DCLG | LocalGov

Brokenshire announces Northamptonshire commissioners


New local government secretary James Brokenshire has today announced the two commissioners appointed to help rescue troubled Northamptonshire CC.

Whitehall grabs £875m Right to Buy receipts


Labour has demanded immediate Right to Buy (RTB) reforms after figures obtained by The MJ revealed the amount councils lose to Whitehall under the regime.

Business rate pilot councils could see £870m cash boost says think tank


Local authorities are missing out on millions of pounds because of an £870m cash boost to business rate pilot councils, according to a study today from the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) think-tank.

Javid orders review after second council payment error


The Government has ordered a review after being forced to admit a second mistake in as many months in the way it calculates council payments.

Government oversight of LEPs not good enough, MPs say


The Public Accounts Committee has stressed its lack of faith in the Government’s oversight of local enterprise partnerships in a critical report published today.

Javid backs single unitary council in Buckinghamshire


Local government secretary Sajid Javid has backed a single unitary council for Buckinghamshire.

Whitehall's local government finance cover-up is exposed


Key Whitehall departments involved in attempt to bury changes to provisional finance settlement data.

Labour accuses Government of 'holding back' local government


Labour MPs have urged ministers to provide ‘strategic vision’ for local government.

EXCLUSIVE: Finance settlement 'shambles' after provisional data wrong


The local government finance settlement has descended into a shambles after it emerged allocations in the provisional document were wrong, The MJ can exclusively reveal.

May rebrands DCLG


Prime minister Theresa May has confirmed that her government’s renewed focus on housing will be reflected in the title of the Whitehall department that oversees the sector in the post-Grenfell Tower era.

Christchurch sets out bid to stop unitary plans


Christchurch Borough Council has warned it could take legal action if the Government forces it to merge with Bournemouth and Poole councils.

Council tax increase limit raised by Javid


Councils will be allowed to increase their core council tax by up to 3% in 2018/19 without a referendum, potentially raising an additional £250m.

Government to write off millions of housing associations' debt


The Government is expected to wipe off around £60m in debt from housing associations in a bid to deliver more social housing.

Six in ten councils make progress on business rates relief


More than 200 councils have now reissued business rates bills in accordance with the Government’s discretionary relief package, latest figures have shown.

Two London councils accused of breaking publicity rules


The Government has threatened two London councils with court action, claiming they are breaking publicity rules by publishing their newspapers ‘too frequently’.

Grenfell council asks government to step back


Kensington and Chelsea RLBC has asked the Government to water down its oversight at the council following the Grenfell Tower fire in June.

New draft bill to ban letting agent fees


The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) will introduce a draft bill to ban letting agent fees today.

Majority of Javid's decisions on housing appeals are in Tory seats, research finds


The ‘vast majority’ of ministerial decisions on housing appeals have been in Conservative seats and a significant proportion of them have been refused against the inspector’s advice, a law firm reveals.

Javid sets out measures to strengthen tenants' rights


Young people being priced out of the housing market is the ‘biggest barrier to social progress in our country today’, communities secretary Sajid Javid has warned.

Five more functions handed back to Rotherham


More powers have been handed back to Rotherham Council following a report showing it has made further progress in the aftermath of the city's child abuse scandal.

Councillor hits out at Javid’s ‘prevarication’ on council finances


A Basildon councillor has waited over two months for a response from Sajid Javid to a letter he wrote concerning the future of council finances.

Councils urged to apply for new business rates pilots


Local authorities in England have been invited to participate in a second round of 100% business rates retention pilots as pools across economic areas.

Birmingham Council's scrutiny panel set to step back


The team brought in to help Birmingham turn itself around has called on the secretary of state to let it step back in light of improvements and the new management team in place.

90 council-owned buildings fail new fire safety test


Nearly 100 buildings owned or managed by councils and housing associations have failed the latest fire safety tests conducted in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Javid tries to build bridges with local government


Sajid Javid has reached out to local government defending his recent criticisms of the sector as tough love designed to help them ‘do better’.

