warned of criticism in Sue Gray lockdown parties report

Boris Johnson is among 30 individuals who will be told they face criticism in a report by Sue Gray into lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street.
The Times has learnt that the senior civil servant is contacting 30 individuals who are either named or indirectly referred to in her report to give them a right of reply. About 15, including Johnson, are expected to be named.

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20 May 2022 - Council tax rebate discretionary fund is ‘nowhere near enough to meet need’

The £144m government funding councils have to provide discretionary support to cash-strapped households alongside the council tax rebate scheme is “nowhere near enough to meet the need”, a prominent council leader has warned.
The government gave councils funding to provide discretionary support to any household in financial need, regardless of council tax band, at the same time as it rolled out the £150 council tax rebate scheme in March.

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20 May 2022 - County council chiefs welcome fire service white paper

County council leaders have welcomed the Government’s decision not to remove local fire services from the oversight of upper-tier local authorities.
Earlier proposals for fire service reform had included an ambition for Police and Crime Commissioners or combined authority mayors to oversee local fire services rather than county councils.

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19 May 2022 - Calls to bring benefit and pension rises forward

Ministers are facing growing calls to bring forward large increases in benefits and the state pension which will be paid from next April.
Charities want benefits to increase now to help people struggling with the cost of living, particularly energy bills.
A well-established system means the annual increase in benefits will match this September's inflation rate - but will only be paid from April 2023.

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19 May 2022 - Government failed health staff in pandemic - BMA

The UK government failed in its duty of care to protect doctors and the wider healthcare workforce at the start of the pandemic, a doctors' union says.
The British Medical Association review said staff were desperately let down by the lack of protective equipment.
And they were still suffering the physical and mental health impacts, having seen levels of illness and death "they were never trained for".

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19 May 2022 - More than 42m UK adults ‘will be overweight by 2040’

More than 42 million adults in the UK will be overweight or obese by 2040 and at higher risk of 13 types of cancer, an “alarming” report reveals, as health leaders accused ministers of “kicking the can down the road” when it comes to tackling the obesity crisis.
Data collected by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) shows that 71% of people will be overweight by 2040, a rise from 64% today. Of these, almost 36% of adults – 21 million people – will be obese. The charity described the figures as “staggering”.

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19 May 2022 - Government 'risks battle' on moving districts' functions without consent

Districts will push to change the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to ensure their functions cannot move to new combined county authorities (CCAs) without their consent, The MJ understands.
Civil servants are believed to have told sector representatives that the failure of the Bill to require district consent to the transfer of powers was a deliberate attempt to stop either one or a small number of councils exercising a veto.

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19 May 2022 - Scotland must find £760m annually to fund benefit shakeup

Audit Scotland has released a report praising the devolved government’s efforts in rolling out 12 benefits, and preparing to launch yet more, amid the challenging circumstances of Covid-19.
The public spending watchdog said the process of devolving social security is “going well” – but said large amounts of benefits are still yet to move across.
The report warned that policymakers will need to ensure sustainability in the long term, and also have a clearer idea of how its spending will help Scottish people.

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19 May 2022 - Borough backs ‘prudent’ debt amid government concerns

Eastleigh Borough Council confirmed it has begun talks with the government after being asked to explain how it plans to manage its debt, which stands at more than £550m, without compromising service delivery.
Around half its borrowing relates to a commercial property portfolio, which the authority said has been a “longstanding success both for our businesses and for the council”.
Keith House, leader of the council, said: “Staff from the borough council have been having positive discussions with government officials demonstrating how the council's investments and housing secure jobs, infrastructure, tackle climate change and achieve affordable homes.”

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18 May 2022 - Inflation hits 9 per cent

UK inflation, the rate at which prices are rising, jumped to 9 per cent in the 12 months to April, up from 7 per cent in March. The rise came as millions of people saw an unprecedented £700-a-year rise in energy costs last month.

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18 May 2022 - Government to place financial restrictions on 17 authorities

Seventeen district and borough councils in England will receive directions from the government limiting capital spending and procurement before they are replaced by new unitary authorities next year.

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18 May 2022 - High maintenance costs and rise of flexible working see two councils eye shared office

South Norfolk and Broadland Councils approved the proposals, which would see the authorities sell their existing office buildings to help buy the Horizon centre in Broadland.
The councils said they expect to receive £5.2m for the sale of their offices in Long Stratton and Thorpe St Andrew, with the authorities equalling splitting the remaining £4.9m costs.
Shaun Vincent, leader of Broadland Council, said: “Currently both the councils’ offices need extensive refurbishment and carry heavy maintenance costs.

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18 May 2022 - Andy Burnham to ask for ‘rail station devolution’ in trailblazer deal

Andy Burnham (Lab), the mayor of Greater Manchester, has called on the government to devolve control of the UK’s railway stations to local leaders in order to drive growth and investment in their respective areas.
Speaking to LGC at the inaugural UK Real Estate Investment and Infrastructure Forum, Mr Burnham said he would be asking for such powers from the government in negotiations for Greater Manchester CA’s trailblazer deal.

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18 May 2022 - LCTS administration subsidy grant 2022 to 2023 announced

These are the provisional and final allocations for the localised council tax support administration subsidy grant 2022-23. This grant is designed to contribute to the costs of administering local council tax support (LCTS) schemes. Allocations are calculated based on the latest LCTS caseload data and the latest Area Cost Adjustment.

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17 May 2022 - Wages hit by rising prices but unemployment rate falls

UK wages failed to keep up with rising prices between January and March but the jobs market remained buoyant.
Wages when adjusted for the impact of rising prices, dropped by 1.2% in the biggest fall since 2013, the The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
At the same time, however, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly 50 years while job vacancies hit a fresh high.

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17 May 2022 - Warning poorest households are struggling to get £150 energy rebate

Some of the poorest households in England and Wales are struggling to access council tax rebates to help offset their soaring energy bills, a charity has warned.
National Energy Action said those who did not pay council tax by direct debit were affected, with many facing long waits for the £150 payouts.
Councils say they are struggling to administer the rebates at short notice.

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17 May 2022 - Wages fall sharply but unemployment rate drops

UK wages suffered a sharp fall between January and March but the market for jobs remained buoyant, according to new data. The Office for National Statistics said earnings, when adjusted for inflation, dropped by 1.2 per cent in the biggest fall since 2013, but at the same time the unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in nearly 50 years while job vacancies hit a fresh high.

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17 May 2022 - Private children’s home providers criticised over huge profits

Children’s home providers in England should not be able to profit from caring for society’s most vulnerable children, according to the new head of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, Steve Crocker. Most councils in England have at least one looked-after child whose private placement costs £10,000 a week or more, with costs running to £60,000 a week in the most extreme cases.

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17 May 2022 - Bank governor in 'apocalyptic' warning over rising food prices

The possibility of more rises in food prices is a "major worry" for the UK and other countries, the Bank of England governor has warned. Apologising for sounding "apocalyptic", Andrew Bailey said the war in Ukraine was affecting food supplies and also defended the Bank's performance following criticism it has not done enough to try to rein in rising prices, as inflation has reached a 30-year high.

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16 May 2022 - Government’s £500m support scheme failing Britain’s poorest households

A major part of the Government’s response to the cost of living crisis has not been available for months to applicants in some parts of the country after councils used up their allocations amid soaring demand. Funding for the Household Support Fund was meant to last until 31 March, but figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show one in six councils ran out of money for applicants at least a month earlier.

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16 May 2022 - Rishi Sunak set to unveil fiscal measures to help with cost of living crisis before summer recess

Rishi Sunak is reportedly preparing to announce fiscal measures to help with cost of living crisis before Parliament enters the summer recess. The Chancellor is expected to use fuel price data, which gives an insight into the energy price cap, to decide what additional support he could introduce to help families cope with rising bills.

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16 May 2022 - Energy price cap could rise every three months under regulator’s planned shake-up

Ofgem has announced that the energy price cap, the mechanism which determines gas and electricity bills for 22 million households, could soon be reviewed every three months. It is putting the idea out to consultation amid criticism that the current twice-yearly adjustment arrangement, in April and October, had contributed to the failure of suppliers last year at the height of the wholesale gas price shock.

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16 May 2022 - Government restricts councils' special severance payments

The government has published statutory guidance seeking to restrict the level of exit payments made to local government employees above statutory or contractual limits.

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16 May 2022 - Private children’s home bosses in England criticised over huge profits

Children’s home providers in England should not be able to profit from caring for society’s most vulnerable children, the new head of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) has said.
Steve Crocker criticised private providers driving around in sports cars and buying racehorses with their profits after “getting rich off taxpayers’ money”.
Profit margins for the 15 largest private children’s home operators average 22.6%, according to the Competition and Markets Authority.

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16 May 2022 - Help must come, says former PM John Major on cost of living crisis

"Help must come" for those struggling to pay their bills amid rising prices, ex-Prime Minister John Major has said.
Addressing a conference, Sir John said providing support would help bring "trust and respect back to politics".
He also warned that government couldn't raise spending while reducing tax and that "hard choices" had to be made.

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16 May 2022 - Cost of living: Conservative MP says people could 'incentivise granny annexes' to save money

A Conservative MP has suggested people could "incentivise granny annexes" to save money amid the cost of living crisis.
Speaking in the Queen's Speech debate on making Britain the best place to grow up and grow old, former minister Jackie Doyle-Price said the government should be "encouraging people to make better use of their housing asset for the whole of their family".
She told MPs: "We can incentivise granny annexes, we can make sure that young people have got some hope by having greater access to the wealth in their parents' home.

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16 May 2022 - Second home owners face more pain as MPs insist that crackdown doesn’t go far enough

A new crackdown on second homes has been floated by the housing minister after he revealed he was being contacted by concerned MPs "on a daily basis".
Stuart Andrew said there was "more that we need to explore" on second home ownership.
Owners wanting to use their second homes as holiday lets would need to apply for specific permission from their local council under one idea being put forward by the Liberal Democrats.

[ more...]

16 May 2022 - Ministers announce £200m for new active travel schemes

New executive agency Active Travel England will oversee the delivery by local authorities of 134 schemes, backed by £161m, including new footways, cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings across 46 local authorities outside London.

[ more...]

16 May 2022 - PWLB loans to be denied to councils at risk of non-repayment

The Treasury will not advance new Public Works Loan Board loans to councils where there is a “more than negligible risk” the loan will not be repaid without future government support, according to updated guidance for councils.
The updated guidance follows publication of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill last week which proposed beefing up the secretary of state’s borrowing powers over councils by enabling him to issue “risk-mitigation directions” including issuing borrowing caps and forcing councils to sell their assets, if they are deemed to have breached certain risk thresholds.

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16 May 2022 - Council tax premium unlikely to tackle issues caused by second homes, leaders say

Plans to tackle second home ownership by allowing councils to charge a 100% council tax premium on properties that sit empty for a year are unlikely to deal with the issue, council leaders have said.
As part of the draft Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, the government said that councils will be able to target second-home owners by doubling their council tax bills.
Current legislation stipulates that councils may do this on homes which sit empty for two years, however the new legislation would see this reduced to a year.

[ more...]

16 May 2022 - ‘Inconsistent and unfair’ DfE funding for pupils from Ukraine, council warns

The Department for Education has been urged by a county to provide funding for school pupils arriving from Ukraine, regardless of how they came to UK.
Children who have come to the UK through the Homes for Ukraine scheme are eligible for funding from DfE, but children coming through the Ukraine Family Scheme or any other ad-hoc sponsorship arrangement are not.
This discrepancy has been pointed out in a letter to education secretary Nadhim Zahawi from Staffordshire CC's cabinet member for communities and culture Victoria Wilson (Con) and cabinet member for education and SEND Jonathan Price (Con)..

[ more...]

13 May 2022 - Over 500,000 adults waiting for care

The number of adults waiting for social care in England has risen to more than 500,000 says the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass), similar research last year put the figure at about 294,000. Adass cities a growing shortage of care workers as a reason for the increase, made worse by low pay rates and the cost-of-living crisis.

[ more...]

13 May 2022 - COVID-19 inquiry to include impact on children, mental health and local government collaboration

The chair of the UK COVID-19 Public Inquiry has asked that the terms of reference be expanded to include the impact of the pandemic on children and young people’s health, wellbeing and education. The impact on the mental health and wellbeing of the entire population should also be investigated, as well as the collaboration between central government, devolved administrations, local authorities and charities.

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13 May 2022 - Civil service jobs could be cut

The Government could come up with a plan which could cut up to 91,000 civil service jobs to tackle the cost of living, seeing civil service staffing levels drop to 2016 levels. A civil service union warned an "ill thought-out" plan could affect services.

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12 May 2022 - Planning reforms

People could be able to vote on planning applications, such as house extensions and loft conversions, on their street, under proposed planning reforms introduced as part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. In an interview with Radio 5 Live, Cllr David Renard, housing spokesperson for the LGA, said: “We all want nice places to live, and we want a planning system that enables that to happen. The current system has checks and balances in it which allows all parties to take a view on a planning application."

[ more...]

12 May 2022 - UK economy shrinks

The UK economy shrank by 0.1 per cent in March, as rising living costs and the war in Ukraine halted recovery, Office for National Statistics data reveals. Experts warn that the risk of a recession in the UK is growing, with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak confirming that retail sales had also slowed and consumer confidence decreased.

[ more...]

12 May 2022 - Simpler, more flexible and transparent procurement

The Procurement Bill has been published.

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12 May 2022 - Local authorities set to get powers to double council tax on second homes

Local authorities will be given new powers to double council tax on second homes under new draft legislation presented to parliament yesterday.
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill has stipulated that councils will be able to introduce a new discretionary council tax premium on second homes of up to 100%.

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12 May 2022 - Government can abandon or change levelling up missions

The Government is leaving open the possibility of abandoning or changing the White Paper's levelling up missions and can delay reporting on them until after the general election.
Published yesterday, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill states that ministers may decide not to pursue a levelling up mission, and that they can revise the list of missions.

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12 May 2022 - Mental health support in schools to get £7m boost

The Department for Education today announced a further £7m for schools and colleges to train a senior mental health lead.
Senior mental health leads are tasked with creating a culture of openness in schools and colleges when it comes to mental health, as well as forging stronger links with local health services.

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12 May 2022 - Government misses 50% recycling target

More than 100,000 extra tonnes of rubbish was sent to landfill during lockdown, the latest figures reveal as Government misses 50% recycling target.
Household recycling rates in England fell from 46% in 2019 to 44% in 2020, according to the Government’s data.

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12 May 2022 - Levelling Up Bill to ‘empower local people’ published

The Government has published the levelling up Bill which promises to transform struggling towns and cities and support local leaders to take back control of regeneration.
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will enshrine in law the Government’s commitment to long-term missions to spread opportunity, drive productivity and boost local pride in every corner of the country.

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12 May 2022 - Lancashire set to establish a new levelling up fund to kick-start projects

With the UK Government pushing its Levelling Up strategy, Lancashire County Council are set to establish a new levelling up fund of their own, in order to help kick-start some of the multi-million pound projects that they have in the pipeline.
This fund is designed to compliment the central government’s Levelling Up agenda and can be used to support district councils in making their bids to the nationwide fund, as well as supporting them with getting started with their major projects, with Preston’s pitch for £20 million for everything from replacing the Old Tram Bridge to investing in some of its parks.

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12 May 2022 - Proposed intervention powers mark ‘shift towards prevention’

CIPFA has welcomed government proposals to take greater intervention powers over council finances, saying they could help identify potential problems at an earlier stage.

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11 May 2022 - Flexible working could lead to council selling £12.6m office site

North Somerset Council has earmarked its Castlewood offices for sale, having bought them in 2009 for £12.6m and used them since 2010 as the primary office location for many services, including public-facing services such as the Job Centre Plus and registration service.
The unitary authority said in a document that an office amalgamation programme in 2012 had “substantially reduced” the number of buildings the council uses, and “efficiency exercises” have reduced the workforce from about 1800 people to about 1400.
But the effect of Covid-19 on working habits has had the largest impact, it said.

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11 May 2022 - Government drops controversial planning reforms after Tory anger

People will be given the right to vote on proposed property extensions in their area as part of new planning reforms, the government says.
Minister Michael Gove said the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill would help "build communities that people love and are proud of".
The plan sees previous proposals which made it harder to block development dropped after a backlash from Tory MPs.

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11 May 2022 - ‘Underwhelming’ – reaction to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

Senior local government figures have warned that there needs to be a "far bolder" approach to achieve levelling up, and have urged ministers to speed up the pace of devolution.
The government revealed details of its Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill in the Queen's speech yesterday.
Local Government Association chair James Jamieson (Con) responded by warning that areas outside city regions have "remained stuck in the devolution slow lane”.

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11 May 2022 - Betts: levelling up bill has not gone any ‘further’ than white paper

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill announced in the Queen’s speech has not “taken us further forward from the white paper”, the chair of the Commons' levelling up, housing & communities committee has said.
Speaking to LGC, Clive Betts (Lab), said he didn’t think the announcement was doing “much more to help the most deprived communities” and pointed out that there wasn’t “any more money announced” for levelling up in the speech.

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11 May 2022 - Gove ditches 300,000 homes target

Levelling up secretary Michael Gove has ditched his targets to build 300,000 homes in year in a bid to get public support for developments.
Speaking to Radio Four’s Today programme this morning, he said he would do ‘everything we can’ to increasing supply, but admitted: ‘I don’t think we are going to hit that target this year.’

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11 May 2022 - Will the fair funding review be another damp squib?

After much delay, last month the Government finally announced how its replacement for EU regional development funding – the Shared Prosperity Fund – will be allocated across the country.
In spite of it being almost five years since the fund was first announced, the answer for England at least, is: in much the same was as EU funds were prior to Brexit. This is a real missed opportunity, with inequities in the EU funding regime that could have been addressed instead entrenched in the new system.

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11 May 2022 - No emergency budget and Boris Johnson's hints at announcement 'over interpreted', Michael Gove says

The government will not be bringing forward an emergency budget in light of the cost of living crisis, but "will be saying more and doing more to help people", Michael Gove has said.
Responding to the government's Queen's Speech on Tuesday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer claimed the government was "bereft of ideas" as the nation heads towards a "stagflation crisis".
In response, Boris Johnson replied: "We will continue to use all our ingenuity and compassion for as long as it takes and the chancellor and I will be saying more about this in the days to come."

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11 May 2022 - UK economy shrank 0.1% in March as inflation and Ukraine war takes toll

The UK economy shrank in March, as soaring living costs and the war in Ukraine hindered recovery from the pandemic.
Experts warned that a plunge in household incomes meant trouble ahead for the economy and that the risk of a recession was growing.
Official figures show the economy grew by 0.8 per cent between January and March, down from growth of 1.3 per cent in the previous three months.

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11 May 2022 - To Michael Gove: a modest proposal

Conrad Hall has written an open letter to the levelling up secretary suggesting an unusual (and tongue-in-cheek) proposal to help councils predict next year’s government grant.

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11 May 2022 - Council borrowing remains depressed amid rising rates

Local authority borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board remains low following four Bank of England interest rates hikes, after councils capitalised on record low finance last year, according to experts.

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11 May 2022 - Levelling Up Bill proposes ministerial intervention powers

The local government secretary will get new powers to direct asset sales and borrowing levels at councils deemed to be at financial risk, under a clause in this week's Levelling Up Bill.

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10 May 2022 - Council-run schools outperform academies in England, analysis shows

Council-maintained schools in England outperform academies in Ofsted rankings, according to analysis published on the day the government’s ambitions for all schools to join multi-academy trusts (Mats) are expected to be outlined in the Queen’s speech.
Research conducted on behalf of the Local Government Association (LGA) found 92% of council-run schools were ranked outstanding or good by Ofsted in January 2022, compared with 85% of academies that have been graded since they converted.
It also found only 45% of academies that were already an academy in August 2018 managed to improve standards from inadequate or requires improvement to good or outstanding, compared with 56% of council-maintained schools.

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10 May 2022 - Queen's Speech: Government to focus on 'growing the economy'

Boris Johnson has promised to get the country "back on track" as the government unveils its plans for the year ahead in the Queen's Speech.
The speech is expected to focus on boosting economic growth, but the PM will say that the UK cannot spend its way out of trouble and will need to grow the economy.
In all, 38 parliamentary bills are due to be unveiled.

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10 May 2022 - Queen's Speech: Business rates set for overhaul

The Government has committed to an overhaul of business rates in the Queen’s Speech.
Although absent from the speech itself, it has been confirmed a ‘Non-Domestic Rating Bill’ will form part of the agenda during the next Parliamentary session.

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10 May 2022 - Queen's Speech: Levelling up bill unveiled for planning reform

The Queen’s Speech has confirmed a levelling up Bill will include legislation on planning and regeneration reform.
In his speech Prince Charles said the government would ‘level up opportunity in all parts of the country’ and that ‘a Bill will be brought forward to drive local growth, empowering local leaders to regenerate their areas, and ensuring everyone can share in the United Kingdom’s success’.

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10 May 2022 - Queen’s Speech aims to ‘turbocharge’ economy as Prince Charles makes debut

Boris Johnson warned today that Britain must take short-term pain to boost the economy in the longer term as he unveiled a Queen’s Speech to “create jobs and spread opportunity” around the country.
In a speech delivered for the first time by the Prince of Wales, the government said its priority was to take a “responsible approach to the public finances” and committed itself to continue bringing down debt despite the cost of living crisis.

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09 May 2022 - Second homes council tax plan

Councils in England will be able to double council tax on unoccupied second homes to boost funding for local services, under plans to be confirmed in the Queen’s Speech this week. English councils will be given powers to levy a premium of up to 100 per cent on council tax bills for second homes that are furnished but not occupied as a sole or main residence. They will also be able to discourage owners from leaving other properties vacant for long periods by doubling the standard council tax rate after just one year.

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09 May 2022 - Ukrainian refugees placed with unvetted hosts

Ukrainian refugees have been placed with hosts who are unvetted and in unsuitable homes as the Government is yet to give councils any funding for vital safety checks. The LGA said councils had reported issues with the information they are getting from government, saying it is arriving too slowly, there is data missing, host contact details are not always correct, and it does not provide refugees’ arrival dates.

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09 May 2022 - Levelling up just got tougher, says Gove

Michael Gove, the cabinet minister for levelling up, has said that rising prices are making the Government’s plans to reduce regional inequalities more difficult and more important. A BBC Panorama investigation, to be aired tonight, has raised questions about whether the money is reaching the most deprived areas in England.

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09 May 2022 - Local government elections 2022 round-up

This week’s local elections packed a few surprises. PF examines the results in authorities whose finance departments have been in the news during recent months.

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09 May 2022 - Councils 'need clarity' over business rate funding change

Councils have called for clarity over proposed compensation levels after the government announced it will press ahead with plans to remove large telecom companies and railway services from local authority business rates billing lists.

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09 May 2022 - Cabinet reshuffle 'before summer'

Boris Johnson will reportedly reshuffle his cabinet before the summer recess which begins on July 21

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09 May 2022 - Levelling up funding bids rejected in 28 of England’s most deprived councils

Twenty-eight councils in the most deprived areas of England have had their bids for a £1.7 billion levelling up fund rejected, according to an investigation.
Described by Boris Johnson as the “defining mission” of his government, levelling up aims to reduce geographic economic, social and health inequalities.
Last year ministers allocated the first round of levelling up funding — £1.7 billion — from central government, but questions have been raised over the process.

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09 May 2022 - Inflation shock will last years, says former Bank of England chief

High inflation could remain until 2024 and will be a “massive shock to the system” for a generation, a former chief economist at the Bank of England has warned.
Andy Haldane, now a government adviser, said inflation had “surpassed my worst expectations” and was likely to exceed 10 per cent. He also said the Bank should have acted sooner than last autumn when raising interest rates.
Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, admitted yesterday that the government “can’t do everything to help” but confirmed that he was preparing to do more. He told BBC Look East: “We are not the only country facing higher energy prices or higher inflation. We can do things to support people and we are going to do what we can. I wish I could make it completely go away, but I can’t.”

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06 May 2022 - Local election results

The results of the local elections across the country will continue to roll in throughout the day, with many English councils already declared. As it stands, the Conservative party have lost control of six councils. Barnet, Wandsworth and Westminster councils in London have all been gained by Labour as well as Southampton on the south coast, and the Liberal Democrats gained control of Kingston upon Hull.

