Whitehall

Councils can issue traffic fines from December

15/06/2021

Powers to enforce moving traffic offences will not be extended to local authorities in England outside London until the end of the year, a Department for Transport (DfT) minister has said.

Patel reveals rota replacement scheme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children

10/06/2021

A new rota scheme will better distribute responsibility for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) among councils, home secretary Priti Patel has revealed.

Controversial Somerset poll backs district plan

07/06/2021

A controversial poll on reorganisation in Somerset has come out in favour of a district-based proposal.

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.

Wolverhampton's i9 selected to house MHCLG's Midlands base

28/05/2021

Two floors of Wolverhampton’s new i9 office building will be home to the first ministerial department outside of London, it has been announced.

Levelling up is 'meaningless' without devo, say Lords

20/05/2021

The Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda is meaningless without more devolution to councils and investment in local public services says a report from the House of Lords.

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.

More than 100 leisure centres could go bust, DCN warns

13/05/2021

More than 100 leisure centres in England could go bust due to the coronavirus crisis, district councils have warned.

Queen's Speech: Controversial voter ID plans roll forward

11/05/2021

Voter ID is expected to be introduced by May 2023 after the Government pledged to introduce legislation to ‘ensure the integrity of elections’.

Devolution White Paper to be replaced by levelling up proposals

04/05/2021

A levelling up White Paper will replace the long-awaited policy document on devolution and local recovery.

Homelessness charity calls for Home Office rules to be scrapped

21/04/2021

Home Office rules ‘undermine’ efforts to end rough sleeping and should be ‘scrapped immediately,’ a charity has said.

No simple north-south divide, says report

19/04/2021

There is no simple north-south divide, a new report by Legal and General (L&G) has argued.

Vaccine may be made compulsory for care home staff

14/04/2021

Staff in English care homes with older adults may be required to have a COVID-19 vaccine in a bid to tackle hesitancy within the sector.

Levelling up fund faces legal challenge

06/04/2021

The Government could face legal action over its ‘troublingly opaque’ allocation of the Levelling Up Fund.

Council tax revaluation would help level up, says IFS

31/03/2021

A new council tax revaluation would boost the Government’s levelling up agenda, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has said.

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.

Tear down devolution 'barriers,' APPG urges

09/03/2021

Powers should be devolved to councils before reorganisation takes place, a new report has concluded.

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.

Three Rivers tops recycling league

04/03/2021

Three Rivers DC in Hertfordshire has climbed to become the highest performing authority in England for household waste recycling, according to official government figures.

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: Sunak warns of pain to come

03/03/2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a budget to protect ‘livelihood and jobs’ – with a warning of public finance pain to come.

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.

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.

MHCLG to make move from Whitehall to Wolverhampton

22/02/2021

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is setting up a second headquarters in the Black Country as part of plans to shift civil servants away from the capital.

Government confirms May election date

05/02/2021

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

More councils will be forced to issue Section 114 notices, MPs warn

22/01/2021

More councils will ‘soon be unable to balance their books and be forced to issue Section 114 notices,’ the influential Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has warned.

Councils asked to 'redouble efforts' on rough sleeping

08/01/2021

English councils have been asked to ‘redouble their efforts’ to help accommodate people sleeping rough, with the Government finding an additional £10m funding.

Major incidents over COVID declared

04/01/2021

Essex, Oxfordshire and Berkshire have declared major incidents amid fears the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases could overwhelm health services.

London enters tier three restrictions

14/12/2020

The Government’s timetable for COVID-19 tier reviews has been pre-empted with the imposition of extra restrictions on London, Essex and Hertfordshire.

Boost to local test and trace funding

11/12/2020

The increase of up to £200m per month follows criticism from the National Audit Office.

Flood funding for councils may not be enough, watchdog finds

27/11/2020

The Government is unable to prove councils have enough funding for flood defences, a spending watchdog has discovered.

