Coronavirus

Scale of council deficits due to pandemic is revealed

14/04/2021

Councils are facing a budget deficit of nearly £1.2bn by the end of the financial year due to the impact of COVID-19, research has revealed.

Expansion of scheme assessing firm's COVID-19 safety measures

13/04/2021

An accreditation scheme assessing COVID-19 safety measures in London’s pubs, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers and shops has been extended following a successful pilot.

Largest surge testing operation deployed in South London

13/04/2021

The largest surge testing operation to date will take place across parts of South London where the variant first identified in South Africa has been found.

Government urged to consult on a national 'right to food' in England

07/04/2021

MPs have urged the Government to consult on a national 'right to food' and appoint a new minster for food security to prevent food poverty in England.

Council apologises over faulty COVID support vouchers

07/04/2021

Lancashire County Council has launched an investigation after vulnerable families were given faulty vouchers meant to buy food and pay bills.

COVID passports have ‘significant implications’ for councils

06/04/2021

Local authority leaders have called on the Government to work closely with councils on the COVID-19 status certification proposals because of the impact they will have on local enforcement and other areas.

Councils taking ‘too long’ to pay support grants to businesses

01/04/2021

The Government has written to the leaders of 314 councils in England urging them to pay out grants money to local businesses more quickly.

Only half of people in the UK with COVID symptoms self-isolate, study finds

01/04/2021

Local authority leaders have described as ‘concerning’ a study revealing that levels of adherence to test, trace, and isolate COVID-19 rules are low.

Surge testing in Bolton announced

31/03/2021

Additional testing is being deployed in Bolton where one case of the COVID-19 variant first identified in South Africa has been identified.

Notts leader warns residents to stick to social distancing rules

31/03/2021

The leader of Nottingham City Council yesterday called on residents to stick to social distancing rules as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Government announces £2.4m to support charities during pandemic

31/03/2021

The Government has announced £2.4m of funding for thirteen charities that help autistic people, disabled people and those with a learning disability.

Cost of youth unemployment forecast to be £7bn

30/03/2021

A new study has warned that the economic cost of youth unemployment is forecast to rise to £6.9bn in 2022.

Data transparency in local government: Where next after the pandemic?

29/03/2021

With the vaccine rollout and light at the end of the COVID tunnel, can local authorities revert their data strategies to pre-pandemic days?

COVID care home infections fall 62% after single vaccine dose

29/03/2021

A single dose of either the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines gives residents of care homes protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection after four weeks.

Government 'rules out' COVID-19 business rates appeals

26/03/2021

Local authorities will be allocated a £1.5bn funding pot to help businesses adversely affected by COVID-19.

Welsh government starts to re-open tourism sector

26/03/2021

Wales’ tourism sector will be able to start re-opening from tomorrow as the stay-local rule is lifted, first minister Mark Drakeford has announced.

Councils call for long-term plan to tackle education inequalities

25/03/2021

Education inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic are unlikely to be solved by a quick “catch-up” initiative, council leaders have warned today.

Report calls for a 'connected recovery' from pandemic

24/03/2021

Safer and more welcoming public spaces would help people reconnect post-COVID-19, MPs and peers have argued.

COVID-19: 1.5 million potential years of life have been lost

23/03/2021

Up to 1.5 million potential years of life have been lost due to COVID-19, new research published today has revealed.

COVID-19: Is local government the 'forgotten partner' of the pandemic?

23/03/2021

As part of our survey into the impact this past year has had on council staff, we asked readers for their comments. Many were angry that the role local government has played in the pandemic has not always been appreciated by Government or the general public.

COVID-19: How has the past year affected council staff?

23/03/2021

Council staff have been left feeling ‘undervalued and overwhelmed’ this past year as a result of COVID-19, according to an exclusive survey by LocalGov.

'Welcome back' fund launched for high streets and coastal areas

22/03/2021

Councils will receive £56m to help high streets and seaside resorts open safely this summer.

Local authorities allocated £100m leisure recovery fund

22/03/2021

The Government has allocated £100m funding to 266 local authorities across England to help leisure centres prepare to re-open safely.

Rebuilding the patient care backlog with digital

22/03/2021

Dr Simon Bourne argues that councils can empower residents to benefit from care remotely and create a better outlook for communities by putting digital infrastructure in place.

Hancock unveils £7bn funding boost for NHS and social care

19/03/2021

The Government has announced an extra £341m for infection control measures and rapid testing in adult social care services.

One year on, councils will be central to recovery

18/03/2021

After an extraordinary year, council staff are exhausted, worn down and facing further cuts, says Heather Jameson. But she has no doubt they will continue to rise to the challenge 'whether it is in an office, at home or on a laptop anywhere'.

Seven million children return to school

17/03/2021

Over seven million children were back in schools and colleges last week as part of the first step in the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

COVID initiative exposes true extent of rough sleeping crisis

17/03/2021

MPs criticise Government’s homelessness strategy after report reveals COVID initiative has housed nine times official estimate of people sleeping rough.

Call for Beveridge report for children

16/03/2021

A 'once-in-a-generation review' of the future of childhood has been launched by the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Fewer than half of local audits done by deadline, watchdog finds

16/03/2021

Fewer than half of local public bodies’ 2019-20 audits were completed by last November, despite a deadline already pushed back due to COVID, says a spending watchdog.

Liverpool to host events from April as part of pilot safety scheme

15/03/2021

Liverpool City Council will stage a number of events ahead of lockdown easing to test crowd safety.

Councils welcome boost to COVID Winter Grant Scheme

15/03/2021

Council leaders have welcomed the £59m funding boost to the COVID Winter Grant Scheme to help support vulnerable families over the Easter period.

Only half the Culture Recovery Fund paid out, NAO finds

12/03/2021

Only half of the money from the Government’s arts recovery fund has been paid out so far, a spending watchdog has warned.

Homeless people and rough sleepers to be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccine

12/03/2021

Local teams have been given permission to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to homeless people or those sleeping rough.

Landmark judgement brings rough sleeping clarity

11/03/2021

Councils have the legal powers to help people with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) who are sleeping rough during the pandemic after a landmark judgement.

Survey reveals 50% of respondents say mental health should be post-pandemic priority

11/03/2021

Nearly half of those who took part in a recent social mobility survey said that the Government should focus on addressing mental health issues as part of its post-pandemic recovery plan.

Government extends eviction ban in England

11/03/2021

The extension on the current ban on evictions by bailiffs has been welcomed by a homelessness charity.

Reset and rebuild: delivering better connected services

10/03/2021

At a recent webinar organised by The MJ and BT, three speakers gave a national, local and provider perspective on the Government's £5bn gigabit speed connectivity revolution. Michael Burton reports.

Waste services experience continued ‘disruption’ due to COVID-19

10/03/2021

Local authority waste services across the country are continuing to feel the impacts of COVID-19, a new survey has revealed.

Councils left seriously underfunded, NAO finds

08/03/2021

Coronavirus has left local authorities seriously underfunded and facing budget cuts unless the Government can create a long-term financial plan for the sector, a study from the National Audit Office (NAO) has warned.

MPs launch inquiry into adult social care funding

05/03/2021

An investigation into the long-term consequences of COVID-19 on adult social care will be conducted by MPs.

Pandemic could lead to rise in road traffic levels, data warns

04/03/2021

Traffic levels in some of the UK’s largest cities have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels, new data has revealed.

Budget 2021: Failure to fix 'broken' social care system

04/03/2021

The chancellor has faced criticism for failing to address the social care crisis in his Budget yesterday.

Budget 2021: Sunak vows to do 'whatever it takes' to help businesses

03/03/2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has vowed to ‘do whatever it takes’ to support businesses as the country looks to a post-coronavirus future.

Budget 2021: Furlough scheme extended until autumn

03/03/2021

The chancellor has extended the furlough scheme and announced further funding for apprenticeships in a bid to soften the impact of COVID-19 on jobs.

Budget 2021: Sunak freezes VAT rate to support hospitality and tourism

03/03/2021

Support for hospitality and tourism businesses was underpinned in the Budget by a freezing of the current 5% rate of VAT for another six months until the end of September.

Budget 2021: Universal credit boost extended for six months

03/03/2021

The £20 uplift to Universal Credit has been extended for a further six months, the chancellor has confirmed in his Budget today.

BUDGET 2021: Sunak's lifeline for workers and business

03/03/2021

Rishi Sunak’s Budget is expected to provide a lifeline for workers as the furlough scheme is extended to September while the universal credit £20 uplift could also be prolonged for six months.

The future of rental in local government

03/03/2021

LocalGov found out how the regional and local COVID-19 testing centres were able to be built in just 12 hours.

Maintaining effective local authority messaging as the national lockdown lifts

02/03/2021

Will Hoare gives his three top tips on how local authorities can maintain effective communication as the roadmap out of lockdown begins.