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06 May 2022 - Bristol decides to abolish mayor post

Bristol was given the choice of a mayor or a committee system, and decided to abolish its directly elected mayor following a referendum. Some 56,113 voted to remove the post, with a turnout of 29 per cent.

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06 May 2022 - Interest rate raised to 1% by Bank of England despite issuing warning of recession

The Bank takes a big red pen to its earlier forecasts and sees a risk of economic contraction ahead as inflation is now predicted to surge to levels not seen for four decades.

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06 May 2022 - Delays to council tax rebate

Some households across the country are still waiting for the £150 council tax rebate, aimed at helping millions to combat the rising cost of living. Councils have been told to pay the money “as soon as possible” but some have reported delays in receiving the money.

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06 May 2022 - Betts slams government for lack of council support for Ukrainian refugees

Clive Betts, chair of Parliament's Levelling Up, Housing and Communities?Committee has urged the government to provide additional funding to help authorities mitigate services pressures stemming from the housing of Ukrainian refugees.

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06 May 2022 - Government begins paying back councils for council tax rebate costs

The government has announced initial payments to help cover local authorities’ costs incurred when delivering the council tax rebate policy aimed at helping the public through the cost-of-living crisis.

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06 May 2022 - Government criticised over remote meetings inaction

Central government inaction on giving councils in England the ability to hold remote meetings is preventing authorities from reducing the financial and environmental cost of transport, according to two industry bodies.

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06 May 2022 - County deals latest: more areas consider mayoral model as talks go on

Government negotiations with the nine areas in the first wave of county deals are not progressing as quickly as some had expected, as authorities await more details of legislative changes.
However, a source close to negotiations told LGC those willing to adopt the government’s preferred directly elected mayor model under the ‘level three’ deals are being “pushed to the front of the queue”.

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06 May 2022 - Authorities learn their council tax rebate funding level

The government has revealed the amount of money every billing authority will get to help it deliver the £150 council tax rebate.
The Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has written to all authorities to announce the £28m of grants, which range from £14,557 for City of London Corporation to £525,034 for Birmingham City Council.

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06 May 2022 - Councils warned to budget for 4% pay increase

Councils have been warned by local government employers to budget for pay rises of at least 4% this year, The MJ understands.
A senior local government source said they had been told to factor in the rises covering the pay settlement for the year 2022-23.
However, it is understood many councils have not allowed for such a rise in their budgets and fear it will be difficult to fund.

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06 May 2022 - Refugee funding to depend on data returns

The Government will not provide funding to councils to support refugees arriving under the Homes for Ukraine scheme if they fail to supply timely data.
A letter to council chief executives said the funding of £10,500 for each refugee was subject to conditions, including data returns on the number of beneficiaries and when checks have been carried out.

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06 May 2022 - COVID funding cut ‘dangerous’

The Government has been urged to reinstate the COVID infection control fund (ICF) by groups representing care providers and staff.
Trade union Unison and the Care Provider Alliance (CPA) have written a joint letter to health secretary Sajid Javid calling for the fund, which ended in March, to return.
They argued the removal of the ICF at a time when virus rates are still high was an ‘incredibly dangerous move’ that will ‘cost lives’.

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06 May 2022 - Households forced to wait for £150 tax rebate after council delays

Hundreds of thousands of people are facing long waits for cash designed to ease the cost of living crisis because of council failures.
Minister have written to all local authorities to warn that they are “monitoring the delivery” of the Treasury-funded £150 council tax rebate.
Councils have been told to pay the money “as soon as possible” but people across Britain have reported delays in receiving the money

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05 May 2022 - Ukrainian new arrivals switching schemes

Councils are seeing a “concerning increase” in the number of Ukrainian new arrivals presenting as homeless, says Cllr James Jamison, LGA Chairman, with 144 households approaching 57 councils as homeless, according to an LGA survey conducted in April. Labour MP Clive Betts has written to refugees minister Lord Harrington, suggesting that Ukrainian refugees should be able to transfer on to the Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme if their relative cannot provide accommodation under the family visa scheme, and should not require a sponsor before arriving.

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05 May 2022 - Interest rate raised to 1% by Bank of England despite issuing warning of recession

The Bank of England has raised the base rate of interest to 1% - the fourth consecutive increase as it continues to move against surging inflation - despite issuing a warning about a recession ahead.
The Bank forecast that the UK economy will shrink later this year in the face of double-digit inflation and an unprecedented squeeze on household incomes.
In its first forecast since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Bank said it now expected the energy price crunch to leave a lasting scar, pushing up unemployment and contributing to weak or negative growth throughout 2023.

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04 May 2022 - COVID-19 business fine appeals

Lawyers suggest that many of the more than 800 businesses fined for COVID-19 breaches during the pandemic could have strong claims for an appeal. Lucinda Nicholls, of the London law firm Nicholls & Nicholls, said that she had brought 25 challenges on behalf of businesses so far with only two being quashed.

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04 May 2022 - 3-fold Increase in unaccompanied asylum seeking children

The number of unaccompanied children making the journey across The Channel to Britain has increased by three and a half times compared to last year. Analysis of government figures shows 7,240 people have reached the UK in small boats in just the past four months since the start of 2022.

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03 May 2022 - Council waiting lists for care cap assessments

Pensioners could reportedly be left on council waiting lists to qualify for the new cap on care costs. Almost 300,000 pensioners who pay for and arrange their own care will need to enter into the local authority system if they want to take advantage of the changes to funding coming into effect next year. Older people qualifying to have their care paid for the first time because the upper capital limit is increasing from £23,250 to £100,000 will also have to join the waiting list. The LGA warned that the “additional demand is coming at a time when there’s already a backlog of 400,000 people waiting for an assessment of their social care needs”. A spokesman said: “The care cost cap is just one strand of the Government’s charging reforms and we remain concerned that the funding earmarked for the reforms in their entirety is insufficient. The Government must commit to keeping funding and timescales under close and regular review.”

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03 May 2022 - Local government in England ‘hollowed out’ under Conservatives

Poorer areas have been hit disproportionally by a combination of cuts to neighbourhood services such as parks, libraries, refuse collection and children’s centres that have left English councils “hollowed out” since 2010, a major report into local government has concluded.
The study by the Institute for Government thinktank found that while some councils coped better than others, and reduced spending did not necessarily mean worse results, a lack of information made it difficult to learn lessons.

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03 May 2022 - Boris Johnson planning to bring back Right to Buy

Boris Johnson wants to give millions of people the right to buy the homes they rent from housing associations in a major shake-up, it is reported. The Prime Minister has asked officials to develop the plans after believing the idea would help “generation rent”, with the proposal intended to give 2.5 million households in England who rent properties from housing associations the power to purchase their homes at a discounted price.

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03 May 2022 - Covid tutoring scheme not used by 40 per cent of schools

The flagship Covid tutoring scheme to help pupils catch up has not been used by two in five schools, it has emerged, prompting the Education Secretary to write to teachers. The National Tutoring Programme has been criticised, with many teachers still not using the schemes and schools reporting problems with an online portal.

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03 May 2022 - Chris Naylor: Covid data use should inspire cost-of-living response

Ex-Barking & Dagenham chief says councils have the ability to stop many vulnerable people from tipping into crisis

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29 Apr 2022 - Lack of funding impacting SEND children’s education

Financial pressure on councils means some pupils with additional needs can’t access the help they need, data also shows that some children are travelling hundreds of miles to get to school. The LGA said that "no council will be wanting to raise thresholds, but the extreme financial pressure is probably meaning some are making decisions for reasons they may not necessarily choose to".

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29 Apr 2022 - DLUHC keeping Ukrainian homeless data a secret

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities is not making public the data it holds on Ukrainians presenting to councils as homeless, LGC can reveal.
The revelation prompted alarm from the chair of the Commons levelling up committee who has blasted the scheme and the withholding of information as a “dysfunctional disaster”.

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28 Apr 2022 - Inflation 'double whammy' for public sector

Public bodies could face pressure from growing direct costs alongside impacts from inflated prices for third party suppliers, according to the Office for National Statistics.

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28 Apr 2022 - Borowing cost worries prompt council to cut £100m from capital programme

Shropshire Council is set to scale back its capital spending plans by more than £100m by 2025-26 amid concerns over debt servicing costs.

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28 Apr 2022 - Inflation to ‘make or break’ council budgets

Councils are facing soaring costs to re-procure outsourced services as new financial pressures begin to bite.
Suppliers are hiking prices, leading to warnings that inflation will ‘make or break’ council budgets this year.

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28 Apr 2022 - Migration committee: social care pay should be 39% above living wage

The government has been urged to pay higher wages to workers in the "Cinderella" social care sector - or risk an acceleration of the exodus to higher-paid jobs in "warehouses, supermarkets and with online retailers".
That is the message from Unison in the wake of a hard-hitting Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) report published yesterday, which recommends an eventual minimum pay rate of 39% above the national living wage (NLW).

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27 Apr 2022 - Fly-tipping gangs are costing council millions, new study reveals

Organised criminal fly-tipping gangs are on the rise - and costing councils millions.
A new report says the government is fighting a losing battle against the menace and latest figures show the reported number of complaints against it has topped a million.
A National Audit Office (NAO) investigation shows the number of reported fly-tipping incidents, most of which involve small van-loads of household waste dumped on highways, has soared over the past decade, reaching more than 1.13 million in 2020/21 - costing local authorities £11.6 million to clear up.

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27 Apr 2022 - Every seven minutes a private renter in England is given eviction notice even though they have done nothing wrong, figures reveal

Every seven minutes a private renter in England is handed an eviction notice even though they have done nothing wrong, new figures reveal.
Nearly 230,000 private renters have been served with so-called Section 21 evictions since 2019 - also known as a 'no-fault eviction' notice - meaning they have just two months to leave the property.
It's feared the rising cost of living combined with a hike in evictions could make thousands of private renters homeless and worsen the housing crisis.

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27 Apr 2022 - ‘Unsafe’ UK accommodation threatens asylum seekers’ health – report

Asylum seekers’ accommodation is “unsafe” due to inadequate healthcare, while poor living conditions are exacerbating or creating mental and physical health problems, according to a new report by Doctors of the World.
The charity’s research, published on Wednesday, details the barriers to medical care and medication for asylum seekers in initial accommodation across the UK.
Evidence gathered by Doctors of the World shows that a failure to meet basic human standards in hotels and former military barracks such as Napier in Folkestone has exacerbated depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health concerns among asylum seekers.

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26 Apr 2022 - Experts criticise lack of clarity in social care funding

Local authorities will receive £5.4bn from the Health and Social Care levy up to 2024-25, but it is unclear how the government will allocate £1.7bn of that pot which is currently unallocated, Adrian Jenkins Director at advisors Pixel Financial Management said.
Speaking to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee yesterday, voiced disappointment that this lack a clarity on funding is hampering planning.

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26 Apr 2022 - Local authority resources surplus falls

The gap in local government income and spending fell by £6.4bn from the £7.1bn surplus in 2020-21, according to end-of-year net borrowing statistics published by the ONS today.
Overall public borrowing shrank to £151.8bn in 2021-22, from the £317bn of debt financed in the previous year, the ONS said.
The report said that the Covid-19 pandemic “has had a substantial impact on the economy as well as public sector borrowing”.

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26 Apr 2022 - Ten councils that haven’t paid the £150 rebate as thousands of households left waiting

Council tax rebates worth £150 are starting to be paid into bank accounts up and down the country from this month.
But whether you have already received the payment or not is down to a postcode lottery.
Some households face waiting months for the £150 to land in their account, with councils officially having until September 30 to issue the money.
The Mirror has checked in with dozens of local authorities and has highlighted ten places where the rebate hasn’t yet been processed.

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26 Apr 2022 - Joanne Pitt: Inflation means many difficult decisions for councils

Local authorities are not immune to the inflationary pressures consumers are experiencing, writes the local government policy manager at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy.

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26 Apr 2022 - Councils ‘under huge pressure’ to meet social care fair funding deadline

Local authorities will struggle to meet a government deadline to submit evidence about social care fair funding to Whitehall, senior figures in the sector have warned MPs.
Sarah Pickup, deputy chief executive of the Local Government Association, was among those raising concerns while giving evidence to the Commons levelling up, housing & communities committee's inquiry into the long-term funding of adult social care.

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26 Apr 2022 - DLUHC tried to offer LGA funding to accountancy firms

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities sought to allow private accountancy firms to bid for some of the LGA's annual sector support grant, LGC can reveal.
However, after what a source close to the negotiations called a “big under the radar pushback” from the LGA, the decision was reversed and the lobbying body will now receive 4% more in government grant than it received last year.

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26 Apr 2022 - Justine Greening tells why levelling up could fall short

The cost-of-living crisis “risks levelling down Britain”, the former education secretary has said.
Speaking to LGC, Justine Greening who was formerly the MP for Putney and now leads the social mobility pledge, said this was down to families and communities who already faced challenging circumstances being hit the hardest by the current crisis.

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26 Apr 2022 - Call for infection control fund investigation

A call has been made for an investigation into how the infection control fund was spent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Giving evidence to MPs, Unison’s officer for social care, Gavin Edwards, said the funding stream, which ended last month, was not always used for its intended purpose by care providers.

[ more...]

26 Apr 2022 - Experts criticise lack of clarity in social care funding

Councils are in the dark on how much funding they will receive for adult social care funding under central government reforms, MPs have been told.

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26 Apr 2022 - Local authority resources surplus falls

Councils received £700m more than they spent last year, down 90% on the 2021-22 surplus, while the overall public sector deficit fell by more than a half.

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26 Apr 2022 - ‘Major issue’ leading to delays in signing off council accounts

Further delays to the audits of 2020/21 local authority accounts have been attributed to issues over the valuation of infrastructure assets that are affecting a significant number of upper-tier councils.
Chris Tambini, president of the Society of County Treasurers (SCT), told Room151 that this was “potentially a major issue for all upper-tier local authorities”. It is currently affecting those authorities that have not already had their 2020/21 accounts signed off and is likely to impact a larger number of councils for their 2021/22 accounts.

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25 Apr 2022 - Cashless Parking

Almost half of councils in England and Wales now use parking machines that don’t accept cash, but instead require drivers to pay via a mobile phone app or bank card, a Freedom of Information Act request reveals. Campaigners at Age UK are concerned that with just 50 per cent of people over 65 using a smartphone, cashless parking could be difficult. Cllr David Renard, transport spokesperson for the LGA, said: “Like so many organisations, councils have found the public welcome the convenience of online technology. But they also pay close attention to the needs of those for whom online payment isn’t attractive.”

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25 Apr 2022 - Council criticised over community fund monitoring

Between 2015-16 and 2018-19, awards from the council’s Mayoral Neighbourhood Fund (MNF) regularly lacked application forms or other relevant paperwork, a report going to an audit committee this week said.
It said the council failed to provide terms and conditions to charities, which received around half the fund’s £1m yearly budget, and it did not request or collect data on how the money was spent.
Prior to a council review in February 2019, third sector organisations were given funding without providing evidence that the money was spent in line with the objectives of Liverpool's city plan, the report said.

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24 Apr 2022 - Delays of up to six months as council tax rebate scheme descends into chaos

Families will have to wait for up to six months for their £150 council tax rebates after local authorities failed to prepare and missed government deadlines.
Only a fraction of councils have credited taxpayers with the handout, designed to help some 28 million pay for soaring energy bills, despite assurances that the "vast majority" would receive support this month.
Many said residents would not receive payments until late May or in some cases even September because they needed to implement new software to facilitate the payments.

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22 Apr 2022 - Corruption prevention cheaper than cure

Former Treasury minister Lord Agnew’s resignation speech in the House of Lords in January will not be easily forgotten.
In it, he characterised oversight by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the British Business Bank as “woeful” and described the Treasury as having “no knowledge or little interest in the consequences of fraud to our economy or society”.
Lord Agnew drew on what has been an enduring organisational problem, especially during Covid-19, for the public and private sector alike — the failure to implement a systemic approach to anti-corruption.

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22 Apr 2022 - Auditors criticise council for trading with dormant company

Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP) has operated a facilities management contract since 2013, but Grant Thornton’s 2020-21 audit report found that the firm has been dormant through the duration of the agreement.
In January 2021, the council found that BBLP was dormant on Companies House, but the authority failed to take legal advice until GT raised concerns in March 2022, the report added.
The report said: “We consider the council’s contract appointment and management arrangements include a significant weakness, as it did not establish the validity of contracting and continuing to trade with a company that was dormant or otherwise non-trading from a formal perspective.”

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22 Apr 2022 - Authorities scrap merger amid council-owned company concerns

In December, the two authorities agreed to submit a request to the government to form South Warwickshire District Council from April 2024, in a bid to streamline services and save money.
However, the councils confirmed in a joint statement that they will abandon the merger, as Stratford said it would be unable to complete due diligence on a Warwick housing company before a government response next month.
The joint statement said: “There is a significant difference between the approaches and ambitions of the two councils that have proved to be irreconcilable, and this means that a joint request, subject to council approval, will now be made to the government to stop the merger process.

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21 Apr 2022 - Gove takes Thatcher's lead in struggle to fix Britain's housing crisis

Margaret Thatcher created an entire new class in Britain.
Her flagship ‘right-to-buy’ policy redefined housing across the country, providing legal rights to shift ownership from councils to their former tenants at a knock-down price, and with it moving the state’s control over peoples’ lives. The prime minister won swathes of voters as a result.
“Thousands of people in council houses and new towns came out to support us for the first time because they wanted a chance to buy their own homes,” Thatcher said in May 1979, just after the election when she ousted the incumbent Labour government of James Callaghan.
“It will give to more of our people that freedom and mobility and that prospect of handing something on to their children and grandchildren which owner-occupation provides.”
Fast forward more than 40 years and multiple governments, and housing secretary Michael Gove has invoked some of the same spirit - if in a slightly unexpected direction. He has proposed boosting social rented property as a cheaper alternative to private rents.

[ more...]

21 Apr 2022 - Don’t expect an infrastructure levy any time soon

The government plans to axe section 106 agreements in favour of an infrastructure levy, but Richard Harbord warns that consultation paralysis, levelling-up concerns and developer opposition could block any progress.

[ more...]

20 Apr 2022 - Councils should focus on improving roads and housing, poll suggests

Voters want their local councils to improve roads and provide more affordable housing, a new poll has found.
The survey carried out by Ipsos ahead of the local elections on May 5 found 50% of people thought improving the condition of roads and pavements should be a top priority for councils.

[ more...]

20 Apr 2022 - Get the balance right: Tackling inflation in the public sector

Inflation is back. If you are under 35 years of age you were probably still in school when it was something that had to be taken seriously so it’s fair to say that corporate memories are fading.
A little bit of inflation can actually be desirable for the economy. It incentivises investment and allows the real value of debt to fall.
However, it is a very delicate balancing act. Once the inflation rate outpaces wage growth, workers experience a pay cut (in real terms).
How can treasurers in the public sector manage inflation challenges?

[ more...]

20 Apr 2022 - Flexible working allows council to sell new HQ

The council completed construction of a new office building in The Sands area of Durham city last month, accommodating up to 1,200 staff members.
However, next week, councillors will consider proposals in a report outlining a plan to sell the property to Durham University, with the receipts funding the construction of three smaller offices.
The report said that this would mean a slightly reduced office capacity, but that "any shortfall can be readily accommodated through the revision of capacity in the council’s other facilities, following the introduction of flexible working practices”.

[ more...]

20 Apr 2022 - Calls for price cap scrap

Chief executives of some of the UK’s largest energy suppliers have called on the Government to abolish the existing energy price cap in favour of a new system that would see the better off pay more. The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee heard how these “unprecedented” measures are needed to prevent a fuel poverty crisis next winter.

[ more...]

20 Apr 2022 - Revealed: Whitehall’s consultations black hole

LGC reveals concerns that the government’s slowness to respond to consultations is affecting councils’ work.
Ministers have failed to respond to more than 40 consultations which impact on local government’s work, leading to concern that councils are being hindered by limited central capacity, LGC research shows.

[ more...]

19 Apr 2022 - Jacob Rees-Mogg calls for civil servants to return to the office

Civil servants must stop working from home and return to the office to ensure government buildings are at full capacity, ministers have been told.
Cabinet Office minister Jacob Rees-Mogg has written to cabinet colleagues urging them to send a "clear message" to the civil service about returning.
The FDA union said his comments were out of step with practice in the private sector.

[ more...]

19 Apr 2022 - Calls grow for free or low-cost Covid tests to keep staff safe

After years of disruption, many firms are hoping for things to return to normal. But it's not yet business as usual.
The recent spike in Covid cases has caused havoc, with staff sickness impacting entire supply chains.
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is now calling for all companies to be given free or cheap lateral flow tests.

[ more...]

19 Apr 2022 - UK set for slowest growth in G7 as Ukraine war hits global economy

The war in Ukraine will "severely set back" the global economic recovery with the UK hit harder than most, the International Monetary Fund has said. This means the UK will no longer be the fastest growing economy in the G7, and will be the slowest in 2023, it says.
The UK's economy is now predicted to grow by 3.7% this year, down from the previous forecast of 4.7% made in January.
However, next year, the UK is expected to have the slowest growth in the G7 and across Europe's main economies, at just 1.2%, a near halving from the 2.3% expected previously. The 2023 UK figure is the slowest apart from heavily-sanctioned Russia in the wider G20,
UK inflation is expected to be 5.3% next year - the highest in the G7, and higher than all EU members, and only exceeded in the G20 by crisis-ridden Argentina, Turkey and Russia.


[ more...]

19 Apr 2022 - Summer recession risk

Britain’s economy is at risk of falling into a summer recession amid a squeeze on household incomes, according to economists at the bank IMG. Analysts warned that economic activity would also be reduced by an extra bank holiday for the Queen’s platinum jubilee in June.

[ more...]

19 Apr 2022 - Living wage could rise by 10.5% as inflation hits councils

The national living wage could rise by 20% in two years, sparking alarm for senior finance officers who are in the eye of the inflation storm.
There are fears councils will need to make further service cuts as they face surging costs to heat their buildings, plus significant price rises in many other areas.

[ more...]

19 Apr 2022 - Gove set to consult on new developer tax

Proposals to abolish section 106 charges in favour of a new infrastructure tax could disincentivise investment in poorer regions, working against 'levelling up', according to experts.

[ more...]

18 Apr 2022 - Britain could fall into recession this summer, say experts

Britain’s economy is at growing risk of falling into a summer recession amid the biggest squeeze on household incomes since the mid 1950s, as soaring inflation curtails consumer spending power, forecasters have said.
Economists said the double blow from slowing post-lockdown growth and rising living costs after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could result in a fall in gross domestic product (GDP) for two consecutive quarters, which is the definition of a recession.
After a weaker-than-expected growth performance in February, and with the inflation rate reaching the highest levels since 1992 last month, City forecasters said UK GDP was now on track to grow by about 1% in the first quarter of 2022 before slipping into reverse this summer.

[ more...]

18 Apr 2022 - English councils pay £1m per child for places in private children’s homes

Councils in England are paying more than £1m a year for a single place in privately run children’s homes, with operators citing the cost of living crisis as a reason for raising their prices, the Guardian has learned.
Private providers have been accused of making “obscene” profits out of some of society’s most vulnerable children, as local authorities reveal they are being quoted as much as £50,000 a week (£2.6m a year) for one child.
Children with complex needs – such as having received death threats, behavioural problems, autism spectrum disorders or being a danger to themselves or others – may require supervision from staff with specialist training, or numerous carers.

[ more...]

14 Apr 2022 - Council chiefs welcome £300m to tackle drug addiction

Council leaders have welcomed a Government announcement of additional funding for local areas to tackle drug dependency as an ‘important step forward’.
Communities in England most affected by drug-related crime and addiction will receive over £300m of additional funding over the next three years to strengthen treatment and recovery services, the Department of Health and Social Care announced yesterday.

[ more...]

13 Apr 2022 - Council tax rebate date: When you will get the £150 energy support payment and who is eligible to claim it

UK households feeling the squeeze of the cost of living crisis will receive a council tax rebate this spring to mitigate rising prices.
The one-off £150 payment forms part of a series of a £9.1bn Treasury support package unveiled by Rishi Sunak in February.
Unlike a separate £200 energy bill rebate being made later in the year, the rebate will not need to be repaid.

[ more...]