Javid claims local government is facing ‘looming crisis in confidence’


Councils have been warned they are facing a ‘looming crisis in confidence’ in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire by communities secretary Sajid Javid.

Victims of Grenfell Tower fire to receive £5,500 per household


Every household whose home was destroyed in the Grenfell Tower fire will receive £5,500 from an emergency fund, the Government today announced.

Safety review launched into hundreds of tower blocks


The Government has ordered an emergency review into tower blocks following the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in London.

Sajid Javid keeps local government role


Sajid Javid has been re-appointed as minister for communities and local government by the prime minister.

A bulging in-tray awaits the communities secretary next week


From community cohesion to business rates, devolution and adult social care, whoever walks into Marsham Street next week will have a lot of paperwork to go through.

Surrey promised ‘extra funding’ to abandon 15% council tax referendum


New documents have come to light revealing more evidence of a ‘secret deal’ between Surrey County Council and the Government over the county’s proposed 15% tax hike.

Government departments told to find cuts of up to 6%


Government departments have been told to draw up plans for up to 6% spending cuts in a bid to save £3.5bn by 2020.

Statsbuster – Housebuilding in England 2016


Neil Merrick analyses the latest housebuilding statistics to reveal national and local trends in starts and completions.

Leadership offer for local government 'put on ice'


A ‘powerful’ new leadership offer for local government backed by No 10 is the latest casualty of shifting Whitehall priorities, The MJ can reveal.

Councils hit out at lack of new money in final settlement


Local government figures have expressed their disappointment at a lack of new council funding in the 2017/18 settlement.

Government ‘erased’ male rough sleepers from statistics, campaigners claim


A coalition of men’s charities have lodged an official complaint after a Government report ‘erased’ the gender of male of rough sleepers.

Power to award grants returned to Tower Hamlets


The communities secretary has confirmed the start of a ‘phased return’ of powers to Tower Hamlets, but commissioners caution there is still ‘much to do’.

No ‘evidence’ Troubled Families programme works, MPs say


The Government has ‘overstated’ the effectiveness of the program designed to deal with disadvantaged families and has been ‘evasive’ in its dealings with MPs, committee report says.

Blackburn's high street crowned best in Britain


Blackburn has come out on top in the awards for Britain's best high street.

'Phased return' of powers to Tower Hamlets


Tower Hamlets LBC is to gain back control of certain powers as part of a 'phased return' by Sajid Javid.

Town hall 'pravdas' given final warning


Three councils that have continued to publish regular newspapers have been given a ‘last chance’ to abide by government rules.

Number of new homes increases for third consecutive year


The number of new homes rose by 11% this year, representing the third consecutive year-on-year increase, Government figures reveal.

New £20m council funding pot for homelessness prevention


Local authorities are to receive £20m for a new homeless prevention strategy to pilot initiatives on the issue, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has announced.

Government overturns county's rejection of fracking scheme


The Government has overturned Lancashire County Council’s decision to refuse permission for a fracking site.

Homelessness at a ten-year high


Homelessness figures have hit a ten-year high as council chiefs warn against ‘rushing through’ new duties to tackle the problem.

More than 56,000 households buy homes under revived Right to Buy


Over 50,000 households have purchased a home in the last four years under the Government’s Right to Buy scheme, new figures show.

Council seeks judicial review over Aylesbury Estate decision


Southwark Council has pledged to fight the ‘bizarre’ government decision to block a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on Aylesbury Estate.

Javid takes £900m North East devolution deal 'off the table'


The £900m North East devolution deal is ‘off the table’, said communities secretary Sajid Javid.

Whitehall must take ‘bold new action’ to tackle housing shortage, LGA says


Council chiefs call for ‘bold new action’ to solve the housing crisis in response to recent Government housebuilding figures.

Councils will be vital to May’s premiership predicts Clark


The role of local government will be ‘vital’ in Theresa May’s vision for the country when she becomes prime minister, according to communities secretary Greg Clark.