Spending Review: UKSPF to reach £1.5bn a year

25/11/2020

The value of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will reach around £1.5bn a year on average, chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.

Spending Review: £2.9bn 'restart programme to help unemployed'

25/11/2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a three-year £2.9bn ‘restart programme’ to help more than one million people unemployed for more than a year find work.

Leisure centre collapse warning

20/11/2020

Under-pressure leisure centres will go under without further rescue funding on top of the £100m already pledged by the Government, district councils have warned.

Councils bid for vaccine role

16/11/2020

Councils have made a bid to play a key role in distributing the new coronavirus vaccine.

Think tank calls for new health and social care tax

11/11/2020

A new health and social care tax raising £17bn should be the centrepiece of sweeping tax increases to raise £40bn a year, according to a new report from think-tank the Resolution Foundation.

Councils call for clear lockdown exit strategy

04/11/2020

The Government has been urged to work with councils to develop a clear lockdown exit strategy by the Local Government Association (LGA).

Crisis call for return of Everyone In

04/11/2020

The chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis has called for ring-fenced funding for councils to provide COVID-safe accommodation for anyone at risk of rough sleeping.

Think-tank issues warning on Brexit readiness

03/11/2020

Local authorities and the devolved nations risk being overwhelmed by Brexit as they are trying to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, a think tank has claimed.

Rapid review into Croydon’s ‘dysfunctional governance’

29/10/2020

The Government is conducting a rapid review into Croydon Council, focusing on its government, culture and risk management.

Coronavirus leads to scrapping of three-year Spending Review

21/10/2020

Plans to create a three-year settlement for public spending have been abandoned as latest figures show the havoc coronavirus is wreaking on the public finances.

Public sector exit cap signed into law

15/10/2020

The £95,000 cap on public sector exit payments was signed into law last night and will come into force on November 4.

Three areas invited to submit unitary proposals

09/10/2020

The Government has today invited councils in three areas to submit proposals for the creation of unitary local authorities by April 2023.

Fragmented council funding risks to value for money, report warns

05/10/2020

The increasing fragmentation in council funding ‘undermines central government’s understanding of service delivery’ and ‘risks impeding value for money,’ a report has warned.

Planning proposals will 'disempower' councils

28/09/2020

The Lib Dems have used their autumn conference to warn that the Government’s planning proposals will ‘disempower’ councils.

Hundreds of homeless lives saved by emergency accommodation, researchers find

25/09/2020

More funding and emergency legal changes are ‘critical’ so local authorities can continue to support people in safe and secure accommodation, the chief executive of homelessness charity Crisis has said.

Sector surprise at COVID marshal scheme

09/09/2020

Local government has been blindsided by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement that an army of COVID marshals will enforce tough new rules.

LEPs need capacity boost to improve delivery, research finds

07/09/2020

Local enterprise partnerships (LEP) would be better at delivering large-scale capital projects if they had more capacity, independent research for the Government has found.

Councils facing £2bn budget black hole

18/08/2020

Councils face a budget black hole of £2bn this year due to unfunded coronavirus costs, a new study has found.

Councils urge extension for grants support scheme

03/08/2020

Fresh calls have been made for councils to be allowed to dole out to businesses the £1.6bn unspent from the Government’s small firms grant funds.

Government handling of social care during pandemic attacked

29/07/2020

MPs have delivered a blistering attack on the Government’s handling of social care during coronavirus.

MPs slate ministers over local government funding

23/07/2020

MPs have slated ministers for failing to give local government sufficient funding and urged them to ensure a 'clear and timely financial settlement’ in readiness for the next phase of the pandemic.

Government launches Spending Review

21/07/2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has warned of ‘tough choices’ as he launched the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Better response to pandemic from European councils, says think-tank

16/07/2020

Local government across Europe has been able to react to the coronavirus crisis with greater power and autonomy than in the UK, a report published today has found.