13 Apr 2022 - Cost of living: Inflation hits 30-year high of 7% as effects of Russia's war in Ukraine begin to show

The annual rate of inflation shot up to a fresh 30-year high of 7% in March reflecting, for the first time, the immediate effects of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The largest contributors to growing inflation were increased fuel prices and energy bills, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The consumer prices index (CPI) rose from 6.2% in February and was higher than expected, with economists having predicted a rate of 6.7%.

[ more...]

13 Apr 2022 - Homebuilders pledge to pay £5bn towards fire safety costs, says government

Developers have pledged to pay a combined £5bn to fix buildings with dangerous cladding and other fire safety issues, according to the housing secretary.
Thirty-five of the UK's biggest housebuilders have signed an agreement to pay a minimum of £2bn to fix their buildings.
Another £3bn is expected to be raised through an expansion to the Building Safety Levy that will be chargeable on all new residential buildings in England.

[ more...]

13 Apr 2022 - Communities across UK handed control of £2.6bn levelling up funding

Communities across the United Kingdom will benefit from £2.6bn of government funding being allocated today to help spread opportunity and level up the country.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will see places that need it most draw up plans this year to deliver on their local priorities, based on a conditional allocation of funding over the next three years.
This could include regenerating rundown high streets, fighting anti-social behaviour and crime, or helping more people into decent jobs, helping to revive communities, tackle economic decline and reverse geographical disparities in the UK, the government said.

[ more...]

12 Apr 2022 - Councils will have to provide DLUHC with more data – and more often

Councils should drill deeper into their data to provide the government with more "granular" and more regular reports, an official review recommends.
But, despite the probable extra workload, an expert from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountability said it could "help decision making" and improve relationships between the government and local authorities.

[ more...]

12 Apr 2022 - Biggest squeeze for public sector pay in 20 years

Public sector pay for jobs such as NHS workers, teachers and civil servants fell further behind price rises in the three months to February, figures show. While wages rose for public sector workers, price rises outpaced them meaning a 3% drop in spending power, the biggest fall in 20 years. In contrast, an average private sector employee's wage bought 0.5% less.
The latest inflation figures show the cost of living is rising at its fastest pace for 30 years. "Basic pay is now falling noticeably in real terms," said Darren Morgan from the Office for National Statistics describing the fall in spending power. The most recent figures show that inflation reached 6.2% in February and new data, due out on Wednesday, is expected to show a further rise in March.
The ONS said the unemployment rate fell to 3.8% from 3.9% last month. Capital Economics said the fall in unemployment was mainly due to people taking themselves out of the workforce by retiring or by looking after family or long-term sick.

[ more...]

12 Apr 2022 - Councils could be stripped of anti-terror responsibilities in Prevent shake-up

Councils could be stripped of responsibility for Britain’s counter-terror programme under recommendations in a long-awaited review of Prevent.
William Shawcross, the former chairman of the Charity Commission leading the review, is expected to propose an independent network of Prevent professionals free from council control and with a greater focus on national security.
It follows growing criticism that the programme has failed to stop numerous terrorists in the past five years, including Ali Harbi Ali, the killer of Sir David Amess who was referred to Prevent but left unchecked after only one meeting to carry out the attack.

[ more...]

12 Apr 2022 - [Opinion] Will the cap fit this time?

By Richard Humphries (Senior adviser to the Health Foundation and Newton Europe):
Last September the Government announced its ‘Build Back Better’ plan for health and social care.
This featured the introduction of an £86,000 cap on lifetime care costs, a far more generous upper financial means test threshold, the ability for self-funders (people who pay for their own care) to access care and support at the council-funded rate, and plans for councils to pay providers a ‘fair rate of care’.
The Government deserves credit for resurrecting plans to protect people from catastrophic costs, after three decades of inaction where successive governments failed to grasp the nettle. But six months on from the announcement, there are worrying signs that delivery of the reforms is heading for trouble.

[ more...]

12 Apr 2022 - [Opinion] It is imperative to get the SEND reforms right

By Simon Edwards (CCN):
It has taken three years, but the end of last month saw the release of the Government’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Green Paper.
In the years since a review was first announced in 2019, County Councils Network (CCN) member authorities’ collective SEND deficits have risen dramatically and could reach £1.3bn this year. Only a handful of councils are in the black, so it is an understatement to say this paper has arrived at a critical time.
The root cause of the costs spiralling out of control are the legislative changes in the 2014 Children’s Act have which led to a huge increase in demand for education, health and care plans (EHCPs). The number of young people on EHCPs rose by 72% from 2016 to 2021 in county areas alone.
Proposals to address the future demand pressures in EHCPs through a set of national standards are welcome... However, it remains to be seen whether the paper can adequately address the substantial deficits many of our member councils currently have. Beyond the ‘Safety Valve’ programme, which are bespoke agreements with individual councils, there appears little to address the serious financial issues local government faces.

[ more...]

12 Apr 2022 - Councils ‘cannot afford’ government’s waste disposal shake-up

The local authority sector has warned that government plans to ban charges for disposing of DIY waste from households threaten to pressure council finances further “beyond breaking point”.

[ more...]

12 Apr 2022 - Cornwall’s housing crisis: planning and tax reforms ‘urgently required’

The section 151 officer at Cornwall Council has called on the government to implement reforms to planning and tax rules to help local authorities urgently respond to the housing crisis.
Tracie Langley, who is also Cornwall’s chief operating officer, told Room151 that the county faced a number of housing issues including: a seasonal workforce that increases demand; private sector rental owners “flipping” their properties into holiday lets; and derelict former tin-mining areas that are difficult to regenerate without government investment.

[ more...]

12 Apr 2022 - Time to pause adult social care proposals

Proposed government reforms to adult social care will place huge additional burdens on local authorities with significantly increased costs. Leigh Whitehouse discusses the forecast impact at Surrey County Council and calls for a pause in the implementation to review the policy.

[ more...]

11 Apr 2022 - Council tax discounts for second homeowners offering up properties for Ukrainians

Families who offer their second homes to Ukrainians will get a 50 per cent council tax discount under new laws to be laid before Parliament today. Discounts for lone householders who take in new arrivals will also be protected.

[ more...]

11 Apr 2022 - DIY waste consultation

Fees for disposing of DIY waste at council recycling centres in England could be banned under government plans set out in a consultation today.

[ more...]

11 Apr 2022 - LGPS employers could face legal action over sharia law compliance

Local Government Pension Scheme employers could face discrimination claims over concerns the scheme is not compliant with sharia law and staff are not offered an alternative.
A legal opinion commissioned by the LGPS advisory board found that a discrimination claim in an employment tribunal or a broader human rights-based challenge in the civil courts was possible.

[ more...]

11 Apr 2022 - Tony Travers: Local government is taken for granted

The nation relies on councils’ ingenuity to deliver in response to repeated crises – but they are unlikely to get significant extra resources, writes the director of LSE London.

[ more...]

11 Apr 2022 - Government pulls £100m grant for tackling obesity

Programmes to tackle obesity will have to close because the government is pulling the plug on a £100m grant for weight management services, despite evidence obesity is still rising.
Hopes have been dashed that the £100m weight management grant, which was shared between the NHS and councils, will continue into the current financial year.

[ more...]

11 Apr 2022 - Councils ‘don’t have muscle’ to beat profiteering in children’s social care

Only central government can do something to stop profiteering in the children’s social care sector, the new president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services said.
Speaking to LGC following his inaugural speech as president, Steve Crocker, who is also the director of children’s services at Hampshire CC, said neither local nor regional government had "sufficient muscle to deal with” the issue.

[ more...]

11 Apr 2022 - New grant funding for local authorities to clamp down on fly-tipping

A number of councils in England will be awarded grants to tackle fly-tipping through trial projects, including CCTV to target hotspots, the government has announced.
Fly-tipping is a crime which blights communities, poses a risk to public health and the environment, costing up to £392m a year.

[ more...]

10 Apr 2022 - Up to 40,000 civil service jobs face the axe

Thousands of civil service jobs created to tackle the pandemic and Brexit face the axe as the Treasury attempts to rein in soaring Whitehall headcounts.
Plans to slash as many as 40,000 roles will focus on cutting pandemic-related staff in the Department of Health and workers no longer needed after Brexit, The Telegraph can reveal.
The push comes as unions are warned by ministers to expect a new attempt to slash civil service exit payments as they prepare to cut the public payroll.

[ more...]

10 Apr 2022 - Council tax discount for opening second homes to Ukraine refugees

Families who offer their second homes to Ukrainian refugees will get a 50 per cent council tax discount worth as much as £1,000 under new laws to be laid before Parliament on Monday.
Councils will also be barred from removing the discounts of lone householders who take in refugees under the legal changes to be unveiled by Lord Harrington, the refugees minister.
The moves are designed to ensure that no household is financially penalised if they take part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme. More than 200,000 individuals or organisations have registered, of which more than 40,000 have applied.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2022 - NHS wards busy with patients ready for discharge

NHS beds are being blocked by “well” patients with three quarters still on wards despite increasing COVID-19 pressures. Of the 87,775 patients in ward beds as of April 5, around 16 per cent had Covid, the highest proportion since February 17. But separate figures published by NHS England show 71 per cent of patients deemed medically fit to leave remained stuck.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2022 - Planning objections to be blocked

Homeowners will be unable to object to new solar panels, wind turbines and nuclear reactors under government plans. Its new energy strategy includes a push to build eight new nuclear reactors by 2050, carpet an area larger than Exmoor with solar panels and allow communities to be offered lower energy bills if they permit new onshore wind turbines to go ahead.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2022 - Northants: one year on

As West Northamptonshire and North Northamptonshire unitary councils register their first full year in existence, James Smith looks at the progress made since the demise of the ill-fated county council.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2022 - Fairer funding – will the wait be worth it?

Chris Buss says that any review of local government finance must address social care, business rates and council tax, but the danger is that these are just too difficult to resolve.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2022 - Social care 'back of the queue' for government funding

The funding committed to social care bodies through Health and Social Care Levy, which went live today, is not enough to meet cost pressures and sector reforms, according to an expert.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2022 - Council leaders defend pay decisions after pressure group findings

Council leaders have defended senior pay in response to a report that found the number of staff receiving more than £100,000 increased.
Research by the right-wing libertarian think-tank TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) found the number of council staff receiving more than £100,000 increased by 119 to at least 2,921 people during the pandemic.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2022 - Section 106 agreements to be scrapped

The Government is to press ahead with plans to scrap Section 106 agreements in its forthcoming shakeup of planning.
Proposals for a standard Infrastructure Levy to replace the current system will be included in an overhaul of planning, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has confirmed.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2022 - Councils urged to apply for grants to tackle gum pollution

Councils are being urged to apply for funding to clean chewing gum off of pavements and help prevent people from dropping gum in the first place.
Grants of up to £20,000 are being made available to individual councils from the Chewing Gum Task Force Grant Scheme.

[ more...]

08 Apr 2022 - Consultation on replacing Vagrancy Act is launched

The Government has launched a consultation on replacing an 'outdated' law that criminalises homeless people.
It announced earlier this year it was looking to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824, which makes it an offence to sleep rough or beg in England and Wales.

[ more...]

07 Apr 2022 - Defining the reporting boundary for public sector sustainability

Sustainability reporting is, by and large, a new endeavour for most of the public sector. While some jurisdictions have some form of environmental reporting, it's often not integrated with other forms of reporting, such as the annual financial statements or an organisation's annual report.
As a relatively recent addition to public sector reporting, a number of fundamental questions need to be addressed regarding how a reporting entity’s boundary should be defined. Specifically, to what extent will the reporting entity’s upstream and downstream activities be addressed by sustainability reports? This could include the impact of everything from activities in an organisation's supply chain to the funding or services they provide. Should both financial and non-financial impacts of the entity should be included?

[ more...]

06 Apr 2022 - 12,000 Afghan refugees still in hotels

Around 12,000 Afghan refugees are still living in hotels as they wait for permanent housing, more than seven months since their arrival in the UK. The arrangements cost the Home Office £1.2 million a day and are reportedly prolonged by a combination of a lack of affordable housing and delays to paperwork. LGA Chairman Cllr James Jamieson, said: “Families should not be living in hotels. Government need to engage more fully with local authorities and share regular data to enable proper planning of placements, housing, school places and other support across the UK.”

[ more...]

06 Apr 2022 - Business rates income set to remain below pre-pandemic level

Money raised from business rates is set to jump to £22.5bn in this financial year - but will still be well short of the amount collected before the Covid pandemic.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has compiled returns from England's 309 billing authorities, outlining what they expect to get from non-domestic rates in 2022-23.

[ more...]

06 Apr 2022 - Town halls must find more cash for wages

Councils have been warned they will have to find more in their budgets to fund the sector’s increasing wage bill.
Most councils have budgeted for an increase of around 2% for future pay awards but many are now planning to revisit this amid significant increases in the rate of inflation.
The sector is particularly under pressure to increase salaries for the lower pay points as the minimum wage increases over the next few years.

[ more...]

06 Apr 2022 - Councils banned from using capital flexibilities to fund redundancies

The government outlined the change in a statutory guidance letter sent to finance directors at local authorities this week, extending the flexible capital receipts regime until the end of 2024-25.
Authorities are allowed to use income from property sales to fund the revenue costs of transformation programmes aimed at reducing costs, but will now be unable to use the money to fund redundancy payments.
The guidance said: “Discretionary redundancy payments cannot be qualifying expenditure and must not be capitalised under the direction.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - Government maintains LEP funding levels for transition period

Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) will receive £375,000 funding from central government this year, as bodies prepare plans to merge with combined authorities.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - Council set to spend £1m to bolster cyber security

Essex County Council is set to invest £1m to help improve its cyber security, after experts warned of heightened risks of Russian interference in public bodies.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - Headteachers’ leaders call for return of free Covid tests

Headteachers’ leaders have criticised Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi for his “continued failure” to respond to them over the “acute” Covid situation in schools as they call for a reintroduction of free lateral flow tests.
Free lateral flow tests for pupils and staff were discontinued on April 1.
In the open letter from the Association of School and College Leaders and the NAHT school leaders’ union, headteachers’ leaders said they are “deeply concerned” about the Government’s “apparent lack of concern and support” for pupils and staff as they faced the next phase of Covid.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - Kimberly McIntosh: Household support fund extension fails to meet need

The Child Poverty Action Group’s senior policy and research officer says the chancellor needs to make long term investments in an adequate social security system and decent local crisis support.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - Revealed: 31 areas of England to get millions for bus improvements

Thirty-one areas of England have won the race for a share of funding that could see cheaper bus fares and more frequent services
The Department for Transport (DfT) today named the 31 counties, city regions and unitary authorities getting money to fund their bus service improvement plans.
Successful SCT areas are:
* Central Bedfordshire: £3.7m
* Cornwall (including Isles of Scilly): £13.3m
* Derbyshire: £47m
* Devon: £14.1m
* East Sussex: £41.4m
* Hertfordshire: £29.7m
* Kent: £35.1m
* Norfolk: £49.6m
* Nottinghamshire: £18.7m
* Oxfordshire: £12.7m
* Somerset: £11.9m
* West Sussex: £17.4m

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - Care sector ‘on its knees’ as infection control funding ends

The withdrawal of the infection control and testing fund, a financial “lifeline” for care providers during the pandemic, has sparked fears it will lead to a wave of care providers going bust.
The fund, which has provided £1.35bn to adult social care since May 2020 and £288m for testing, will not continue from this month onwards.
One of its aims had been to help providers pay care staff off sick or forced to self-isolate as close to a full wage as possible as workers only become eligible for statutory sick pay after three days.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - Council depots see attempted fuel thefts in wake of price hikes

A Warwickshire council has been forced to step up security at depots following attempted fuel thefts.
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council said thieves had attempted to steal fuel at their Gresham Road depot, but had been stopped after security systems prevented the crime.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - Adult social care workforce receives £500m boost

People working in adult social care in England are set to benefit from a £500m boost that will go towards improving the recruitment and retention of staff.
The funding will come out of the £36bn that the Health and Social Care Levy, which comes into force tomorrow, is predicted to raise over the next three years.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - DLUHC figures highlight disjointed funding regime

Government funding for the New Homes Bonus was £622.3m for 2021-22, according to figures released by local government minister Kemi Badenoch.
Responding to a Parliamentary question from Labour MP Liam Byrne, the minister outlined the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities’ expenditure for the financial year.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - New restrictions on use of capital receipts

New restrictions have been imposed on the use of capital receipts by local authorities.
An updated direction published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) states that councils will be able to continue use funds from asset sales to cover revenue costs of projects that reduce costs, increase income, or improve efficiency, as has been the case since 2016, until the 2024-25 financial year.

[ more...]

05 Apr 2022 - “Let’s not overlook austerity’s impact on rural communities” says Kim McGuinness as she launches new ‘Fighting Poverty, Fighting Crime’ plan

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has spoken out about rural poverty across the North East as she outlines how plans to tackle it will help reduce crime.
Highlighting the impact of austerity on rural communities, the Commissioner’s ‘Fighting Poverty, Fighting Crime’ Plan is the first Police and Crime Plan of its kind to focus on poverty.
The plan focuses on reducing crime through boosting jobs and youth opportunities for the region as a crucial way of supporting operational policing.
The new approach covers the whole force area – all of which is impacted by poverty, including the rural communities – from Gateshead in the south to Wooler in the north.

[ more...]

04 Apr 2022 - Over £1bn of support for vulnerable families

Vulnerable families across the UK are set to receive around £1bn of support to help them access advice and services, the Government has announced.
Seventy-five local authorities have been announced as eligible for a share of £302m to create new Family Hubs. These hubs give parents advice on how to take care of their child and make sure they are safe and healthy.

[ more...]

04 Apr 2022 - Council chiefs welcome £130m to tackle violent crime

Local authority leaders have welcomed the Government’s announcement of a multi-million-pound funding package to tackle serious violence and homicide.
Around £64m of the funding will go to the existing 18 Violence Reduction Units (VRU), which bring together local partners in policing, education, health, and local government to identify and help those who might become involved in crime.

[ more...]

04 Apr 2022 - ‘This is not their death’: Government promises ‘key role’ for Leps

The government has promised to not preside over the "death" of local economic partnerships (Leps) as it set out its long-awaited vision for their future as council devolution gathers pace.
Just over a year after it was announced, the government has set out the conclusions of its Lep review in a 13-page letter to Lep chairs and combined authority mayors.

[ more...]

04 Apr 2022 - Mike Brewer: Sunak left councils without funds to tackle cost-of-living crisis

The Resolution Foundation's chief economist and deputy chief executive writes that the extra support announced in the spring statement is not enough for local authorities to protect their worst-off residents.

[ more...]

04 Apr 2022 - Thirty-one areas given cash to boost bus services

Thirty-one areas in England including Liverpool, Norfolk and Cornwall have been picked to receive government funding to boost bus services.
However, other places such as Blackpool and Slough will miss out on the £1.08bn pot of money allocated by government.
The transport department said it gave money to areas which had the "ambition to repeat the success achieved in London - which drove up bus usage".

[ more...]

04 Apr 2022 - Headteachers’ leaders call for return of free Covid tests

Headteachers’ leaders have criticised Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi for his “continued failure” to respond to them over the “acute” Covid situation in schools as they call for a reintroduction of free lateral flow tests.
Free lateral flow tests for pupils and staff were discontinued on April 1.
In the open letter from the Association of School and College Leaders and the NAHT school leaders’ union, headteachers’ leaders said they are “deeply concerned” about the Government’s “apparent lack of concern and support” for pupils and staff as they faced the next phase of Covid.

[ more...]

03 Apr 2022 - Rising prices and wages land councils with their own cost-of-living crisis

Councils are facing growing challenges as the cost-of-living crisis impacts around the country. The highest rates of inflation for at least three decades are causing a sharp rise in the cost of the raw materials, labour and services they have to buy to provide public services. The LGA has estimated that even before taking account of inflation, councils will have a £1 billion funding gap in the next few years as they face growing pressures from an ageing population and an economy still dealing with COVID-19.

[ more...]

03 Apr 2022 - Quarter of bus routes axed in England in last decade

Research by the Campaign for Better Transport has found that 27 per cent of bus services in England have disappeared in the last decade, with the pandemic accelerating the decline.

[ more...]

03 Apr 2022 - Up to 100,000 new homes delayed by nutrient neutrality regs

The government’s promise to build 300,000 homes per year could be placed in jeopardy by new regulations put in place by Natural England.
A report by The Times said that as many as 100,000 homes have been delayed due to new ‘nutrient neutrality’ regulations.
Advice previously issued by Natural England has stated local planning authorities in areas affected by nutrient pollution may only approve projects if they are certain they will not increase the levels of nutrients in the development’s catchment area.

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02 Apr 2022 - Councils should help Ukrainian pupils attend school as soon as possible – Zahawi

The Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, has said councils should work with newly arrived Ukrainian families to make sure children can attend school as soon as possible. This includes going above published admission numbers or exceeding infant class sizes where appropriate. The LGA said councils had “concerns” about “what happens if children arrive in an area and schools are already at capacity, or schools are unwilling to take children”. It said there were potential issues with academy schools, which councils cannot direct to take pupils. The LGA’s lines were also reported by the Evening Standard.

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02 Apr 2022 - UK Homes for Ukraine scheme launches

The first UK government-funded scheme pairing sponsors with Ukrainian arrivals has been launched. The charity Reset Communities and Refugees has launched a service to link sponsors with new arrivals, provide training and help with safeguarding.

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01 Apr 2022 - New unitary may inherit ‘significant’ financial issues, report says

Cumberland Council could face a difficult start when it launches next April - thanks to a host of "significant" financial issues being tackled by one of its three successor authorities.
Copeland BC, which will merge with Allerdale BC and Carlisle City Council to form Cumberland Council on April 1 2023, is in a "financially challenging position", according to a Grant Thornton audit report, seen by LGC.

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01 Apr 2022 - No more locally-led responses to future Covid outbreaks

Experts fear the fight against Covid will be hampered after the government axed outbreak funding to councils, while it emerged that future variants would be managed nationally, not locally.
Local authorities are letting go public health staff taken on during the pandemic, after yesterday's announcement that there would be no more Covid outbreak management funding (Comf) - even though cases and hospitalisations continue to rise.

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01 Apr 2022 - Councils to fund housing for homeless refugees

Councils will have to pick up the bill for accommodating homeless Ukrainian refugees from their own budgets, a minister has said.
Latest figures from the Local Government Association found 144 Ukrainian refugees have presented to councils in England as homeless so far.
Shadow communities spokesperson Baroness Hayman pressed refugees minister Lord Harrington on what was being done for those who ‘urgently need housing’.

