Coronavirus

Pushing for real reform

21/01/2021

The pandemic was a game changer for the central/local government relationship, says Joanne Roney, who has started her two-year stint as president of Solace.

A ‘bottom up’ response to Brexit

21/01/2021

Paul Frainer argues Brexit and COVID-19 means we are at a crossroads economically, socially and environmentally.

May elections to go ahead as council chiefs call for indemnity

21/01/2021

Local elections will go ahead on 6 May despite the ongoing pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ruled.

UK cities and towns hardest hit by COVID-19 likely to recover fastest, report finds

20/01/2021

The cities worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic are likely to make the fastest economic recovery, new analysis has revealed today.

Lessons learned from the pandemic

19/01/2021

Find out how a recent webinar explored for governments are supporting the health and wellbeing of their communities during the pandemic.

Babies’ needs overlooked in COVID response

19/01/2021

A generation of babies risks being damaged by the fall-out from the pandemic without a concerted effort from local support systems to improve outcomes, says a new report.

COVID-19 living standards hit ‘ahead, rather than behind us’, think tank warns

18/01/2021

The coming year is set to mark the peak of the pandemic-induced living standards downturn for households, especially those on lower incomes, think tank warns.

Ten new COVID-19 mass vaccination centres opened

18/01/2021

Ten new mass vaccination centres are due to open in England this week with a million over-80s invited to receive the vaccine.

Council chiefs welcome £120m boost to social care workforce

18/01/2021

Local authority leaders have welcomed a multi-million-pound funding boost from the Government which is aimed at supporting the social care workforce.

COVID-19 reveals scale of rough sleeping ‘far exceeds’ previous estimates

14/01/2021

The scale of the rough sleeping population in England ‘far exceeds’ the Government’s previous estimates and has been made clear during the pandemic.

Sampling COVID’s impact on Surrey

14/01/2021

Michael Coughlin describes how Surrey CC is developing a ‘rich and granular’ understanding of how its residents, communities and the local economy are being impacted by the pandemic.

Cheshire leaders put concerns to Government on jabs, lockdown and schools

13/01/2021

Council leaders in Cheshire and their partners have written to the Government laying out their concerns about the vaccination rollout, the current lockdown arrangements and schools.

Lockdown piles extra financial pressures on low income families

12/01/2021

The extra cost of food, energy, and entertaining and home-schooling children has meant that low-income families with children are twice as likely to have increased their spending during the pandemic, according to a new study.

Council chiefs welcome ‘largest vaccination programme in British history’

12/01/2021

Local authority leaders have welcomed the Government’s announcement of the COVID-19 vaccination plan, but argue councils need more information to ensure everyone receives their jab promptly.

Council warns against lockdown protest

11/01/2021

The City of Edinburgh Council is urging people to stay away from a lockdown protest planned for today.

Care services hit by staff shortages due to COVID-19

11/01/2021

Care providers across the country are finding individual services hit hard by staff absences caused by COVID-19, an association for social care providers has warned.

Mass testing for asymptomatic COVID-19 rolled out to all local authorities

11/01/2021

All local authorities will be able to offer asymptomatic community testing to critical workers from this week.

Councils asked to 'redouble efforts' on rough sleeping

08/01/2021

English councils have been asked to ‘redouble their efforts’ to help accommodate people sleeping rough, with the Government finding an additional £10m funding.

Ban on evictions extended in Scotland

08/01/2021

The temporary ban on evictions orders has been extended until the end of March in Scotland.

Government urged to bring back Everyone In programme

07/01/2021

The Government has been urged to ensure all rough sleepers are housed during the third national lockdown.

County may be forced to limit school places during lockdown

07/01/2021

Norfolk County Council has warned it may be forced to prioritise who is given a school place during the new lockdown because of high demand.

Call for ‘urgent clarity’ on elections

06/01/2021

Speculation over whether local elections will take place in May as scheduled has been labelled ‘unhelpful’ by councils.

Welsh council takes over care home amid COVID-19 outbreak

06/01/2021

A county council in Wales has taken over the management of a private care home that has been severely affected by COVID-19.

Union calls for libraries to be ‘completely closed’ during lockdown

06/01/2021

A public sector union has called for libraries to be completely closed to protect library workers during the lockdown.

Council ensures homeless people are offered COVID-19 vaccine

06/01/2021

Homeless people in Oldham are being given priority for COVID-19 vaccinations in a bid to stem the spread of the disease.

