Coronavirus

More than £13bn needed to make up for lost learning, latest figures show

21/10/2021

A £13.5bn cash injection is needed over the next three years to help pupils recover from lost learning, new analysis has revealed.

Local councils spent £21.2bn on adult social care in 20-21

21/10/2021

Local councils spent £21.2bn on adult social care in 20-21, according to statistics published today by NHS Digital.

Pandemic had 'devastating' health impact on shielded population, says charity

20/10/2021

Urgent action is needed to tackle the unmet health need and worsening mental health of those people asked to shield during the pandemic, a charity has said.

Sunak urged to tackle backlogs in public services or face greater costs

19/10/2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak must swiftly invest in public services hit hardest by the pandemic or face much greater costs down the line, a report has warned.

Think-tank makes call for wellbeing budgets

18/10/2021

The Government should introduce ‘wellbeing budgets’ that look beyond gross domestic product (GDP) to reduce regional health inequalities, a think-tank has urged.

Schools ‘propping up a failing welfare state’

15/10/2021

A 'failing' welfare system is forcing families to rely on schools for basic needs such as access to food, academics have said in a new report.

Bexley withdraws capitalisation request

13/10/2021

The council said ‘sound financial planning’ meant it would not need the extra funds to balance its books.

Council chiefs criticise Government’s ‘central first, local later’ COVID response

12/10/2021

Local authority leaders have said that councils could have been given ‘a greater role’ in the initial response to COVID-19 after MPs criticised the Government for pursuing a strategy of ‘central first, local later’.

Unions call for stronger COVID safety measures in schools

11/10/2021

Five education unions are urging local authorities to consider reintroducing safety measures to tackle rising COVID-19 cases in schools.

Council tax could easily rise by 5% a year warn finance experts

06/10/2021

English councils will need billlions more from government and big tax rises to maintain services and pay for social care reforms, says new analysis published today by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Public health grant cuts run counter to levelling up, say experts

05/10/2021

Real terms cuts to local public health work against levelling up and the Government must boost funding after years of underinvestment, say two leading health organisations.

Javid announces £388m to protect care sector over winter

01/10/2021

The Government has announced an extra £388.3m to help prevent infections and provide testing in the care sector.

Councils to distribute new £500m fund to most vulnerable

30/09/2021

Councils in England will receive £500m to help support vulnerable households pay for daily essentials.

Scottish councils to issue £10m in grants to tackle rent arrears

28/09/2021

Councils in Scotland will receive an extra £10m to help support tenants in rent arrears who are at risk of eviction.

Union calls for reversal of pay cuts to give economy £3.3bn boost

24/09/2021

The TUC has called on the Chancellor to reverse public sector pay cuts in the spending review as a means of supporting the post-pandemic recovery.

Local welfare assistance in London increased 368% during pandemic

24/09/2021

London boroughs dramatically increased welfare assistance for residents during the pandemic and warn that the financial pressure is only going to worsen.

Decade of improvement in life expectancy undone by pandemic, data reveals

24/09/2021

The pandemic has undone a decade of improvement in life expectancy, a health think tank has warned.

Wales introduces COVID passes for events

17/09/2021

People will have to show a NHS COVID Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events in Wales from next month, the First Minister announced today.

High turnout in May’s elections despite COVID-19

14/09/2021

May’s elections were well-run and there was no decline in turnout despite the pandemic, new research shows.

Councils warn half a million jobs at risk in urban centres

10/09/2021

Half a million jobs could be lost in urban centres as a result of the pandemic, new analysis has revealed today.

Consultation on mandatory COVID vaccines launched

09/09/2021

The Government has launched a consultation on plans for staff in health and care settings in England to be required to have COVID-19 and flu vaccines.

Council chiefs share ‘Everyone In’ lessons

09/09/2021

Funding commitments and improvements to social housing are two areas that council leaders think need more attention if rough sleeping is to be eliminated.

Khan warns of link between air pollution and COVID

07/09/2021

New research has found a link between a person’s exposure to air pollution and the severity with which they will experience the effects of COVID-19.

Government to consult on al fresco dining and pop-ups

06/09/2021

The Government has launched a public consultation on planning reforms that could give a boost to outdoor dining and pop-up markets.

Union warns mandatory vaccines will cause care home 'catastrophe'

06/09/2021

Mandatory COVID vaccines for care home workers will cause a staffing crisis that will overwhelm the sector, a trade union has warned.

Disabled people 'failed' by key policy areas, think tank warns

03/09/2021

The pandemic has deepened inequalities in health, income and employment for disabled people, a think tank has warned today.

COVID welfare claimants seen as more deserving than pre-pandemic claimants

02/09/2021

New research has revealed that COVID-19 benefit claimants are seen as much more deserving of welfare support than pre-pandemic claimants.

Dramatic increase in lockdown smoking ‘ticking time bomb’

25/08/2021

Campaigners have urged the Government to be more ambitious in tackling smoking as new figures reveal a rise in the number of young people becoming addicts.

Schools to receive £25m for CO2 monitors

23/08/2021

All state-funded schools are to receive carbon dioxide monitors from September to help tackle COVID-19, the Government has announced.

Council chiefs call for extension of apprenticeship incentive scheme

20/08/2021

Councils have called for financial incentives in place to help employers create apprenticeship programmes to be extended beyond the end of the furlough scheme.

Unions call for better ventilation in schools to reduce COVID disruption

17/08/2021

Education unions have written to Gavin Williamson urging the Government to take action to improve ventilation in schools to reduce further COVID disruption.

Charities call for impact assessment of welfare cuts

17/08/2021

Charities have called on Government to publish an assessment of the impact on renters of decisions to freeze Local Housing Allowance and cut Universal Credit.

Council considers forcing unvaccinated to use sick days in COVID cases

13/08/2021

Unvaccinated workers at Knowsley Council might have to use sick days if they need to self-isolate after contact with a positive COVID-19 case.

Labour market recovery uneven, think tank warns

12/08/2021

Tourism-reliant areas have seen job numbers pick up over the summer, but the jobs recovery is uneven and has a long way to go, according to a new anaylsis.

COVID-19 measures ‘reduced the risk of infection in school’, data shows

12/08/2021

Special measures put in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections in schools have proven to be effective, new data suggests.

‘Shameless’ COVID fraudsters targeted 41 councils

11/08/2021

The actions of two companies that attempted to defraud dozens of councils out of COVID grants have been labelled ‘despicable’.

Retailers tell Government to fix ‘broken’ business rates system

10/08/2021

Retailers have urged the Government to reform the business rates system as part of the effort to help high streets recover from the pandemic.

Council chiefs welcome £750m events insurance scheme

09/08/2021

Local authorities have welcomed a new Government-backed insurance scheme designed to help the events industry recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Supporting the most vulnerable in Herts

05/08/2021

Hertfordshire CC is investing £9.6m to support its most vulnerable residents in overcoming the repercussions of the pandemic. Scott Crudgington explains why the council is determined to remain ‘a county of opportunity’ for all.

Councils approve more than 2,000 pavement licences in past year

04/08/2021

Councils approved requests from businesses for more than 17,000 extra outdoor seats in the past year, new research has discovered.

Councils call for the tools to support small charities to recover post-COVID

04/08/2021

Local authorities need to be provided with funding and tools to ensure that they can continue supporting smaller charities after the pandemic, county leaders say.

Unions urge pinged staff to isolate

02/08/2021

Unions have urged waste and recycling staff to stay at home if ‘pinged’ by the COVID-19 app despite several councils having to reduce or suspend services.

Long COVID - lessons for local government employers

30/07/2021

Sarah Gilzean explains why local government must set the standard for dealing with Long COVID in the workplace.

Councils call for urgent action to tackle health inequalities

30/07/2021

The pandemic has 'cruelly exposed and exacerbated' health and social inequalities, council leaders have warned.

Councils concerned about future of childcare

29/07/2021

Local support for children and families during the pandemic has been wide-ranging but there have also been notable local variations, new study reveals.

Keep up COVID funding to end homelessness, says Kerslake

27/07/2021

Ending homelessness is possible, but the Government needs to keep up funding or face a post-pandemic surge, an independent commission concluded.

Local government workers on self-isolation exemption list

23/07/2021

Local government has been included on a list of sectors that may be allowed to ignore COVID self-isolation rules, the Government has confirmed today.

Over 39,000 care home residents die with COVID-19

22/07/2021

Local authority leaders have called on the country to reflect on the ‘dedication and commitment’ of the social care workforce as data on deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes is published.

Local councils need more help to support disabled residents

20/07/2021

Martin Usher explains why local councils need greater financial and care support disabled people in their communities.

Councils forced to suspend waste services due to staff shortages

20/07/2021

Several local authorities have been forced to reduce or suspend waste and recycling services due to staff having to self-isolate and a national shortage of drivers.