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Archived Headlines

2022

01 Apr 2022 - Court finds in favour of councils over child placements 01 Apr 2022 - Provisional Localised Council Tax Support Admin Grant Allocations 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up plans will fail, IfG report claims 01 Apr 2022 - Council chiefs welcome £7.5m domestic abuse funding 01 Apr 2022 - Testing requirement for care home visits to end next month 01 Apr 2022 - Local authority accounts: embrace the complexity 01 Apr 2022 - PM pledges to explore Universal Credit increase 01 Apr 2022 - Minister pledges 'scrupulous focus' on government efficiencies 01 Apr 2022 - Betts: Government must ‘get a grip’ of energy rebates 01 Apr 2022 - Two million households on low incomes ‘face waiting weeks’ for £150 council-tax rebate 01 Apr 2022 - Energy bills rebate: Average council tax bill will fall this year after Rishi Sunak stepped in to ease cost of living crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Homes for Ukraine scheme 01 Apr 2022 - NAO: Billions in Covid-19 PPE not 'fit for purpose' 01 Apr 2022 - Liverpool launches consultation to scrap mayor 01 Apr 2022 - 1.3m families to miss out on council tax rebate 01 Apr 2022 - Gove pledges a 'waterfall of devolution' 01 Apr 2022 - Afghan refugees still unhoused 01 Apr 2022 - Amy Harhoff: Local government cannot tackle cost-of-living crisis alone 01 Apr 2022 - Gove criticises number of competitive funding pots 01 Apr 2022 - Councils call for producers to cover cost of littering 01 Apr 2022 - Government urges councils to review contracts with Russian companies 01 Apr 2022 - Government vows to end 'postcode lottery' on SEND 01 Apr 2022 - Cash-strapped councils face steep costs for breaking off Russian energy contracts 01 Apr 2022 - Ambitious reform for children and young people with SEND 01 Apr 2022 - Further council tax rebate ‘under consideration’ 01 Apr 2022 - Children’s social care provider profits warning 01 Apr 2022 - Most councils haven’t shared a penny of pandemic rate relief 01 Apr 2022 - Councils seeking clarity on Homes for Ukraine sponsorship scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Councils allowed to set up academy trusts in shake-up of schools system 01 Apr 2022 - Fuel prices hit school transport services 01 Apr 2022 - Nine councils to receive £300m in return for overhaul of Send services 01 Apr 2022 - Councils to bid for charge point funding as part of EV ‘revolution’ 01 Apr 2022 - IFS: public services to 'feel the squeeze' 01 Apr 2022 - Fears that devolution bill could be delayed until early 2023 01 Apr 2022 - Whitty: Focus on smoking, obesity and alcoholism has ‘gone backwards’ 01 Apr 2022 - Hopes fading for funding reform 01 Apr 2022 - Gloucestershire County Council to close four care homes 01 Apr 2022 - Minister confirms over 500 new accessible toilets to be built 01 Apr 2022 - Minister confirms over 500 new accessible toilets to be built 01 Apr 2022 - Council chiefs call for ‘urgent’ extension of COVID fund 01 Apr 2022 - ‘I’ve rattled Rishi upside-down’ – Leadsom predicts Start for Life funds boost 01 Apr 2022 - Spring statement 2022: Public sector workers 'face real-terms £1,800 pay cut' 01 Apr 2022 - Spring Statement 2022: National insurance hypothecation a 'myth' 01 Apr 2022 - School academy trust staff pay criticised 01 Apr 2022 - Spring Statement 2022: Cost of living dismay despite extra council cash 01 Apr 2022 - Spring Statement: Rishi Sunak seeks to combat cost-of-living squeeze 01 Apr 2022 - Chancellor Announces Spring Statement 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers urged to reverse public health cuts 01 Apr 2022 - Sector set to clash over rates reform 01 Apr 2022 - Inflation hits new 30-year high ahead of Sunak statement 01 Apr 2022 - A fifth of children in care self-harmed during pandemic, research finds 01 Apr 2022 - Covid inquiry ‘ignores that children paid the ultimate price’ during pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Cost to fix crumbling and pothole-plagued roads in England and Wales soars by almost a quarter to £12.6bn with backlog taking 9 years to complete 01 Apr 2022 - Council calls for support after appointing Gazprom replacement provider 01 Apr 2022 - Spring Statement 2022: What to look out for 01 Apr 2022 - Bigger councils 'not always more efficient', report finds 01 Apr 2022 - Councils remain in dark as refugees arrive 01 Apr 2022 - Unison calls for above-inflation pay rise for public sector 01 Apr 2022 - New £10m fund to help create traveller sites 01 Apr 2022 - Funding reforms key to ‘levelling up’ 01 Apr 2022 - Councils to step in if 'Homes for Ukraine' fails 01 Apr 2022 - Pressure put on Treasury for extra COVID cash 01 Apr 2022 - Cost of charging electric cars on the street hits new high 01 Apr 2022 - No 10 eyes toll roads to collect tax lost to e-cars 01 Apr 2022 - Covid hospitalisations in southern England surge 01 Apr 2022 - Roads repair backlog reaches £12.6 billion 01 Apr 2022 - Prioritise mental health support for Ukrainians arriving in UK, experts say 01 Apr 2022 - Rishi Sunak to cut fuel duty to ease cost-of-living crisis 01 Apr 2022 - How much will council tax bills be in YOUR area? Map reveals areas with biggest rise where hard-pressed families in average homes could face paying more than £2,300 a year 01 Apr 2022 - Public health measures are key to curbing Covid in UK, say scientists 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Airbrushing’ children’s lockdown experiences from the Covid inquiry is a ‘shocking oversight’ 01 Apr 2022 - Business rates ‘finished’ as funding source, says Pickles 01 Apr 2022 - DWP slashes housing crisis fund for poor Brits to lowest level in a decade 01 Apr 2022 - Government ‘unleashing chaos’ with Homes for Ukraine refugee scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Covid immunity declines steeply in care home residents in England – study 01 Apr 2022 - CIPFA/LASAAC backs IFRS16 implementation delay 01 Apr 2022 - BoE hikes interest rates again 01 Apr 2022 - IFS: Inflation to mark a doubling of income tax revenues 01 Apr 2022 - Southern cities show strongest potential 01 Apr 2022 - Send support requirements expected to be set out in law 01 Apr 2022 - Care homes ‘could close’ due to underfunded reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Discretionary housing payments to be reduced 01 Apr 2022 - Government ‘unleashing chaos’ with Homes for Ukraine refugee scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Concerns over refugee data 01 Apr 2022 - War in Ukraine: No time to check homes of refugee hosts, says minister 01 Apr 2022 - Local authorities will be able to top up council tax rebate 01 Apr 2022 - Authorities seek new solution to ease Gazprom contract exits 01 Apr 2022 - Rising social care demand 01 Apr 2022 - Disabled people facing difficult decisions in cost of living crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Authorities seek new solution to ease Gazprom contract exits 01 Apr 2022 - Stronger UK finances set to be unveiled at Spring Statement 01 Apr 2022 - Council forecasts £9m rise in energy costs 01 Apr 2022 - ‘I had no choice but to sort private care’: Families hit as councils struggle with rising social care demand 01 Apr 2022 - Britons paying over £4,000 council tax in some parts of the country with April rises due 01 Apr 2022 - Counting the infrastructure costs for county councils 01 Apr 2022 - Rob Whiteman: We can turn around the problems of local audit 01 Apr 2022 - Heseltine: government moving at ‘the slowest consensual pace’ 01 Apr 2022 - Campaigners call for new homes tax to be scrapped 01 Apr 2022 - Greater Manchester bus journeys to cost £2 01 Apr 2022 - Cornish towns fear losing out from post-Brexit regional funding scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Free Covid testing in special schools in England to end this month 01 Apr 2022 - Petrol prices set to ease after hitting record highs 01 Apr 2022 - Call to devolve Afghan refugee responsibilities 01 Apr 2022 - Leaders voice ICS frustration to minister 01 Apr 2022 - Minister rules out 'abandoning' devolution framework 01 Apr 2022 - Census delay could hit finance reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Rural communities face ‘tsunami of poverty’ 01 Apr 2022 - Energy bills rising faster than wages 01 Apr 2022 - Calls to expand fourth vaccine dose offer 01 Apr 2022 - Asset deprivation and care homes 01 Apr 2022 - Delaying National Insurance rise ‘no problem’ 01 Apr 2022 - Poorest families face prospect of inflation exceeding 10 per cent this year 01 Apr 2022 - Background checks to be carried out on people offering refuge to Ukrainians 01 Apr 2022 - Homes for Ukraine scheme 01 Apr 2022 - New refugee sponsorship scheme to include role for local authorities 01 Apr 2022 - Council chiefs call for reform of ‘adversarial’ SEND system 01 Apr 2022 - Lessons from Ukraine: are defence exclusions ‘responsible’? 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Extreme’ Prudential Code will impact reserves, warns Mike Jensen 01 Apr 2022 - No more Government support to help with energy costs 01 Apr 2022 - UK has ‘sleepwalked’ into dysfunctional children’s social care market 01 Apr 2022 - People to be asked to host Ukrainian refugees in their homes 01 Apr 2022 - Councils and NHS trusts battle to break off contracts with Gazprom Energy over Ukraine 01 Apr 2022 - No one knows how many children there are in England, children’s commissioner admits 01 Apr 2022 - How to get the council tax rebate: When it will be paid, which bands get it and how to switch to direct debit 01 Apr 2022 - Why robust procurement is essential 01 Apr 2022 - Half of NHS budget spent on preventable diseases 01 Apr 2022 - New minister for refugee crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Government gives minded approval for unprecedented bailout 01 Apr 2022 - No one knows how many children in England, says children’s commissioner 01 Apr 2022 - Croydon, Nottingham and Slough set to balance books after eleventh hour support 01 Apr 2022 - DLUHC ‘working intensively’ with sector on Ukrainian refugee scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Lords reject government bid to amend care cap 01 Apr 2022 - DLUHC officials: Councils ‘overfunded’ for Covid costs 01 Apr 2022 - Government faces 'uphill battle' on improving health 01 Apr 2022 - Planning laws reformed to speed up 5G roll-out 01 Apr 2022 - Trade unions call for £200 fuel loan to be a grant 01 Apr 2022 - Tony Travers: Levelling up will be undermined by the shunning of local leaders 01 Apr 2022 - Councils to be given chance to sponsor displaced Ukrainians 01 Apr 2022 - Government announces £150m final funding package for bus services 01 Apr 2022 - Sanctioning Gazprom would legally protect councils, Salford mayor says 01 Apr 2022 - Ukraine refugees may struggle to find places in English schools, councils say 01 Apr 2022 - Priti Patel to relax rules to allow all Ukrainian refugees fleeing Putin’s invasion to come to Britain 01 Apr 2022 - Ukraine war: UK grants 50 Ukrainian refugee visas so far 01 Apr 2022 - Concerns over 'ever-rising' cost of Gloucester City Council cyber attack 01 Apr 2022 - Councils slam local audit process 01 Apr 2022 - Cost of living crisis drives rising demand 01 Apr 2022 - Costs warning as Defra delays start date for packaging waste reform 01 Apr 2022 - LA maintenance funding frozen after cut fears 01 Apr 2022 - Extra £4.7bn for schools unlikely to cover cost pressures 01 Apr 2022 - COVID business rates relief ‘a total joke’ 01 Apr 2022 - The public bodies tied into Gazprom contracts 01 Apr 2022 - A tough sell: LGPS faces Russian divestment challenge 01 Apr 2022 - Successor schemes exceed EU structural funding, Sunak claims 01 Apr 2022 - DfE shows ‘apparent disregard’ for unequal schools’ financial health 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Shambolic’ audit system slammed for missed deadlines 01 Apr 2022 - UK’s economic growth to halve this year 01 Apr 2022 - Schools being impacted by budget reductions 01 Apr 2022 - Free flu jab to end for over 50’s 01 Apr 2022 - English councils seek exit from Russian energy firm 01 Apr 2022 - Number of children's social workers leaving roles hits five-year high 01 Apr 2022 - Second homes in Wales could face threefold council tax rise 01 Apr 2022 - No more compulsory Covid jabs for care home staff 01 Apr 2022 - Minister warns of risks of devolving 'volatile' taxes 01 Apr 2022 - Councils to have access to new online PPE portal 01 Apr 2022 - Warnings over unmet care needs 01 Apr 2022 - Clark: Reorganisation opportunity has come and gone 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax on rental homes of multiple occupation 01 Apr 2022 - Councils ‘will have to cut key services to pay for UK storm damage’ 01 Apr 2022 - Warning over ‘destabilising’ cost of social care reforms 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Disappointed’ south east counties eye second round of devo deals 01 Apr 2022 - White Paper has welcome ambition but fails to mention role of austerity 01 Apr 2022 - 'Underfunded' adult social care reforms put services at risk, warn councils 01 Apr 2022 - Cumbria drops legal challenge to reorganisation 01 Apr 2022 - Unite announces industrial action over pay 01 Apr 2022 - Homes that are not energy efficient will cost an extra £390 after price cap rises, study says 01 Apr 2022 - Woman forced to sleep in wheelchair due to lack of care staff 01 Apr 2022 - One million people risk delay getting £150 council tax rebate 01 Apr 2022 - Extra 100,000 people from Ukraine will be able to seek sanctuary in UK 01 Apr 2022 - London borough to cut council tax 01 Apr 2022 - Ukraine crisis could push annual energy bills above £3,000 for millions, expert warns 01 Apr 2022 - External review to probe council property purchases 01 Apr 2022 - MPs approve amendment restricting LGPS ‘political divestment’ 01 Apr 2022 - Care homes in England lose 1,600 beds in six-month period 01 Apr 2022 - Town halls 'could employ 1,200 youth workers with cash stripped from vital fund' 01 Apr 2022 - Sam Freedman: Give councils new powers in an all-academy school system 01 Apr 2022 - What part of ‘mayor’ don’t you understand? 01 Apr 2022 - First wave of £67m Home Upgrade Grant awarded to 22 local authorities 01 Apr 2022 - Johnson under renewed pressure to scrap National Insurance surcharge 01 Apr 2022 - County deal talks begin amid prevailing reluctance to elect mayor 01 Apr 2022 - Shared prosperity fund devo offer ‘not real devolution’ 01 Apr 2022 - Reserves needed for county to balance final budget 01 Apr 2022 - Council to bring some services back in-house 01 Apr 2022 - Service decline expected despite spending power boost 01 Apr 2022 - Public health directors warn of dangers in ending COVID-19 testing 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Tidal wave’ of homelessness warning amid cost of living crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Spring Covid boost for over-75s and high risk 01 Apr 2022 - England ending Covid isolation laws and mass free testing 01 Apr 2022 - UK government pushed to ‘come clean’ as decision on bus funding looms 01 Apr 2022 - Over 80s set to get free COVID-19 tests 01 Apr 2022 - Funding uncertainty prompts ‘Living with Covid’ warning 01 Apr 2022 - Henry Overman: Judge levelling up white paper’s success by opportunities for individuals 01 Apr 2022 - UK government pushed to ‘come clean’ as decision on bus funding looms 01 Apr 2022 - Care home founders took Covid funding and sent £2m offshore 01 Apr 2022 - Millions in England face ‘second pandemic’ of mental health issues 01 Apr 2022 - Mayor halts Bristol budget talks 01 Apr 2022 - Thousands of elderly residents kicked out in 'tsunami' of private care home closures 01 Apr 2022 - NHS bosses call for free tests and isolation to remain 01 Apr 2022 - Prepare for mass migration to cities in climate crisis, UK mayors warn 01 Apr 2022 - Basic income: Care leavers to be offered £1,600 a month for two years under Wales pilot scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Delay warning on energy bill support 01 Apr 2022 - DCN plans fee hike to fund 'ambitious' expansion 01 Apr 2022 - O'Brien backs multi-year settlement idea 01 Apr 2022 - County forecasts ‘phenomenal’ £230m funding gap 01 Apr 2022 - Analysis: ‘There is a significant risk that London is levelled down’ 01 Apr 2022 - County clashes with districts over its reluctance to adopt mayor 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up white paper’s pensions plan could cost councils dear 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson to 'restore a smaller state' as part of No 10 'reset', says Steve Barclay 01 Apr 2022 - Gove: devolve business rates to mayors 01 Apr 2022 - Council creates cyber attack reserve 01 Apr 2022 - Inflation rises to 5.5% in January 01 Apr 2022 - Croydon to sell properties to avoid capitalisation borrowing 01 Apr 2022 - Dramatic fall in youth services spending per child 01 Apr 2022 - UK wage growth lags rising cost of living 01 Apr 2022 - Bus services could be cut by a THIRD as Covid emergency funding is axed, experts fear 01 Apr 2022 - Anger as councils sit on £850m of pandemic grants 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak’s council tax bodge undermines Gove’s white paper 01 Apr 2022 - Councillors urged to ensure short-term funding reaches social care frontline 01 Apr 2022 - Wales to consider bringing in a 'tourism tax' 01 Apr 2022 - Councils secure £174m funding for 'move on' homes for rough sleepers 01 Apr 2022 - Johnson ‘having a laugh’ over rail claim 01 Apr 2022 - Councils in the dark over bus cash pledge 01 Apr 2022 - Anna Ambrose: Councils must unlock unspent money for skills 01 Apr 2022 - NHS trusts raise ‘significant concerns’ over ‘single accountable figure’ plan 01 Apr 2022 - DLUHC official Tom Walker on the levelling up white paper 01 Apr 2022 - Councils 'in the dark' on Afghan resettlement 01 Apr 2022 - Councils rule out mayoral model 01 Apr 2022 - Councils demand to know more about deposit return scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Government has no action plan for improving children's social care 01 Apr 2022 - HMRC faces criticism over ‘cavalier’ attitude to lost billions 01 Apr 2022 - Confusion reigns over secret council audit report 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Funding cuts have changed the scale, shape and scope of local government’ 01 Apr 2022 - MRP consultation: don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater 01 Apr 2022 - How best to respond to local audit delays? 01 Apr 2022 - Clampdown on commercialism ‘could push some councils to the cliff edge’ 01 Apr 2022 - Pothole row as angry husband demands council pay for damage to wife's Porsche 01 Apr 2022 - Comment: The Red Wall Deserves a Fairer Council Tax System 01 Apr 2022 - Local Government Finance Settlement 01 Apr 2022 - Road repairs cuts to funding 01 Apr 2022 - Cost of living crisis triggering requests to help to councils, LGA warns 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Insufficient’ preparation led to IR35 non-compliance 01 Apr 2022 - Britain must choose between decades of higher taxes and cutting back welfare state, top economist warns 01 Apr 2022 - Gove asked to clarify new council tax rebate 01 Apr 2022 - Gove ‘interested’ in fiscal devolution 01 Apr 2022 - Social workers report 'surge' in children with mental health needs 01 Apr 2022 - ‘No fault’ evictions ban expected in Spring 01 Apr 2022 - NHS and social care link to be improved 01 Apr 2022 - Public health funding boost branded an ‘effective’ cut 01 Apr 2022 - Analysis: Devo framework leaves the government holding all the cards 01 Apr 2022 - Final settlement insufficient to tackle long-term pressures, sector leaders say 01 Apr 2022 - Budget cuts mean 11m rural potholes will go unfilled 01 Apr 2022 - Thousands rush to challenge council tax bands to get £150 rebates 01 Apr 2022 - Budget cuts mean 11m rural potholes will go unfilled 01 Apr 2022 - New performance body will measure happiness and life satisfaction 01 Apr 2022 - County deal wish list: Nottinghamshire considers expanding horizons 01 Apr 2022 - County deal wish list: Durham seeks skills, transport and housing powers 01 Apr 2022 - Families spend £14.6m replacing missing disability support 01 Apr 2022 - Social care cap amendment to ‘disproportionately’ hit North 01 Apr 2022 - What levelling up? Councils forced into tax rises and drastic service cuts 01 Apr 2022 - Most Tory voters want more affordable housing stock, finds poll 01 Apr 2022 - Emergency consultation launched on delaying IFRS 16 implementation 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax support scheme will be ‘challenging to deliver’ 01 Apr 2022 - Government sets 5% local investment target for LGPS to help levelling up 01 Apr 2022 - LEPs set to be ‘integrated’ into combined authorities 01 Apr 2022 - Tony Travers: Levelling up will continue to be run from SW1 01 Apr 2022 - Social workers warn of rise in mental health problems among children 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax cut is ‘loopy and lopsided’ 01 Apr 2022 - Home Office criticised for not housing asylum seekers properly as hotel costs mount 01 Apr 2022 - ‘No viable alternative’: UK must introduce road pricing, MPs say 01 Apr 2022 - Millions to receive £350 boost to help with rising energy costs 01 Apr 2022 - Government accused of watering down gigabit broadband pledge after 2030 ‘Levelling Up’ target announced 01 Apr 2022 - The volunteers helping people cope with high energy bills 01 Apr 2022 - New register for children not in school to be launched 01 Apr 2022 - UK hotel bill for 37,000 migrants is £1.2m a day, MPs told 01 Apr 2022 - Theresa May urges her local council to drop plan to abolish arts funding 01 Apr 2022 - Children in care homes 'seen as criminals not victims' 01 Apr 2022 - BoE expected to raise rates again 01 Apr 2022 - Slough bids for £270m capitalisation direction 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up white paper set to encourage local investment by LGPS funds 01 Apr 2022 - NAO report on levelling up funding 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling Up White Paper 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up will take years, IFS warns 01 Apr 2022 - Rural health services need ‘levelling up’, MPs say 01 Apr 2022 - Gove announces plan for £16bn LGPS levelling up investment 01 Apr 2022 - Cumbria leader: Judge misunderstood judicial review application 01 Apr 2022 - Government to target 55 ‘cold-spots’ in bid to level up education 01 Apr 2022 - Councils get powers to fine motorists for minor offences 01 Apr 2022 - Poorest households face financial ‘catastrophe’ in April as cost of living increases 01 Apr 2022 - Council chiefs in supply chain warning 01 Apr 2022 - Staff shortages ‘clear and present danger’ 01 Apr 2022 - Government set to break UK Shared Prosperity Fund manifesto commitment 01 Apr 2022 - Government set to break UK Shared Prosperity Fund manifesto commitment 01 Apr 2022 - Minister sets timeline for Send green paper 01 Apr 2022 - Kerslake: Voting system change designed to ‘influence’ election results 01 Apr 2022 - £1.5bn levelling up pot to ‘breathe fresh life’ into disadvantaged areas 01 Apr 2022 - Mandatory jabs for NHS staff in England could end 01 Apr 2022 - Council 'breached procurement laws' over contract with subsidiary firm 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling-up plans target rogue landlords in the private sector 01 Apr 2022 - Auditors identify fraudulent payments in council financial statements 01 Apr 2022 - One-off grant sparks financial ‘cliff edge’ fear 01 Apr 2022 - DfE ‘drawing up proposals’ for councils to run academy trusts 01 Apr 2022 - Budget could increase inflation, says Treasury Committee 01 Apr 2022 - Authority to publish carbon ‘budget’ alongside finances 01 Apr 2022 - NAO: Significant weaknesses remain in government financial modelling 01 Apr 2022 - Gove allows under-pressure councils to drop services 01 Apr 2022 - One in five UK councils have no climate action plan, campaigners say 01 Apr 2022 - National Insurance: Minister says rise in April 'is going ahead' after reports Boris Johnson is considering delaying tax hike 01 Apr 2022 - Domestic abuse rises sharply as cause of homelessness in England 01 Apr 2022 - Rents are rising at ‘the fastest rate on record’ 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up in doubt as £1bn a year cut from post-Brexit regional funding, MPs warn Rishi Sunak 01 Apr 2022 - One in six office staff would quit if denied flexible working 01 Apr 2022 - Authority to publish carbon ‘budget’ alongside finances 01 Apr 2022 - Cumbria continues legal battle against reorganisation 01 Apr 2022 - LEPs claim survival chances boosted 01 Apr 2022 - £37.8m government funding for local authorities to boost cybersecurity 01 Apr 2022 - Star Hobson: Bradford Council stripped of children's and social care services in wake of toddler's death 01 Apr 2022 - Green revolution of homes ‘slowed down by flaws and gaps in government support’ 01 Apr 2022 - Reinventing schools would boost Britain by £125bn a year, Times Education Commission finds 01 Apr 2022 - Cabinet split emerges over National Insurance increase 01 Apr 2022 - Key worker pay falling behind rising prices, says TUC 01 Apr 2022 - Fair Cost of Care fund won't be enough, say providers 01 Apr 2022 - National tutoring programme is scandalous failure, MPs told 01 Apr 2022 - Gove denies levelling-up funding ‘abuse’ amid concerns raised by MPs 01 Apr 2022 - Minister resigns over government record on Covid business loan fraud 01 Apr 2022 - At least 4,000 non-Covid excess deaths caused by pandemic in England, report finds 01 Apr 2022 - PM ‘committed’ to National Insurance tax rise despite calls to scrap move 01 Apr 2022 - DHLUC official: Voter ID cards ‘by the end of this year’ 01 Apr 2022 - Finance round up: District plans council tax cut as county faces £100m shortfall 01 Apr 2022 - District authority to use reserves to fund council tax reduction 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax rebates could offset rises in energy bills 01 Apr 2022 - Councils call for hybrid meetings for budget setting period 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax rise: Your bills could rise by £220 - are you affected? 01 Apr 2022 - UK’s biggest cities lose nearly a year of sales to Covid-related downturn 01 Apr 2022 - Entire cabinet 'would back a tax hike delay': Ministers are ready to act as top Tories, business chiefs and economists turn up the heat on Boris Johnson over planned national insurance rise, source sa 01 Apr 2022 - NHS ‘destabilising’ care market by paying ‘over the odds’ for carers and beds 01 Apr 2022 - Justine Greening: ‘A thousand levelling up flowers can bloom through councils’ 01 Apr 2022 - Fly-tipping: Government plans to tackle 'new narcotics' of waste crime 01 Apr 2022 - Value of county’s commercial investments plummet 01 Apr 2022 - Self-imposed housing moratorium costs council £1m 01 Apr 2022 - Covid-19: The worst yet to come for local authorities 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers acknowledge long-term savings from Everyone In 01 Apr 2022 - County chief set to revert to district role 01 Apr 2022 - Council chiefs warn vital health services ‘at risk’ 01 Apr 2022 - Sector call for reinstatement of remote meetings gains momentum 01 Apr 2022 - Spending power squeeze amid inflation warning 01 Apr 2022 - Cornwall declares critical care incident 01 Apr 2022 - Two more council partnerships scrapped 01 Apr 2022 - Government calls civil servants back to the office 01 Apr 2022 - Firms fined £33m for role in council pre-paid card ‘cartels’ 01 Apr 2022 - All Covid restrictions in England could end in March under No 10 plans 01 Apr 2022 - Hospitality warning on Covid grants 01 Apr 2022 - Pay rises fail to keep up with the cost of living 01 Apr 2022 - Strike action ‘doubtful’ as union’s ballot results come in 01 Apr 2022 - Joanne Pitt: Effective scrutiny vital as budget decisions get even tougher 01 Apr 2022 - Further details of Lancashire county deal revealed 01 Apr 2022 - Bradford has most 'levelling up' potential, Index finds 01 Apr 2022 - Javid guarantees private hospitals up to £270m before April amid Omicron risk 01 Apr 2022 - Vulnerable adults in England left uncared for as staffing levels fall 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson prepares mass clearout to save own skin 01 Apr 2022 - Drivers warned as UK roads in pothole crisis – ‘can cause costly damage’ 01 Apr 2022 - UK households facing ‘fuel stress’ will treble to 6.3m – thinktank 01 Apr 2022 - Self-isolation law set to be scrapped in favour of move towards ‘learning to live with COVID-19’ 01 Apr 2022 - Half of councils forced to ration care, survey reveals 01 Apr 2022 - IFS: Inner London and shire districts likely losers from funding reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Councils should consider pressures index similar to NHS 01 Apr 2022 - Gove closes tax loophole on second homes 01 Apr 2022 - Consultation on local government finance reform ‘due in the Spring’ 01 Apr 2022 - Government to cut £50m school grant 01 Apr 2022 - Economy at pre-pandemic levels in November 01 Apr 2022 - COVID passes to be scrapped 01 Apr 2022 - Pothole-related breakdowns hit three-year high 01 Apr 2022 - The LGA and WPI Economics have Published Research into LG Funding Reform 01 Apr 2022 - Short term holiday rentals ‘crippling’ rural communities, warns charity 01 Apr 2022 - Improving health of 'left behind' neighbourhoods could boost economy by £30bn, report finds 01 Apr 2022 - Staff shortages are ‘excessively high’, warn care providers 01 Apr 2022 - Councils chosen to pilot planning schemes 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up funding failing to focus on social issues, finds research 01 Apr 2022 - Councils to lose out following Jamie’s Italian collapse 01 Apr 2022 - Daily cases drop 45 per cent in a week 01 Apr 2022 - Councils can offer rough sleepers cash as ‘incentives’ to get jab 01 Apr 2022 - IFS: Councils overestimated financial hit from pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Gove clashes with Treasury over bid to boost manufacturing 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax rise cancellation call 01 Apr 2022 - Stephen Hughes: Business rates system still needs fundamental reform 01 Apr 2022 - Widespread concern at ‘pointless’ business grants red tape 01 Apr 2022 - Hit services or your residents? The great council tax dilemma 01 Apr 2022 - McManus: Public health funding delay may lead to service cuts 01 Apr 2022 - County leaders hit back at Gove’s governor notion as a ‘recipe for disaster’ 01 Apr 2022 - Council calls on staff to volunteer for social care roles 01 Apr 2022 - Planning U-turn lets residents keep right to reject new builds 01 Apr 2022 - Cutting self-isolation to five days would be helpful, Nadhim Zahawi says 01 Apr 2022 - County seeks approval on care worker payment incentive 01 Apr 2022 - Scrap business rates due to energy costs – Labour 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson drawing up plans for UK to learn to live with COVID-19 01 Apr 2022 - ‘We are coming for you’: Gove’s warning to unsafe property developers 01 Apr 2022 - Too many people living in expensive, unsuitable, poor quality homes – report 01 Apr 2022 - Three-day Covid test wait adding to spiralling workforce pressures 01 Apr 2022 - Essex CC's levelling up plans 'genuinely trailblazing' 01 Apr 2022 - NAO qualifies opinion on BEIS accounts due to fraud in Covid-19 schemes 01 Apr 2022 - Care providers call for ‘emergency army of volunteers’ 01 Apr 2022 - Auditor fined over local audit failings 01 Apr 2022 - Cost of living crisis and social care 01 Apr 2022 - Plea for return of online council meetings 01 Apr 2022 - Councils in £450m ‘truck cartels’ compensation challenge 01 Apr 2022 - District Council proposes U-turn on council tax rise after government boost 01 Apr 2022 - Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi says 'we must do everything we can' to keep schools open as he announces extra help 01 Apr 2022 - Over two thirds of councils set to raise council tax by maximum 01 Apr 2022 - Less than half social care staff have had Covid booster 01 Apr 2022 - Covid: Boris Johnson plans to 'ride out' Omicron wave with no more curbs 01 Apr 2022 - Bins ‘overflowing’ across parts of England due to Covid-related staff shortages after Christmas 01 Apr 2022 - More than 90 care home operators in England declare red alert over staffing 01 Apr 2022 - People who test positive on lateral flow tests won't need follow-up PCR, govt to announce - as 'around a million' isolating 01 Apr 2022 - Extra £60m to support adult social care services 01 Apr 2022 - Councils call for billions of pounds to be diverted from NHS to social care 01 Apr 2022 - Counties' concern at care funding 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Cost-of-living catastrophe’ 01 Apr 2022 - Government drawing up plans to prioritise key workers during test shortages 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up to wait as No 10 confronts Covid 01 Apr 2022 - Sugar tax diverted away from fighting childhood obesity 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Super stranded’ patients take up 3,000 more NHS hospital beds in a year 01 Apr 2022 - Arthur Labinjo-Hughes: More vulnerable children to be let in school during future lockdown closures 01 Apr 2022 - More COVID-19 absences expected as UK schools return 01 Apr 2022 - NHS trusts declare critical incidents amid COVID-19 staff crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Bins ‘overflowing’ in parts of England as COVID-19 hits collections 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers reject calls for council meetings to be held online