Care chiefs reject Boris' COVID claims

07/07/2020

Care chiefs have rejected claims by Boris Johnson that it was their lack of vigilance that led to a high number of coronavirus deaths in care homes.

Councils in local virus data call

03/07/2020

Councils have called for the Government to go further after it finally started to publish more coronavirus testing data.

Jenrick announces more cash, income compensation and tax delay

02/07/2020

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has announced more cash and new ways councils will be reimbursed for income lost as a result of coronavirus.

Hand health powers to elected mayors, says report

23/06/2020

Health powers should be handed to elected mayors as part of a ‘rejuvenated and fortified wave of devolution,’ a think-tank report has suggested.

Combined authority 'spending reserves like it's going out of fashion'

17/06/2020

Greater Manchester Combined Authority’s chief executive has expressed doubts about whether his region would be able to cope with a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Luton forced into unavoidable cuts

17/06/2020

Luton BC’s boss has said the council has done all it can but has no other choice than to cut 365 jobs and frontline services.

Councils call for clarity on local lockdowns

16/06/2020

Councils this week called for clarity on the legal powers they will have if they are forced to implement local coronavirus lockdowns.

Councils back evictions ban in face of landlord criticism

15/06/2020

Councils have insisted police powers can still be used to evict perpetrators of domestic violence amid the evictions ban.

Councils call for leisure bail out

09/06/2020

District councils have called on the Government to bail out cash-strapped leisure centres as they face permanent closure because of lack of income due to the coronavirus shutdown.

Council planning powers under threat

08/06/2020

Planning powers could be shifted from local authorities to development corporations as part of an economic stimulus package to be announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson later this month.

Local lockdown powers up in the air

27/05/2020

Council powers over calling a local lockdown are still to be thrashed out as the NHS’ test and trace system is formally launched.

LGA split over worker bonus

26/05/2020

A cross-party agreement that the Local Government Association (LGA) would lobby for a coronavirus payment to staff was ditched after senior councillors blocked the move, The MJ can reveal.

Councils given £300m and key tracking role

22/05/2020

Councils in England will be handed £300m by the Government as they are given a key role in driving forward testing and tracing. 

No-deal Brexit planning would 'overwhelm' emergency response

19/05/2020

Planning for a no-deal Brexit at the end of this year would ‘overwhelm’ the country’s emergency response capacity, the Government has been warned in a leaked report.

Councils resist government's changed 'stay alert' message

15/05/2020

Areas with higher coronavirus rates have urged residents to stay at home amid fears the Government’s change of message to ‘stay alert’ was confusing.

Leeds chief takes on key contract tracing role

13/05/2020

Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan will take on a key role in the Government’s contact tracing programme in the battle against coronavirus.

Unite expected to urge council pay offer rejection

11/05/2020

Trade union Unite is expected to recommend that its members reject the employers ‘final’ 2.75% pay offer at a national committee meeting later this week.

'Too early to tell' if councils need more cash, says Jenrick

07/05/2020

It is ‘too early to tell’ if councils will need more cash to tackle coronavirus, communities secretary Robert Jenrick has said.

MPs tell department to 'get a grip' on SEND

05/05/2020

The Department for Education (DfE) does not have a grip on mounting pressure in the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system, a watchdog has found.

Councils warn leisure providers at 'crisis point'

05/05/2020

Leisure providers are at a ‘crisis point’ as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, English and Welsh councils have warned.

Districts win in latest allocations

28/04/2020

Districts have won a significantly higher share of funding in the latest allocations of government cash to help councils cope with coronavirus.

Councils need another £12.8bn to cope with coronavirus - LGA

27/04/2020

Councils may need up to another £12.8bn from the Government to get through the coronavirus crisis, the chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA) has suggested.

Coronavirus could cost Government £246bn this year, think tank warns

21/04/2020

The coronavirus crisis is likely to cost the Government £246bn this year, a think tank has predicted.

