Audit, Inspection and Safety

Flintshire council takes over litter enforcement services from controversial Kingdom

17.04.19: Flintshire County Council has taken over litter enforcement services in the county and urged residents to “take responsibility” over waste after it cut ties with the controversy-hit Kingdom Services. The waste disposal enforceme...

SEND funding cut by more than £1bn as nine in 10 councils hit ‘massive funding shortfall’

16.04.19: Councils have seen a £1.2bn drop in real-terms funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) over the last four years as the Nation Education Union (NEU) warns that local authorities have reached “crisis...

Council scrutiny report found ‘dishonourable culture’ and aggressive overpricing among housing contractors

16.04.19: Hackney Council has defended the management of its £246m of housing contracts after a probe revealed aggressive pricing, excessive claims for works, and a “dishonourable culture” amongst contractors. The probe, a two-year...

Calls for ‘fundamental review’ of Scottish councils’ funding system with new property levies

15.04.19: A new system of environmental and property levies has been proposed to boost council funding in a call for a “fundamental review” of Scottish local government finances. The joint paper, launched by trade union Unison and the Jim...

New laws to abolish ‘no-fault’ evictions in government overhaul of private rental sector

15.04.19: New proposed laws mean landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants at short notice without a good reason in a government pledge to overhaul the private rental sector. Housing secretary James Brokenshire has announced the new legislati...

Amey tables £300m offer to escape 25-year Birmingham City Council contract

15.04.19: Outsourcing giant Amey has offered Birmingham City Council £300m to free itself from a troubled 25-year PFI contract after a bitter five-year legal battle. Amey, owned by Spanish infrastructure firm Ferrovial, is understood to have ma...

Councils paying for thousands of children in ‘illegal schools’, Ofsted says

12.04.19: Ofsted has warned that local authorities are providing funding for children’s education in unregulated settings, after finding 6,000 children to date receiving education in suspected illegal schools. The education inspectorate has cal...

Councils to press housing developers to pay for new schools under DfE guidance

11.04.19: The government has published new guidance for councils to encourage housing developers to fund the new schools created by their developments. The Department for Education has published the new advice setting out how local authorities can be...

Council overpaid staff more than £800,000 as watchdog raises national concerns of ‘recurring weaknesses’ in financial control

11.04.19: A Scottish council made more than 800 salary overpayments totalling over £800,000 to current and former employees, Scotland’s spending watchdog has revealed. A report from the Accounts Commission has raised concerns over “...

Children’s commissioner ‘extremely concerned’ over council spending on mental health services and postcode lottery

10.04.19: A postcode funding lottery and “extremely worrying” real-term reductions are facing the increasing number of children suffering from low-level mental health conditions, a major report from the Children's Commissioner for England has...

CIPFA publishes new guidance for public sector internal audit to cope with ‘growing levels of financial risk’

09.04.19: CIPFA has issued fresh guidance for internal audit in the public sector in order to contend with “restricted resources and growing levels of financial risk.” The new guidance calls on the public sector to provide the required su...

Town hall ‘rich list’ reveals thousands of council workers are earning over £100,000

09.04.19: The number of council workers earning over £100,000 a year has reached almost 2,500, according to a new ‘town hall rich list’. The Taxpayers’ Alliance has compiled the rich list that, against a back drop of sweeping...

Bristol City Council makes ‘reckless’ £9m investment into clean energy firm

08.04.19: Bristol City Council is to put a further £9m into its loss-making energy firm in a decision criticised as “reckless” and a “staggering waste of public money.” The council has already invested £27m into Br...

Councils spending hundreds of millions of pounds on agency social workers

08.04.19: Local authorities spent a total of £335m last year hiring agency social workers, with some now employing up to half of their children’s social care workforce using private companies. A number of councils have spent tens of milli...

Newham Council leaked sensitive gang information months before wave of ‘serious gang violence’

08.04.19: The London Borough of Newham has been fined after it accidently revealed sensitive personal information on more than 200 suspected gang members which were acquired by rival gangs. The council has been fined £145,000 by the Information...

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Neath Port Talbot Council threatens to pull out of £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal

17/04/2019Neath Port Talbot Council threatens to pull out of £1.3bn Swansea Bay City Deal

A council has threatened to pull out of Swansea Bay’s £1.3bn city deal unless it starts delivering projects in the next six months. ... more >
Flintshire council takes over litter enforcement services from controversial Kingdom

17/04/2019Flintshire council takes over litter enforcement services from controversial Kingdom

Flintshire County Council has taken over litter enforcement services in the county and urged residents to “take responsibility” over ... more >
City council rejoins ICS after reforms agreed in privatisation and accountability row

17/04/2019City council rejoins ICS after reforms agreed in privatisation and accountability row

Nottingham City Council is to rejoin its local NHS integrated care system (ICS) after significant reforms were made to the way the system runs in... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
New unitary authorities formally takeover from Dorset’s nine councils

01/04/2019New unitary authorities formally takeover from Dorset’s nine councils

Two new unitary authorities have officially taken control of local government in Dorset following the merging of nine local authorities. Given the go-ahead by parliament in May last year, th... more >
Spending ban over Northamptonshire County Council lifted

29/03/2019Spending ban over Northamptonshire County Council lifted

Northamptonshire County Council will have its spending ban lifted after commissioners reported the authority is “now living within its own means.” The section 114 notice banned a... more >

the raven's daily blog

Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

15/04/2019Self-build builds potential for more and better homes

The director of The Right to Build Task Force – which advises stakeholders on bringing on more custom and self-build homes – Mario Wolf, who is currently on secondment from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, discusses challenges the public sector needs to engage with to deliver housing supply growth. In... more >
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Connecting the North East

15/04/2019Connecting the North East

Cabinet member for economic regeneration at Northumberland County Council Richard Wearmouth outlines the plans to reintroduce passenger services ... more >
What about social care?

15/04/2019What about social care?

Glen Garrod, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), outlines the challenges facing the social care workforce... more >
How public sector IT can exploit the last 'big things'

15/04/2019How public sector IT can exploit the last 'big things'

Martin Ferguson, director of policy and research at Socitm, outlines the technology-related trends to look out for in the public sector throughou... more >
Brexit's systemic fallout

15/04/2019Brexit's systemic fallout

The third in a trilogy of Brexit articles for PSE, Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, considers the wider constitut... more >

interviews

Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

17/12/2018Digital innovation in the public sector: The future is now

One of the public sector’s key technology partners has recently welcomed a new member to its team. Matt Spencer, O2’s head of public ... more >
Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need to invest in technology to help make better use of their resources. Bu... more >
New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

05/11/2018New Dorset Councils CEO on the creation of a new unitary: ‘This is going to be the right decision for Dorset’

The new chief executive of one of the new unitary authorities in Dorset has outlined his approach to culture and work with employees, arguing tha... more >
Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >

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