National and Devolved Politics

Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

25.03.19: Birmingham City Council has been accused of “unprecedented levels of financial incompetence” after it received its third auditor warning in four years. Finance and governance director Clive Heaphy confirmed that the council had...

First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

25.03.19: A six-year pay dispute between councillors at Caerphilly County Borough Council at a cost of £4m will mean the rules around senior council officers’ pay in Wales will be changed, first minister Mark Drakeford has said. Drakeford...

RBS to wind down £1bn worth of controversial LOBO loans by end of the year

25.03.19: The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is attempting to wind down the remainder of around £1bn in controversial LOBO bank loans. Seven local authorities announced in February that they were suing Barclays over a combined £500m of the...

Essex council announces £1bn construction deal

22.03.19: An Essex council has announced a £1bn contract in a joint venture to regenerate council sites and deliver new homes and commercial facilities. Brentwood Borough Council has named Morgan Sindall as its partner for the Limited Liability...

Council to pull out of government schools improvement body over rising costs and ‘major concerns’ over poor management

22.03.19: A Welsh council is to pull out of a government-run schools improvement scheme over concerns about how it is run and fears that the quadrupling of costs could threaten jobs at the local authority. Neath Port Talbot Council will, subject to a...

Councils' legal challenge against Buckinghamshire merger process rejected

22.03.19: An application from three district councils for a judicial review of the merger plans to create a single unitary council for Buckinghamshire has failed. South Buckinghamshire, Chiltern and Wycombe councils have been informed that their appl...

Local income tax could give councils billions in extra funding, IFS report reveals

21.03.19: A ‘local income tax’ could provide councils in the UK with an extra £6bn a year per 1% in order to help them meet rising costs and rising demands, economists have suggested. A report from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (I...

Commissioners report that Northamptonshire’s finances have ‘improved considerably’ but still risk ahead

21.03.19: The two government-appointed commissioners have reported that Northamptonshire County Council’s financial position has “improved considerably” and its budget plans for next year are “robust and realistic.” The...

Watchdog urges Scottish councils to make ‘fundamental changes’ to meet shifting demands

21.03.19: Scottish councils have been urged to make “fundamental, transformational changes” to how frontline services are designed and delivered and said that the “pace of change needs to improve.” A report from the Accounts C...

Local government employment hits ‘new record low’

20.03.19: Local government employment has slumped to a “new record low,” official figures have revealed. The number of people employed in local government dropped to 2.04 million in December 2018, a drop of 44,000 staff (2.1%) from Decemb...

Northamptonshire CC to ask for DfE for more time over controversial early years funding cuts

20.03.19: Northamptonshire County Council is to ask the government for extra time to find a solution to its early years funding deficit after proposals for nearly £2m of cuts faced a backlash from residents. The cash-strapped council had propos...

Gang of council officers given 17-year total jail sentence after stealing more than £1m from three London authorities

20.03.19: A group of corrupt council workers who invented welfare claims to steal more than £1m from three London councils have been sentenced to prison for a total of 17 years. The seven benefit assessors worked at Lambeth, Kingston, and Barki...

Families lose High Court battle against Surrey County Council over £21m special needs reduction

19.03.19: Families of children with special educational needs have lost a High Court challenge against Surrey County Council over its plans to reduce its special educations budget by £21m. As part of £82m of savings in its 2019-20 budget...

Interserve handed ‘irresponsible’ public sector contracts worth over £660m prior to administration

19.03.19: Interserve handed out £660m worth of public sector contracts before it went into administration last week – which one union has called the “height of irresponsibility.” Interserve, which entered administration on Fri...

Stoke-on-Trent council’s ‘inadequate’ children services slammed by Ofsted in ‘outrageous dereliction of duty’

19.03.19: Vulnerable children are “not being protected” by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and are being failed by its “inadequate” services, Ofsted has found. An inspection of the children’s services in Stoke found that chi...

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Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

25/03/2019Birmingham City Council accused of ‘unprecedented levels of financial incompetence’ after receiving its third auditor warning

Birmingham City Council has been accused of “unprecedented levels of financial incompetence” after it received its third auditor warn... more >
First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

25/03/2019First minister promises rules review after Caerphilly council’s six-year £4m pay row

A six-year pay dispute between councillors at Caerphilly County Borough Council at a cost of £4m will mean the rules around senior council ... more >
RBS to wind down £1bn worth of controversial LOBO loans by end of the year

25/03/2019RBS to wind down £1bn worth of controversial LOBO loans by end of the year

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is attempting to wind down the remainder of around £1bn in controversial LOBO bank loans. Seven local... 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 >
Budget meeting descends into chaos as Manchester council raids reserves

11/03/2019Budget meeting descends into chaos as Manchester council raids reserves

Manchester City Council is to raid its reserves and raise council tax in a bid to make £15m worth of savings in a meeting that spiralled out of control and led to councillors “aggress... more >
‘Betrayed’ foster carers of Parsons Green bomber sue Surrey council

08/03/2019‘Betrayed’ foster carers of Parsons Green bomber sue Surrey council

The foster parents of the Parson Green bomber are suing Surrey County Council for negligence after the authority placed him in their home without telling them he had been “trained to kill b... more >

the raven's daily blog

Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

18/03/2019Councils Can: LGA launches Spending Review campaign

Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association, outlines his organisation’s campaign to make sure local government tops to government’s list for this year’s Spending Review. Our #CouncilsCan campaign to influence this year’s Spending Review is well underway and gathering momentum. The money local governm... more >
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Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

11/03/2019Camberley inspired: investment and regeneration

The decline of the Great British high street has been one of the greatest concerns for local councils in recent years, leading to some innovative... more >
Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

11/03/2019Swindon's solar-powered recycling centre saves council cash

Steve Cains, head of power solutions at Public Power Solutions, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Swindon Borough Council, describes the benefits of... more >
National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

11/03/2019National Infrastructure Commission: Progressing the North

The National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) National Infrastructure Assessment was released in July 2018, making a variety of recommenda... more >
SARS II: Recovery made easy

11/03/2019SARS II: Recovery made easy

Paul Bentley, of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), introduces us to the Spend Analysis Recovery Framework: a no win no fee means of carrying ou... 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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