Welsh public services receive £682m cash boost

02/03/2021

Wales’ public services will receive a cash boost of more than £682m to support their COVID efforts over the coming months, the Welsh government has said.

Councils fear homelessness ‘tidal wave’

01/03/2021

Local authorities are braced for a surge in the number of homeless people as protections put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic are allowed to lapse.

Six cases of new Brazil COVID variant identified

01/03/2021

Up to six cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in Manaus, Brazil have been detected in the UK, the national health body has confirmed.

Unison call for election safety measures

01/03/2021

The Government needs to implement strict measures in May’s local elections to keep staff safe, trade union Unison urged today.

Households of school aged children eligible for rapid COVID tests

01/03/2021

All households of school aged children will get two rapid tests per person, per week, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.

Employers branded a 'disgrace' over council pay delay

26/02/2021

Council employers have been branded a ‘disgrace’ after they said they would not respond to a union pay claim until after the May 6 elections.

New legislation extends proxy voting in local elections

24/02/2021

The Government has introduced new measures to ensure people needing to self-isolate will still be allowed to vote in the upcoming local elections.

Johnson announces £700m education recovery funding

24/02/2021

A £700m education recovery package to help students catch up on missed learning has been announced by the Prime Minister.

Councils call for ‘further clarity’ on easing lockdown

23/02/2021

Councils ‘will do all they can’ to support the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of the national lockdown, but the Government must provide more funding and clarity, local government leaders say.

Homeless deaths rose by more than a third in past year, warn campaigners

22/02/2021

The number of homeless people who died last year increased by 37% despite the success of the Everyone In scheme, new research has revealed.

Care home visits to resume in March

22/02/2021

Care home residents in England and Wales will be allowed one regular visitor from 8 March under plans to ease lockdown restrictions.

Calls to use Budget to tackle 'rent debt crisis'

18/02/2021

The chancellor has been warned that homelessness will increase if he fails to tackle the rent debt crisis in the upcoming Budget.

Catch-up support funding for pupils is 'insufficient'

18/02/2021

The catch-up plans for pupils across the UK are 'insufficient' and unlikely to address the scale of learning loss following the pandemic, a report has warned today.

Multi-million pound funding to tackle Long COVID

18/02/2021

Four research studies have been awarded £18.5m to explore the causes and effective treatment of Long COVID.

COVID-19 has 'exacerbated inequalities'

17/02/2021

While the pandemic has brought communities closer together, 44% of people also believe it has increased social divisions, according to a new report.

London councils awarded £150,000 for digital projects

17/02/2021

Two local authority digital projects in London aimed at making smarter use of data have been awarded £75,000 each.

Councils call for extra cash for expanded shielding list

17/02/2021

Councils have called for more access to data and extra cash to deal with sharp spike in the number of people shielding from coronavirus.

Pandemic pushes 450,000 families into housing debt, says report

16/02/2021

A further 450,000 families have fallen behind on their housing payments due to the impact of the pandemic, a think tank has warned today.

The role of ventilation in stopping the spread of COVID-19

16/02/2021

With the new coronavirus variant making the virus more transmissible than ever, it is critical workplaces maintain good levels of ventilation to help reduce the risk of airborne transmission says Hywel Davies.

Blackburn mayor resigns after COVID-19 breach

16/02/2021

The Mayor of Blackburn with Darwen has resigned after he received a police fine for breaching coronavirus restrictions.

Ban on bailiff evictions in England extended by six weeks

15/02/2021

A ban on bailiff evictions has been extended until the end of March to protect renters during the current lockdown restrictions.

Launch of COVID-19 vaccine uptake plan

15/02/2021

The Government has highlighted how vaccination buses and short films aimed at people with a learning disability are helping to boost vaccine uptake at a local level.

Disabled people accounted for six in 10 deaths from COVID-19 last year

12/02/2021

Figures have shown that six out of 10 people who died from COVID-19 last year were disabled.

LGA responds to white paper plans to radically reform the NHS

11/02/2021

Council leaders have warned that local government needs to be an equal partner in the design of any national oversight of social care as the Government sets out its white paper plans to overhaul the NHS.

Council chiefs call for ‘secure’ access to data to help COVID-19 response

10/02/2021

Local authority leaders have emphasised the importance of ensuring councils have ‘regular, secure’ access to data to support their response to COVID-19.

Care workers were left without PPE during first wave of COVID-19, watchdog warns

10/02/2021

Social care providers were left without adequate PPE at the start of the pandemic, the public spending watchdog has warned today.