2021

01 Apr 2022 - Councils to get £100m to support businesses hit by Omicron 01 Apr 2022 - Data reveals UK areas with the most new-build homes since 2017 01 Apr 2022 - Treasury windfall from rising energy prices 01 Apr 2022 - Local authority audit crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax rises 01 Apr 2022 - Social care system ‘infuriatingly inadequate’ 01 Apr 2022 - Domestic abuse services brace for surge in victims seeking help in first week of January 01 Apr 2022 - Councils call for billions of pounds to be diverted from NHS to social care 01 Apr 2022 - £316 million government funding boost to tackle homelessness 01 Apr 2022 - Rishi Sunak announces £1bn fund for businesses 01 Apr 2022 - Energy bills could hit £2,000 a year 01 Apr 2022 - Deprived areas suffered most from austerity 01 Apr 2022 - Comf funding frustration ‘very much understood’ by senior UKHSA official 01 Apr 2022 - £25m scheme to protect rough sleepers launched 01 Apr 2022 - Councils to receive over £22m to boost vaccine uptake 01 Apr 2022 - Counties' concern at care funding 01 Apr 2022 - School cuts without precedent in ‘post-war UK history’ 01 Apr 2022 - ‘North Shropshire result was about being neglected’ 01 Apr 2022 - Government to extend additional audit funding 01 Apr 2022 - Settlement allocation ‘clear indication of levelling-up’ 01 Apr 2022 - Revised Prudential Code published 01 Apr 2022 - Resettlement of refugees 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling Up: Has COVID-19 changed the maths of where funding should go? 01 Apr 2022 - Anger over child deaths should not trigger knee-jerk overhaul of social care policy 01 Apr 2022 - UK shoppers avoid High Streets amid Omicron fears 01 Apr 2022 - Rishi Sunak has just 24 hours to save pubs from lockdown ‘limbo’, industry warns 01 Apr 2022 - Retired teachers urged to return to classrooms to cover staff absence as Omicron takes hold 01 Apr 2022 - Christmas curbs could be brought in within days, says Sajid Javid 01 Apr 2022 - One-year finance settlement provides 4% real-terms boost 01 Apr 2022 - Interest rates rise 01 Apr 2022 - Sector voices disappointment over 'stop-gap' local government settlement 01 Apr 2022 - £53.9bn government funding for councils to help level up country 01 Apr 2022 - Cuts undermine fight against child criminal exploitation 01 Apr 2022 - Government actuary warns of pensions ‘strain’ on council budgets 01 Apr 2022 - No 10 ‘fixation’ with single health and care leader is delaying white paper 01 Apr 2022 - 20-30 councils in ‘active discussions’ over government support 01 Apr 2022 - Nottingham issues section 114 notice following HRA error 01 Apr 2022 - Schools preparing for move to online learning in January 01 Apr 2022 - Councils postpone council meetings over variant fears 01 Apr 2022 - Cut back on social plans over Christmas, warns Chief Medical Officer 01 Apr 2022 - Pubs, shops and restaurants could be forced to shut in January as Omicron rips through Britain sparking staff shortages 01 Apr 2022 - Prepare to bring back furlough, IMF tells Rishi Sunak 01 Apr 2022 - Inflation surges to 10-year high of 5.1pc 01 Apr 2022 - Government defends care reform funding 01 Apr 2022 - Inflation in record increase 01 Apr 2022 - Council ‘named and shamed’ for not paying minimum wage 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Levelling up’ agenda undermined by pandemic response 01 Apr 2022 - Covid booster drive criticised amid call for vaccine hubs within councils 01 Apr 2022 - Analysis: fair funding review edges closer as concern builds over who will lose out 01 Apr 2022 - Bob Hudson: It is not clear what government thinks social care sector is for 01 Apr 2022 - The police bill is an unprecedented assault on our freedom – Priti Patel must be stopped [opinion] 01 Apr 2022 - Heads warn of Omicron chaos in English schools, with staff and pupils absent 01 Apr 2022 - Afghan refugees unable to use more than 3,000 spare rooms offered by UK households, charities say 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak told to abandon tax rises as Omicron surges 01 Apr 2022 - Businesses to get more funding and possible furlough support if further lockdown is imposed 01 Apr 2022 - Government dismisses fears over reorganisation master plan 01 Apr 2022 - Councils call for extension to outbreak funding 01 Apr 2022 - Council chiefs welcome £300m social care funding 01 Apr 2022 - Police warn people less likely to comply with Covid rules after Christmas party scandal 01 Apr 2022 - Covid: Work-from-home guidance reintroduced in England 01 Apr 2022 - Three in five councils fail to carry out a single fly tipping prosecution 01 Apr 2022 - Care home bosses decry £60 pay-outs from fund to retain staff 01 Apr 2022 - Hunt launched to find ‘ghost children’ missing from schools in England 01 Apr 2022 - Homecare services crisis in England at worst point yet, say operators 01 Apr 2022 - Government to spend £500m to tackle overpayment 01 Apr 2022 - MPs urge government to rethink plans for election checks 01 Apr 2022 - Remote meetings: government response promised ‘shortly’ 01 Apr 2022 - Calls to extend Covid outbreak funding as concerns grow over contact tracing capacity 01 Apr 2022 - Anger over white paper leaks purporting mass reorganisation 01 Apr 2022 - Counties face funding shortfall of over £500m next year 01 Apr 2022 - Concerns build over impact of Plan B on councils 01 Apr 2022 - Dozens eyeing council tax rise 01 Apr 2022 - ‘F-20’ councils call for greater government funding 01 Apr 2022 - Fly-tipping in England increases during pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - England introduces Plan B rule changes 01 Apr 2022 - Households in England face 'double-whammy' council tax tax rise next year 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers plan sweeping changes to local government as part of levelling up agenda, leaked paper reveals 01 Apr 2022 - Omicron variant may be 'milder' but its infection rate could be 'devastating', expert warns 01 Apr 2022 - UK economy stutters as health sector drives growth 01 Apr 2022 - Borough in section 114 ‘territory’ 01 Apr 2022 - Council spending on transport soars through Covid-19 01 Apr 2022 - Businesses and unions call for state help after England adopts Covid plan B 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Fury’ that No 10 party will hamper Covid enforcement 01 Apr 2022 - Copeland ‘heading towards section 114’ 01 Apr 2022 - Prudential code changes sparks fear for district finances 01 Apr 2022 - Counties call for strategic planning model 01 Apr 2022 - Catch-up tuition plans in doubt 01 Apr 2022 - Alcohol deaths in UK hit new high after record increase 01 Apr 2022 - LEPs to be ‘scrapped’ as part of levelling up plans 01 Apr 2022 - Work from home plans 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up white paper delayed until next month 01 Apr 2022 - Pickles committee calls for more freedoms and resources for councils 01 Apr 2022 - Staffordshire councils agree county deal proposals 01 Apr 2022 - Largest ever funding boost to tackle drug misuse 01 Apr 2022 - Plans for council tax reform in Wales 01 Apr 2022 - Omicron spreading in the community, Javid confirms 01 Apr 2022 - Call for minimum funding 'floor' 01 Apr 2022 - McManus: more funding needed to support vaccination drive 01 Apr 2022 - CIPFA reveals support for Prudential Code changes 01 Apr 2022 - Drug policy to be overhauled to focus on getting users healthcare 01 Apr 2022 - 'Councils have been short-changed. We need more government money’ 01 Apr 2022 - Health and social care levy will ‘only go up’, warns Jeremy Hunt 01 Apr 2022 - Next pandemic could be more lethal says jab creator 01 Apr 2022 - Omicron cases rise more than 50 per cent a day 01 Apr 2022 - Government action following murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Civil war by January’? The areas lined up for pilot county deals 01 Apr 2022 - Richard Humphries: White paper will not stop social care crisis deepening 01 Apr 2022 - Cornwall plans to cut 410 jobs to tackle budget shortfall 01 Apr 2022 - Somerset unitary elections date confirmed 01 Apr 2022 - County drafts in army after widespread power cuts 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Not clear’ how government will achieve social care ambitions in white paper 01 Apr 2022 - Much of government spending ‘either not evaluated robustly or not evaluated at all’ 01 Apr 2022 - Designations under coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations 01 Apr 2022 - Officers implore government to rethink remote meeting rules 01 Apr 2022 - Social care White Paper ‘set up to fail’ 01 Apr 2022 - Staff absences impacting pupils, say headteachers 01 Apr 2022 - Inadequate fraud checks for Government Bounce Back Loans 01 Apr 2022 - Afghan refugee resettlement 01 Apr 2022 - Councils set to trial digital technology to support social care 01 Apr 2022 - Figures show 688 homeless people died in 2020 01 Apr 2022 - Government hauls in auditors after 'flying blind' accusation 01 Apr 2022 - DLUHC engages with 150 councils over finances 01 Apr 2022 - Schools beg parents to plug budget gaps 01 Apr 2022 - At least 42,000 social care staff have left sector since April, figures show 01 Apr 2022 - New ‘handyman’ repair service will help elderly stay at home longer 01 Apr 2022 - County borrows £50m to repay LOBO loan 01 Apr 2022 - Local contact tracing funding warning 01 Apr 2022 - Social care staffing crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Adult social care white paper 01 Apr 2022 - Neighbours to decide planning rules using street referendums 01 Apr 2022 - Most deprived schools hit hardest by education cuts in England, IFS says 01 Apr 2022 - DLUHC to tighten rules on debt repayment provision 01 Apr 2022 - Nandy appointed shadow levelling up secretary 01 Apr 2022 - Osborne urges ministers to 'double' devolution efforts 01 Apr 2022 - Government allocates £11m to develop brownfield sites 01 Apr 2022 - Councils urged to invest in public toilets 01 Apr 2022 - Most deprived schools hit hardest by education cuts in England, IFS says 01 Apr 2022 - Watchdog's concern over deprivation of liberty orders 01 Apr 2022 - Josh MacAlister: councils should tackle excess profits in children’s care 01 Apr 2022 - Many DPHs ‘want plan B now’ amid concerns over contact tracing capacity 01 Apr 2022 - Care costs bill 01 Apr 2022 - Almost 400,000 on social care lists amid ‘rapidly deteriorating’ situation 01 Apr 2022 - New vaccines 'ready in 100 days' for Omicron variant 01 Apr 2022 - Schools asked to introduce on-site testing after Christmas 01 Apr 2022 - MPs to probe council tax collection 01 Apr 2022 - Domestic abuse crimes rose by 6% in past year 01 Apr 2022 - Commissioners warn of ‘capacity challenges’ in Liverpool’s finance department 01 Apr 2022 - Cost pressures mount on maintained schools 01 Apr 2022 - Government considering single leader for local NHS and care services 01 Apr 2022 - We’ll pay for northern rail lines, say northern leaders 01 Apr 2022 - Asylum seekers: Councils will be forced to take unaccompanied children arriving in small boats 01 Apr 2022 - Some elderly may have to sell homes to fund care, Boris Johnson admits 01 Apr 2022 - People in residential care dying alone and 'neglected' amid 'dangerously low' staffing levels 01 Apr 2022 - CCN conference: Hunt 'very worried' about social care funding 01 Apr 2022 - CCN conference: LEPs look set to be scrapped 01 Apr 2022 - Children’s homes that cost up to £22,000 per child a week 01 Apr 2022 - MPs back change to social care cost cap funding 01 Apr 2022 - Councils instructed to take care of child asylum seekers 01 Apr 2022 - Dilnot ‘very disappointed’ by social care cap announcement 01 Apr 2022 - Freeports risk being ‘killed off’ by officials in Treasury 01 Apr 2022 - PM told: dump plan for care charges or face Tory rebellion 01 Apr 2022 - County 'breached procurement laws twice' 01 Apr 2022 - New homes to have electric car chargers by law 01 Apr 2022 - Number of people contacting NSPCC about child abuse hits record level 01 Apr 2022 - Almost 100,000 children could be in care by 2025 01 Apr 2022 - MPs to debate social care cost cap plan 01 Apr 2022 - Councils question logic of ministers’ community renewal fund decisions 01 Apr 2022 - £1.7bn early intervention cut prompts Armstrong call for levelling up rethink 01 Apr 2022 - Concern at Cipfa’s plans to tighten prudential code 01 Apr 2022 - Peers warn of ‘a crisis in child vulnerability’ 01 Apr 2022 - No deal from last-ditch pay talks 01 Apr 2022 - Business rate provisions swell council reserves 01 Apr 2022 - £96bn rail improvement programme announced 01 Apr 2022 - Care cost cap architect says change will hit poorest the hardest 01 Apr 2022 - Vulnerable children unable to access help due to austerity, says inquiry 01 Apr 2022 - Social Care: The True Cost? 01 Apr 2022 - A&E overcrowding in UK ‘killing thousands a year’, say doctors 01 Apr 2022 - Poorer pensioners hit as cap on social care costs diluted 01 Apr 2022 - One in four primary children clinically obese 01 Apr 2022 - Inflation: UK prices soar at fastest rate for almost ten years 01 Apr 2022 - Government ‘lost control of universal credit fraud’ during pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Manchester faces £85m budget shortfall by 2025 01 Apr 2022 - Give social care workers £1,000 bonus to protect NHS, ministers urged 01 Apr 2022 - Heseltine on Levelling Up 01 Apr 2022 - Gove eyes a ‘Northern renaissance’ 01 Apr 2022 - ‘End to free COVID-19 tests’ 01 Apr 2022 - Long-awaited SEND review to focus on reducing ‘local variation’ 01 Apr 2022 - Real Living Wage rises to £9.90 an hour 01 Apr 2022 - Relief as local role recognised in COP26 draft text 01 Apr 2022 - Cambridgeshire appoints new chief 01 Apr 2022 - Government ‘misled’ unitary over cyber attack support, say councillors 01 Apr 2022 - Calls for radical expansion of parish and town councils 01 Apr 2022 - Council to consult on care home closures 01 Apr 2022 - People with mental health issues three times more likely to fall into council tax arrears, charity warns 01 Apr 2022 - Projects secure funding to improve safety of women at night 01 Apr 2022 - Local road condition worsens 01 Apr 2022 - NHS leaders call for social care support 01 Apr 2022 - Nottingham sets out plans to tackle £28m budget gap 01 Apr 2022 - Middlesbrough to vote on scrapping chief exec role 01 Apr 2022 - Government to reduce competitive funding pots 01 Apr 2022 - Councils to pilot innovative ways of working with £5m funding boost 01 Apr 2022 - Gove signals ‘redistribution’ of funding to support poorer councils 01 Apr 2022 - Gove calls for PM to chair cabinet committee on levelling up 01 Apr 2022 - Gove ‘genuinely interested’ in double devolution proposals, says MP 01 Apr 2022 - Tony Travers: Gove needs to offer resources and the retreat of Whitehall 01 Apr 2022 - Covid jab to be compulsory for NHS England staff 01 Apr 2022 - Delay mandatory vaccines for care home staff or face ‘mass exodus’, ministers told 01 Apr 2022 - One in ten care workers could lose job over compulsory Covid jabs 01 Apr 2022 - Government to pause leaseholders paying to make cladding safe, Gove confirms 01 Apr 2022 - Gove suggests local government reforms will not go ahead 01 Apr 2022 - Counties warn of a 'chasm' in electric vehicle chargers 01 Apr 2022 - Local government needs £68bn to become net zero, report finds 01 Apr 2022 - Names of two new Cumbria unitaries confirmed 01 Apr 2022 - UK stop-and-search data ‘withheld to hide rise in discrimination’ 01 Apr 2022 - Revised codes set for 'soft launch' 01 Apr 2022 - PWLB borrowing crashed in October 01 Apr 2022 - Authorities ‘disappointed’ at proposed scrapping of school grant 01 Apr 2022 - Commission calls for 'radical rethink' on calculating housing demand 01 Apr 2022 - Half of school CO2 monitors undelivered 01 Apr 2022 - Taxi driver shortages 01 Apr 2022 - 10,000 new charging points amid surge in electric cars 01 Apr 2022 - England’s hospitals already at peak winter bed capacity, bosses warn 01 Apr 2022 - Government extends post-Brexit fund timetable following delay 01 Apr 2022 - BoE keeps interest rate at record low in surprise move 01 Apr 2022 - Government allocates £200m Community Renewal Funding 01 Apr 2022 - Minister says family hubs should be ‘Sure Start plus plus plus’ 01 Apr 2022 - Government extends post-Brexit fund timetable following delay 01 Apr 2022 - Council-backed energy firm delays energy payments to regulator 01 Apr 2022 - Review recommends £43m of property sales at cash-strapped council 01 Apr 2022 - Tony Travers: Upskilling is the key to levelling up, not random cash injections 01 Apr 2022 - Cash-strapped councils must sell off town halls and public toilets, warns minister 01 Apr 2022 - Scheme to replace EU cash for poor areas unveiled 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers launch TV ad campaign to tackle care worker shortage 01 Apr 2022 - Cumbria chief quits after three months 01 Apr 2022 - Over 400,000 firms 'stuck' in business rates appeal system 01 Apr 2022 - More than 60 councils receive share of £52m rough sleeping grant 01 Apr 2022 - LGA seeks urgent clarity on Community Renewal Fund 01 Apr 2022 - Regulator 'disappointed' at timeliness of local government auditor reporting 01 Apr 2022 - Budget 2021: Council tax cut will leave councils struggling, says IFS 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak hails business rates’ ‘central role’ despite £7bn cut 01 Apr 2022 - Social care precept cap to be lowered despite soaring demand pressures 01 Apr 2022 - Lords voice concerns over care levy 01 Apr 2022 - Gove in major review of new department 01 Apr 2022 - Autumn budget 2021: Spending is splendid, until it translates to reality 01 Apr 2022 - LGA in adult social care warning 01 Apr 2022 - Disadvantage kids slower to catch up from learning lost during pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Toughen up rules on ministers’ conduct – watchdog 01 Apr 2022 - Twice as many youth services in England’s richest areas – survey 01 Apr 2022 - All NHS COVID-19 testing sites will start closing early 01 Apr 2022 - Britain won’t reach net zero unless local councils help retrofit homes, MPs warn 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax to soar as costs of social care and Covid rise 01 Apr 2022 - Online sales tax planned after Sunak eases business rates burden 01 Apr 2022 - Autumn Budget 2021: Key points at-a-glance 01 Apr 2022 - Autumn budget 2021: Spending is splendid, until it translates to reality [opinion] 01 Apr 2022 - Budget 2021: Sunak unfreezes public sector pay 01 Apr 2022 - Budget 2021: social care 'left out in cold' 01 Apr 2022 - Spending Review: Councils to receive £4.8bn increase in grant funding 01 Apr 2022 - Fund social care now to protect NHS, Sunak told 01 Apr 2022 - Call to write off ‘two to three billion’ Send deficit 01 Apr 2022 - Councillors fear blame for looming tax rise 01 Apr 2022 - Expectations tempered for Spending Review 01 Apr 2022 - Britain's most expensive towns for council tax revealed 01 Apr 2022 - Councils and health leaders call for greater social care funding in Spending Review 01 Apr 2022 - Public sector pay rise pledge expected to ‘set tone’ of future pay negotiations 01 Apr 2022 - Budget 2021: Public sector workers set for pay rise, says Sunak 01 Apr 2022 - National Living Wage set to rise to £9.50 an hour 01 Apr 2022 - Housing reform could boost public finances by £9bn, Rishi Sunak told by building tsar ahead of Budget 01 Apr 2022 - Recycling plastics does not work, says Boris Johnson 01 Apr 2022 - Councils warn children’s social care costs will soar by £600m a year 01 Apr 2022 - Budget 2021: Ministers pledge £500m to support young families 01 Apr 2022 - Gove on social care, levelling up and planning 01 Apr 2022 - Government rejects financial ‘yellow card’ idea 01 Apr 2022 - Watchdog warns care services face a 'tsunami of unmet need' 01 Apr 2022 - Spending Review set to reveal future of council finance reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Government undershoots deficit estimate 01 Apr 2022 - Councils’ net spend up 11% during pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Two ministers given ‘levelling up’ responsibilities 01 Apr 2022 - £850m cash boost for high streets to regenerate old buildings 01 Apr 2022 - Private children's home providers’ prices and profits too high, says UK regulator 01 Apr 2022 - Councils rubbish plans for universal green waste collections 01 Apr 2022 - Home care system for elderly with dementia is ‘on its knees’ 01 Apr 2022 - Homecare costs outstrip funding from councils, says report 01 Apr 2022 - Budget about investing in public services - Sunak 01 Apr 2022 - NHS in England to receive £5.9bn to cut waiting lists 01 Apr 2022 - £2bn for new homes on derelict or unused land 01 Apr 2022 - Professors urge 'some kind of Plan B' and warn emergency departments are in 'terrible place' 01 Apr 2022 - Home Office refuses to reveal details of Afghans’ resettlement 01 Apr 2022 - Tory MPs back plan to give people a vote on new housing in their areas 01 Apr 2022 - Councillors demand better protection from abuse and death threats 01 Apr 2022 - Care Homes Risk Being Hit By 'Tsunami' Caused By Workforce Exodus 01 Apr 2022 - Afghan refugees may be housed in UK hotels for up to a year, say councils 01 Apr 2022 - Third of low-income households unable to pay bills, finds research 01 Apr 2022 - Anti-obesity scheme to offer voucher rewards for healthy living 01 Apr 2022 - Spending Review set to reveal future of council finance reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Badenoch takes charge of local government finance 01 Apr 2022 - Cabinet backs 20-20 vision for Oxfordshire 01 Apr 2022 - Councils commit to net zero half a decade before Government 01 Apr 2022 - Care managers report 'significant' service disruption due to staff shortages 01 Apr 2022 - Gove to be quizzed on councillor security 01 Apr 2022 - Questions over taskforce purpose 01 Apr 2022 - Government ‘flying blind’ on service backlogs 01 Apr 2022 - Treasury rules out borrowing for net zero transition 01 Apr 2022 - One in three care home residents has received third dose of Covid jab 01 Apr 2022 - Authority dips into Covid-19 reserves to reduce capitalisation requirement 01 Apr 2022 - Care England chief: Councils should use other budgets to support social care 01 Apr 2022 - Government unveils £3.9bn heat and buildings strategy 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak urged to tackle backlogs in public services or face greater costs 01 Apr 2022 - British households will be £1,000 worse off next year, thinktank warns 01 Apr 2022 - How England’s ‘no jab, no job’ policy will hit a care worker 01 Apr 2022 - Net zero strategy launched 01 Apr 2022 - Rishi Sunak expected to confirm end to public sector pay freeze 01 Apr 2022 - Cautious Sunak feels the heat as ministers demand cash not cuts 01 Apr 2022 - Bed-blocking soars as care homes struggle 01 Apr 2022 - Social care boss warns basic services will collapse without urgent new government plan 01 Apr 2022 - Bus services in crisis as drivers lured away to fill lorry vacancies 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax increase warning 01 Apr 2022 - PM to lead Commons tributes to David Amess as family call for unity 01 Apr 2022 - Schools ‘propping up a failing welfare state’ 01 Apr 2022 - Councils brace themselves for local government exit pay cap 01 Apr 2022 - Government admits Everyone In data gap 01 Apr 2022 - Research shows drop in council pay over past decade 01 Apr 2022 - Public sceptical of mayors leading