Vaccinated social care staff no longer required to self-isolate

19/07/2021

Health leaders have been left divided by the Government’s announcement that fully vaccinated social care staff and NHS workers who have been told to self-isolate will be allowed to continue working.

Al fresco dining to boost high street recover

16/07/2021

The Government has announced plans to make al fresco dining easier to help pubs, restaurants and cafes on the high street recover after the pandemic.

Council chiefs urge Government to put children at ‘heart of recovery’

14/07/2021

Local authority leaders have called for a cross-government strategy to ensure that children and young people are at the heart of the post-pandemic recovery.

Protests force council to close COVID vaccination service

12/07/2021

Brighton & Hove City Council was forced to close its mobile vaccination van yesterday following protests from anti-lockdown campaigners.

Javid vows to reform social care 'quite soon'

08/07/2021

New health secretary Sajid Javid has promised to bring forward plans for social care reform ‘quite soon’, but failed to commit to an exact timetable.

Liverpool's COVID-19 mass testing pilot cut cases by a fifth

07/07/2021

Liverpool's community testing pilot managed to reduce COVID-19 cases by more than a fifth, an evaluation of the project has found.

Councils call for better understanding of lasting impact of COVID-19

06/07/2021

Council leaders have called for funding and research to understand the long-term health and care impact of COVID-19.

Inquiry finds people in poorest areas 'nearly four times more likely' to die from COVID

06/07/2021

People living in the poorest parts of England were almost four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those in the wealthiest areas, new research has uncovered.

Council chiefs launch campaign to ‘Build Back Local’

06/07/2021

Local authority leaders have insisted that the Government must guarantee long-term investment for local services in order to ensure the country’s economic and social recovery after the pandemic.

Delivering safe events in the wake of the pandemic

05/07/2021

LocalGov caught up with Sunbelt Rentals who provided a wide range of equipment and products to the Sefton Park Pilot music festival.

Council leader warns self-isolating pupils risk being ‘left behind’

05/07/2021

The leader of Oldham Council has called on the Government to urgently review the approach to self-isolation to address the increasing number of children missing vital time in school.

Health providers accelerate digital transformation plans in response to Covid-19

02/07/2021

The UK health sector is fast accelerating its digital transformation plans in response to the surge in demand for remote services during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study.

A diverse approach to tackling vaccine hesitancy

01/07/2021

Cllr Khtija Malik outlines Luton’s multi-layered approach to tackling vaccine hesitancy within some communities, and says more help is needed from the Government to help the town bounce back from the ravages of the pandemic.

Most vulnerable to be offered booster COVID jabs ahead of winter

01/07/2021

The Government has announced that those most vulnerable to COVID-19 may be offered a booster vaccination from September.

COVID vaccination programme prevents 27,000 deaths

29/06/2021

The COVID-19 vaccination programme has so far prevented an estimated 7.2 million infections and 27,000 deaths in England, according to the latest research.

Adult social care given extra £250m for COVID-19 protections

28/06/2021

The Government is providing an extra £250m to help protect people in adult social care from COVID-19.

Councils urged to support ‘pop up’ campsites this summer

28/06/2021

The Government is urging local authorities to support the extension of ‘pop-up’ campsites across England this summer to help meet the surge in demand for staycations.

Councils need more data for test and trace, says watchdog

25/06/2021

Local authorities’ involvement in test and trace has improved the service – but councils still need more data, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said.

Over two million people thought to have long COVID

24/06/2021

Two million people in England are thought to have suffered from long COVID - with a tenth of those experiencing severe symptoms - according to new research.

Northern cities and towns face a debt ‘avalanche’ warns think tank

23/06/2021

The withdrawal of COVID support this summer will hit people in the in the North and Midlands disproportionately hard and risks derailing the Government’s levelling up agenda, Centre for Cities has warned today.

Councils receive extra £160m to support struggling families

23/06/2021

Councils will receive an extra £160m to help struggling families with food and utility bills.

Self-isolation payments 'failing' workers

21/06/2021

Two out of three people applying for self-isolation payments are being rejected, according to new research.

Remote working sees major cities lose billions in spending, research warns

21/06/2021

Five of the UK’s largest cities could lose £322m a month in city centre spending if people work from home in the long-term, according to new analysis.

Councils levy over £1m fines for COVID offences

18/06/2021

Councils have issued over £1m in fines to businesses for COVID offences, an investigation has unveiled.

Virtual meetings have boosted local democracy, survey finds

17/06/2021

Nine in 10 councils believe local democracy has improved as a direct result of online council meetings, a survey has found.

