Politics and Policy

Bradford issued Best Value Notice

The Government has issued a Best Value Notice to City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council over concerns about its financial resilience and children’s services.

Politics and Policy News

Sharp increase in home schooling, survey shows


A survey of councils in the south of England shows a sharp rise in the number of children being educated at home.

Gloucestershire to hold ‘urgent’ flood summit


Agencies are set to consider flood prevention plans for Gloucestershire after county councillors called for an ‘urgent’ meeting.

Third of parents say school travel affected by cuts


Almost a third of parents say that their child’s school travel has been affected by funding cuts, new research has revealed.

Councils raise concerns over disproportionate impact of voter ID


Councils have raised concerns that problems with new voting identification rules hit some groups harder than others, local government leaders have warned.

Progress on devolution 'too slow' - LGA vice-president


A Local Government Association vice-president has expressed ‘serious concerns about the Government’s increasing desire to centralise local service delivery across England out of Whitehall’.

Watchdog calls for 'radical improvements' to Lambeth housing


The Housing Ombudsman has called for ‘radical improvements’ to be made at Lambeth LBC, following five findings of severe maladministration.

Tenant jailed for £200,000 housing fraud


A tenant who lived in council housing in Dudley while renting out a flat she owned has been jailed for 32 months.

Notts council urged to end twinning with Chinese city


Campaigners have published an open letter calling on Nottingham City Council to end its relationship with a city in China.

‘Alarming’ figures reveal one third of fly-tipping in Glasgow


Almost one third of recorded fly-tipping incidents in Scotland last year took place in Glasgow, a freedom of information request has revealed.

Cambridge’s King’s College to install solar panels on historic chapel


Cambridge CC has granted planning permission for the installation of solar panels on the roof of King’s College Chapel despite concerns.

Council blocked by DfT over 'unlawful' speed enforcement


The Government has stepped in to block Wandsworth Council from attempting to enforce a 20mph speed limit in its borough.

Homelessness charity welcomes ‘Awaab’s Law’


Homelessness charity Shelter has welcomed the Government’s announcement that landlords will be forced to deal with damp and mould in tenants’ homes.

‘No-fault’ evictions up by over 140%


Evictions by private landlords have increased by143% in a year according to the latest Government?figures.

Charity calls for ban on pavement parking to improve accessibility


People with disabilities struggle to move around their communities due to ‘inadequate infrastructure’, a sustainable transport charity has found.

Council chiefs call for joined up anti-terrorism approach


A ‘broad and joined-up approach’ is needed to combat terrorism, according to the Local Government Association.

Ban on ‘no fault’ evictions at risk, MPs warn


MPs have warned that Government risks undermining its own proposed policy of banning ‘no fault’ evictions for tenants unless it fixes delays in court system.

Council criticised for failing to support woman fleeing violence


West Berkshire Council did not do enough to support a woman and her children who were fleeing threats of violence, the Ombudsman has ruled.

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.

Pocklington to leave DLUHC amid Whitehall changes


Permanent secretary Jeremy Pocklington will leave the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) amid a series of Whitehall changes.

Warrington tops list of areas with most contaminated land


Warrington has topped a list of the 10 council areas with the most contaminated land, new research reveals.

Anti-social behaviour should be top priority, says report


Tackling anti-social behaviour must become a central tenet of levelling up if the agenda is to succeed, a think-tank has warned.

City leaders call for £100m boost to ‘cultural engagement’


Cities with low ‘cultural engagement’ are more likely to be deprived, according to a new report.

Tycoon’s planning application creating 'climate of fear'


A former nurse paid £2bn by the Government for PPE gear has been accused of 'riding roughshod' over a Bedfordshire village with her plans for new stables.

Councils still vulnerable to online attacks, MPs told


Councils must get together with insurers to work out how to protect themselves against the risk of cyber attacks, a leading security expert has warned.

Plans to house asylum seekers in a Pontins park abandoned


The Government has decided not to continue with its plans to house asylum seekers in a Pontins Holiday Park on Merseyside, according to the local council.

