News round-up 9/8: Councils court sponsorship
Your daily media round up of all the key stories affecting local government
The Financial Times reports that cash-strapped councils are increasingly turning to corporate sponsorship to counter the effect of deep spending cuts. Many councils are hiring sponsorship executives to help shoehorn private money into their coffers. Examples given include Leeds City Council taking advertising on the payslips of its 30,000 employees and Aberdeen City Council which has drawn up plans to let companies sponsor council properties.
According to figures published today, the government on track to meet its target for cutting spending on “waste and inefficiency” in Whitehall, the BBC writes. Last year’s savings included reductions in civil servant salaries, 85% cuts in the use of external consultants, and savings of nearly £400m from freezing parts of the government’s marketing and advertising budget.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has promised a change in the way the government operates and said “this is broadly ideology-free”, the Financial Times reports.
Prime minister David Cameron has defended the government’s decision to cut dedicated physical education funding, saying that the problem has been “too many schools not wanting to have competitive sport”, the Financial Times says. Responding to concerns about the cuts, Mr Cameron said government targets in this area could distort behaviour, saying: “we need more competition, more competitiveness”.
The Times reports that the prime minister “stirred up another row with teachers” by saying that the unwillingness of some teachers to give up their time was an obstacle to ensuring all children got a chance to take part in physical activity.
Police and crime commissioners
Labour’s candidate to be Avon and Somerset’s police and crime commissioner has been forced to pull out of the race because of a conviction for offences committed 46 years ago for which he was fined £5, the Times reports. Bob Ashford, a former director of the Youth Justice Board, was convicted of trespassing and possessing an offensive weapon in Bristol when he was 13.
Speaking at a press conference on the Bank of England’s quarterly inflation report yesterday, governor of the bank, Sir Mervyn King, signalled more money creation could happen through the Bank’s quantitative easing programme in an attempt to revive the UK’s ailing economy, the Guardian reports.
Britain’s economic recovery is projected to be weaker and more protracted than expected a few months ago, raising questions about how far the Bank’s monetary policy can be used to boost overall demand in the economy, reports the Financial Times.
The governor ruled out calls for a rate cut from the already historic low 0.5%, saying the risks to lending would outweigh any benefits, the Times reports.