COVID vaccines to be mandatory for care home staff

17/06/2021

The Government has confirmed everyone working in a CQC-registered care homes in England will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Ministers appear 'complacent' over care home closures, MPs warn

16/06/2021

The Government ‘seems complacent’ about the risk of care homes collapsing in the wake of the pandemic, MPs have warned today.

Councils urged to 'sharpen commercial edge'

15/06/2021

A new report has argued that allowing councils to sharpen their commercial edge will ‘unlock immense latent place potential’ and help ‘galvanise recovery’.

Councils receive extra COVID support as lockdown easing delayed

15/06/2021

The Government has announced additional support to help Birmingham, Blackpool, Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Liverpool City Region and Warrington tackle the Delta variant of COVID-19.

PM told to invest more in pandemic recovery measures for children

09/06/2021

Government urged to ‘reconsider’ pandemic recovery measures for children as researchers estimate it has committed to spend only one-tenth of what is needed.

Council chiefs call for long-term funding to boost post-pandemic resilience

09/06/2021

County council leaders argue that local authorities need a long-term funding settlement to invest in organisational resilience.

COVID cases on the rise in Greater Manchester and Lancashire

09/06/2021

Additional COVID-19 measures, including surge testing, tracing, and isolation support, are to be deployed across Greater Manchester and Lancashire.

Pandemic hits disadvantaged pupils hardest, study reveals

07/06/2021

Disadvantaged pupils have experienced ‘greater learning losses’ than their more affluent peers, new research has found.

MHCLG is 'too optimistic' about councils' cash, says watchdog

04/06/2021

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is overly optimistic about councils’ financial resilience after the pandemic, MPs have warned.

Unpicking the pilots

04/06/2021

The Government’s quick reversal of its stay local guidance in new variant surge areas has led to calls for clear messaging from the centre, says Paul Marinko.

Children’s social care services ‘creative’ during pandemic, study finds

03/06/2021

A new study has found that children’s social care services have been ‘flexible’ and ‘creative’ in their responses to supporting care leavers during the pandemic, but it also found COVID-19 has exposed fragility in current systems.

Education recovery tsar resigns over lack of funding

03/06/2021

Sir Kevan Collins has resigned as the Government’s education recovery commissioner after warning the support announced ‘falls far short of what is needed’.

Government publishes next phase of school catch-up plan

02/06/2021

The Government has pledged to provide up to 100 million hours of free tuition for children and young people across England.

Health spending rises by record quarter

01/06/2021

Spending on taxpayer-funded health services rose by a record 25% to £220bn last year as the NHS battled with pandemic costs, according to latest estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Council tax collection deficit hits £500m

27/05/2021

Councils will need ‘additional help from taxpayers’ to balance their books, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy has warned.

Sustainability of Scottish councils 'at risk' without long term financial certainty, watchdog warns

27/05/2021

The financial sustainability of Scottish councils is at risk without a longer-term settlement, the public spending watchdog has warned today.

Data sharing 'crucial' to how councils managed pandemic, study reveals

27/05/2021

Data sharing was critical to how Scottish councils responded to the COVID-19 crisis, academics have revealed.

Pandemic has increased attendance inequalities in schools, study finds

25/05/2021

Disadvantaged pupils are the least likely to return to school after lockdown, a new study has revealed.

Councils to pilot new self-isolation support scheme

24/05/2021

Nine local authorities have been chosen to pilot new ways of supporting people needing to self-isolate.

Report finds cities hit by 'Zoomshock' are best placed for economic recovery

21/05/2021

Cities have been hollowed out by COVID but they are still best placed to drive the recovery, a report by economic growth specialists Metro Dynamics has said.

What should our local authorities look like after COVID-19?

21/05/2021

Martin McFadyen explores how local authorities have rapidly adapted since the COVID-19 crisis and how they can continue the speed of digital transformation.

New measures rolled out across COVID variant hotspots

20/05/2021

Surge testing and additional vaccines are being made available to local authorities experiencing a rise in the Indian COVID variant, the Government has announced.

COVID crisis exposed council underfunding, says watchdog

19/05/2021

The COVID crisis exposed existing weaknesses in public services, including the underfunding of local government and the neglect of social care, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said.

Council criticised for handling of COVID-19 business support

18/05/2021

A north Yorkshire district council has defended itself after criticisms that there was a lack of transparency in the way it administered the discretionary grant scheme designed to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Hancock warns 86 council areas have five or more cases of Indian variant

18/05/2021

There are 86 local authority areas with five or more confirmed cases of the Indian variant of COVID-19, the health secretary has said.

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
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