Improvement | LocalGov

Birmingham 'worse' than commissioners feared


The situation in Birmingham City Council is worse than commissioners expected, a report to the secretary of state has claimed.

LGA moves towards performance support role


The Local Government Association (LGA) is to take a more proactive role as it seeks to do more to prevent Whitehall intervention in councils, The MJ understands.

Statutory recommendations lifted at Sandwell


Auditors have lifted the three statutory recommendations in place at Sandwell MBC.

Dudley's sustainability 'in jeopardy'


Dudley MBC has set up an improvement board following stark warnings over its finances and governance.

LGA seeks views on improvement framework


The LGA has called on those working in or with local government to provide feedback on how the improvement and assurance framework can be improved.

Councils hit by improvement notices


Oldham MBC and Oxfordshire CC have received improvement notices for their services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Brum commissioners warn council will need further help to agree lawful budget


Commissioners at Birmingham City Council have warned it will struggle to agree a lawful budget next year without further help.

Home upgrades drop off in north east


The number of government-funded projects to upgrade cold and draughty homes in north east England has significantly reduced, according to climate change charity Ashden.

Croydon improvement panel details exit strategy


Croydon LBC’s Government-appointed improvement panel has outlined a timetable for withdrawing from the authority amid ‘strong progress’ in fixing its finances.

Southampton launches improvement board


Southampton City Council has formed its own voluntary improvement board as it battles budgetary pressures.

Liverpool looks to significantly improve services


Liverpool City Council has set out a four-year plan to significantly improve the quality of services in the face of ‘complex’ issues.

Brum braced for Government intervention


Birmingham City Council is braced for a wide-ranging Government intervention to help rescue the authority’s bleak finances, and improve political and officer leadership.

Birmingham issues section 114 notice


The UK’s biggest local authority, Birmingham City Council, has issued a section 114 notice in the face of crippling financial problems.

Scandal-hit firm reports losses


A firm at the centre of a residential care abuse scandal has reported operating losses of £5.8m for the year to June 2022.

Peterborough City Council issued with improvement notice


Peterborough City Council has been issued with an improvement notice following an Ofsted report that raised concerns about the council's children’s services.

EXCLUSIVE: LGA stance on corporate peer challenges starts to shift


Elements of the LGA are privately moving towards accepting that corporate peer challenges should be put on a statutory footing, The MJ understands.

Hastings' financial controls 'not fully developed'


Senior Hastings BC councillors will be urged next week to ‘bring in and embed more stringent financial controls and accountability to urgently reduce spending’.

Liverpool CC praised for complaints handling improvements


Liverpool City Council has been praised for the improvements it has made in the way it handles complaints.

Warning Birmingham equal pay bill could rise further


Birmingham City Council’s mammoth equal pay bill could rise further if it fails to meet a tight deadline to fix the issue.

Councils look to end children's services partnership


The strategic partnership for children’s services between Hampshire CC and Isle of Wight Council could end after a decade of work between the two.

Council urged to address low reserves


Senior managers at Eastbourne BC must address the council’s low levels of reserves given current cost pressures within sector, an LGA-led review has warned.

New leader for Brum after Labour ousts Ward


The national Labour Party has selected Cllr John Cotton as the new leader of Birmingham City Council Labour group after its intervention last week.

Rowley orders Birmingham finance review over chaotic IT contract


A Government-imposed governance review of Birmingham City Council has been expanded after massive failures in its accounts IT system emerged.

Peers' warning over supported housing reforms


Ministers must avoid forcing high-quality supported housing providers from the market in their rush to tackle rogue landlords, peers have warned.

Kent receives improvement notice for SEND failings


An improvement notice has been issued to Kent CC after it failed to turn around its special educational needs and disability (SEND) services.

Questions over Slough's 'viability'


The Government has said there are question marks over the ‘viability’ of Slough Council as a unitary as it announced plans for it and Thurrock and Croydon.

Commisioners praise progress at Liverpool


Troubled Liverpool City Council is making progress, its commissioners have ruled, but there are still risks.

LGA to beef up council oversight amid Oflog fears


The Local Government Association (LGA) today revealed plans to beef up its oversight of councils in an effort to stave off Government interference.

New SEND plan fails on ‘fundamental’ issues, council chiefs say


New plan to support children with special educational needs and disabilities fails to address ‘fundamental cost and demand issues’, council chiefs say.

Peer review calls for statutory officers to meet more


Stockport MBC statutory officers should meet more regularly, a peer review team has advised the council.

Commissioner warns children's services could be removed from Sefton


A Government-appointed commissioner has warned Sefton Council’s children’s services are still in ‘severe difficulties’ and could be removed from local control.

'Progress falls short' at Nottingham


Nottingham City Council has been too slow in turning around its finances, according to the team charged with overseeing its recovery.

Gove scales up Thurrock intervention


Michael Gove has effectively ordered a full intervention of Thurrock Council amid fresh concerns over the authority’s governance, scrutiny and operating model.

Section 114 notice issued for Thurrock


Thurrock Council’s interim director of finance, Jonathan Wilson, has issued a section 114 notice as the authority faces a £470m in-year funding gap.

Thurrock to switch borrowing to PWLB


Thurrock BC will reduce its ‘over-reliance’ on borrowing from other councils by taking out £836m of loans from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB).

'Major system failure' hits council


Hertsmere BC’s online services and phone services have been hit by a ‘major system failure’.

Nottingham escapes commissioners threat


Ministers have held back from appointing commissioners at Nottingham City Council, instead deciding to strengthen the powers of its improvement and assurance board.

Council apologises for child sexual exploitation


Telford & Wrekin Council has apologised ‘wholeheartedly’ after an inquiry concluded more than 1,000 children were sexually exploited over at least 30 years.