DCLG’s land disposal programme has had ‘slow start’, says watchdog


The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has only met 5% of its commitment to release enough public sector land for 160,000 homes by 2020, the NAO has revealed.

MPs to examine how best to protect public parks


The impact council budget cuts have had on public parks and open spaces will be considered in a new Government inquiry.

Clark launches review into future of council funding


Councils have been urged to ‘shape their financial future’ as communities secretary Greg Clark launches a consultation into the retention of business rates.

Council spending being squeezed by debt payments


The cost of paying off historic debts is putting pressure on council’s ‘dwindling’ revenue resources, the National Audit Office has warned today.

Inquiry launched into council interventions


An inquiry into the government interventions at Tower Hamlets and Rotherham councils has been launched.

Mayor warns councils need more support to protect green spaces


A recent High Court judgement has 'weakened' national policy on the protection of green spaces, the mayor of Salford has warned.

Four-year settlement unaffected by Budget, confirms Clark


The four-year financial settlement for local authorities will not be affected by cuts announced in this year's Budget, the Government has confirmed.

Tower Hamlets fails to win back powers


Tower Hamlets is still 'some way off' at showing sufficient improvement in order to be handed back control of more functions, according to communities secretary Greg Clark.

Right to buy amendment causes concern over forced sale of housing stock


Councils could be forced to sell their housing stock by the secretary of state, after changes were made to the wording of the Housing and Planning Bill.

Bids open for multi-billion local growth fund


Local Enterprise Partnerships have been urged to bid for a share of £1.8bn funding, after the latest round of local growth funding was released.

Councils told to ‘take the fight to the fraudsters’


Councils have been issued with new guidance that is designed to combat the estimated £2bn lost through fraud every year.

Planning permissions reach eight-year high


The number of planning permissions for new homes has reached the highest total in eight years, according to the latest figures.

Map shows take-up of Community Rights programme


More than 3,000 buildings, green spaces and other assets have been protected under legislation designed to give people more say over developments in their areas, according to the Government.

Business rates expected to reach record levels


Business rate income is expected to increase by £400m to a record £23.5bn in England for 2016/17, according to new figures released today.

Responsibility for fire and rescue policy to move to the Home Office


Responsibility for fire and rescue policy will move to the Home Office, the Prime Minister confirmed yesterday.

Councils secure funding to help domestic abuse victims


The allocation of £3.5m to support domestic abuse victims has been announced with the naming of 46 local authorities which placed successful bids.

Coastal towns secure £3m cash boost


Blackpool’s Winter Gardens is one of 77 projects set to benefit from a £3m government cash injection into coastal towns and resorts.

Flood affected communities exempt from paying council tax and business rates


Flood affected communities will not face council tax or business rate bills for the homes and businesses they have been displaced from, Greg Clark announced yesterday.

Councils to be fully-funded for clean-up costs in the wake of Storm Desmond


The areas that were most severely hit by last weekend’s storm will have 100% of their costs reimbursed, communities secretary Greg Clark has announced amid criticisms of cuts to flood defences.

MPs call for transparency on cost of new burdens


The new burdens placed on local authorities due to the reform of the Care Act should be properly identified and assessed, according to a new report from a parliamentary watchdog.

Clark stresses spending review was 'good result' for local government


The spending review was a 'very good result for local government', according to communities secretary Greg Clark.

Winner chosen for 'best British high street'


Bishopthorpe Road in York has been named as the best shopping street in Britain.

Spending Review: Osborne pushes councils to ‘draw on reserves’


George Osborne has urged councils to ‘draw on reserves’ to improve local services, while gifting greater freedom over asset sales.

Spending Review: Local government set for further cuts


Local government is bracing itself for a further squeeze on its budgets when the chancellor announces his spending plans later today.

Councils paying out record levels of business rate discounts


Councils have paid out more than £3bn in business rate discounts and reliefs in the past year, according to new figures.

