Coronavirus

Household recycling 'soared' during pandemic

19/10/2020

Some councils saw household recycling soar by 100% during the COVID-19 pandemic, council leaders have revealed.

Greater Manchester's mayor will not 'roll over' on COVID cash

19/10/2020

Greater Manchester’s standoff with government on moving to new tier three COVID-19 restrictions continues today, with mayor Andy Burham saying he will not ‘roll over’ at the sight of a cheque.

Counties warn of test and trace ‘missed opportunity’

16/10/2020

Calls for more support for local contact tracing have been redoubled after the national system’s success rate plummeted.

COVID 'magnifying' health and care inequalities

16/10/2020

The coronavirus pandemic has ‘exacerbated’ existing problems in social care and magnified health inequalities, a report has warned today.

Public sector exit cap signed into law

15/10/2020

The £95,000 cap on public sector exit payments was signed into law last night and will come into force on November 4.

Report calls for fundamental reform to local government funding

15/10/2020

The handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the ‘dysfunctional relationship’ between central and local government, a report has argued today.

Manchester leaders unite to oppose Tier 3 restrictions

15/10/2020

Local leaders across Greater Manchester have rejected plans to put the region into Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions.

Starmer calls for ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown

14/10/2020

Labour leader Keir Starmer has urged the Government to follow the advice of their scientific advisers and bring in a short lockdown of two or three weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19.

City council poised to lose 617 posts due to COVID-19

14/10/2020

The executive board of Leeds City Council meets next week to consider cutting the workforce by 617 posts amidst a 'stark budget shortfall' due to the costs of COVID-19.

Luton Council unable to take action against councillors breaching lockdown rules

13/10/2020

Luton council has expressed its ‘disappointment’ after it was unable to formally sanction three councillors who broke coronavirus lockdown rules in July.

Councils secure £10m to help homeless people this winter

13/10/2020

Councils will receive a new £10m Cold Weather Fund to help rough sleepers stay safe this winter.

PM pledges extra £1bn for local government amid three-tier system

12/10/2020

Boris Johnson has announced a further £1bn in funding for local government as the country heads into the second wave of COVID-19.

Heritage organisations get £103m recovery fund

09/10/2020

The first round of funding from the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund has been awarded to 445 heritage organisations.

Warning that homeless people will die this winter without action

08/10/2020

The Government has been urged to provide self contained accommodation for homeless people this winter to protect them from coronavirus by charities and health bodies.

Councils given £30m for coronavirus enforcement

07/10/2020

Councils will be given half of a £60m cash pot to help them enforce coronavirus restrictions.

Northern leaders propose five point plan to manage local lockdowns

07/10/2020

Four northern leaders have called for more local input to bring down COVID-19 infection rates.

Communicating with citizens in a crisis and beyond

07/10/2020

Karen Steel looks at what councils need to consider when communicating with citizens in the midst of a crisis, and beyond.

Council leaders see ‘community wealth building’ as post-COVID priority

07/10/2020

Councils should focus on policies that strengthen the health, wealth and wellbeing of communities as they attempt to recover from the pandemic, report says.

Councils need 'right culture, skills and systems' for commercial strategies

06/10/2020

Councils must have the right culture, skills and systems to unlock the benefits and mitigate the risks of commercialisation, a report has concluded today.

Government ‘effectively abandoned’ care home residents to COVID-19, Amnesty says

05/10/2020

Care home residents in England were ‘effectively abandoned’ by the Government in the early stages of the pandemic, human rights organisation says.

Greater Manchester mayor calls for consultation on ‘three tier’ COVID-19 restrictions

05/10/2020

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has called on the Government to open negotiations with mayors and local leaders on the leaked ‘three tiers’ policy paper concerning COVID-19 restrictions.

Aberdeen named council of the year at MJ Awards

02/10/2020

Aberdeen City Council has been named Local Authority of the Year in The MJ’s first virtual local government awards.

Council leaders call for local track and trace systems

02/10/2020

Five council leaders have called on the Government to ditch the private track and trace system.

Mayor 'rejects' government lockdown restrictions

02/10/2020

Middlesbrough Mayor, Andy Preston, has said he doesn't accept the new lockdown measures being imposed by the Government as they are based on ignorance and factual inaccuracies.

Ten million people may need mental health support due to pandemic, study warns

01/10/2020

Local authority leaders have called for a ‘new national focus’ on mental health as a study estimates that up to 10 million people in England may need support for depression and anxiety as a result of COVID-19.

