Dial 114 for funds, the cracks in local authority finance

Conservative run Northamptonshire Council has become the first local authority in two decades to signal it is close to bankruptcy. The council issued a section 114 notice this month banning expenditure on all services except those it has a statutory obligation to provide to safeguard vulnerable people. The Council Leader cited “severe financial challenges” sayingRead more

The rural economy: beyond farms and cattle?

While many of us wish we could trade our grey metropolis office for a stunning countryside view, the practicalities of doing so have always seemed out of reach. The traditional perception of the rural economy is one dominated by farming and forestry; an avenue for higher productivity, innovation and investment into a diverse range ofRead more

In-out source it all about

It’s now a little over a week since the collapse of Carillion and the implications of the construction firm’s collapse continues to dominate political discourse across Westminster (Brexit notwithstanding). The government is faced with the immediate question over what role they’ll play in helping resolve the crisis, while also being forced to think about introducingRead more

The nightmare after Christmas

The festive period feels like a long time ago for many of us, but the financial wreckage of Christmas sales still feels fresh on the high street. Concerns over the precarious state of Britain’s languishing consumer economy have intensified this week as several big retailers shocked investors with reports of weak Christmas sales. Marks andRead more

Forever in your debt

The bitter Phil 1.4 per cent in 2018, 1.3 in 2019, and 1.3 again for 2020. The uninspiring growth forecasts announced by the Chancellor at the Autumn Budget have left many pessimistic about the outlook for the economy, and the search for any markets showing signs of growth within the gloom even more acute. AndRead more

Bricks and mortar

From Lloyd George’s ‘Homes Fit for Heroes’ campaign after WWI to Margaret Thatcher’s ‘right-to-buy’ revolution in the 1980s, repeated UK governments have attempted to transform the UK housing market through ambitious policy proposals. Theresa May’s government now looks to have followed in their footsteps if last week’s ambitious Budget announcement outlining plans to build 300,000Read more

What are the odds? Your fruit machine is about to change

The gambling industry is eagerly awaiting the outcome of the government’s review on gambling machines, and there is tension in the air over who will hold the ace when the cards are dealt. With something of a hiatus on investment since the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched its review in OctoberRead more

Cautiously carrying on

With Conservative Party conference over, focus returns to Westminster, and to Brexit. And UK business leaders are becoming increasingly concerned. Stanford and Nottingham universities have teamed up over the past year, with the help of the Bank of England, to track the views of 2,500 chief executives and chief financial officers towards Brexit negotiations. TheyRead more