Call for lifting of immigration rules

20/04/2020

Council leaders in England, Scotland and Wales have called for a temporary lifting of the immigration rules that stop some migrants accessing public funds.

Government league table plan causes fury

17/04/2020

Plans to publish a league table of how quickly councils are doling out grants to help businesses have been met with anger from local government.

Jenrick moves to ease cash flow pressures

16/04/2020

New measures to help ease immediate financial pressures faced by councils in England due to the coronavirus outbreak have been announced by the Government.

More PPE promised for social care

15/04/2020

Health secretary Matt Hancock has promised to increase supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) to social care.

Thousands of firms receive financial help from councils

14/04/2020

Almost 100,000 small businesses across the country have already been paid a share of more than £1bn to help support them through the coronavirus crisis, the Local Government Association (LGA) has said.

Former Lambeth leader takes on shadow communities role

06/04/2020

Former Lambeth LBC leader Steve Reed has become the new shadow communities and local government secretary replacing Andrew Gwynne.

Video conferencing first at council meeting

02/04/2020

A council used software to help decide key planning applications in what is believed to be the first meeting of its kind in the country.

Care providers in law change call

01/04/2020

Care providers have pleaded with Prime Minister Boris Johnson to change the law to boost staff numbers in the sector during the COVID-19 outbreak.

End of week rough sleeping deadline

27/03/2020

Councils have been asked to support rough sleepers into accommodation by the end of the week amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Councils put at heart of coronavirus response

23/03/2020

Councils will be put at the heart of the response to coronavirus by delivering a national network of support to people at very high risk.

£3bn bed blocking coronavirus cash injection

19/03/2020

Almost £3bn of the Government’s £5bn Covid-19 funding will go towards freeing up at least 15,000 English hospital beds by the end of next week, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.

Budget 2020: Sunak reveals spending spree for first budget

11/03/2020

New chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled a Budget to end austerity, boost productivity and tackle the problems created by coronavirus.  

Budget 2020: New West Yorkshire mayor announced

11/03/2020

A new directly-elected West Yorkshire mayor has been announced with the Government signing a new devolution deal amid plans to ‘level up’ the UK economy.

IfG: Extend outsourcing reforms to councils

04/03/2020

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.

Government urged to 'think big' to tackle regional inequalities

02/03/2020

A comprehensive review of economic decline and social division has called for a ‘large-scale, comprehensive, long-term and devolved’ plan of action to deliver change.

City region deal to be signed

25/02/2020

The Stirling and Clackmannanshire city region deal will be signed by council leaders and representatives of the UK and Scottish governments today.

Councils demand extra planning powers

19/02/2020

Councils have called on the Government to use its White Paper to give them powers to take action on unbuilt land that has planning permission.

Ministers in Leeds to thrash out devo deal

28/01/2020

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority is meeting with ministers today to start thrashing out a devolution deal for the Leeds City Region.

Councils sent back to drawing board on SEND

28/01/2020

Councils have been sent back to the drawing board after a quango ripped apart their plans to recover massive special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) deficits.

Seven out of 10 councils overspend on homelessness

28/01/2020

Seven out of 10 English councils overspent their homelessness budgets in 2018/19 by a combined total of nearly £115m, Local Government Association (LGA) analysis has found.

Councils still being held back from building more homes finds report

07/01/2020

Local authorities are still being held back from providing more homes, a new report examining the future for council housing has argued.

Jenrick hails 'biggest multi-billion pound spending increase in a decade'

20/12/2019

Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has confirmed what he describes as the ‘biggest multi-billion pound spending increase for councils in a decade’.

Whitehall silence as Gwynne calls for provisional settlement

17/12/2019

Shadow local government secretary Andrew Gwynne has called on ministers to publish the provisional finance settlement immediately amid silence on its timing from Whitehall.

Sharpening the commercial edge image

Sharpening the commercial edge

The case for well-managed council commercial activity is one that needs to be defended if we want a mature and sustainable local state, argues Jonathan Werran.
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