Commissioners to oversee strategic decisions at Nottingham


Commissioners are to oversee strategic decisions at Nottingham City Council amid fears of ‘further serious issues’ on the scale that led to a section 114.

Warning over second s114 at troubled council


Conservative-run Northumberland Council may be hit by a second section 114, a senior officer has admitted.

Liverpool reform programme ‘at risk’


Levelling up secretary Michael Gove has agreed to let commissioners at Liverpool City Council delay their latest report amid their warnings that plans to turn the council around are in the balance.

Nottingham expected to bring housing back under direct control after probes


Nottingham City Council is expected to bring its housing back under direct control after two independent probes found ‘underlying issues around governance and finance’.

Slough given conditions for £300m bailout


Slough Council will only be considered for a £307m Government bailout to cover its deficits if it proves it can turn itself around financially, the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has warned.

Trust for children's services at Star Hobson council


Bradford Council’s children’s services will be transferred to a not-for-profit trust following the tragic death of Star Hobson.

Oxfordshire councils look to scrap partnership


Oxfordshire County Council and Cherwell District Council have announced they are looking to end their formal partnership.

Shortcomings revealed in second child murder case


A second court case in a month has revealed serious shortcomings in how local agencies responded to allegations of abuse shortly before a child’s murder.

Commissioners sent in to struggling Slough


The Government has sent commissioners in to struggling Slough BC in a bid to turn round its failing finances.

Commissioners to monitor Slough improvement plan


Mismanagement and a dysfunctional culture contributed to Slough Council’s financial meltdown, two Government-ordered reviews have concluded.

Ombudsman: Care system failing to deliver


Funding problems rather than individual errors explain a ‘relentless rise’ in the proportion of social care complaints upheld by the local government ombudsman, the watchdog has said.

Commissioners appointed at Liverpool City Council


Surrey CC’s chief executive Joanna Killian will be part of the team of independent commissioners who will oversee improvements at Liverpool City Council, local government secretary Robert Jenrick has announced today.

Liverpool puts forward improvement plan


Liverpool City Council has drafted an improvement plan and letter in response to the Caller report, which called for an intervention in the city.

Jenrick steps in at 'dysfunctional' Liverpool


Commissioners will be sent in to Liverpool City Council after an independent inquiry found serious mismanagement and a dysfunctional culture, communities secretary Robert Jenrick has told Parliament.

New measures to tackle ‘serious failures’ at Nottingham City Council


An expert panel to help Nottingham City Council improve its ‘appalling financial and management issues’ has been set up by the Government.

Ombudsman makes 12% more service improvement recommendations


Increasing systemic problems identified in residents’ complaints has led to the Local Government Ombudsman making more wider service improvement recommendations to councils than ever before.

Council peer reviews go virtual


Peer support for councils is going virtual to help them deal with recovery and renewal as they emerge from the coronavirus lockdown.

IfG: Extend outsourcing reforms to councils


Government reforms of outsourcing to avoid another Carillion collapse must be extended to local government where commercial skills lag behind Whitehall, a report from the Institute for Government (IfG) think-tank has said.

Councils welcome education improvements in Wales


Council leaders in Wales have welcomed improvements to all areas of the country’s education system.

Northants reorganisation stalled amid election


Plans to reorganise cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council have stalled amid the general election.

Councils save £100m through sector-led improvements


Councils have saved more than £100m in the past year by using the Local Government Association’s sector-led improvement (SLI) offer.

Call for leader to quit after 'repeated failures'


Shadow local government secretary Andrew Gwynne has called for Northamptonshire CC leader, Matt Golby, to quit after ‘repeated failures’ in the council’s children’s services.

'Slow progress' two years after inadequate judgement


Gloucestershire CC is making ‘slow progress’ in improving its services for its children and young people two years after it was judged inadequate, Ofsted has found.

Delay to Northamptonshire reorganisation welcomed


Council leaders have welcomed the year-long delay to plans to create two new unitaries in Northamptonshire.

Brokenshire moves to boost local government accountability


Brokenshire moves to impose fresh conditions on ‘top slice’ cash

Brum improvement team issues final damning judgement and walks away


Birmingham City Council’s intervention team has issued a final, damning report on the crisis-hit council and walked away – despite admitting its job is not complete.

Council makes 'significant progress' after standards issues


Sandwell MBC has made ‘significant progress’ following an independent review last year.

LGA faces financial headache


Smith Square has acknowledged the financial challenges it faces as it freezes subscriptions while grappling with declining Government grants and a pension scheme deficit.

Whitehall demands in-year cuts to improvement programme


The sector’s ability to respond to crises such as a care provider failure could be hit after Whitehall demanded cuts to a key improvement programme, senior councillors have been warned.

LEPs told to improve ahead of EU funding changes


Fresh concerns have emerged about local enterprise partnerships (LEP) as the Government considers whether to use them to funnel UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) cash.

Brokenshire considering new devolution models


James Brokenshire is considering new models of devolution as he seeks to extend further powers to local areas, the communities secretary has insisted.

Northampton unitary plan falls


The tight timeframe for reorganising local government across Northamptonshire claimed its first victim this week despite ministers’ decision to extend the consultation period.

Brokenshire announces Northamptonshire commissioners


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

Northants to have improvement board


Northamptonshire CC will establish an improvement board that will work closely with government commissioners to improve the county’s finances and governance ahead of reorganisation.

Essex to take lead over Barnet’s ‘inadequate’ children’s services


Essex County Council has been appointed Barnet’s improvement partner after the latter’s children’s services were rated ‘inadequate’ by inspectors.

Inspectors sent in to probe Northamptonshire Council's finances


Local government secretary Sajid Javid has ordered a best value inspection of Conservative-led Northamptonshire CC amid continuing concerns over its financial management and corporate governance.

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