Council chiefs welcome £4.6bn in lockdown grants to support businesses

05/01/2021

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000 to support them during the lockdown, the chancellor has announced.

Major incidents over COVID declared

04/01/2021

Essex, Oxfordshire and Berkshire have declared major incidents amid fears the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases could overwhelm health services.

Councils resist pressure to reopen schools

04/01/2021

Scores of councils have raised concerns over the return of primary school pupils to classrooms amid soaring COVID-19 infection rates.

Council backs calls for new national lockdown

04/01/2021

Liverpool City Council has called on the Government to introduce a new national lockdown to stop the rapid spread of the new strain of coronavirus.

New COVID-19 vaccine rolled out

04/01/2021

The first people in the world are set to receive the Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine today as the NHS expands COVID-19 vaccination programmes across the UK.

Lack of data is hampering local responses to new virus variant, says Lord Porter

24/12/2020

District councils are unable to deliver a local response to the new variant of COVID-19 due to a lack of ‘accurate, good quality data’, according to Lord Porter of Spalding.

Hancock announces £149m grant to fund COVID-19 testing in care homes

24/12/2020

Care homes across the country are to be given access to a £149m grant to support the roll out of rapid coronavirus testing.

Kent facing days of disruption

23/12/2020

Kent CC is preparing for a Christmas of dealing with the fallout from the closure of the French border.

York council issues warning after police hand out ‘shocking’ number of COVID fines

23/12/2020

City of York police have issued what they describe as a ‘shocking’ number of fines to tier 3 residents who visited the city last weekend.

Liverpool testing sites reach ‘hard to reach’ young people

23/12/2020

Two new testing sites in Liverpool have helped reach young people who have been reluctant to come forward for testing, the city council says.

Councils anticipate ‘permanent closure’ of childcare providers

22/12/2020

Over half of local authorities in England anticipate the permanent closure of childcare providers after COVID funding ends, a childcare charity has found.

Council chiefs call for funds to support businesses in Tier 4 areas

22/12/2020

Local authority leaders have urged the Government to meet all of the extra costs councils incur during the pandemic.

Two-thirds of COVID-19 school costs not met by Government

22/12/2020

Council chiefs have called on the Government to ensure schools are able to pay the costs of the pandemic as report says current funding levels fall short.

COVID-19 presents opportunity to enhance local government communications

21/12/2020

The pandemic has changed how local government communicates, let’s make sure it’s for the better, says Rick Goud, CIO and co-founder at Zivver.

Babies ‘largely invisible’ in pandemic response

21/12/2020

Babies and young children have been forgotten in the Government’s response to the pandemic, health visitors warn.

Jenrick confirms £1.55bn boost for local government

17/12/2020

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick today used the provisional finance settlement for 2021/22 to confirm the allocations for £1.55bn funding.

'Bitter disappointment' greets tiers review

17/12/2020

Millions more people are facing tougher restrictions from this weekend in an effort to curb a rise in COVID-19 cases in the east and south-east of England.

Testing rolled out to areas at ‘significant risk’ of moving into Tier 3

17/12/2020

Local authorities in the worst-affected Tier 2 areas will now be offered community testing in addition to Tier 3 areas, the Government has announced.

Calls to break down weekly vaccine figures by local authority

17/12/2020

The Local Government Association (LGA) has called for the weekly coronavirus vaccination figures to be broken down by region and local authority in the future.

Top 100: Our most popular local government stories of 2020

16/12/2020

Although the dispute over council pay caused the most stir in the local government sector this year, the impact of dealing with the pandemic obviously dominated the headlines as well.

Council chiefs concerned about impact of COVID-19 testing on ‘exhausted’ school staff

16/12/2020

Local authority leaders have raised concerns about the impact of the Government’s plan to roll out coronavirus testing in schools on already overstretched school staff.

One in nine care workers not tested weekly

16/12/2020

A government pledge to test all care home staff every seven days is not being met, according to a survey published today.

London council ordered to keep schools open

15/12/2020

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has agreed to keep schools open after it was threatened by legal action from the Government.

Government urged to 'Build Back Fairer’ in new Marmot review

15/12/2020

A new generation of children and young people face shorter lives and worsening health, a new report has warned.

London enters tier three restrictions

14/12/2020

The Government’s timetable for COVID-19 tier reviews has been pre-empted with the imposition of extra restrictions on London, Essex and Hertfordshire.