Seven in ten local authorities offering rapid testing

10/02/2021

Rapid testing is now being offered by more than 70% of local authorities in England for people unable to work from home, latest figures show.

MPs calls for year-long extension of Universal Credit uplift

09/02/2021

Mps have urged the chancellor to extend the £20 weekly increase for Universal Credit for at least a year to stop hundreds of thousands of people falling into poverty.

Red Cross calls for £250m top up for local welfare assistance schemes

08/02/2021

Local authorities should receive an extra £250m a year to help improve access to emergency cash, a charity has said today.

Surge testing expanded to other areas

08/02/2021

More local authorities will be deploying surge testing in a bid to stop the spread of the new COVID-19 variants.

Government confirms May election date

05/02/2021

The Government has officially confirmed local elections will go ahead on May 6.

Councils warn of 'harrowing' rise in serious child harm cases during pandemic

05/02/2021

The number of serious child-related incidents reported by councils has risen by more than a quarter during the pandemic, new figures show.

Councils face £1.3bn shortfall on council tax, says IFS

05/02/2021

Councils face a £1.3bn shortfall in the council tax they were expecting for 2020-21, finance think tank the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has calculated.

Tackling mistrust about vaccines

04/02/2021

Dr Justin Varney looks at how Birmingham is working to tackle the ‘layers upon layers of mistrust’ among ethnic minority communities that is ‘now playing out in vaccine hesitancy’.

Over 10 million people receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in UK

04/02/2021

The Government has reported that almost one in five adults in the UK have had the COVID-19 vaccine, a significant milestone for the largest vaccination programme in British history.

Councils face funding shortfall for self-isolation schemes

03/02/2021

Funding for council schemes supporting people forced to self-isolate due to COVID-19 do not go far enough, according to new research.

What next for the capital post-pandemic?

03/02/2021

The levelling up agenda has focused on the Midlands and the North, but London’s economy has also been hard hit by the pandemic. The MJ and BT spoke to eight London chief executives on how they are adapting to the changes. Michael Burton reports.

Pandemic puts ‘highly ambitious’ housing targets at risk

03/02/2021

The impact of COVID-19 has left the Government falling short of its target to build one million new homes over the whole of the parliament, a think tank has warned.

Charity fundraisers drafted in to deliver Covid-19 home testing service

03/02/2021

Specialist charity fundraising teams are being drafted in to extend public health capacity in London, facilitating home-based Covid-19 testing and providing information to protect and support residents.

Local authorities to roll-out surge testing for South African COVID variant

02/02/2021

Up to 350,000 people will be tested for the South African COVID variant, after cases were discovered that could not be traced back to international travel.

School closures could costs hundreds of billions in lost earnings, study predicts

01/02/2021

The long-run cost of lost schooling could be as much as £350bn, a new study from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.

Communication now at the top table in local government, survey reveals

29/01/2021

The pandemic has brought communications to the top table in local government, according to the results of a new survey.

Pandemic has exposed how 'fragile' social care system is, report warns

29/01/2021

The Government must urgently deliver on its pledge to fix social care, a coalition of 15 national health organisations has warned today.

Scottish Budget 'falls short'

29/01/2021

The Scottish Government’s £11.6bn budget ‘falls short of the fair funding local government requires,’ councils have said.

Leading Greenwich through crisis

28/01/2021

Cllr Danny Thorpe outlines how Greenwich RLBC changed its processes at pace to support residents throughout COVID-19 – at times branching out into the unknown.

Council leaders react to 'heartbreaking' 100,000 coronavirus deaths

27/01/2021

The Prime Minister has offered his ‘deepest condolences’ after figures revealed that more than 100,000 have now lost their lives due to COVID-19.

Scottish councils' cost call

27/01/2021

Scottish local authorities have called for the costs of COVID-19 to be met by the Government north of the border.

How to better support those most at risk of suicide during coronavirus recovery

27/01/2021

As Samaritans launches a new handbook for men’s wellbeing services, Joe Potter explains why it’s crucial that preventative support is prioritised within any COVID recovery plan.

Welsh council to trial touchless technology at pedestrian crossings

27/01/2021

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council will be trialling touchless technology at six busy pedestrian crossings in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Trade union calls for higher human rights standards in PPE

26/01/2021

A local government trade union has called for new laws to stop PPE being supplied by companies that exploit workers.

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV image

Time for a council tax precept to fund CCTV

The crisis in funding for CCTV systems is not being addressed by the government or the police and is leading to the curtailment of this vital service in local authorities across the country. How can we ensure that communities that want this service continue to receive it, asks Tom Reeve.
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