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Efficiency - February 2013

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Efficiency briefing - the top local government news in one place

Hard hit councils to get extra support

The government unveiled £9m further support for sparsely populated authorities as part of the final version of the local government settlement.

Lack of confidence in risk assessment

Council leaders’ confidence in identifying financial risk fell last year as they struggled to cope with persistent cuts and staff losses, according to Grant Thornton. The survey of 65 leaders by the accountancy firm found that confidence levels dropped from 98% in 2011 to 87% in 2012.

Plans to cut Newcastle arts budget by 100% halted

Harriet Harman, the shadow culture secretary and deputy Labour leader, intervened when Newcastle council’s draft budget proposed a total funding cut to city’s arts organisations.

Oxford secures five-year pay deal

Oxford City Council has negotiated a local pay deal which guarantees a “cost of living” increase of 1.5% a year for five years after national pay talks failed to produce a pay rise for the past three years.

DCLG appoints new members to Audit Commission board

The Department for Communities and Local Government has appointed four new Commissioners to the Audit Commission’s board: Councillor Adrian Collett; Nicola Scrivings; Andrea Sutcliffe; and Ruth Thompson.

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