Tackling inequality key for post-COVID recovery, say experts

30/09/2020

Safeguarding people's living standards, re-evaluating the role of key workers in society, and reducing inequality are ‘crucial’ for the UK’s economic recovery, researchers say.

Research highlights shortfall in community support hubs

30/09/2020

Over 150 local authorities are not operating community support hubs that provide vital services for vulnerable people, research has revealed.

PM pledges to transform skills and training system

29/09/2020

The Prime Minister has outlined plans to transform the training and skills system to help the country recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Indoor inter-household mixing banned in North East

29/09/2020

People living in several areas in the North East will be fined if they mix indoors with individuals from different households, the Government has announced.

Calls for a recovery package to tackle childhood vulnerability

29/09/2020

A comprehensive recovery package is needed to help children deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the Children’s Commissioner for England has said today.

Councils and COVID-19: Preparing for the winter

25/09/2020

Ian Caminsky explores what impact the pandemic has had on employee absence in local government.

Hundreds of homeless lives saved by emergency accommodation, researchers find

25/09/2020

More funding and emergency legal changes are ‘critical’ so local authorities can continue to support people in safe and secure accommodation, the chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis has said.

NHS COVID-19 app launched

24/09/2020

People across England and Wales are being urged to download the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus.

Councils face £3bn COVID-19 funding gap

22/09/2020

Financial pressures within local government will outstrip additional funding by around £3.1bn this year, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found.

Leaders call for a ring-fenced Sports Recovery Fund

22/09/2020

The Government has been urged to ringfence funding for sports and physical activities to avoid creating health problems for a generation.

Cold and damp homes putting millions more at risk of COVID-19, report warns

22/09/2020

Millions of people living in cold and damp homes could be more at risk of contracting coronavirus this winter, a new report has warned.

How councils can use landscaping to maintain social distancing and safety

22/09/2020

Saul Huxley explores how councils can use different landscaping methods to incorporate social distancing into public spaces.

Informal childcare exempt from local lockdown rules

22/09/2020

Councils have welcomed the announcement that informal childcare and other caring arrangements will be exempt from local lockdown restrictions.

Council chiefs call for ‘urgent clarity’ about self-isolation scheme funding

21/09/2020

Local authority leaders have called on the Government to clarify how already over-stretched councils will be reimbursed for the new self-isolation support scheme.

Care workers to receive free PPE over winter

18/09/2020

Care workers and the people receiving adult social care are going to be provided with free PPE, the health and social care secretary has confirmed.

Where do Clean Air Zones fit in the green recovery?

18/09/2020

Laura Thornton and Stuart Thomson, the legal director and head of public affairs respectively at BDB Pitmans, look at Clean Air Zones and the green recovery.

Hull City abandons ‘return of fans’ match due to Covid-19 warnings

18/09/2020

Hull City have pulled out of a pilot that could have seen the return of live audiences at sporting events after the council declared it would not be safe.

Croydon would have issued s114 'in normal circumstances'

17/09/2020

Croydon LBC’s £49m total net forecast general fund overspend means it would have had to have issued a Section 114 notice in ‘normal circumstances,’ senior councillors have heard.

Advancing beyond ‘business as usual’

17/09/2020

Raj Krishnamurthy, CEO of Freespace, looks at the role workplace technology can play in helping councils deliver services during the Covid-19 crisis.

Welsh sport and leisure sector welcomes £14m recovery funding

17/09/2020

The Welsh government has announced a £14m funding package to support Wales’ sport and leisure sector during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Care providers to receive nearly £550m to reduce Covid transmissions

17/09/2020

Care providers in England will benefit from over half a billion pounds of extra funding to reduce Covid-19 transmissions, the Government has confirmed.

Leeds City Council faces over £100m funding gap

17/09/2020

Leeds City Council has appealed to the Government for more financial support as it projects a funding gap next year of over £100m.

Wakefield council rules out paying Welcome to Yorkshire £78,000

16/09/2020

Wakefield council has decided against giving Welcome to Yorkshire additional funding choosing instead to pump it directly into the district’s tourism sector.

A perfect storm for care homes

16/09/2020

Iain MacBeath, strategic director, health and wellbeing at Bradford City Council, looks at the challenges facing the adult social care sector.

The key pandemic priorities for employers revealed

15/09/2020

Martin Shields, head of safety, health & environment at ODS, looks at the key pandemic priorities for employers.

