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
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has pledged to close 10 government departments and 90 quangos as part of plans to “cut the cost of politics” by nearly £2bn. Bodies named include regional development agencies, strategic health authorities and the School Food Trust. Treasury spokesman Vince Cable said his party wouldcut taxes for those on low and middle incomes and introduce a half penny in the pound levy on properties worth more than £1m.
Harrow LBC is planning a legal challenge to an appeal court ruling that a group of London boroughs could not rely on the power of wellbeing to set up LondonAuthorities Mutual Limited (LAML). It has written to Local Government Association asking it to contribute to a fighting fund. Brent LBC is also said to be planning to act. They cited LGC’s Untie the Ropes campaign calling for action to restore councils’ confidence in their ability to set up innovative partnerships in the letter.
LGC says: Harrow’s challenge is a step forward that could benefit all councils: it is a shame the government hasn’t committed to act.
Half of all people surveyed for the RSA do not believe there is a need to cut spending on public services to pay off the national debt, prompting experts to conclude that the public are in denial over necessary spending cuts or the impact they might have.
The Ipsos MORI poll of 1,041 adults found that the public is split on choices between increasing taxes or reducing spending. If forced, respondents were more willing to accept rises in business taxes or inheritance tax than rises in council tax, income tax or fuel duty.
A group of housing associations, charities and private care providers is bringing a judicial review against 140 local authorities because they say the councils under pay independent providers and give higher fees to councilrun care homes, according to Inside Housing.
- Lib Dem party calls on its local councils to join 10:10 campaign (reports The Guardian)
- Scots slash £173m from housing budget (reports Inside Housing)
- Barnet council’s ‘no-frills’ approach to housing blocked by injunction (reports The Guardian)
- Public sector set to save millions in construction costs (reports The Guardian)
- Councils faulted on climate adaptation (reports Planning)
- Conservatives commit to scrapping ContactPoint database (reports Children & Young People Now)
- Half of councils bar social workers from talking to press (reports Community Care)
- DCSF: 5% rise in child protection plans from 2007-8 (reports Community Care)
- Haringey has lowest social worker sickness rate (reports Community Care)
- Councils asked to review targeted youth services (reports Children & Young People Now)
- Competition laws threaten council deals (reports Inside Housing)
- Number of households recognised as homeless by councils fallen by nearly third (reports Regeneration & Renewal)
Schools forced to find £2bn in public spending cuts (reports The Observer)
LEISURE & CUTURE
Final word: A delightful cure for Bushy Bottom (reports The Sunday Times)
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