LGC’s selection of this week’s must-read news items plus a comprehensive round-up of news from all local government’s service areas and disciplines.
NOTE: Click on the headlines for more on the stories.
THE WEEK’S TOP STORIES
Chief question overnight poll count move
Chief executives expressed “serious doubts” about a government commitment to require votes at the next general election to be counted overnight. The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives & Senior Managers said it was “very worrying” if the rules were to be changed at short notice. An amendment to the Constitutional Reform Bill on overnight counts passed unopposed after Justice secretary Jack Straw backed a campaign to start counts within four hours of polls closing.
Tories ‘wrecked’ care consensus
Business secretary Lord Mandelson accused David Cameron of “driving a wrecking ball” through efforts to reach a consensus on adult social care. His accusation came as the Conservatives launched a campaign against alleged Labour plans to meet the costs of social care for the elderly through a £20,000 ‘death tax’. Social care directors and charities condemned the collapse of cross-party talks on the issue.
Tories pledge public sector co-ops
Shadow chancellor George Osborne renewed a pledge to give public sector workers the chance to form co-operatives to run services. Mr Osborne hailed the policy as the biggest shift of power to workers since Margaret Thatcher introduced the right to buy council houses in the 1980s. He said the right to form employee co-operatives would extend from JobCentre Plus offices and community nursing teams to primary schools and housing trusts run by local people.
Audit Commission slams data on ageing
A report from the Audit Commission found fewer than one council in 10 had adequate data on the effects the ageing population will have on their area. The watchdog said the lack of understanding could mean councils miss out on savings that preventative services and partnership working could offer. Commission chair Michael O’Higgins said that out of 112 authorities questioned, just 11 had good medium-term strategies in place to cope with demographic changes.
Councils’ concern at free home care plans - LGCplus report
Budget row hits poll plans - LGCplus report
Leicester leader to go - LGCplus report
- The Welsh Assembly voted by 53-0 for a referendum on gaining additional powers from the Westminster parliament - LGCplus report
- A group of economists gave their endorsement to the Conservatives’ plans to start cutting the fiscal deficit immediately after the general election - Sunday Times report
Plans to ditch Census floated - LGCplus report
Cameron pledge on contract transparency - LGCplus report
- Gillian Body was named as the interim auditor general for Wales following the resignation of Jeremy Colman after he was allegedly found to have indecent images on his work computer - LGCplus report
Birmingham set to shed 2,000 jobs - LGCplus report
Union claims equal pay victory
Unison claimed victory in an equal pay case against Sheffield City Council after the Court of Appeal backed its claim that productivity bonuses of up to 38% paid to male staff discriminated against women doing comparable jobs.
One third of public sector expects job cuts - LGCplus report
- Glasgow City Council revealed it would lobby ministers to introduce a living wage for all public sector workers - Scotsman report
Oldham considers fraud costs challenge - LGCplus report
Wirral wins ‘delayed’ negligent care claim - LGCplus report
- Up to 800 jobs could be put at risk by plans for the restructuring of local centres by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children - Guardian report
Councils to draw up vision for schools projects - LGCplus report
Lap-dancing club controls hailed by LGA - LGCplus report
Digital spring clean for city streets - LGCplus report
Healey dismisses calls for repossession apology - LGCplus report
Home repossessions show decline - LGCplus report
HCA launches second skills survey - LGCplus report
Healey announces changes to levy - LGCplus report
Shadow local government and planning minister Bob Neill said that travellers who refuse to leave illegal and unauthorised camps would face arrest under a future Conservative government - LGCplus report
Leader referred to Standards Board - LGCplus report
Pitt calls for funding for IPC burden - report planningresource.co.uk
Warning over Olympics legacy - LGCplus report
Regeneration company was poor value, inspectors say - LGCplus report
Boat operators back canal proposals - LGCplus report
Regeneration programme boosts satisfaction - report regen.net
MPs condemn failure to invest in local rail - LGCplus report
Treasury to repay £300m in landfill tax receipts - reports Materials and Recycling Weekly
Consultation launched on impact of demographic changes - LGCplus report
Agency outlines flood defence plans - LGCplus report
Scots recycling rate up by 3% - LGCplus report
Staff asked for say over new chief executive - LGCplus report
Pay undecided for Bundred successor - LGCplus report
Troubleshooter Roots reviews crisis council - LGCplus report