on county deals, CCN survey finds 01 Apr 2022 - One in five public sector key workers consider quitting, union says 01 Apr 2022 - Winter support package expected for 20 local authorities over coronavirus fears 01 Apr 2022 - Bexley withdraws capitalisation request 01 Apr 2022 - District hopes of controlling £500m fund dashed 01 Apr 2022 - State-run app will offer rewards for beating obesity 01 Apr 2022 - 20 local authorities set to get winter support package over COVID-19 fears 01 Apr 2022 - Council house waiting lists ‘could double as Covid support ends’ 01 Apr 2022 - £58m to councils for home building on derelict land 01 Apr 2022 - Care staff shortage worse than before pandemic, study shows 01 Apr 2022 - Towns told to 'adapt or die' in face of flooding risk 01 Apr 2022 - Lords warn social care funding increase is not enough 01 Apr 2022 - Shortage of gritter drivers could leave motorists stuck on icy roads this winter, councils warn 01 Apr 2022 - UK cyber head issues ransomware warning 01 Apr 2022 - Gritter driver shortage warning 01 Apr 2022 - Budget: Little room for more spending, says IFS 01 Apr 2022 - Social care tax ‘must double’ to tackle crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Pandemic response ‘one of UK’s worst ever public health failures’ 01 Apr 2022 - Councils calls for extension of council tax support funding 01 Apr 2022 - Digital innovation could bring over £1 trillion to local economies by 2030 says report 01 Apr 2022 - Councils warned of 'shocking' audit fee increase 01 Apr 2022 - LGA calls for council tax support grant extension 01 Apr 2022 - Uncertain winter ahead as flu circulates at same time, says Harries 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak urged to cut business rates to boost high street recovery 01 Apr 2022 - Call for stronger Covid measures in schools after 270,000 secondary pupils affected last week 01 Apr 2022 - Pothole repair funding lost from council budgets 01 Apr 2022 - £220m levelling-up fund has not been given out by ministers 7 months on 01 Apr 2022 - Sajid Javid working on radical plan to merge social care with health in England 01 Apr 2022 - Counties say 8% council tax rises needed without more funding 01 Apr 2022 - Former communities secretary James Brokenshire dies aged 53 01 Apr 2022 - Croydon to get directly elected mayor 01 Apr 2022 - IFS: Councils face new funding headache 01 Apr 2022 - Services rethink needed over £36m budget gap 01 Apr 2022 - North Northants Council to pay real living wage 01 Apr 2022 - One in three say levelling up is meaningless 01 Apr 2022 - Council workers reject 'insulting' 1.75% pay increase offer 01 Apr 2022 - NHS aims to give 35m flu jabs amid warnings of up to 60,000 deaths 01 Apr 2022 - Vaccine rollout in teenagers described as haphazard 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax could rise by £220, say researchers 01 Apr 2022 - Rishi Sunak urged to bring in one-off wealth tax to plug £2.21tn debt black hole – poll 01 Apr 2022 - New strike threat as more unions reject pay offer 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson pledges no homes will be built on green fields 01 Apr 2022 - Government’s ‘Closer to Home’ campaign to begin 01 Apr 2022 - Javid vows to reform health and social care 01 Apr 2022 - Gove lays out his vision to level up the red wall 01 Apr 2022 - Tony Travers: Gove needs to offer resources and the retreat of Whitehall 01 Apr 2022 - Pensions check could lead to ‘contrary outcomes’ 01 Apr 2022 - Conservative conference: Council tax likely to rise to plug social care funding gap, Gillian Keegan warns 01 Apr 2022 - Schools told to stock up on tinned food 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax likely to rise to plug social care funding gap 01 Apr 2022 - Open letter to Michael Gove from Rob Whiteman 01 Apr 2022 - Government attempts to clarify ‘levelling-up’ 01 Apr 2022 - Unison warns of strike action over pay 01 Apr 2022 - Public health grant cuts run counter to levelling up, say experts 01 Apr 2022 - Health funding cut said to threaten levelling up 01 Apr 2022 - Chancellor declines to rule out further tax increases 01 Apr 2022 - Gove tells Britons: ‘I’ll help you live your best life’ 01 Apr 2022 - Gove outlines government's levelling up aims 01 Apr 2022 - What the former housing ministry's new levelling up role means for planning 01 Apr 2022 - What do Michael Gove and Andy Haldane really mean by ‘Levelling Up’? 01 Apr 2022 - Landmark health and care leadership review launched to ‘drive up efficiency’ 01 Apr 2022 - A million extra health and social care staff needed in the next 10 years, says report 01 Apr 2022 - Javid announces £388m to protect care sector over winter 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers mull council tax rise to plug social care black hole 01 Apr 2022 - HGV driver shortage impacting waste collections 01 Apr 2022 - LGA warns council tax income cannot meet £8bn extra cost pressures by 2024/25 01 Apr 2022 - Council proposes using infrastructure levy receipts to service borrowing costs 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak to extend job support schemes over winter 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers mull council tax rise to plug social care black hole 01 Apr 2022 - Afghanistan refugee resettlement 01 Apr 2022 - Police & Local Authorities given extra £23.5m for safer streets 01 Apr 2022 - Problem gambling costs society £1.27 billion a year, review finds 01 Apr 2022 - Local services will face £8bn funding blackhole by 2024, councils warn 01 Apr 2022 - Martin Reeves lays into levelling up 01 Apr 2022 - Top recruiter predicts exodus 01 Apr 2022 - Whiteman accuses some councils of going too far' 01 Apr 2022 - City writes to government over £24m education pressures 01 Apr 2022 - Local services need £8 billion extra funding just to stand still, councils tell Rishi Sunak 01 Apr 2022 - Areas hold back on county deal plans ahead of white paper 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers under fire over breaking of mental health crisis pledge in England 01 Apr 2022 - Furlough scheme ends with almost 1 million left in limbo 01 Apr 2022 - Cost of living: £500m in new grants to help poorest households 01 Apr 2022 - Government launches £500m support for vulnerable households over winter 01 Apr 2022 - Grant Thornton fined £2.3m over Patisserie Valerie audit work 01 Apr 2022 - Councils would get funding from digital services tax under Labour 01 Apr 2022 - Treasury considers lifting social care precept cap 01 Apr 2022 - Social care system 'progressively failing' people, says ombudsman 01 Apr 2022 - England and Wales records more than 70,000 excess deaths in private homes since start of COVID-19 pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - LGO annual report warns of rise in upheld complaints in social care 01 Apr 2022 - Vulnerable people ‘at risk of harm’ as fuel crisis disrupts care services 01 Apr 2022 - Local authorities predict children’s services overspend 01 Apr 2022 - Steve Reed interview: Fears about Gove, Labour’s devo thinking, and ‘council tax bomb’ 01 Apr 2022 - Labour vow to ban junk food billboard adverts near schools in battle of bulge 01 Apr 2022 - Labour conference: Reeves promises £28bn a year to make economy greener 01 Apr 2022 - School funding under threat as chancellor Rishi Sunak reins in spending 01 Apr 2022 - Vaccine passports could be mandatory at indoor and outdoor venues under revived scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Shadow chancellor proposes scrapping business rates 01 Apr 2022 - Social care plan 'contains far too little detail' warn councils 01 Apr 2022 - Union calls for reversal of pay cuts to give economy £3.3bn boost 01 Apr 2022 - Record number of children referred to mental health services 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Gove can lead levelling up agenda’ 01 Apr 2022 - Starmer to set out education reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Care providers warn of lending refusal 01 Apr 2022 - Clive Betts: Short-Changed Again 01 Apr 2022 - Triple whammy set to leave the poorest £1,000 out of pocket 01 Apr 2022 - Labour: Axing business rates will aid High Streets 01 Apr 2022 - Whitty: Deprived coastal towns need redesign 01 Apr 2022 - Adass president: social care system is ‘past breaking point – it’s broken’ 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up 'must start with councils' 01 Apr 2022 - Leicestershire faces worsening financial crisis 01 Apr 2022 - MHCLG rebranding a ‘misstep’ 01 Apr 2022 - Record number of students absent from class due to COVID-19 01 Apr 2022 - Hughes hints at multi-year funding settlement 01 Apr 2022 - Council apologises for SEND failures 01 Apr 2022 - Key Cumbria services to operate countywide say architects of two-unitary plan 01 Apr 2022 - Ministry in rebrand to put levelling up centre stage 01 Apr 2022 - Government brushes off reorganisation challenge 01 Apr 2022 - Commission calls for shift of focus in levelling up 01 Apr 2022 - Developers who sit on land face new tax to fix cladding 01 Apr 2022 - ‘New deal’ call for England’s children amid mental health concerns 01 Apr 2022 - More delays predicted for major local government finance reforms 01 Apr 2022 - MHCLG to be renamed ‘Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak to impose ‘tighter’ fiscal rules 01 Apr 2022 - Local government still in the dark over social care funding 01 Apr 2022 - Treasury tells Gove not to expect lots of new cash for levelling up 01 Apr 2022 - Gove to oversee rebranded department 01 Apr 2022 - Number of children in A&E with serious mental health issues jumps 50 per cent since start of pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Regional COVID-19 restrictions could return as local health chiefs get new powers 01 Apr 2022 - Councils fear social care reforms will fall apart 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick sacked as communities secretary 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick sacked as communities secretary 01 Apr 2022 - Councils could lose COVID cash over lack of data 01 Apr 2022 - Increase workers' pay to improve care 01 Apr 2022 - Hunt: Social care will ‘not get money it needs’ 01 Apr 2022 - PM’s levelling up advisor joins MHCLG 01 Apr 2022 - Analysis: Gove’s clout offers sector hope 01 Apr 2022 - Ten per cent of private renters are now behind on rent, says debt charity 01 Apr 2022 - England care homes ‘may be forced to close’ as coronavirus jab deadline expires 01 Apr 2022 - LGC map reveals emerging devolution plans 01 Apr 2022 - Humphries (ADASS): Social care plan is quickly losing its sheen 01 Apr 2022 - Hall leaves MHCLG as Badenoch joins department 01 Apr 2022 - County Councils look for progress with Gove 01 Apr 2022 - Councils prepare for legal battle with Home Office 01 Apr 2022 - Councils call for more time to spend community renewal cash 01 Apr 2022 - LGC map reveals emerging devolution plans 01 Apr 2022 - ‘You can’t level up everywhere’, says Sigoma report 01 Apr 2022 - Rural and coastal economies could see £51bn boost by 2030 report finds 01 Apr 2022 - Councils to receive 'generous' funding under Afghan resettlement plan 01 Apr 2022 - New polls timetable would cause ‘catastrophic failure’ 01 Apr 2022 - ADASS 'perplexed' at social care plans 01 Apr 2022 - MHCLG’s Wolverhampton HQ unveiled by Communities Secretary 01 Apr 2022 - Pension funds to face ‘huge pressure’ to reduce council contributions 01 Apr 2022 - Rob Whiteman: Does local government need a new warning system for financial failure? 01 Apr 2022 - Interview: Districts call for ‘equal seat at the table’ in devo discussions 01 Apr 2022 - Senior civil servant voices disappointment over Test and Trace scrutiny 01 Apr 2022 - Councils to receive funding boost for accommodating Afghan refugees 01 Apr 2022 - NHS funding settlement ‘less likely’ to meet future needs 01 Apr 2022 - Refuse collectors ‘poached’ by haulage firms 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19 winter plan unveiled 01 Apr 2022 - Developers' levy needed to support blue light services 01 Apr 2022 - Social care reforms ‘could leave sector worse off’ 01 Apr 2022 - Clive Betts: Johnson’s care ‘plan’ offers councils no extra funding 01 Apr 2022 - Unitary considers tourist tax 01 Apr 2022 - Health and social care will account for 40 per cent ‘of all public spending’ by next year 01 Apr 2022 - Starmer moves to set out Labour's alternative for social care 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers drop shake-up of planning laws 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Council tax set to rise’ under social care plan 01 Apr 2022 - Kent County Council resumes admittance of lone child migrants 01 Apr 2022 - Chancellor forecasts £650bn infrastructure investment over coming decade 01 Apr 2022 - Nearly 70,000 may die waiting for adult social care before Johnson plan kicks in 01 Apr 2022 - North of England may get three more mayoralties in devolution agenda 01 Apr 2022 - Rough sleeping is rising again as Covid emergency measures wind down 01 Apr 2022 - England vaccine passport plans ditched, Sajid Javid says 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson prepares to reveal winter plan based on vaccines not lockdowns 01 Apr 2022 - UK economic growth slows sharply in July 01 Apr 2022 - Extension to use of vaccine passports will be looked at if there is a 'public health need', Oliver Dowden says 01 Apr 2022 - Booster jabs 'set for go-ahead next week' - but vaccine creator says not everyone may need them 01 Apr 2022 - Young people ‘permanently disadvantaged’ by pandemic, study suggests 01 Apr 2022 - Half a million town and city centre jobs at risk as Brits continue working from home 01 Apr 2022 - County needs ‘clear plan’ on council tax 01 Apr 2022 - IFS: departmental spending to ‘remain tight’ 01 Apr 2022 - UK economy growth slows 01 Apr 2022 - Social care tax rise: Boris Johnson wins Commons vote 01 Apr 2022 - Health and social care will devour 40pc of all public spending by next year 01 Apr 2022 - UK care homes say funding shake-up threatens their viability 01 Apr 2022 - UK care homes say funding shake-up threatens their viability 01 Apr 2022 - Nearly 300,000 on adult social care ‘waiting lists’ in England 01 Apr 2022 - Mandatory jabs for health staff being considered in consultation 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19: Growing numbers of pupils at risk of exclusion and 'falling off the radar' as schools return to normal 01 Apr 2022 - Support for care self-funders ‘could destabilise market’ 01 Apr 2022 - NHS backlog ‘not a short-term fix’ 01 Apr 2022 - Cost of county road repairs ‘spiral’ 01 Apr 2022 - Council scrutiny ‘superficial and inadequate’ 01 Apr 2022 - Social care ‘short-changed’ by tax funding 01 Apr 2022 - Tony Travers: How much graffiti and fly tipping do ministers want? 01 Apr 2022 - Devolution ‘exactly the right thing to do’ says Essex leader 01 Apr 2022 - Chancellor faces tough call on on care, pensions and welfare 01 Apr 2022 - North Yorkshire reorganisation to cost £38m 01 Apr 2022 - Pandemic causes fostering crisis as the number of vulnerable children needing help soars 01 Apr 2022 - NHS to get £5.4bn extra to deal with Covid backlog 01 Apr 2022 - Promise of cut to care home fees for the better-off 01 Apr 2022 - PM to unveil overhaul of ASC sector in England 01 Apr 2022 - Councils hit by bin collection delays due to driver shortage 01 Apr 2022 - Tax rise for 25 million to pay for social care 01 Apr 2022 - Thousands of Afghans to be held in hotels indefinitely as councils left ‘in dark’ over housing plan 01 Apr 2022 - Where will Afghan refugees go? Homes found for half of 8,000 new arrivals 01 Apr 2022 - Care home vaccine deadline triggering NHS ‘bed blocking’ crisis 01 Apr 2022 - School funding warning as pupils return to class in England 01 Apr 2022 - Waste collection still disrupted by HGV driver shortage 01 Apr 2022 - Government commits £5m to help councils resettle Afghan refugees 01 Apr 2022 - Shell aims to install 50,000 EV chargepoints 01 Apr 2022 - SEND children being left behind by council 01 Apr 2022 - LGA backs rates revaluation reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Survey reveals interest in PSAA scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Afghans who helped British forces to be offered indefinite leave to remain in the UK 01 Apr 2022 - The remarkable rise of the independent councillors 01 Apr 2022 - The remarkable rise of the independent councillors 01 Apr 2022 - Drivers face paying extra £70 for late parking tickets 01 Apr 2022 - Ofgem launches £450m fund to help homes and businesses go green 01 Apr 2022 - Schools will need to reintroduce tougher Covid measures in weeks, warn unions 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up: The seaside town debating what change is needed 01 Apr 2022 - Actuaries call for economic growth link for public pension contributions 01 Apr 2022 - Actuaries call for economic growth link for public pension contributions 01 Apr 2022 - Youth services funding warning 01 Apr 2022 - Increase in smoking in young 01 Apr 2022 - Schools told to stay open when pupils return in September 01 Apr 2022 - Calls for ‘golden halos’ to incentivise new care home staff 01 Apr 2022 - Tenth of care home staff yet to have first COVID-19 vaccine dose 01 Apr 2022 - £3bn gap looms for councils 01 Apr 2022 - Third of most deprived areas will not benefit from Levelling Up Fund, research finds 01 Apr 2022 - LGA ‘not keen on’ mandatory refugee quotas, says Jamieson 01 Apr 2022 - Cornwall calls for further devolution to crack down on second homes 01 Apr 2022 - Councils should work with Home Office on rough sleeping, says minister 01 Apr 2022 - Concern as MHCLG seeks more data on reserve levels 01 Apr 2022 - Tensions in north east as MHCLG begins county deal discussions 01 Apr 2022 - £25m government funding for carbon dioxide monitors in all schools 01 Apr 2022 - High Court grants permission for ‘Levelling Up Fund’ legal challenge 01 Apr 2022 - Social care charges: Disabled and vulnerable adults hit by steep rises 01 Apr 2022 - Rise in social care costs 01 Apr 2022 - County devo process ‘will move quickly’, says CCN chair 01 Apr 2022 - Council chiefs call for extension of apprenticeship incentive scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Yorkshire council in ASC staff shortage warning 01 Apr 2022 - Disadvantaged children ‘locked out’ of early years opportunities 01 Apr 2022 - Government announces £20m for Family Hubs 01 Apr 2022 - New COVID-19 guidance for schools 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19 impact on council finances 01 Apr 2022 - Councils collect record £1.76bn in car fines and fees 01 Apr 2022 - Social care ‘postcode lottery’ preventing 80,000 elderly people from keeping their home 01 Apr 2022 - Borough defends £1bn capital borrowing limit 01 Apr 2022 - The quest for local government audit sustainability 01 Apr 2022 - Union to ballot members over 'insulting pay' offer 01 Apr 2022 - Overlapping bids for devo discussions launched in Devon 01 Apr 2022 - Luton defends £1bn borrowing limit 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Pandora’s box’ opened in Hampshire as four councils request devo talks 01 Apr 2022 - Afghanistan: Councils in England pledge to welcome refugees 01 Apr 2022 - Free childcare policy ‘damages life chances’ of poor children in England 01 Apr 2022 - UK set to welcome 20,000 Afghan refugees 01 Apr 2022 - Classrooms in England ‘urgently’ need air filters, school unions say 01 Apr 2022 - Councils will not ‘lose out’ on business rate proposals 01 Apr 2022 - Partly-owned council energy company incurs £4m of losses 01 Apr 2022 - Proposed borrowing caps a ‘credit positive’ 01 Apr 2022 - Inter-council lending drops sharply 01 Apr 2022 - PWLB borrowing booms as councils restart building projects 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Pandora’s box’ opened in Hampshire as four councils request devo talks 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak pledges ‘no return to austerity’ 01 Apr 2022 - North Yorks presses for devo talks as districts accept county unitary 01 Apr 2022 - Hampshire expresses interest in early county deal 01 Apr 2022 - Shapps announces £15m congestion and pothole scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Treasury clarifies PWLB borrowing restrictions 01 Apr 2022 - Data project to aid pandemic recovery 01 Apr 2022 - Four councils in bid to create East Midlands combined authority 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19 measures ‘reduced the risk of infection in school’, data shows 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Significant inequities’ in SEN funding exposed 01 Apr 2022 - Essex draws on reserves to fund legal dispute 01 Apr 2022 - Hampshire prepares for public health cuts 01 Apr 2022 - Nature recovery network expected to follow county boundaries 01 Apr 2022 - Councils and climate change 01 Apr 2022 - UK economy grows by 4.8% but misses forecasts 01 Apr 2022 - England’s pandemic crisis of child abuse, neglect and poverty 01 Apr 2022 - Winchester is least affordable UK city to buy a home 01 Apr 2022 - Scientists warn that herd immunity ‘impossible’ 01 Apr 2022 - Self-isolation ends for double-jabbed and under-18s 01 Apr 2022 - Tory cuts to English youth services fuelling crime, says Keir Starmer 01 Apr 2022 - The cost of Boris Johnson’s ‘levelling up’: £2tn, says UK thinktank 01 Apr 2022 - Millions of children are breathing dangerously polluted air in school 01 Apr 2022 - Tonnes of recycling contaminated by ‘wishcyclers’ who can’t bear to chuck 01 Apr 2022 - Treasury clarifies PWLB borrowing restrictions 01 Apr 2022 - Covid to ‘rip’ through schools unless safety measures brought in immediately, ministers warned 01 Apr 2022 - North Yorkshire: How we created a blueprint for rural communities to grow and prosper 01 Apr 2022 - Retailers tell Government to fix ‘broken’ business rates system 01 Apr 2022 - Cumbria to fight Jenrick’s two-unitary decision 01 Apr 2022 - Highways England announces £200m roads investment across South West 01 Apr 2022 - Call to invest £600m to avoid 'bed blocking' this winter 01 Apr 2022 - Councils warn licensing decisions should cover public health 01 Apr 2022 - PWLB borrowing booms as councils restart building projects 01 Apr 2022 - Dementia killing more women than COVID-19 01 Apr 2022 - Fly-tipping fines should be increased to deter offenders, says LGA 01 Apr 2022 - Herd immunity close ‘but Covid restrictions needed beyond winter’ 01 Apr 2022 - More than 100 councils and charities vow to boycott Home Office policy to deport rough sleepers 01 Apr 2022 - Workers ignore Sunak's 'back to the office' call 01 Apr 2022 - Soaring numbers of pupils taught in ‘supersized’ classes 01 Apr 2022 - Councils lose ‘hundreds of millions from tax loophole’ 01 Apr 2022 - Councils agree shared services agreement 01 Apr 2022 - Fears councils could be cut out of LEP role 01 Apr 2022 - Councils may miss out on contain funding 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers refuse to reveal bid funds to be binned 01 Apr 2022 - MHCLG spend on consultants soars 01 Apr 2022 - Councils missing out on £110m a year due to holiday home tax break 01 Apr 2022 - Rural communities 'overlooked' in levelling-up funding, report finds 01 Apr 2022 - More details of county deals criteria emerge 01 Apr 2022 - Counties accused of planning to ‘retake’ unitaries through devo deals 01 Apr 2022 - Council exit payments halved 01 Apr 2022 - Authority forced to rent facilities to hold Covid-safe meetings 