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


In his new year message, the prime minister argued that the UK is “in the middle of one of the great reforming decades.” That certainly seems right for the local government landscape. With council finances undergoing large-scale changes and the chancellor determined to drive forward devolution deals for city regions, we are seeing fundamental changes to how theRead more

The Age of George

As the dust begins to settle on last week’s Budget, the Chancellor will be pleased that, so close to the election, there hasn’t been a major unravelling of his proposed measures. Supported by a range of good economic news, including a further fall in unemployment and an uprating in expected growth in 2015, the ChancellorRead more

Elections 2014: Headaches for the main parties?

Tomorrow will see the country go to the polls as votes are cast in the European elections. In addition, local elections are being held across 161 local authorities in England. Both sets of elections could pose problems for the two main parties. The story and focus of the campaign has, of course, centred on theRead more

The Miliband State of Mind

Thus far, the Labour leader has focused his attacks on big business and the perceived consumer detriment resulting from ‘broken markets’. However, Monday evening saw Ed Miliband, during his Hugo Young lecture, turn his attention to the state; in particular, the relation and interaction between the individual and the public services they use. Miliband has,Read more

High Street Housing?

Debate about the future of the UK’s high streets has been steadily rising up the political agenda. With a spate of high profile retailers having struggled (or even entered administration) in recent times, attention has increasingly focused on how, or even whether, to rejuvenate town centres. London Councils’ publication, last week, of Streets Ahead highlightedRead more

Housing, housing everywhere…

Recent media coverage suggesting that a housing crisis is engulfing London has been pretty hard to miss. Expected population increases across the capital in the coming years will place increasing pressure on the ability to meet housing demand. Indeed, it is being suggested by a range of sources that the number of new homes needingRead more