Austerity | LocalGov

Scottish Budget 'not good' for communities


Next year’s Scottish Budget is ‘not good’ for communities, council leaders have said.

Brum set to sell off £750m of assets


Cash-strapped Birmingham City Council is set to sell off £750m of assets and cut spending on services by £300m in an effort to balance the books.

Bradford warns of possible s114


Bradford Council has warned that it will have to issue an s114 notice, effectively declaring bankruptcy, unless the Government provides ‘exceptional’ support.

Can local government take much more?


Dr Andrew Walker, head of Research, LGIU reflects on the Autumn Statement and asks: what might it take for the Government to pay attention to local authorities?

Autumn Statement: Councils remain ‘chronically underfunded’


Support for private renters, devolution, and planning departments is welcome but councils remain ‘chronically underfunded’, council chiefs tell Chancellor.

Council U-turns on decision to close 39 facilities


North Lanarkshire Council has reversed its plan to close 39 community facilities after Scotland’s First Minister blasted the decision as ‘short sighted’.

Brum kicks off job cuts


Birmingham City Council has started a wide-ranging programme of job cuts under emergency plans.

Cash-strapped councils forced to sell £15bn of assets


About 75,000 public assets worth £15bn have been sold by cash-strapped English councils since 2010, according to Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

Estimated £36bn needed to combat poverty


The Government needs to find £36bn to combat poverty effectively, according to the cross-party Poverty Strategy Commission.

Poor pandemic planning criticised


Public health directors have criticised the Government’s Covid-19 preparedness – warning Whitehall must utilise council expertise to avoid repeat.

Austerity left Britain ‘unprepared' for pandemic, TUC say


Years of austerity left Britain 'hugely unprepared' for the COVID pandemic with tragic consequences, union leaders have claimed.

Scottish councils ‘uniquely placed’ to assist reform


Councils are well-placed to deliver the key aims of Scotland’s government – such as tackling child poverty and net zero – but need funding, experts warn.

Austerity undermined local response to COVID-19, study finds


The hollowing-out of local capability by a decade of cuts left local government struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study says.

Over 50% of councils set to cut spending on services


Half of councils are planning to cut spending on services, increase commercial investments or spend their reserves to make ends meet this year, poll reveals.

Unions warn many school buildings ‘at risk of collapse’


A 50% decline in spending on school buildings over the last decade has left many of them unfit for the future, seven education unions have warned.

Eastleigh finance review to start


The Government has commissioned a review of Eastleigh BC’s finances to start this week after concerns over its debt levels.

Welsh councils need to encourage resilience, auditors say


Local authorities in Wales must do more to encourage and grow community resilience against a backdrop of cuts, auditors have said.

Austerity 2.0: digital public services in tough times


Ainga Pillai, CEO of Zaizi, looks at how councils can improve digital public services when money is tight.

Cash-strapped council seeks to sell number plate to popstar


East Renfrewshire Council hopes to sell a rare number plate to the global pop superstar Harry Styles in an attempt to reduce its £30m budget gap.

Derby museums warn of ‘devastating’ cuts


Museums in Derby have warned that planned cuts by the city council could have a ‘devastating effect’ on their services.

Scottish council chiefs issue SOS call


Local authority leaders in Scotland today launched a campaign ahead of the Scottish budget calling on Holyrood to Save our Services.

Domestic abuse survivors face ‘postcode lottery’


Survivors of domestic abuse face a ‘postcode lottery’ when it comes to accessing support services across England and Wales, a new study has revealed.

One third of surveyed single parents skipping meals


Single parents are being forced to skip meals because of the cost of living crisis, new research reveals.

Council leader warns of cuts to close £22m budget gap


Herefordshire Council leader yesterday wrote to the PM warning the local authority will have to make ‘difficult decisions’ to close a £22m budget gap.

Council chiefs warn of impending cuts


Council chiefs warn ‘everything on the table’ when it comes to cuts as poll reveals only one in five county councils are confident of balancing their budgets.

Devon council leader warns of ‘deep cuts’


Devon County Council’s leader has warned the council will have to make ‘deep cuts’ to the county’s local services unless the Government provides more help.

London councils face £700m funding gap


Councils in London will be forced to find £700m of savings unless the Government boosts funding for local services in the capital, cross-party group says.

Chancellor warned local services ‘on a cliff-edge’


Local authority leaders have urged the PM ahead of the upcoming autumn statement to ensure that councils have the funding necessary to protect services.

