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April 2011

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LGC managed to catch at least one national newspaper with its online April Fool about council chief executives planning to run for elected mayor posts to keep their authorities on track.

More serious news was that councils were being forced into the biggest raid on their reserves in a decade.

As many as 72% of local authorities said they had budgeted to dip into their reserves in the new financial year, while a handful - including Corby BC, Blackpool Council and Enfield LBC - said they would be spending more than half of their non-schools reserves.

Many tributes were paid to London mayor Boris Johnson’s chief of staff and former LGA chair Sir Simon Milton, who died after a short illness.

Later in the month, LGC exclusively revealed that a Whitehall briefing compiled by Lord Bichard’s community budgets group indicated that a lack of funding was likely to severely limit the programme’s ability to help a significant proportion of the nation’s problem families.

Julian Le Grand, head of the government’s Mutuals Task Force, meanwhile revealed that he believed most local government services - including refuse collection - could be spun out to co-operatives or other models of operation.

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