Hancock names Tier 3 local authorities to roll-out community testing

14/12/2020

Nearly 70 local authorities in Tier 3 will start community testing programmes from today to help drive down transmission rates.

Boost to local test and trace funding

11/12/2020

The increase of up to £200m per month follows criticism from the National Audit Office.

Council drops COVID tier three legal challenge

09/12/2020

Stratford-on-Avon DC said new information had come to light following a response from the Government.

Minister announces £4.4m boost to support vulnerable families

08/12/2020

The Government has announced that more than £4m will be made available to extend COVID-19 response programmes supporting vulnerable families.

Tracing COVID-19 less successful in deprived areas, analysis reveals

07/12/2020

Tracing positive COVID-19 cases and their contacts is less successful in more deprived local authority areas when compared to the least deprived areas, according to a new analysis.

Care home workers take vaccine priority over NHS

04/12/2020

Care home workers have been given top priority in the COVID-19 vaccination programme following a revision of Government guidance.

Stratford-on-Avon Council takes legal action over Tier 3

02/12/2020

Stratford-on-Avon District Council has sent the Government a Judicial Review pre-action protocol letter over its decision to place the area in Tier 3.

Minister announces £16m grant to distribute food to ‘vulnerable’

02/12/2020

The Government has announced a new multi-million-pound grant that will allow thousands of local charities across England to distribute food to people struggling as a result of the pandemic.

Tier 3 areas offered community testing support

01/12/2020

The Government has invited areas in tier 3 to apply for support for community testing as part of the effort to detect asymptomatic cases of COVID-19.

Survey shows public trusts councils more than Government on COVID

30/11/2020

The findings of a new opinion poll show the public trusts councils more than Government on the response to COVID, says APSE.

Tier 3 communities in North and Midlands ‘stretched to breaking point’

30/11/2020

Tier 3 communities in the North and Midlands will be ‘stretched to breaking point’ once the grant aimed at supporting local business is cut at the end of the national lockdown, according to Labour.

COVID-19 school workforce fund launched

30/11/2020

The Government has announced a short-term COVID-19 workforce fund to help keep schools and colleges open during the pandemic.

More than 200 councils launch local contract tracing schemes

27/11/2020

Council leaders have welcomed the news that 200 local contact tracing partnerships have now been set up across England.

Hancock unveils England’s tier restrictions

26/11/2020

Only three areas in England - Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, and the Isle of Scilly - will be placed into the lowest level of local restrictions from next next.

Launch of £16.5m youth COVID-19 support fund

26/11/2020

The Government has unveiled a £16.5m youth COVID-19 support fund to help protect the future of grassroots and national organisations.

PPE supply for care workers was 'inadequate'

24/11/2020

The social care sector was ‘left to fend for itself’ during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an investigation into supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Home education increases by nearly 40% due to pandemic

24/11/2020

This year has seen a dramatic increase in the number of children being electively home educated (EHE) due to the impact of COVID-19.

Tougher tier system unveiled under COVID Winter Plan

24/11/2020

Every area of England will be placed into a tougher tier-system under the Government’s COVID Winter Plan, the prime minister has announced.

Councils have 'serious concerns' over protecting rough sleepers this winter

24/11/2020

Some councils will face the 'difficult choice' of leaving people to sleep rough or placing them in unsafe accommodation this winter, a new report has warned.

First mass testing programme rolled out in Wales

23/11/2020

Wales’s first COVID-19 mass testing programme is being rolled out in Merthyr Tydfil Borough.

Leisure centre collapse warning

20/11/2020

Under-pressure leisure centres will go under without further rescue funding on top of the £100m already pledged by the Government, district councils have warned.

Council chiefs call for ‘greater local oversight’ of test and trace

20/11/2020

Local authority leaders have called for ‘greater local oversight and involvement’ when it comes to COVID-19 testing and tracing.

Local government 'must have parity' with NHS on pay

20/11/2020

The chairman of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board says the hard work of the sector during the pandemic must be recognised as the chancellor moves to put a squeeze on public sector salaries.

Councils worried about long-term impact of pandemic on homelessness

20/11/2020

Councils have recognised the positive effects of Government policy on homelessness during the pandemic, but are concerned these are only ‘temporary’ measures.

Derby council ‘delighted’ arena to be COVID-19 vaccination centre

20/11/2020

The leader of Derby City Council has welcomed the decision to consider making Derby Arena a temporary COVID-19 vaccination centre.

