Disappointment and anger were the dominant reactions from the local government sector in an LGC confidence survey marking the first anniversary of the coalition government’s ascension to power.
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Respondents questioned Eric Pickles’ commitment to localism and rated DCLG the fourth-worst government department - only just ahead of the Treasury, No 10 and
the Department for Work & Pensions.
Many said that relations between Whitehall and town halls had reached an all-time low. Net confidence in Mr Pickles was rated at -92 and in decentralisation minister Greg Clark at -50.
More than 20 councils launched a judicial review of ministers’ decision to use council cash to fund the academies programme. The claim related to a £148m reduction in revenue support grant for councils.
Meanwhile, news surfaced that embattled Suffolk CC chief executive Andrea Hill was “on gardening leave”.
Birmingham City Council lost a judicial review into changes to its adult social care offer.
The review found the council had failed to conduct an appropriate consultation on proposals to restrict services to those with “critical” needs only, in an attempt to save £118m from its adult services budget by 2015.