SEE Representatives

Items of Interest

We thought you might find the following items of interest. The articles will link to external publications over which SEE has no control, and no endorsement from SEE is implied.

Local government in the news

4 March 2019 – This week the NLGN released its new report, The Community Paradigm: Why public services need radical change and how it can be achieved, which sets out a programme to reconfigure the relationship between state and citizen, with a view to increasing the accountability and sustainability of public services by embedding decision-making and resource allocation powers firmly within the local community.

19 February 2019 – The warnings about the grim outlook for local services just keep piling up.  This week, LGIU and the MJ released the results of their annual survey on local government finance.

12 October 2018 – A new report from NLGN argues for the need to reform partnerships between the public and private sectors

12 October 2018 – The TCPA’s Planning for Affordable Housing report looks at the reasons why councils are not meeting demands for affordable housing in England.

Social issues

12 October 2018 – The Social Market Foundation publication Barriers to eating healthily looks primarily at the economic barriers to accessing and healthy food in the UK

Local Government management

21 January 2019 – The Committee on Standards in Public Life has published its report on local government ethical standards.

 

7 January 2019 – Grant Thornton has developed Financial Foresight, a forward looking financial analytics and forecasting platform, to help support sustainability in local government. The tool takes account of factors such as population growth, funding forecasts and demand drivers to project local authority spend, income and operating costs. It provides a baseline view on the financial situation of every local authority in England and allows councils to benchmark themselves against others. Through Financial Foresight and our associated strategy workshops we can help local authorities test and appraise a range of financial strategies and levers to develop a plan for a sustainable future.

Contact Paul Dossett for further information.

Brexit

11 January 2019 – The Local Government Association has established a new advice hub compiling useful national advice, sorted by topic area, as well as its own briefings in one place. Topics include no-deal planning, citizens’ rights, advice for businesses, EU funding, ports and workforce.

Apprenticeships

11 January 2019 – A new report by the think tank Reform review the first year of the apprenticeship levy, looking at whether it has incentivised more employers to provide quality apprenticeships and secured more opportunities for young people.  The report observes that the number of people starting an apprenticeship in the first six months fell by 40 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year. In addition, more experienced and older workers are increasingly becoming the focus of the apprenticeship programme, at the expense of less experienced and younger employees.  It also argues that the introduction of the levy has also diminished the quality of apprenticeships.  The report sets out a number of recommendations to improve the levy.

Housing

19 February 2019 – The Affordable Housing Commission is accepting submissions to inform policy changes that would make a difference to the shortages and cost of housing. The Commission is keen to hear a range of views on how these problems of housing affordability can be ended. The Commission is keen to receive evidence about major policy initiatives which could make a dramatic difference for struggling renters, frustrated homeowners, those reliant on state support and those who face affordability issues in old age. For further information or to share views, please contact info@affordablehousingcommission.org. The deadline for submissions is 4th April.

IT and Digital

22 February 2019

The LGA Cyber Resilience programme, sponsored by the National Cyber Security Programme (Cabinet Office), has now agreed grant funding for over 100 councils in its first phase. A second phase of bidding will kick off later this Spring, with the LGA strongly encouraging councils to work collaboratively and bid and work together to improve their cyber resilience. Details will be kept updated here.

In the meantime, councils who received a ‘red’ or ‘red amber’ RAG rating in the Cyber Security Stocktake remain eligible for support from an independent cyber security expert, fully funded by the programme. To find out more about the programme and enquire about taking up this offer of support, please email: cybersecurity@local.gov.uk  The final public report from the Stocktake exercise, produced by RAND Europe and the LGA, can be downloaded by councils here.

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