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax ‘scandal’ sees people in deprived areas pay higher rates than London’s wealthiest streets 01 Apr 2022 - Mums and veterans urged to apply to become bin lorry drivers as national shortage threatens refuse collection 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Use it or lose it’ rule for housebuilders amid crackdown on land banking 01 Apr 2022 - Districts call for 'equal footing' on devo deals 01 Apr 2022 - Council cyber-attacks rocket 01 Apr 2022 - Incoming CCN chair lukewarm on PM’s county mayors idea 01 Apr 2022 - NHS pay rise funded from ‘within existing budget’ 01 Apr 2022 - Extra £82 million a year needed to end rough sleeping by 2024 01 Apr 2022 - Devo deals vision: upper-tier leading role and directly elected leaders 01 Apr 2022 - Councils given £13m to help prison leavers find secure homes 01 Apr 2022 - Slough to make £200m capitalisation request 01 Apr 2022 - Unravelling the knot of education, health and care plans 01 Apr 2022 - ONS Blog: Ensuring population statistics meet the needs of everyone 01 Apr 2022 - Unions 'expect to reject' final pay offer 01 Apr 2022 - Dorset to grapple with £8m budget gap 01 Apr 2022 - Multi-million pound boost to cycling and walking budget 01 Apr 2022 - Brighton & Hove raises concerns over support for asylum-seeking children 01 Apr 2022 - Councils call for urgent action to tackle health inequalities 01 Apr 2022 - Changing Places toilet fund opens for bids 01 Apr 2022 - New LGA guide to help councils shape devo bids 01 Apr 2022 - Special needs demand increases for every council 01 Apr 2022 - Peers call for council tax reform 01 Apr 2022 - Treasury civil servants given pay rises and £15,000 bonuses during pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - TfL shaves costs but will need £500m more 01 Apr 2022 - Calls to reform Business Rates as 1 in 7 shops now vacant across the UK 01 Apr 2022 - Walking and cycling investment 01 Apr 2022 - Home Secretary urged to force councils to take share of child migrants 01 Apr 2022 - Average cost of council exit payments rises 01 Apr 2022 - Divided we fall: Unity needed over council finance lobbying 01 Apr 2022 - England's Covid care home deaths could be thousands higher than official figures, say providers 01 Apr 2022 - 250,000 jobs at risk as furlough scheme ends 01 Apr 2022 - Councils face bin collection challenge due to ‘pingdemic’ 01 Apr 2022 - Government considers stricter capital borrowing caps 01 Apr 2022 - County set to appoint new chief 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Systemic problems’ in council services on the rise 01 Apr 2022 - Devo deals vision: upper-tier leading role and directly elected leaders 01 Apr 2022 - More details emerge of government thinking on levelling up 01 Apr 2022 - Additional audit fee allocation ‘sensible’ 01 Apr 2022 - Young people exiting furlough scheme fastest 01 Apr 2022 - MPs call for 'five a day'-style campaign to get kids exercising an hour a day after lockdowns 01 Apr 2022 - 'Crazy' plans to give every home SEVEN bins will send families 'mad' 01 Apr 2022 - Council pay offer increases to 1.75% 01 Apr 2022 - Districts defend Cumbria two unitaries plan as county claims bias 01 Apr 2022 - Waste crime could be costing the UK nearly a billion pounds a year 01 Apr 2022 - Commission calls for funding reset 01 Apr 2022 - Johnson has flunked levelling up explanation chance, says MP 01 Apr 2022 - Councils will continue to draw on reserves, predicts Moody's 01 Apr 2022 - Empowering county councils ‘game-changer’ for levelling-up 01 Apr 2022 - Sharp spike in government debt interest payments 01 Apr 2022 - How to fund Britain’s social care system [opinion] 01 Apr 2022 - English care homes could lose 70,000 staff over mandatory Covid jab 01 Apr 2022 - Key questions about plans for domestic Covid passports in England 01 Apr 2022 - Self-isolation hits bin collections across country 01 Apr 2022 - NHS staff’s 3% pay rise ‘likely to come out of social care tax’ 01 Apr 2022 - Rebellion due over COVID-19 identification 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Real concern’ over pent-up demand for services says lead counties chief 01 Apr 2022 - North Yorks among councils still holding meetings remotely 01 Apr 2022 - Covid sparks 6% rise in spend with external suppliers 01 Apr 2022 - Chancellor facing 'difficult' spending review 01 Apr 2022 - Rebellion due over COVID-19 identification 01 Apr 2022 - Seaside poor health overlooked, warns Whitty 01 Apr 2022 - Care firm made £24m profits as Ofsted branded its children’s homes ‘inadequate’ 01 Apr 2022 - Javid tests positive for COVID-19 01 Apr 2022 - County approves hybrid model of working for staff 01 Apr 2022 - Second round of schools rebuilding programme announced 01 Apr 2022 - Combined authorities lack ‘maturity’ 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19: Two jabs needed to enter nightclubs from September 01 Apr 2022 - Council finances unsustainable without reform, say MPs 01 Apr 2022 - Government announces strategy to regenerate high streets 01 Apr 2022 - Michael King: ‘Listening to public complaints has fallen off the agenda’ 01 Apr 2022 - DPHs should ‘sit at the top table’ 01 Apr 2022 - Vaccinated social care staff no longer required to self-isolate 01 Apr 2022 - PM plans national insurance rise to fund social care 01 Apr 2022 - Councils forced to suspend waste services due to staff shortages 01 Apr 2022 - Senior figures react to Johnson’s devolution vision 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick sets out ‘key principles’ to widen devolution beyond cities 01 Apr 2022 - High Streets Strategy and last beneficiaries of towns fund unveiled 01 Apr 2022 - Send review delayed again amid concern over legal entitlements 01 Apr 2022 - Councils push back over reserves raid threat 01 Apr 2022 - Government insists Everyone In is 'continuing' 01 Apr 2022 - Local government funding cuts have ‘probably cost lives,’ study warns 01 Apr 2022 - Minister fends off towns fund criticism 01 Apr 2022 - Johnson puts counties in devolution driving seat 01 Apr 2022 - Council criticised for increasing care admin costs 200% 01 Apr 2022 - At least 75,000 people in England wait six months for social care assessment 01 Apr 2022 - £100m plan to slash council’s office space by three quarters 01 Apr 2022 - Councils’ role in net zero 01 Apr 2022 - Early support for vulnerable children halved 01 Apr 2022 - Levelling up: Boris Johnson promises more powers for local leaders 01 Apr 2022 - Police chiefs want criminal inquiry into Matt Hancock leak 01 Apr 2022 - Price rises speed up again as economy unlocks 01 Apr 2022 - Council set to close offices in work-from-home drive 01 Apr 2022 - PAC: Government audit proposals treat local government as ‘an afterthought’ 01 Apr 2022 - MPs approve compulsory vaccinations for care home staff 01 Apr 2022 - Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners making a difference 01 Apr 2022 - Councils ‘offloading’ people with learning disabilities on NHS, MPs say 01 Apr 2022 - Rob Bridge: Merging five Northamptonshire councils into one was not for the faint hearted 01 Apr 2022 - Local leaders call for devolved powers to reach net zero 01 Apr 2022 - Alarm over ‘freedom day’ 01 Apr 2022 - High street regeneration to be key part of PM's levelling up agenda 01 Apr 2022 - Covid-19: PM urges caution as 19 July unlocking set to go ahead 01 Apr 2022 - Javid: tax rise could be ‘practical and obvious’ solution to social care crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Senior LGA figure calls for social care to be taken away from councils 01 Apr 2022 - Javid vows to reform social care 'quite soon' 01 Apr 2022 - Councils told to expect a rise in auditor interventions 01 Apr 2022 - Final COVID support package for bus sector 01 Apr 2022 - Steve Rotheram: ‘Ministers have gone cold on devo – but the genie’s out of the bottle’ 01 Apr 2022 - IFS: ‘Vital’ that fair funding review goes ahead 01 Apr 2022 - Councils' £3bn COVID Black Hole 01 Apr 2022 - Javid casts doubt on social care plan by end of 2021 01 Apr 2022 - Review urges more funding for addiction treatments in England 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick to reduce competitive bidding 01 Apr 2022 - Half may miss September audit deadline 01 Apr 2022 - Whitty calls for more tailored local messaging amid Covid surge 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick pledges to rein in councils pursuing ‘risky commercial strategies’ 01 Apr 2022 - 20 years of economic interventions have failed to help poorest communities, report warns 01 Apr 2022 - First shortlist unveiled for £120m zero emission buses funding 01 Apr 2022 - Fair Funding Review ‘on ice’ for two years 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick to reduce competitive bidding 01 Apr 2022 - Section 114 chief: We will not be the last 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick's exit payment intervention 01 Apr 2022 - LGA calls for debate on impact of long Covid 01 Apr 2022 - Young people not a ‘lost generation’, says Children’s Commissioner 01 Apr 2022 - More WFH chaos thanks to ministers’ mixed messaging 01 Apr 2022 - Self-isolation to be scrapped for double-jabbed and children in England 01 Apr 2022 - Covid bubbles to be axed in England's schools 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick tells councils to produce 10-20 year plans for their areas 01 Apr 2022 - State pension predicted to rise by 8% 01 Apr 2022 - Whiteman: Councils that agreed capitalisation loans could follow Slough 01 Apr 2022 - Croydon could write-off £52m in housing company loans 01 Apr 2022 - Warwickshire launches recovery and investment fund 01 Apr 2022 - Mobile phones could be banned from schools in England as early as January 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak ‘must keep extra £20 on universal credit’ 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson to announce plans for greater control of health service 01 Apr 2022 - Masks will become personal choice, says minister 01 Apr 2022 - Schools ‘bleeding out’ from Covid bubble system, council leaders warn 01 Apr 2022 - Grenfell prompts creation of building safety regulator 01 Apr 2022 - Slough Council issues section 114 notice following mounting money troubles 01 Apr 2022 - Net-zero plans 01 Apr 2022 - Social care tax rises 01 Apr 2022 - Authority-owned property investment company assets fall by £12m 01 Apr 2022 - Funding for deprived schools in England has shifted to wealthy areas, study finds 01 Apr 2022 - Eight councils to undergo independent financial reviews 01 Apr 2022 - Chancellor hails sharp fall in furlough numbers as scheme starts to wind down 01 Apr 2022 - Town Halls have been ordered to fund women’s refuges 01 Apr 2022 - UK 'must add 127,000 chargepoints by 2025' 01 Apr 2022 - Cash set aside for school catch-up plan is ‘peanuts’, warns education chief 01 Apr 2022 - UK's furlough scheme starts to wind down 01 Apr 2022 - Government urged to create post-Covid 'golden age' of cycling 01 Apr 2022 - Business Rates Revaluations Consultation Launched 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Jaw-dropping’ fall in life expectancy in poor areas of England, report finds 01 Apr 2022 - School self-isolation hitting poor pupils hardest 01 Apr 2022 - Lockdowns leave half of teenagers battling anxiety and trauma 01 Apr 2022 - [OPINION] Is levelling up just a soundbite? 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Left behind’ areas receive less targeted funding, research reveals 01 Apr 2022 - Luton bails out airport with another £140m 01 Apr 2022 - Labour warns UK needs more than 127,000 chargepoints by 2025 01 Apr 2022 - LGA to review county finances as new administration questions strategy 01 Apr 2022 - Low income households could pay no Council Tax under authority's scheme 01 Apr 2022 - £1bn business grants still to be allocated 01 Apr 2022 - England’s poorest areas left far behind with lack of social infrastructure 01 Apr 2022 - Councils rake in £1m a week from drivers after bus lane fines double 01 Apr 2022 - Gangs warning for pupils missing majority of school 01 Apr 2022 - Mobile phone ban plan to improve school behaviour 01 Apr 2022 - Covid: School isolation rules could end in autumn 01 Apr 2022 - Covid-19: End of England's Covid rules still set for 19 July 01 Apr 2022 - CIPFA to provide further clarity on borrowing restrictions 01 Apr 2022 - London council prosecutes firm over jams 01 Apr 2022 - £483m government investment to boost and improve school buildings 01 Apr 2022 - Lincolnshire districts set to join forces with eye to unitarisation 01 Apr 2022 - Cyclists worst hit as fatality rate rises 01 Apr 2022 - Council tax debt rises to £4.4bn 01 Apr 2022 - Council capital spending to reach five-year high in post-Covid bounce 01 Apr 2022 - Revealed: Budget increases for key services due to Covid 01 Apr 2022 - Nearly half of UK councils still don't recycle kitchen leftovers 01 Apr 2022 - Sajid Javid new Health Secretary 01 Apr 2022 - Council faces spiralling costs of remedying fire-risk building 01 Apr 2022 - Auditor voices ‘serious concerns’ over council’s finances 01 Apr 2022 - Does local government need a new red flag system to signal looming financial crisis? 01 Apr 2022 - Inflation spike creates watching brief for treasury officers 01 Apr 2022 - Finance chiefs may have to ’embrace the uncertainty’ in financial planning 01 Apr 2022 - Income losses and lack of data hamper Whitehall’s support of councils in the pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Next settlement an opportunity to head off s114 dangers 01 Apr 2022 - Beauty spots turned into impromptu 'clubbing venues’ with piles of rubbish left in wake 01 Apr 2022 - 100,000 pupils failed to return to education full-time when schools reopened 01 Apr 2022 - Small businesses warn of 18-day gap in support 01 Apr 2022 - Social care leaders urge reform now to combat ‘perfect storm’ of problems 01 Apr 2022 - Javid to update MPs on lifting restrictions 01 Apr 2022 - Children needing foster care ‘to rise by 33%’ leaving councils struggling to cope 01 Apr 2022 - Inflation to rise above 3 per cent this year, warns Bank of England 01 Apr 2022 - Plea for urgent cash injection for social care system as ministers delay talks on reform blueprint 01 Apr 2022 - Fear for English children living in ‘education deserts’ 01 Apr 2022 - Pandemic will force changes to next year’s GCSEs and A-levels 01 Apr 2022 - Leicestershire to reject £15m grant 01 Apr 2022 - Social care reforms delayed until at least Autumn 01 Apr 2022 - Northern English cities faced ‘avalanche’ of debt during COVID-19 – study 01 Apr 2022 - Quarter of a million children in England missed school last week due to COVID-19 01 Apr 2022 - Birmingham makes ‘great strides’ on financial management 01 Apr 2022 - Somerset CC to open up to 10 new children's homes 01 Apr 2022 - Council to buy Bunkabins and park homes to house homeless people 01 Apr 2022 - Duty to share data across health and social care planned 01 Apr 2022 - Social care: Ministers urged to 'act now' on funding reform 01 Apr 2022 - Poorer white pupils let down and neglected - MPs 01 Apr 2022 - Government borrowing eases in May 01 Apr 2022 - Government postpones ‘do or die’ meeting on social care in England 01 Apr 2022 - We have a duty to build more homes, Robert Jenrick tells Tory heartlands 01 Apr 2022 - Smart traffic lights get green light for cutting emissions by a quarter 01 Apr 2022 - Return of the Covid passport could keep pubs open 01 Apr 2022 - Councils highlight role of libraries in national recovery from COVID-19 01 Apr 2022 - Remote working sees major cities lose billions in spending, research warns 01 Apr 2022 - Lift Covid restrictions when 70 per cent are double-jabbed, Susan Hopkins says 01 Apr 2022 - 'Great hope' restrictions can end early on 5 July and UK not in third wave, says vaccine expert 01 Apr 2022 - Parents back longer school day to catch up after Covid 01 Apr 2022 - Croydon may need higher 2020-21 bailout amid ongoing turmoil 01 Apr 2022 - Self-isolation grants refused in 6 out of 10 cases 01 Apr 2022 - More than four million parking tickets issued despite car use plummeting 01 Apr 2022 - Autumn booster jab plan needed – health leaders 01 Apr 2022 - Government actuary proposes greater pension cost cap flexibility 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak announces launch of UK Infrastructure Bank 01 Apr 2022 - Government announces £16m for virtual school heads programme 01 Apr 2022 - Rob Whiteman: There is a pressing need to make council accounts more transparent 01 Apr 2022 - Eviction ban on firms behind on rent is extended by nine months 01 Apr 2022 - Children's social care a 'Jenga held together with Sellotape,' says damning review 01 Apr 2022 - New minor traffic offence powers 01 Apr 2022 - Children miss out out on free school meals funding 01 Apr 2022 - Children’s care providers under scrutiny 01 Apr 2022 - Bank of England code ‘protects’ authority-to-authority borrowing 01 Apr 2022 - Liability benchmark could save sector ‘tens of millions of pounds’ 01 Apr 2022 - PSAA proposals ‘pay lip service’ to smaller audit firms 01 Apr 2022 - Council property deals plummet due to Covid-19 and borrowing changes 01 Apr 2022 - Virtual meetings have boosted local democracy, survey finds 01 Apr 2022 - Councils levy over £1m fines for COVID offences 01 Apr 2022 - Call to give councils greater role in creating jobs and training opportunities 01 Apr 2022 - Two million requests for care have been rejected in past two years 01 Apr 2022 - Government to set new targets on air pollution 01 Apr 2022 - Proportion of children securing first choice secondary school places falls 01 Apr 2022 - Free school meals: Poorer pupils miss out in funding change, say unions 01 Apr 2022 - All councils in England and Wales handed powers to fine drivers £70 for minor traffic offences - such as yellow-box junction infringements - from December 01 Apr 2022 - £36 million contract for new MOD Police Patrol Craft 01 Apr 2022 - Parents of children with special needs tell Ofsted of Covid despair 01 Apr 2022 - Eviction ban on firms behind on rent is extended by nine months 01 Apr 2022 - Care services too focused on investigating families in crisis, says review 01 Apr 2022 - Ban on commercial evictions introduced during the pandemic to be extended until 2022, govt source says 01 Apr 2022 - Adult social care services face ‘deluge’ of requests for support 01 Apr 2022 - Health department has ‘poor oversight’ of local care market 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers 'knew early years was underfunded' argues charity 01 Apr 2022 - Councils receive extra COVID support as lockdown easing delayed 01 Apr 2022 - SEND services in Suffolk to be reviewed 01 Apr 2022 - Revealed: Government thinking on future role of LEPs 01 Apr 2022 - Scientists warn of consequences of lockdown delay 01 Apr 2022 - Adult social care services face ‘deluge’ of requests for support 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19 vaccine to be required for England care home staff 01 Apr 2022 - Lockdown easing in England delayed to 19 July 01 Apr 2022 - Restaurants and pubs ‘face collapse’ during extended England lockdown 01 Apr 2022 - Limits on weddings in England to be scrapped from 21 June - but rules on singing and dancing remain 01 Apr 2022 - Delta variant increases hospitalisation risk but vaccine protection remains high, study suggests 01 Apr 2022 - Lockdown easing delayed to 19 July 01 Apr 2022 - Alarm growing over Covid financial support cliff edge 01 Apr 2022 - Key figures in Northants turnaround recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours 01 Apr 2022 - Ofsted to rate schools ‘outstanding’ only if they can prove they are helping the poorest children 01 Apr 2022 - Furlough will not be extended 01 Apr 2022 - Lockdown easing in England to be delayed 01 Apr 2022 - Waste collection plans to cost £680m a year, councils warn 01 Apr 2022 - Councils welcome fall in rough sleeping numbers 01 Apr 2022 - Profits from English children’s care homes indefensible, bosses to be told 01 Apr 2022 - Households ‘will have up to 7 bins each’ 01 Apr 2022 - Addiction treatment harder to get since councils took over, says Tory MP 01 Apr 2022 - PSAA outlines proposals to increase audit quality 01 Apr 2022 - Patel reveals rota replacement scheme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children 01 Apr 2022 - Surrey chief part of four-strong team of Liverpool commissioners 01 Apr 2022 - Councils press for bin collections overhaul funding 01 Apr 2022 - Hillier in financial sustainability transparency warning 01 Apr 2022 - Hancock claims he followed ‘clinical advice’ on care homes policy 01 Apr 2022 - Hancock: government needs more powers to intervene in social care 01 Apr 2022 - 30 towns to share government’s £725m Towns Fund 01 Apr 2022 - Former CIPFA president headed for chief executive role 01 Apr 2022 - Education advisor resigns following funding dispute 01 Apr 2022 - Uproar at move towards 'national bin service' 01 Apr 2022 - Councils in 'mad dash to splash the cash' 01 Apr 2022 - Eight in 10 councils forced to overspend on children’s social care 01 Apr 2022 - Tony Travers: Levelling up should focus on FE and devolution 01 Apr 2022 - Councils should have legal duty to provide ‘early help’ says report 01 Apr 2022 - Waste collections 01 Apr 2022 - Local government severance guidance ‘expected shortly’ 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick hints opportunity for remote meetings legislation if roadmap shifts 01 Apr 2022 - Child migrant legal threat to Home Secretary 01 Apr 2022 - McArdle: Northants downfall due to ‘dangerous over-confidence’ 01 Apr 2022 - Hampshire faces £80m budget gap 01 Apr 2022 - Surrey council leader to chair County Councils Network 01 Apr 2022 - Controversial Somerset poll backs district plan 01 Apr 2022 - Staff burnout in social care and health at 'emergency level' 01 Apr 2022 - 26 towns to receive share of £610 million fund to revamp their communities 01 Apr 2022 - Parliament: Shake-up of England's electoral map outlined 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Grief and confusion clashed with unconditional love and joy’: The hidden lives of young carers 01 Apr 2022 - June 21 lockdown lifting set to be delayed by fortnight 01 Apr 2022 - 'Jabs are working' as Covid hospital cases plunge 01 Apr 2022 - Taxpayers could end up paying 'more for less' as council tax rises while services are cut 01 Apr 2022 - Work from home advice could continue beyond June 21 01 Apr 2022 - Education bodies slam £1.4bn recovery fund 01 Apr 2022 - Schoolchildren to get 100 million hours extra lessons in Covid recovery plan 01 Apr 2022 - Councils ‘must raise game’ to tackle housing shortage 01 Apr 2022 - Counties see fastest growth in number of people claiming out of work benefits 01 Apr 2022 - Free council parking for NHS and social care workers to end 01 Apr 2022 - Banned insulation still used on schools 01 Apr 2022 - Eviction ban ends 01 Apr 2022 - Sunak seeks tech business tax deal 01 Apr 2022 - School day ‘to be extended’ 01 Apr 2022 - Lockdown easing debate intensifies 01 Apr 2022 - EXCLUSIVE: Finance reforms in 2022-23 'challenging but possible' 01 Apr 2022 - Cummings slams 'useless' Whitehall procurement system 01 Apr 2022 - Meg Hillier: early warning system needed for local government 01 Apr 2022 - £500m scale of Covid-19 council tax hit revealed 01 Apr 2022 - Thousands of girls ‘failed’ by police and social services 01 Apr 2022 - 75 per cent of new COVID-19 cases are Indian