Council chiefs lash out at ‘misleading’ reserves figure


Reports that councils have more than £22bn in cash reserves have been slammed as ‘hugely misleading’ by council leaders.

John Lewis boss secures role at the DCLG


The managing director of upmarket department store chain John Lewis has been appointed to a top position advising local government ministers.

Four departments agree 30% spending cuts


Four government departments - including the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) - have provisionally agreed to cut spending by up to 30% over the next four years.

Ministers reject plans ‘mega mosque’ in Newham


Plans to build the largest mosque in Britain have been rejected by the Government.

Control of Tower Hamlets to be passed back to the mayor


Greater responsibility for the governance of Tower Hamlets borough council will be passed to the mayor, Greg Clark announced yesterday.

Government ‘should be embarrassed’ by land disposal records, says watchdog


The Government has been criticised for the way it has managed the sale of public land for new housing, in a damning report published by the public spending watchdog.

Plans for weekly rubbish collections could be ditched


Plans by the Government to bring back guaranteed weekly rubbish collections has been binned, according to reports in the national media.

Birmingham awarded improvement funding


Birmingham City Council has been awarded a £4.37m grant to speed up work on its improvement programme.

Rotherham to remain under Government control until 2019


The Government has said it is likely to take four years until full powers are returned to Rotherham Council following intervention after a sexual abuse scandal emerged in 2014.

Councils urged to bid for £3m domestic abuse fund


A new £3m fund has been launched offering local authorities the chance to bid for around £100,000 each to support victims of domestic abuse.

Government accused of shedding localism agenda under new planning reforms


Planning reforms designed to speed up construction represent a ‘shift away from localism’, according to the chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee.

Sweeping planning reforms must keep councils ‘central’ to process, warns LGA


Councils have warned communities risk being taken out of the planning process under new Treasury proposals designed to speed up house building.

Crematorium review to be conducted in wake of baby ashes scandal


A review of crematorium facilities has been launched by the Communities and Local Government Department (DCLG), following ‘unacceptable failures’ at Shrewsbury's Emstrey crematorium.

Clark praises local government in contrast to ‘rumbustious’ Pickles


Communities secretary Greg Clark has praised councils for absorbing budget cuts with ‘cool-headed efficiency’, marking a change in attitude to the sector compared with his predecessor.

Councils face £3.3bn of cuts next year, warns LGA


Councils in England are facing a £3.3bn reduction in central government funding for local services in 2016/17, according to new analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA).

Watchdog slams Government efforts to free up land for homes


A Government programme designed to free up public land for new homes has been criticised for misleading statistics, a lack of monitoring and the absence of any economic rationale.

DCLG warned to improve understanding of burdens on councils


The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) needs to improve its understanding of the burden’s placed on councils’ finances, auditors are warning today.

Ministers have 'no plans' to reduce the number of LEPs


The Government has 'no plans' to reduce the number of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

Osborne reveals £230m spending cut for DCLG


George Osborne has revealed £230m will be cut from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) spending budget this year, as part of £3bn saving measures.

Pickles to be given knighthood


The communities secretary for the duration of the last parliament, Eric Pickles, is to be given a knighthood, Downing Street has announced.

‘Bold’ action demanded after councils build just 1,200 homes in 12 months


Just 125,000 new homes were built in England last year, falling almost a quarter of a million properties short of targets –figures have revealed.

Greg Clark appointed new local government secretary


Greg Clark has replaced Eric Pickles as the new secretary of state for communities and local government, as part of David Cameron's post-election reshuffle of frontbench ministers.

Betts accuses Pickles of sitting idly on housing cash


Eric Pickles has been accused of allowing funding earmarked for house building to ‘sit idly’ in his department’s coffers, by MP Clive Betts.

Council warned over 'transparency failings'


Rother District Council has received a warning from Government over its ‘failing in transparency’ and lack of accountability on decisions made about senior staff pay.

Outrage as homeownership hits 29-year low


Homeownership in England has crashed to its lowest level in almost three decades, figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have revealed.

Addressing regional inequalities  image

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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