Audit, Inspection and Safety

PAC: Government must ‘raise its game’ on cyber security

03.02.17: The government must recruit more skilled staff to handle rapidly growing threats to the country’s cyber security, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has said. In its latest report, the committee said that the government has dilly-dal...

MPs to probe council scrutiny arrangements after high-profile scandals

25.01.17: The Communities and Local Government (CLG) committee has launched an inquiry into how the actions of local government are overviewed and scrutinised. The committee will consider how effectively overview and scrutiny arrangements are working...

Rob Behrens approved as Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

23.01.17: The new Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) has been named as Rob Behrens. Behrens, who was selected from a shortlist of five candidates, was approved for the role in a pre-appointment hearing held by two parliamentary select...

Tower Hamlets mayor praises ‘vote of confidence’ as DCLG returns grant-making powers

18.01.17: The communities secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed the start of a ‘phased’ return of powers to Tower Hamlets council, enabling councillors to once again award grants to local not-for-profit organisations for the first time since Dec...

Michael King confirmed as new Local Government Ombudsman

11.01.17: Michael King’s appointment as the new Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has been confirmed by the communities and local government secretary, Sajid Javid. King is replacing Dr Jane Martin, who plans to retire, as head of the body respo...

NAO warns HMRC against ‘uncertainty’ caused by office closures

10.01.17: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) staff may have to move long distances in order to keep their jobs as part of its ongoing reorganisation, and will inevitably increase uncertainty among the workforce,  the government spending watchdog has found...

LGO: Councils cannot ‘contract out accountability’ for care home services

05.01.17: The Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has urged councils to hold social care providers accountable after complaints that an elderly woman lost one-third of her body weight in a care home run by Wokingham Borough Council. The woman, Mrs X, wh...

Rotherham council regains control of taxi licensing powers

14.12.16: The DCLG has handed back licensing powers to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council with immediate effect in a move welcomed by the local authority. The communities secretary Sajid Javid wrote to the council’s chief executive yesterda...

NAO slams CCS for ‘severely’ underestimating joint buying difficulties

13.12.16: Central government has not achieved value for money from Crown Commercial Service (CCS) deals, with the Cabinet Office “severely” underestimating the difficulty of implementing joint buying practices across government, the National A...

Legislation published to create single Public Service Ombudsman

06.12.16: The Local Government Ombudsman and the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman will be abolished and replaced with a single Public Service Ombudsman under draft legislation laid before Parliament. The government agreed to the proposal f...

Scotland’s local authorities face ‘bleak future’, says spending watchdog

29.11.16: Many Scottish councils risk exhausting their reserves unless they successfully balance continued deep cuts to services and rising demand, the nation’s local government watchdog has said. In its 2016-17 financial overview, the Accounts...

Cabinet Office reveals ‘disappointing’ decrease in tackling social housing fraud

07.11.16: The number of social housing properties recovered from ineligible tenants is declining, the Cabinet Office has warned in the 2016 National Fraud Initiative (NFI) report. The report said that there had been a “disappointing” 37%...

Children at risk because of ‘deeply concerning’ DCLG stance in Rotherham taxi fears

02.11.16: Children and vulnerable adults are at risk of exploitation because of the government’s failure to adopt a recommendation on taxi licensing, the Communities and Local Government Committee (CLGC) has said. Back in August, as part of its...

LGO candidate backs calls for ‘once-in-a-generation’ single Ombudsman

01.11.16: The favoured candidate to be the next Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) said the organisation should be replaced with a single Public Services Ombudsman in a hearing before a Parliamentary committee today. Michael King, chief executive and a...

Public Atos contracts found to be ‘within normal parameters’, despite criticism

19.09.16: Atos has been commended for its performance in major government contracts in a Cabinet Office review. The Cabinet Office agreed to carry out the review following recommendations by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after a report on the s...

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LGA: New homes data positive, but still failing to meet growing housing need

24/02/2017LGA: New homes data positive, but still failing to meet growing housing need

New figures released by the government have shown that the number of new build homes has continued to rise to its highest level since 2007, but c... more >
Lancashire still pushing for devo deal despite two councils withdrawing support

24/02/2017Lancashire still pushing for devo deal despite two councils withdrawing support

Plans put forward for a devolution deal to join together 15 councils in Lancashire in a combined authority will still go ahead, despite two counc... more >
Councils divided as HS2 Bill is given Royal Assent

23/02/2017Councils divided as HS2 Bill is given Royal Assent

HS2 will be the “catalyst” in driving economic growth in the West Midlands as the eagerly anticipated high-speed rail link was given ... more >

editor's comment

21/02/2017Untapped potential

As PSE went to press, the government had just released its Industrial Strategy green paper, which has an ambitious aim to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”.  Overall, the strategy was welcomed across the public sector. However, as you&rsqu... read more >

last word

Some libraries are better than others

Some libraries are better than others

Helen Milner, chief executive of Good Things Foundation, formerly the Tinder Foundation, expands on the organisation’s recent claims that protecting libraries at all costs could be hol... more > more last word articles >
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And justice for all

23/02/2017And justice for all

Nothing less than a ‘whole-place’ pooling of public service budgets and devolution of criminal justice system powers to local level can create the conditions for community transformation, argue former communities secretary Hazel Blears and Lord Patel, chairman of the Mental Health Act Commission. Reform of the Criminal Justice... more >
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Shaping the future of local government through districts

23/02/2017Shaping the future of local government through districts

Mark Pawsey (pictured), the MP for Rugby and the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for District Councils, explains why he hopes t... more >
Bristol: the booming smart city

23/02/2017Bristol: the booming smart city

Barney Smith, CEO at Bristol Is Open, explains how the innovative project can help make cities more liveable and sustainable. Bristol is the... more >
Where next for devolution?

23/02/2017Where next for devolution?

Andrew Walker, policy expert on devolution at the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), explains why devolution in England needs a shot in th... more >
Introducing learning analytics

23/02/2017Introducing learning analytics

Learning analytics make use of the data generated as we learn and teach in order to improve learning and teaching. Rebecca Ferguson, a senior lec... more >


McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

20/12/2016McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

Jim McMahon, Labour’s shadow minister for local government and devolution, talks to PSE’s David Stevenson about the need to radically... more >
Solace president mandate: Champion diversity and celebrate great public services

20/12/2016Solace president mandate: Champion diversity and celebrate great public services

Jo Miller, the recently-elected president of Solace, talks to PSE about the need for championing great public services and ensuring inclusion at ... more >
The secret to the success of one public estate

19/08/2016The secret to the success of one public estate

Central government has faced strong criticism of its many estate schemes in recent years, but one in particular seems to steer clear of the backl... more >
Joint ventures: Are we better together?

19/04/2016Joint ventures: Are we better together?

Vivien Holland, local government advisory director at Grant Thornton UK LLP, examines the potential of Joint Ventures for local authorities going... more >

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