Council submits request for mass testing to be introduced in York

20/11/2020

City of York Council will be submitting an expression of interest for mass testing to be introduced in York.

Leeds council proposes nearly 200 job cuts

20/11/2020

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.

Local services need funding to support elderly impacted by COVID-19, council chiefs say

19/11/2020

Council chiefs call on Government to use Spending Review to ensure council-run services are able to look after elderly residents impacted by COVID-19.

Care home study to test immune response to COVID-19 ‘tripled in size’

19/11/2020

The Government has announced that it is expanding the Vivaldi study to test thousands more care home staff and residents for immune response to coronavirus.

‘Forgotten city’ in plea for government aid

17/11/2020

The leader of Hull City Council has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to plead for additional support amid rising COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 testing pilot for care homes launched

16/11/2020

The Government has announced a new pilot that will see friends and family members of some care home residents in Hampshire, Cornwall and Devon offered regular COVID-19 tests.

Councils bid for vaccine role

16/11/2020

Councils have made a bid to play a key role in distributing the new coronavirus vaccine.

Peers call for public service reform to improve resilience

13/11/2020

Peers have warned that ‘fundamental weaknesses’ in public services must be addressed in order to withstand future crises.

People with learning disabilities six times more likely to die from COVID-19

13/11/2020

People with a learning disability were up to six times more likely to die from COVID-19 in the first wave of the pandemic than the general population, a report has found.

County councils warn of insolvency risk without frontline cuts

12/11/2020

Only a fifth of England's largest councils are confident they can deliver a balanced budget next year without dramatic reduction to services, a new survey has revealed.

Think tank calls for new health and social care tax

11/11/2020

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.

Local government and the challenges faced when obtaining insurance

11/11/2020

Agnieszka Gajli highlights the growing need for public sector insurance, and offers expert advice for managing procurement during challenging market conditions.

Pandemic costs the North nearly £7bn

11/11/2020

The North of England’s economy has been hit harder than the rest of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic with inequalities between the North and the rest of the UK exacerbated, a new study finds.

More than 50 councils to receive rapid COVID-19 tests

10/11/2020

More than half a million rapid COVID-19 tests will be sent to public health authorities this week as part of Government plans to roll-out mass testing for the virus.

Ofsted warns of COVID impact on SEND support

09/11/2020

The pandemic has ‘seriously affected’ support for special educational needs an disabilities (SEND), according to Ofsted.

Adapting public buildings in the wake of the pandemic

09/11/2020

Janet Lowe explains how local authorities can adapt public buildings to keep these spaces clean, safe and operational for end users now and in the future

Councils welcome £170m COVID winter grant scheme

09/11/2020

A new £170m COVID winter grant scheme will be distributed to councils to stop children going hungry during the second wave of the pandemic.

Councils asked to review rough sleeping plans

05/11/2020

Councils have been asked to review their plans and ensure every rough sleeper is offered somewhere safe to go to help protect them from COVID-19.

How the virus pressed the fast forward button

05/11/2020

The pandemic accelerated changes that were already happening. The challenge is how to manage the future, as chief executives from across England’s South West discussed in a round table organised by The MJ and BT. Chair Michael Burton reports.

Sector calls for ‘meaningful’ guidance on care home visits

05/11/2020

The care sector has called on the Government to provide detailed guidance on how care homes can offer COVID-secure visits during lockdown.

Councils call for clear lockdown exit strategy

04/11/2020

The Government has been urged to work with councils to develop a clear lockdown exit strategy by the Local Government Association (LGA).

Supporting children after the second national lockdown

04/11/2020

Dr Jo Casebourne explains why more most be done to intervene at an earlier point to help the growing number of vulnerable children and families who don’t have a social worker.

Crisis call for return of Everyone In

04/11/2020

The chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis has called for ring-fenced funding for councils to provide COVID-safe accommodation for anyone at risk of rough sleeping.

Liverpool to pilot mass coronavirus testing

03/11/2020

The first pilot of whole city testing for COVID-19 is to be carried out in Liverpool.

Government needs a plan to tackle public service backlog, says IfG

02/11/2020

The Government needs a plan to address backlogs in public services caused by the coronavirus crisis, a new report has claimed.

Pushing for real reform image

Pushing for real reform

The pandemic was a game changer for the central/local government relationship, says Joanne Roney, who has started her two-year stint as president of Solace.
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