Supporting over 50s ‘crucial’ to building post-pandemic resilience, charity says

15/09/2020

Stronger action to support those in their 50s and 60s will be ‘crucial’ to building the UK’s resilience after the coronavirus pandemic, charity says.

Thousands of families face ‘bleakest’ winter, charity warns

14/09/2020

A new report from a children’s charity has warned of a ‘bleak’ winter with thousands of families set to be plunged into financial crisis.

Care home providers warned of Covid-19 rise

14/09/2020

Department of Health & Social Care has written to care home providers in England warning them of the risk of a rise in coronavirus cases in the care sector.

Download forthcoming NHS Covid app, council chiefs say

14/09/2020

Local authority leaders have urged everyone to download the forthcoming NHS Covid-19 app once it is available as fears of a second wave of coronavirus rise.

Minister announces business ‘safety net’ for local lockdowns

10/09/2020

Businesses in England that are forced to shut because of local interventions will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property every three weeks, ministers say.

Sector surprise at COVID marshal scheme

09/09/2020

Local government has been blindsided by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that an army of COVID marshals will enforce tough new rules.

Bolton faces tougher lockdown measures

09/09/2020

The Government has imposed stricter new measures across Bolton, which has the highest rate of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Double-down on digital

07/09/2020

Neil Murray calls on councils to double-down on digital to drive a recovery which levels up all parts of the UK.

Leader of Northumberland Council is deposed

03/09/2020

The leader of a scandal-hit council compared to North Korea has been deposed after a vote of no confidence at a fiery meeting.

Hancock unveils £500m to pilot 20-minute COVID-19 testing

03/09/2020

The Government has announced £500m funding to roll out quick result COVID-19 test trials.

Councils welcome decision not to ease restrictions in Trafford and Bolton

03/09/2020

Lockdown restrictions will remain in place in Bolton and Trafford following a request from council leaders.

DCN: Bigger local government is ‘not better or cheaper’

01/09/2020

Proposals for county unitary councils would be 122 times larger than the average council in Germany, a new report by the District Councils’ Network (DCN) warns today.

Calls for emergency funding to help tenants clear 'Covid-arrears'

28/08/2020

The Government has been urged to create a £270m investment package to help tenants clear rent arrears as a result of the pandemic.

New scheme to support self-isolating workers does not go ‘far enough’, Burnham says

27/08/2020

Mayor Andy Burnham has criticised the Government’s announcement of a new payment for people who are self-isolating, arguing it ‘goes nowhere near far enough’.

Psychiatrists call for suspension of fines for children who can’t attend school

26/08/2020

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has called for the suspension of fines for children who can't attend school due to Covid-related anxiety.

Birmingham Council given new powers to close businesses

26/08/2020

Birmingham City Council has been given new enforcement powers to help keep the rate of COVID-19 infections reducing.

UK council finances 'hardest hit in Europe, claims Moody's

26/08/2020

UK local authorities are set to be hardest hit financially by the coronavirus among the five largest European economies says a report from Moody’s Investors Services.

Low-income families ‘struggling’ under lockdown

25/08/2020

Coronavirus has left low-income families struggling with a significant deterioration in living standards and high stress levels, child poverty charity finds.

Music venues first recipients of £1.57bn recovery fund

24/08/2020

Grassroots music venues across England are the first recipients of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, the culture secretary has announced.

Fifth of care homes took on Covid patients, survey reveals

24/08/2020

One in five care homes had to accept patients discharged from hospital who had tested positive for COVID-19 during the early part of the pandemic, a survey has found.

Government announces £9m ‘catch up’ funding for early years pupils

24/08/2020

Schools urged to sign up to ‘catch up’ programme aimed at raising speaking and language outcomes among pupils whose education has been disrupted by Covid-19.

Council chiefs warn of ‘surge’ of post-lockdown dental treatments

24/08/2020

Local authority leaders have warned of a potential post-coronavirus surge of dental treatments following the lifting of lockdown.

Hancock under pressure on anti-obesity plans following PHE closure

24/08/2020

Health secretary Matt Hancock is under growing pressure today to say who will take responsibility for the national fight against obesity following his decision to close down Public Health England (PHE).

Community Wealth Building: Kick-starting economic recovery on the doorstep

24/08/2020

Sarah Stone explores how CWB can be used to build back better post-Covid and how councils can maximise social value in the procurement process.