Councils face £3bn funding gap


Local authorities could be forced to cut essential services as they face a collective funding gap of over £3bn, Unison warns.

Council chiefs warn against ‘devastating’ cuts


Further cuts to local government funding will mean that councils will only be able to offer the ‘bare minimum’ of local services, county council leaders warn.

Public health budget slashed by a quarter, charity reveals


A charity has warned against cuts to public health as an analysis reveals that austerity under Conservative governments has hit the poorest the hardest.

Councils warn of £2.5bn ‘threat’ to services


Two thirds of surveyed councils said they either faced a ‘threat’ to or ‘extreme pressure’ on key service delivery over the next financial year, poll reveals.

Council warns of 20% cuts to cope with financial crisis


Oxford City Council has said that they are facing ‘tough choices’ over the coming months due to the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

Local government austerity linked to poor health


Local authority cuts have been a significant driver of poor health outcomes at the local level, according to new research.

England’s poorest areas hit hardest by austerity


Residents living in England’s most deprived areas were hit hardest by the largest local authority spending cuts during a decade of austerity, think tank says.

Councils need radical thinking at a time of crisis


Professor Richard Murphy says councils need to cooperate to tackle the crises faced by communities, and he puts forward four ways of addressing social need.

DLUHC 'almost wilfully blind' to state of local government finances warn MPs


A ‘chronic’ lack of funding for council services amid soaring demand means many communities face a ‘long slog’ out of the COVID-19 pandemic, MPs warned today.

Human rights group warns of ‘uninhabitable’ temporary accommodation


Children in London growing up in ‘uninhabitable’ temporary accommodation due to Government-imposed austerity and the housing crisis, human rights group warns.

Mind the gap between levelling up ‘rhetoric and reality’, think tank warns


Central Government policies have undermined the ‘levelling up’ agenda and left the UK more regionally divided than ever, a new study says.

Commission calls for funding re-set for local government


Local government needs a ‘funding floor’, set at an agreed percentage of national income, a report on the future of the sector has said.

Leeds council proposes nearly 200 job cuts


Leeds City Council has warned that it might have to cut 199 full time posts in order to save £17.6m as it deal with the impact of the pandemic and austerity.

Think tank calls for new health and social care tax


A new health and social care tax raising £17bn should be the centrepiece of sweeping tax increases to raise £40bn a year, according to a new report from think-tank the Resolution Foundation.

Luton forced into unavoidable cuts


Luton BC’s boss has said the council has done all it can but has no other choice than to cut 365 jobs and frontline services.

Youth service funding cut by 70% over decade


A whole generation of young people have been ‘robbed’ of youth centres due to cuts, a union has warned.

Campaigners call for more support for council-owned farms


Campaigners have called on the new Government to stop the sale of council-owned county farms and to ‘give them a new purpose’.

Decade of austerity sees dramatic drop in library spending


Ten years of cuts to public services has seen a nearly 30% drop in library spending, new research has revealed.

Party commitments on council funding ‘starkly’ different, think tank says


Money allocated to local government in the Conservative manifesto would not be enough to meet rising costs over the next parliament, think tank says.

Think tank calls for ‘devolution parliament’


Think tank calls for the delivery of a ‘devolution parliament’ in order to address the economic, environmental and democratic challenges facing the UK.

Shropshire Council warns of £6m overspend


Shropshire Council has announced a spending freeze until the end of the year after warning that it faced a multi-million pound overspend.

Half of local government workers worry about redundancy as a result of cuts


Around 50% of local government workers worry that they could be made redundant by technological innovation or Government cuts, a survey has revealed.

Caerphilly council agrees 7% council tax hike


A county council in Wales has agreed a package of savings proposals which include a council tax increase of nearly 7%.

Food bank use ‘shoots up’ by a quarter in one year


The number of people using food banks has shot up by nearly a quarter in the last year, according to one of the main providers.

Supporting evidence-based policymaking


Andrew Carter explains how new guidance will help councils decide what services should be prioritised in the wake of swinging cuts.

Treasury 'wasting money' in funding of local government


The Treasury is wasting money in its funding of local government and needs to have a more place-based focus, according to a report from the respected Institute for Government (IfG) think-tank.

Welsh ministers call for ‘end of austerity’


Local government leaders across Wales have joined with ministers to call for an end to austerity.

£5.2bn council funding gap is 'underestimate', says LGA


The Local Government Association (LGA) will argue the sector faces a £5.2bn funding gap in 2020/21 despite believing figure is an underestimate.