Future of bus services ‘hangs in the balance’


The future of bus services in England ‘hangs in the balance’ with Government funding due to run out shortly, transport experts have warned.

Council hands back £100,000 of fines after road sign U-turn


Lambeth Council has handed back £100,000 to drivers who were fined because of its confusing road signs.

Charge manufacturers for fly-tipping clean up, council chiefs say


Manufacturers should contribute to the cost of cleaning up fly-tipped rubbish to help tackle the health risk posed by the illegal practice, council chiefs say.

New council to adopt Armed Forces Covenant


The new North Yorkshire Council is set to pledge its support to members of the Armed Forces and military veterans.

‘Hidden’ unemployment rates reveal deepening divides


Nine out of 10 of the UK’s cities and towns with the highest hidden unemployment rates are in the North, new study reveals.

Childcare pressures putting families ‘at risk’


The cost-of-living crisis is forcing childcare providers to increase their prices and reduce their staff numbers, a new survey has revealed.

Councils call for ‘fair’ benefits system to help vulnerable


Councils have warned that vulnerable and less well-off people are being hit hardest by the cost of living crisis.

Council calls for review into missing children


Brighton & Hove City Council has called for a safeguarding review after dozens of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children went missing from a hotel in the city.

Councillors call for end to outsourcing asylum accommodation


Local councillors from across the UK have called on the Government to stop outsourcing asylum accommodation to for-profit companies.

Scottish councils take legal advice over teacher cuts


Scottish councils are taking legal advice on the SNP government’s threat to penalise them if they cut teacher numbers.

Developers ordered to sign building repairs contract


Housing developers have been ordered to sign legally binding contracts that they will pay to repair unsafe buildings.

HS2 future in doubt


The future of the flagship rail HS2 project linking the north and south appears in doubt after the Government refused to confirm it will reach central London.

Gove urged to address ‘inequalities’ affecting GRT community


Lords committee has asked the Government for more information on how it plans to address inequalities faced by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) people.

EXCLUSIVE: Unions poised to submit inflation-busting pay claim


Local government trade unions are considering an inflation-busting pay demand for 2023-24, The MJ understands.

Council chiefs call for extra support for 13.4m in poverty


Millions of people still face poverty despite recent support, council leaders warn as shocking new study that reveals four million children in poor households.

Councils urged to check information sharing agreements


Councils are being urged to check they have adequate information sharing agreements with their providers, after one council struggled to access essential data.

Holyrood to order councils to stop teacher cuts


The Scottish government is considering ordering councils to stop cutting teacher numbers after local government body COSLA expressed concerns over funding.

Government overruled over £1.2bn cross-Channel cable


Portsmouth City Council has described a High Court decision to overrule the Government’s rejection of a £1.2bn cross-Channel power cable as ‘a bad outcome’.

BCP Council proposes barbeque ban


BCP Council has launched a consultation on proposals to prohibit barbeques in public spaces and other ‘negative behaviours’.

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.

Welsh councils need to encourage resilience, auditors say


Local authorities in Wales must do more to encourage and grow community resilience against a backdrop of cuts, auditors have said.

Holyrood urged to empower councils to reach net zero


Scotland will not reach its net zero targets without first empowering the local government sector, MSPs have warned.

Levelling up directors could be scrapped


Plans to appoint a dozen levelling up directors may be scrapped, a minister has admitted.

Minister admits to shifting goalposts on levelling up bids


A Government minister has admitted to shifting the rules on Levelling Up Fund bids after applications had been submitted.

Cyclists warned to steer clear of pothole-ridden roads


A bicycle insurance company has called for the crumbling road network to be fixed, citing data showing that 21% of cyclists have hit a pothole.

Preparing for future floods image

Preparing for future floods

After Storm Henk, APSE principal advisor Rob Bailey sets out some of the steps local authorities should take to improve flood preparedness.
The Trading Standards Crisis image

The Trading Standards Crisis

John Herriman, chief executive at the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, discusses the impact of the local government funding crisis on Trading Standards.
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