variant 01 Apr 2022 - Councils snubbed as government changes Covid guidance without telling them 01 Apr 2022 - Districts reprimanded by Jenrick over ‘offensive’ spoof campaign website 01 Apr 2022 - More disadvantaged children at risk of missing school since lockdown 01 Apr 2022 - Rural areas face threat of 400,000 new homes 01 Apr 2022 - Government urges against travel to eight COVID-19 areas 01 Apr 2022 - Council companies lose £600k 01 Apr 2022 - Road funding will be cut by more than a fifth this year, warn council chiefs 01 Apr 2022 - New guidance on council-owned companies to be published 01 Apr 2022 - Covid: Parts of England to trial self-isolation support 01 Apr 2022 - Covid: Parts of England to trial self-isolation support 01 Apr 2022 - Chance of England Covid restrictions ending on 21 June ‘looking good’ 01 Apr 2022 - Parents oppose longer school days to help children catch up 01 Apr 2022 - Half of UK children playing out with friends less since pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Opinion: Councils must meet their SEND legal duties 01 Apr 2022 - Nottinghamshire pressed to abandon reorganisation 01 Apr 2022 - Councils charged triple the recommended mark-up on IT products 01 Apr 2022 - Report makes case for Annual Proportional Property Tax system 01 Apr 2022 - Final £576m allocations of future high streets fund announced 01 Apr 2022 - Joint chief of county and unitary set to retire 01 Apr 2022 - ‘A step in the right direction’ – sector responds to local audit proposals 01 Apr 2022 - Government announces new local audit leader 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers under pressure to revoke law which makes it illegal to sleep rough, as 10 people a week prosecuted 01 Apr 2022 - Schools set to lose £118m funding for poor pupils 01 Apr 2022 - Death rate in England is lowest since records began 01 Apr 2022 - Doctors hit back at NHS bosses over orders to see patients face-to-face 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Disappointing’ pay offer for council employees announced 01 Apr 2022 - Councils charged triple the recommended mark-up on IT products 01 Apr 2022 - COVID crisis exposed council underfunding, says watchdog 01 Apr 2022 - Lockdown reverses 40-year decline in smoking 01 Apr 2022 - Employers offer 1.5% 'paltry' pay rise 01 Apr 2022 - Green light for councils' legal action worth £10m 01 Apr 2022 - New laws for house buyers, renters and homeowners coming this year 01 Apr 2022 - Tiers may return if Indian variant takes hold 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers lambasted by select committee 01 Apr 2022 - County leader in planning power grab 01 Apr 2022 - Burnham calls for Labour push on devolution 01 Apr 2022 - Auditors defend council governance 01 Apr 2022 - Council criticised for handling of COVID-19 business support 01 Apr 2022 - Government to improve reporting and transparency of LGPS 01 Apr 2022 - NHS and local government ‘need financial sustainability to deal with future crises’ 01 Apr 2022 - Indian variant hotspot data set to determine roadmap future 01 Apr 2022 - Councils urge government to ‘retreat carefully’ with COVID-19 support 01 Apr 2022 - Social care evidence 01 Apr 2022 - Court ruling closes business rates loophole 01 Apr 2022 - Lockdowns ease in England, Wales and most of Scotland 01 Apr 2022 - Increasing confidence jabs work against Indian variant 01 Apr 2022 - Covid vaccines offered to teenagers at Indian variant hotspot Bolton 01 Apr 2022 - Queen’s Speech: government introduces McCloud remedy bill 01 Apr 2022 - Level best? What the Queen's Speech tells us - and does not - about 'levelling up' 01 Apr 2022 - Tackle high needs before it is too late 01 Apr 2022 - County Councils Network announces interim chair 01 Apr 2022 - New index reveals most and least prosperous local authorities 01 Apr 2022 - Delays for Special Needs Plans 01 Apr 2022 - Watchdog asks police to investigate council accounts 01 Apr 2022 - UK economic bounceback set to outpace peers after big 2020 decline 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson told to deliver 10-year social care plan or risk derailing health reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Half of pools, gyms and leisure centres in England at risk, prime minister told 01 Apr 2022 - Pupils in England ‘waiting up to five years for special needs plan’ 01 Apr 2022 - Indian variant: Second jabs could be brought forward to tackle rise 01 Apr 2022 - Every patient to have right to see a GP as NHS abandons ‘total triage’ 01 Apr 2022 - Ban on bailiff evictions to be lifted next month as Covid support ends for tenants 01 Apr 2022 - Tony Travers: Levelling up is top down 01 Apr 2022 - Dismay at plans to shorten poll lead-in time and require voter ID 01 Apr 2022 - Serving MP set to become county council leader 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19 inquiry promised within a year 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson promises Covid inquiry within a year 01 Apr 2022 - UK economy picks up as lockdown restrictions ease 01 Apr 2022 - Indian Covid variant calls in question 17 May reopening in UK, say experts 01 Apr 2022 - Theresa May leads Tory revolt over push for new housing 01 Apr 2022 - MPs revolt over new planning reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Government's legislative agenda to focus on Boris Johnson's 'lifetime skills guarantee' 01 Apr 2022 - Failure to act on social care reform ‘will be bitter blow for millions’ 01 Apr 2022 - Indoor pints and hugs with family - Boris Johnson confirms new lockdown easing in England from 17 May 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson says 'one-metre plus' rule could be ditched from 21 June - and hints at no 'papers for pub' 01 Apr 2022 - No more face masks in schools from 17 May - while all university students will return 01 Apr 2022 - Queen's speech: PM's 'live local and prosper' promise 01 Apr 2022 - English elections 2021: Conservatives make gains across country 01 Apr 2022 - Local elections 2021: Counties buck the Tory trend 01 Apr 2022 - Scale of local authority Covid-19 pressures revealed 01 Apr 2022 - Social care reform expected to be delayed amid cost concerns 01 Apr 2022 - New measures to boost recycling rates 01 Apr 2022 - Unions talk up judicial review over McCloud reforms 01 Apr 2022 - Social care spending ‘lower than in 2010’ 01 Apr 2022 - Covid-19 pressures hit council-funded nurseries 01 Apr 2022 - Covid-19 funding frees up capital investment 01 Apr 2022 - Scale of local authority Covid-19 pressures revealed 01 Apr 2022 - London borough to refund overcharged water fees 01 Apr 2022 - Poor pupils fall further behind in maths 01 Apr 2022 - Fireplaces and stoves are bigger polluters than traffic 01 Apr 2022 - Drivers could be 'criminally liable' and may be charged for driving over a pothole 01 Apr 2022 - Devolution White Paper to be replaced by levelling up proposals 01 Apr 2022 - Call for masks to remain compulsory in England’s schools 01 Apr 2022 - Government announces ‘levelling up’ white paper 01 Apr 2022 - MPs want law to protect care home visiting rights 01 Apr 2022 - Schools struggle to access tutoring 01 Apr 2022 - New ‘levelling up’ adviser to steer government’s agenda 01 Apr 2022 - Disposable masks pose pollutants risk, study finds 01 Apr 2022 - Holidays abroad should be discouraged to stop Covid third wave, say MPs 01 Apr 2022 - Hospitality bosses lose court battle over indoor opening 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson delays social care reform amid cost fears 01 Apr 2022 - 1m plus rule could end from 21 June, says Johnson 01 Apr 2022 - Government taskforce urges permanent job flexibility for all workers 01 Apr 2022 - More than 15 million people now fully vaccinated as UK reports 14 more deaths 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson wants planning reforms to feature in Queen’s Speech 01 Apr 2022 - Covid modellers ‘optimistic’ third wave may not happen at all 01 Apr 2022 - NHS draws up Pfizer Covid vaccine plan for schoolchildren 01 Apr 2022 - Quarantine for Covid contacts could be scrapped 01 Apr 2022 - 'I moved a few miles up the road and my council tax bill doubled' 01 Apr 2022 - Record rate of online Covid vaccine bookings 01 Apr 2022 - Covid-19 infections in UK back to late summer levels - ONS 01 Apr 2022 - Thousands head to UK's first club night in more than a year for coronavirus safety pilot event 01 Apr 2022 - Care home isolation rule axed for low-risk trips in England 01 Apr 2022 - New modelling ‘optimistic’ third wave may not happen at all 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19 vaccine plan for schoolchildren 01 Apr 2022 - Planning reforms to feature in Queen’s Speech 01 Apr 2022 - Social care reform ‘expected to be delayed’ 01 Apr 2022 - 1m plus rule could end from 21 June, says PM 01 Apr 2022 - ‘More congestion, more pollution’: Clean air campaigners concerned about 20,000 more Ubers 01 Apr 2022 - Social distancing not needed at big events, Boris Johnson to be told 01 Apr 2022 - Covid-19 vaccine offered to people aged 40 and over in England 01 Apr 2022 - Councils obliged to meet burdensome finance data requests 01 Apr 2022 - Legal bid to continue virtual council meetings fails 01 Apr 2022 - Former Bexley finance director appointed chief executive of London Councils 01 Apr 2022 - Complex and failing: the social care provider market 01 Apr 2022 - Grahame Morris MP: Replace council tax with a proportional property tax 01 Apr 2022 - Social care ‘needs 1948 moment’ 01 Apr 2022 - Hertfordshire County Council loses High Court bid to continue remote meetings 01 Apr 2022 - Grenfell: Bid to shield residents from cladding costs fails 01 Apr 2022 - Gavin Williamson wants to turn more state schools into academies 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Try before you buy’ offer for schools to join academies, Williamson to announce 01 Apr 2022 - Vaccinating adolescents could help prevent third wave of Covid in UK – study 01 Apr 2022 - 40m people in England live in areas almost free from Covid 01 Apr 2022 - One dose of vaccine halves transmission - study 01 Apr 2022 - Scottish unions reject 2% council pay offer 01 Apr 2022 - Scottish party manifestos united by ‘disconnect from fiscal reality’ 01 Apr 2022 - £50m boost to London local government pension investment fund 01 Apr 2022 - Newham to appeal loan fraud claim verdict 01 Apr 2022 - MHCLG intervention – what is going wrong? 01 Apr 2022 - Trial period offer for schools to join academies 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson: We’re on track to lift all Covid restrictions by June 21 01 Apr 2022 - Lockdown fines should be reviewed, say MPs 01 Apr 2022 - Schools to share £1.8bn for building repairs 01 Apr 2022 - Summer schools programme opens for bids 01 Apr 2022 - Funds unveiled to support uptake of neighbourhood planning 01 Apr 2022 - All-female team create new guide to support safer public spaces 01 Apr 2022 - Questions over impact of reorganisation on Levelling Up Fund 01 Apr 2022 - Public sector pension reforms ‘on track’ 01 Apr 2022 - Cameron ‘persistently’ lobbied Treasury officials for Covid-19 relief 01 Apr 2022 - Bank considers risk of financial collapse from cladding scandal 01 Apr 2022 - The pothole pimpernels filling in for the council 01 Apr 2022 - Scrap social distancing in June to give people control of their lives, say scientists 01 Apr 2022 - Half of UK population has had first jab - and more than 12 million fully vaccinated 01 Apr 2022 - Mask-free summer on the cards, as vaccines take control of the pandemic, say experts 01 Apr 2022 - Johnson presses Sunak over cap on cost of social care in old age 01 Apr 2022 - Watchdog urges 'revaluation' of councils' role 01 Apr 2022 - Charity warns over 60,000 families 'tipped into homelessness last winter' 01 Apr 2022 - Children and families need £12.5bn over three years, says new ADCS president 01 Apr 2022 - Cap on cost of care in old age reportedly being considered 01 Apr 2022 - Scrap social distancing in June to give people control of their lives, say scientists 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Battle not over’ amid jab campaign for under-50s 01 Apr 2022 - Time to replace fiscal rules, think-tank says 01 Apr 2022 - LGA calls for clarity on exit data request 01 Apr 2022 - Homelessness charity calls for Home Office rules to be scrapped 01 Apr 2022 - Children and families need £12.5bn over three years, says new ADCS president 01 Apr 2022 - Charity warns over 60,000 families 'tipped into homelessness last winter' 01 Apr 2022 - Fears over MHCLG’s weak influence in Whitehall 01 Apr 2022 - Brit Awards to have live audience as part of COVID-19 event trials 01 Apr 2022 - Treasury to look at public health spending 01 Apr 2022 - District's loophole to allow virtual meetings 01 Apr 2022 - Councils at 'forefront' of climate change action 01 Apr 2022 - The beginner’s guide to freeports 01 Apr 2022 - Government proposes extension to audit fee deadline 01 Apr 2022 - Ministers defend Levelling up Fund criteria 01 Apr 2022 - A “proper” transitional system could improve funding predictability 01 Apr 2022 - UK borrowing 01 Apr 2022 - 20,000 children off school register 01 Apr 2022 - MHCLG proposes more flexible audit rules 01 Apr 2022 - MHCLG to continue monthly data returns ‘for some time’ 01 Apr 2022 - MHCLG: No plans to extend Covid financial support beyond June 01 Apr 2022 - Minister urged to ‘grasp the nettle’ and prioritise local government standards 01 Apr 2022 - Plans to overhaul recycling collections suffer delays 01 Apr 2022 - Shielding scheme took too long to identify up to 800,000, says PAC 01 Apr 2022 - Homeless charity warns calls from young people up a third in past year 01 Apr 2022 - MPs hit out at decision to scrap Green Homes Grant 01 Apr 2022 - Councils wait on capitalisation directions 01 Apr 2022 - Warnings of financial shock for care sector 01 Apr 2022 - Government to set new 2035 emissions target in law 01 Apr 2022 - Rising fuel costs drive UK inflation to 0.7 per cent in March 01 Apr 2022 - Jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty of murder 01 Apr 2022 - Pothole figures 'a watershed moment' 01 Apr 2022 - UK reports four more COVID deaths - lowest rise since early September 01 Apr 2022 - Under-30s less compliant with Covid rules, UK data shows 01 Apr 2022 - Young people who have had coronavirus will get £5,000 for being deliberately re-exposed to the virus 01 Apr 2022 - Unemployment puts hundreds of thousands more at risk of poor mental health 01 Apr 2022 - More children worried about pollution near schools 01 Apr 2022 - No simple north-south divide, says report 01 Apr 2022 - Pregnant women should be offered Covid-19 vaccine in their age group 01 Apr 2022 - England's R number drops slightly as coronavirus infection level falls across UK 01 Apr 2022 - Welsh council funding gap to hit £178m next year 01 Apr 2022 - Local government SEND funding ‘pitiful’ 01 Apr 2022 - £36.5m council funding to support Hong Kong arrivals 01 Apr 2022 - County reverses decision to leave LGA 01 Apr 2022 - No simple north-south divide, says report 01 Apr 2022 - Commission calls for abolition of Spending Reviews 01 Apr 2022 - Debate should move from survival to stability, says NAO lead 01 Apr 2022 - Storm brewing over exit payment data demands 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick moves to quell districts’ plan for reorganisation referendum 01 Apr 2022 - Virtual meetings case ‘helped’ by Jenrick move 01 Apr 2022 - Power of local government eroded over decades, report concludes 01 Apr 2022 - LGA welcomes Covid-19 grant scheme extension 01 Apr 2022 - Welsh PPE procurement praised despite pandemic challenges 01 Apr 2022 - Sector raises worries over homes bonus threshold proposal 01 Apr 2022 - Croydon hopes to receive ‘majority’ of housing company loan interest 01 Apr 2022 - Pfizer boss says people may need additional vaccines beyond their second dose 01 Apr 2022 - Rapid Covid testing in England may be scaled back over false positives 01 Apr 2022 - 4.6m people missed out on hospital treatment in England in 2020 01 Apr 2022 - England gets third jab as Moderna rollout begins 01 Apr 2022 - Pubs and bars face being punished for Covid rule-busting queues 01 Apr 2022 - People in their forties are next in line as Covid vaccine rollout hits target 01 Apr 2022 - UK records lowest deaths and cases figures since September 01 Apr 2022 - Covid lockdown eases: 'Sense of celebration' as pubs and shops reopen 01 Apr 2022 - Extent of mental health crisis in England at ‘terrifying’ level 01 Apr 2022 - Public back more city devolution 01 Apr 2022 - Councils urged to bid for £15m traffic signals cash 01 Apr 2022 - Children ‘bearing brunt’ of mental health crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Shapps announces £18m cycle training fund 01 Apr 2022 - MPs call for review of 'dangerous' obesity strategy 01 Apr 2022 - People can start thinking about foreign travel - Shapps 01 Apr 2022 - Twice-weekly lateral flow coronavirus tests now available for free in England 01 Apr 2022 - English councils handing huge extra care bills to disabled and mentally ill adults 01 Apr 2022 - England’s Covid vaccine programme could slow sharply, Sage says 01 Apr 2022 - Shoppers may need Covid vaccine passports 01 Apr 2022 - Almost 3,000 council fat cats now earn more than £100,000 a year: Shocking rise in pay for town hall bosses amid growing fury over soaring local tax bills 01 Apr 2022 - Appetite for PWLB borrowing returns in March 01 Apr 2022 - Campaigners in legal challenge to Levelling Up Fund criteria 01 Apr 2022 - Councils underspend £62m of childcare funding 01 Apr 2022 - IFS: Funding 30% higher per head in Scotland than England 01 Apr 2022 - High Street sales tipped to surge 50% on 12 April 01 Apr 2022 - Hong Kong families moving to UK to benefit from £43m support package 01 Apr 2022 - COVID passports have ‘significant implications’ for councils 01 Apr 2022 - Boris Johnson gives green light for shops and pubs to open from Monday 01 Apr 2022 - More help for new and expectant mothers in England 01 Apr 2022 - Tests to be offered twice-weekly to all in England 01 Apr 2022 - Two-thirds of councils cashing in with biggest bill hikes are Labour: 51 left-wing local authorities ramped up charges to 5% limit - more than 12 times the inflation rate of 0.4% 01 Apr 2022 - Parents forced to crowdfund to stop playgrounds in England crumbling 01 Apr 2022 - Coronavirus passports can get people 'back to doing things they love', culture secretary says 01 Apr 2022 - Sunset clause planned to head off vaccine certificate revolt 01 Apr 2022 - Many students say their mental health is worse due to pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Everyone's Invited: Schools abuse helpline and review launched 01 Apr 2022 - Second vaccine doses outnumber first jabs for first time in single day 01 Apr 2022 - Grant Thornton defends Liverpool audits 01 Apr 2022 - Shielding coming to an end for millions 01 Apr 2022 - Rise in pothole repairs 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Favouritism’ in levelling up grants shows declining standards, says anti-corruption body 01 Apr 2022 - Get aboard £120m zero-emission bus scheme 01 Apr 2022 - Government 'recycling' cash between flagship funds 01 Apr 2022 - Principal authorities encouraged to pass £56m Welcome Back funding to local councils 01 Apr 2022 - Rob Whiteman: To solve local government funding, form should follow function 01 Apr 2022 - Alert apps and ‘sponge’ road surfaces among new technology to deal with flooding 01 Apr 2022 - £500m mental health plan targets people affected by pandemic 01 Apr 2022 - Councils face rise in demand for short-term care 01 Apr 2022 - Short-term funding has held back care, says watchdog 01 Apr 2022 - Financial collapse at Croydon could have been avoided 01 Apr 2022 - Next phase of Supporting Families programme launched with £165m 01 Apr 2022 - NHS trusts climb down over business rates claim 01 Apr 2022 - Government to ban Covid-19 business rates appeals 01 Apr 2022 - Councils call for long-term plan to tackle education inequalities 01 Apr 2022 - Government opts to retain legacy public pension calculations 01 Apr 2022 - County set to walk out of LGA membership 01 Apr 2022 - Lack of social care strategy left system weakened when COVID-19 struck – report 01 Apr 2022 - UK to set up health agency to combat future pandemics 01 Apr 2022 - Cost of social care to double within two decades, says NAO 01 Apr 2022 - Baroness Harding: communities not aware of Covid financial support 01 Apr 2022 - Marmot: austerity-era cuts to local government must be reversed 01 Apr 2022 - Government to ban Covid-19 business rates appeals 01 Apr 2022 - NHS trusts climb down over business rates claim 01 Apr 2022 - Online ‘family hubs’ 01 Apr 2022 - SEND family spends £20k fighting for school place 01 Apr 2022 - Hancock: Integration with DPHs the ‘only way’ new health security agency can work 01 Apr 2022 - Business rates review finds little enthusiasm for more localised system 01 Apr 2022 - Increase in small funding pots will hinder levelling up efforts, warn met chiefs 01 Apr 2022 - Second home owners face tax changes 01 Apr 2022 - £34.5m stolen in pandemic scams 01 Apr 2022 - Commission calls on councils to improve digital services for social care 01 Apr 2022 - Government allocates £562m green improvement fund 01 Apr 2022 - Online sales tax ‘could help subsidise business rate reductions’ 01 Apr 2022 - ‘Inevitable’ third Covid-19 wave will not change the plan, vows Boris Johnson 01 Apr 2022 - Smokers in England cost local care services £1.2bn each year 01 Apr 2022 - Commission calls on councils to improve digital services for social care 01 Apr 2022 - Government allocates £562m green improvement fund 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19: How has the past year affected council staff? 01 Apr 2022 - Government piles on pressure to speed up business grant distribution 01 Apr 2022 - Whitty warns of ‘real risk’ of local and national links disappearing post-crisis 01 Apr 2022 - Government strengthens tax policymaking with over 30 updates, consultations and documents published 01 Apr 2022 - UK faces 'Covid decade' due to damage done by pandemic, says report 01 Apr 2022 - Life expectancy a decade lower for men in poorest areas 01 Apr 2022 - Payrolled employment rises for third month after a year of lockdown misery for jobs 01 Apr 2022 - Hopes rise for office-based companies of cut in business rates 01 Apr 2022 - Pandemic forces finance reform rethink 01 Apr 2022 - COVID-19 shows need to reform, fire service told 01 Apr 2022 - 1.4% funding rise for council health services labelled `inadequate' 01 Apr 2022 - Jenrick announces £212m pot to tackle rough sleeping 01 Apr 2022 - Size of Slough and Copeland loans revealed as support package hits £287m 01 Apr 2022 - IFS: Local government cuts set to be far worse than expected 01 Apr 2022 - Social care leaders warn of funding 'cliff edge' 01 Apr 2022 - Marsham Street told to improve transparency 01 Apr 2022 - Exclusive: Districts question fairness of reorganisation consultation process 01 Apr 2022 - Schools and hospitals face 'serious disruptions' as PFI contracts end 01 Apr 2022 - Hancock unveils £7bn funding boost for NHS and social care 01 Apr 2022 - Special needs support in schools 01 Apr 2022 - Schools missing out on millions 01 Apr 2022 - Five councils strike bailout deals with government over SEND 01 Apr 2022 - Communities call for funding powers 01 Apr 2022 - Mets to get bigger share of Covid outbreak fund as their income plunges