Oldham Council asks staff to consider ‘voluntary redundancy’

21/08/2020

Oldham Council have announced that they are asking staff to consider voluntary redundancy in order to help the authority close a £30m funding gap.

West Midlands councils warn they are at a ‘crossroads’ in fight against Covid-19

21/08/2020

Seven West Midlands councils have called for support to ensure that Covid-19 testing is widely available as the Birmingham CC warns they are ‘at a crossroads’.

Women and single parents ‘most negatively impacted’ by COVID-19

20/08/2020

Women and single parents are likely to be most negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the pressures it is putting on social housing, according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Four in five council staff working from home

19/08/2020

The number of council staff working from home has rocketed from 5% pre-lockdown to 80%, according to new research.

Councils facing £2bn budget black hole

18/08/2020

Councils face a budget black hole of £2bn this year due to unfunded coronavirus costs, a new study has found.

Link between polluted air and COVID-19 deaths revealed

18/08/2020

People were more likely to die from COVID-19 in highly polluted areas in England at the start of the pandemic, new research has found.

Lockdown restrictions extended in northern England

17/08/2020

Restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 have been extended in parts of the North West, West Yorkshire, East Lancashire and Leicester after the number of infections failed to drop.

Hancock scraps Public Health England

17/08/2020

Ministers have been accused of making Public Health England (PHE) a scapegoat by scrapping the body for alleged failures in the testing and tracing of coronavirus.

£260m funding boost for Welsh councils

14/08/2020

Welsh ministers have announced a £260m funding boost for councils, bringing the total amount of government COVID-19 support to almost half a billion pounds.

Roads to recovery

14/08/2020

Alex Glassbrook explores if councils were legally allowed to make amendments to traffic regulation orders in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Councils to pilot new NHS Test and Trace app

14/08/2020

The Isle of Wight Council and Newham Council are trialling the revamped NHS Test and Trace app.

COVID-19 vaccine set to be manufactured in Teesside

14/08/2020

The Government has confirmed millions of doses of a coronavirus vaccine could be produced in Teesside in the coming months if a trial is successful.

Council chief calls for prompt investigation into councillors’ lockdown breach

14/08/2020

The chief executive of Luton Council has called for a quick investigation and decision after three councillors broke lockdown restrictions to attend a garden party.

COVID-19 test reveals 6% of population infected by mid-July

13/08/2020

The first report from the world’s largest home antibody testing programme tracking COVID-19 in England has found 6% of the population is infected with coronavirus.

Demand could overwhelm mental health services, report warns

12/08/2020

People with mental health issues are at risk of not getting the support they need due to increasing demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a report has warned today.

Yorkshire councils make case for more localised COVID-19 interventions

11/08/2020

Seven councils in Yorkshire that have appeared on the national COVID-19 watchlist in recent weeks have pledged to work together in a bid to secure extra funding.

Welsh government announces £50m package to tackle homelessness

11/08/2020

The Welsh government has announced the onset of phase two of a package aimed at providing people with safe and secure homes.

Council test and trace teams to be rolled out

10/08/2020

Local coronavirus test and trace teams are to be rolled out to all upper-tier English councils.

Government extends emergency bus and tram funding

10/08/2020

Ministers are giving bus and tram services in England outside London up to £256m to help them ramp up services ahead of expected increases in public transport use next month.

Councils call for tougher licensing powers to tackle COVID-19 safety breaches

10/08/2020

Councils have called for a temporary change in licensing laws to allow them to close down premises that are not protecting the public during the pandemic.

Public back investment for ‘15-minute’ communities

07/08/2020

There is a growing trend to create '15-minute communities' through investment in public health, green infrastructure and town centres, a new survey has revealed.

Cornwall first to pass on COVID-19 funding to local councils

07/08/2020

Cornwall Council is set to be the first to pass on government funding to parish and town councils affected by the coronavirus crisis.

Aberdeen goes into local lockdown following COVID-19 cluster

06/08/2020

Localised restrictions have been put into place in Aberdeen City following an outbreak of coronavirus cases.

Luton mayor resigns after breaking lockdown rules

06/08/2020

The mayor of Luton has resigned after being pictured at a social gathering during lockdown.

Council chiefs call on Government to help local creative industries

05/08/2020

New guidance has been published to help over-stretched councils support their local creative industries recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Closing schools should be the 'last option' says Children's Commissioner

05/08/2020

Schools should be the last place to close and first to re-open in future lockdowns, the Children's Commissioner for England has warned today.

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