Local government cuts forcing children to grow up in poverty, Labour say


Millions of children are growing up in poverty because of Whitehall cuts to council funding, Labour says after research reveals extent of childhood poverty.

Next PM has ‘100 days’ to save local government


A think tank has called on the next Prime Minister to announce a one year emergency local government finance settlement during their first 100 days in office.

UC payment delays should be no more than a week, MPs say


Two independent MPs have called for Universal Credit payments to begin within a week of registering for the benefit.

Austerity creating ‘crisis of childhood’, charity warns


Funding cuts mean support has been diverted away from early help services into protecting children at immediate risk of harm, council leaders have warned.

Think tank calls for creation of ‘investment state’


A think tank has called for an end to austerity and the creation of an ‘investment state’ to help boost economic growth.

Crisis-hit Northants delivers balanced budget with £4.5m underspend


Northamptonshire County Council yesterday announced it had delivered a balanced budget for this financial year with an underspend of £4.5m.

Spending Review should put aside £3bn for children's services say MPs


The Government needs to release at least £3bn of non-ring-fenced funding to local authorities to save children’s services from the ‘crisis’ they are in, MPs have said.

Poll reveals ‘rising tide’ of pupil poverty


A shocking new survey of headteachers has revealed that schools have become an ‘unofficial fourth emergency service’ for poor and vulnerable children.

Austerity is gutting services ‘vital’ to women’s lives, report reveals


Austerity has hit women the hardest with funding for women’s refuges, social care and youth and children’s services slashed, a new report has found.

Spending Review ‘make or break’ for cash-strapped councils


Local government leaders have warned the Chancellor that the upcoming Spending Review will ‘make or break’ over-stretched council services.

Nearly £1bn cut from Scottish authorities in past eight years


Funding cuts are finally beginning to take their toll as Scottish councils can no longer protect services, according to report published today.

Anderson quits Northern Powerhouse Partnership in frustration


Former chancellor George Osborne has voiced sympathy with Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson’s decision to quit the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Council's 'core offer' still leaves £33m deficit


East Sussex CC’s chief executive Becky Shaw has laid out a ‘core offer’ that could risk the council’s ‘ability to meet statutory guidance and deadlines’.

EXCLUSIVE: Chiefs warning to May if austerity not lifted


More councils face scaling back services to a minimum statutory offer if May reneges on her promise of ‘better times ahead,’ chief executives have warned.

Whitehall must spend £19bn annually to end austerity


Theresa May’s promise to bring an ‘end to austerity’ is incompatible with the chancellor’s aim of balancing the books by the mid-2020s, financial experts say.

English councils undergoing harshest spending cuts


English councils have been hit twice as hard by spending cuts compared to their Scottish and Welsh counterparts, according to a study published today.

Unison calls for windfall tax on PFI corporations


Trade union Unison has backed a Labour MP’s call for a windfall tax on private companies delivering public services.

The end of the local government finance conundrum?


Mark Whitehead examines why Thurrock Council is focusing on 'financial autonomy' in the wake of austerity.

Council funding cuts restricting access to contraception


One in three local authorities have reduced or plan to reduce the number of sites delivering contraceptive services in the last two years, FoI request reveals.

Council staff told to take mandatory unpaid leave


Northamptonshire County Council has told its staff they must take a day’s mandatory unpaid leave as part of an effort to save £2m a month.

Council to axe 420 jobs to close budget gap


Swindon council may have to axe over 400 jobs as it comes under pressure to close a £30m budget gap.

Don’t ‘abandon’ austerity, free market think tank says


‘Abandoning austerity is no solution’, says free-market policy think tank amid calls to lift the public sector pay cap.

Council ‘divide’ across UK


Local authorities across the UK are increasingly divided into the ‘haves and the have nots’, according to a new report.

Whitehall should use Brexit vote to end ‘failed austerity’, union leader urges


The Government should use Brexit as an opportunity to ‘throw off the shackles of spending cuts’, UNISON general secretary says.

Give local authorities the wherewithal to drive recovery


Brakes have been applied to the austerity drive. Tiffany Cloynes, head of public services at Geldards LLP, considers what this means for local government.

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Addressing regional inequalities

Andrew Borland, Chief Innovation Officer at the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), University of Liverpool discusses the importance of levelling up for growth.
Banning urban pesticide use image

Banning urban pesticide use

RSPB and PAN are working on a letter from local councillors calling on the Government to introduce a national ban on urban pesticide use. Find out more below.
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