Latest Public Sector News


Kerslake: Central government too focused on Brexit to help council finances

The former head of the Civil Service, Lord Kerslake, has argued that central government is disregarding councils and local authorities as it is too preoccupied with Brexit.

Lord Kerslake’s comments came as he spoke at CIPFA’s conference last week, where he also argued that the squeeze on local government finance is “shamefully not recognised by much of central government.”

The peer argued that local authorities need better support from Westminster and that the latter should not allow Brexit to overshadow this.

According to CIPFA’s Public Finance, Lord Kerslake said: “Brexit dominates the political environment which we work in, and one of the consequences of that is that big issues – like social care – have been submerged by the Brexit debate.

“It is really hard to break beyond the Brexit debate.”

During the LGA conference last year, he had argued that powers that come back through Brexit must be given to local government rather than just Whitehall.

His latest comments come at a time when local authorities are struggling financially: just this month, Burnley and Somerset councils announced major spending cuts, whereas Swindon, Warrington and Newcastle councils are all expecting deficits this year.

Vital services such as social care and children’s services are bearing the brunt of most spending cuts.

Despite this backdrop of cuts, Kerslake said that councils had “coped brilliantly” with austerity and lack of central government funds.

He also warned that if funding for local authorities is not found within the next year or two, “local government as a whole will be in an unsustainable position.”

Top image:  Peter Byrne via PA Wire/PA Images


Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

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 open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Government accountability: A year in crises

15/01/2019Government accountability: A year in crises

From Windrush to Univerisal Credit: the Institute for Government’s (I... more >
Rethinking public-private partnerships

15/01/2019Rethinking public-private partnerships

Trinley Walker, senior policy researcher at the New Local Government Networ... more >


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 welco... more >

the raven's daily blog

Bus franchising is the biggest power new mayors have - they should use it

15/01/2019Bus franchising is the biggest power new mayors have - they should use it

It will face opposition at first, but transitioning to a system of bus franchising is the best and only option to truly modernise transport systems across our city regions, ar... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

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 feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >