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Council News Monitor is curated content pulled together each week by an automated content aggregation programme developed in-house by Boilerhouse Online Publications

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Council News Monitor - Budget Special - News round-up from UK Local Authorities

Impact of George Osborne's Budget on local authorities includes devolution developments for Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Greater Lincolnshire, East Anglia, Edinburgh and Cardiff, but deals for Bristol and North-east run into trouble; Solent devolution misses Budget but due to be announced by June; Leeds leader blasts end of council school control; and Greenwich to close last 'Town Hall Pravda'

North East devolution deal in doubt as ten MPs call for it to be scrapped

Newcastle City Council     Source: Chronicle Live

North East devolution plans have been thrown into doubt after a letter signed by 10 of the region’s MPs called on council leaders to reject the proposals. The move comes one week before the region’s seven council leaders are due to meet to decide whether or not to proceed with the deal.  Read in full

Sunderland council leader blasts George Osborne's 'fiscal ineptitude' after Budget

Sunderland City Council     Source: Sunderland Echo

Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson said local authorities were bearing the brunt of Government policy after the Budget statement. “The Chancellor’s fiscal ineptitude and inability to balance the books have led to this suggestion of a further £3.5billion in public sector cuts in 2019/2020,” he said.  Read in full

New jail planned for Greater Manchester as region set to take charge of its own prisons

Manchester City Council     Source: Manchester Evening News

A new prison could be built in Greater Manchester, the M.E.N. can reveal. The new jail is being planned as the Chancellor prepares to hand even more powers to the region in his Budget, this time over criminal justice.  Read in full

Liverpool city region agrees extra devolution powers with Chancellor

Liverpool City Council     Source: Liverpool Echo

Liverpool city region has struck a new deal announced in the Chancellor’s Budget for devolution of extra powers to local leaders. Key additional powers include being one of the pilot areas to keep all business rates raised in the region, new traffic powers for the region’s elected Mayor and working with the Government to improve air quality.  Read in full

Leeds council leader blasts schools reform plan dubbed as effort to ‘privatise our education system’

Leeds City Council     Source: Yorkshire Evening Post

The leader of Leeds City Council has blasted educational reform proposals which she said “will effectively force schools into becoming academies, often against their wishes”. The Government has already been accused of “undoing 50 years of comprehensive public education at a stroke” with its plans to turn every school in England into an academy.  Read in full

Sheffield joins forces with four other cities to ensure potential of Northern Powerhouse is realised

Sheffield City Council     Source: The Star

Sheffield and four other cities have pledged to work together with the Government to ‘ensure the full potential of a Northern Powerhouse is realised’. Following George Osborne’s Budget announcement that a £300 million package has been given the green light to boost transport links in the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, the leaders of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle have signed a joint commitment to work collaboratively with the Government to deliver an economic vision for the North of England.  Read in full

Local Authority Talk Show

Producers are looking for podcasters among senior managers in local authorities to take part in podcast conversation three or four times each year

Better Connected is looking for senior managers from Local Authorities who can commit to taking part in recording a podcast three or four times a year. Recording takes around twenty minutes to complete, recording dates by arrangement, it’s as easy as chatting on the phone and is all done from the participants own desk via Skype.

The Local Government Talk Show a weekly podcast discussion on the future of local public services will be published on both Public Service Digital and The Information Daily

 

Chancellor announces Greater Lincolnshire to get directly elected mayor

Lincolnshire County Council     Source: The Lincolnite

Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed that Lincolnshire will get a directly elected mayor as part of his devolution deal. In his Budget, the Chancellor revealed that the Greater Lincolnshire region from the Humber to the Wash will have an elected mayor, as will East Anglia and the West of England.  Read in full

Funding crisis: East Midlands councils' future challenges

Melton Borough Council     Source: BBC News

"It's all about taking an opportunity in a crisis," says the outgoing Conservative leader of Melton Borough Council. Byron Rhodes is taking me around the modern council headquarters. It's full of light. It's busy.   Read in full

Coventry becomes UK's 'most accessible city' for disabled people with new service

Coventry City Council     Source: Coventry Telegraph

Coventry is becoming the most accessible city in the country for people with disabilities - thanks to the launch of a "revolutionary" new scheme in the city. The assist-Mi app, which allows people with disabilities to communicate their specific needs before arriving at a wide range of destinations, has chosen Coventry to become the first city in the country to boast the integrated service.  Read in full

Council defends Mipim investment trip - 'it's not just a jolly'

Stoke-on-Trent City Council     Source: The Sentinel

Council and business leaders are visiting the French Riviera to drum up investment for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The delegation to the Mipim property expo in Cannes is promoting development sites across the county, including the Ceramic Valley Enterprise Zone.  Read in full

Peterborough to join forces with rest of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk in £1bn Devolution Deal

Peterborough City Council     Source: Peterborough Telegraph

Following weeks of negotiation between Government and local councils and LEPs a deal worth over £1bn for East Anglia has been announced by George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Deal was negotiated by Leaders from councils across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and the New Anglia and Greater Cambridgeshire and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnerships.  Read in full

Thurrock Council boss tells George Osborne: 'Don't waste £6 billion on a crossing'

Thurrock Council     Source: Your Thurrock

Thurrock Council has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne urging him not to waste government money on an ill thought-through £6 billion Thames crossing proposal. The letter was agreed at Wednesday 9 March evening’s meeting of the council’s cabinet which also agreed seeking “further expert opinion” to look into the implications of Highways England’s proposals on “pollution from vehicles and the effects on the health of residents”, and that any economic, social or transport benefits are not out-weighed by the environmental harm.  Read in full

Local Authority Talk Show

Producers are looking for podcasters among senior managers in local authorities to take part in podcast conversation three or four times each year

Better Connected is looking for senior managers from Local Authorities who can commit to taking part in recording a podcast three or four times a year. Recording takes around twenty minutes to complete, recording dates by arrangement, it’s as easy as chatting on the phone and is all done from the participants own desk via Skype.

The Local Government Talk Show a weekly podcast discussion on the future of local public services will be published on both Public Service Digital and The Information Daily

Devolution: Solent mayor elections 'in May 2017'

Southampton City Council     Source: BBC News

Residents will go to the polls next year to choose a single mayor for the Solent region, including Southampton and Portsmouth, it has been revealed. Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts had initially been told plans for a combined authority would be unveiled in Wednesday's Budget. Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones said the official announcement would now be made in June.  Read in full

Surrey County Council leader David Hodge paid more than any other in south east

Surrey County Council     Source: Epsom Guardian

Surrey County Councillors were paid nearly £2million and its leader was paid more than any other council leader in the south east of England last year. Councillors’ wage and expenses bills also soared at the third fastest rate in the country over the last three years.  Read in full

£1bn devolution deal for Bristol region - but it already looks dead in the water

North Somerset Council     Source: Bristol Post

The ink has hardly dried on a historic £1 billion devolution deal for the Bristol region - but it's already falling apart at the seams. Chancellor George Osborne announced the deal in his Budget speech which would give the four councils in the former Avon area a chance to take charge of three key areas - housing, transport and creating jobs through skills and training. But before it can be signed off, each of the four councils would have to meet separately and give their support.  Read in full

Osborne pledges £2m to Hall For Cornwall redevelopment

Cornwall Council     Source: West Briton

George Osborne has pledged £2 million of central government support towards the Hall For Cornwall's redevelopment plans, in recognition of its contribution to the local economy. The financial pledge comes on the back of the Truro venue's recent Theatre Development Consultation, which saw a number of people through the doors to view and feedback on an exhibition of proposed redevelopment plans.  Read in full

Haringey reveals bidders for £2bn development plans

Haringey Council     Source: Construction Enquirer

Haringey Council has revealed a long-list of bidders hoping to enter a partnership that will deliver plans for £2bn of development across the borough. The bidders are: Lend Lease, Places for People, Urban & Civic, Pinnacle with Starwood Capital and Catalyst Capital, Galliford Try with Home Group, Morgan Sindall with Circle Housing and Affinity Sutton.  Read in full

Last of the weekly ‘Town Hall Pravdas’ to cease publication

Royal Borough of Greenwich     Source: Hold the Front Page

The last council newsletter to be published in defiance of government laws is to cease weekly publication from June. Greenwich Time, the official publication of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, will no longer be published weekly after being issued with a directive to print no more than quarterly.  Read in full

Local Authority Talk Show

Producers are looking for podcasters among senior managers in local authorities to take part in podcast conversation three or four times each year

Better Connected is looking for senior managers from Local Authorities who can commit to taking part in recording a podcast three or four times a year. Recording takes around twenty minutes to complete, recording dates by arrangement, it’s as easy as chatting on the phone and is all done from the participants own desk via Skype.

The Local Government Talk Show a weekly podcast discussion on the future of local public services will be published on both Public Service Digital and The Information Daily

Edinburgh business bosses welcome planned £1bn City Deal

The City of Edinburgh Council     Source: Edinburgh Evening News

Edinburgh’s £1 billion City Region Deal now being negotiated with the UK and Scottish governments has been hailed as signalling a bright future and new opportunities for the Capital. Chancellor George Osborne announced in his Budget that formal talks were now under way on the deal involving Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders.  Read in full

Scottish Borders £92m digital deal promises 200 new jobs

Scottish Borders Council     Source: BBC News

A £92m deal with a global IT firm promises to create 200 new jobs in the Scottish Borders. As part of the deal, CGI will create a Scottish Centre of Excellence in the region. Scottish Borders Council described it as the "most significant" inward investment proposal the region had ever known.  Read in full

£1.2bn City Deal aims to create 25,000 new jobs

Cardiff Council     Source: WalesOnline

A £1.2bn City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region has been confirmed with its backers confident it can create 25,000 new jobs and leverage in a further £4bn of private sector investment. In what is the biggest head of population to total value City Deal ever agreed in the UK, it will fund projects aimed at boosting the competitiveness of the region over the next 20 years, from the Metro integrated transport network to initiatives aimed at boosting skills,innovation and research and development.  Read in full

Flintshire County Council issues apology after council tax blunder

Flintshire County Council     Source: Daily Post

Local authority chiefs were left red-faced after a council tax bill blunder. Flintshire residents recently found demands dropping through their doors asking for council tax for last year, 2015/16, leaving locals scratching their heads.  Read in full

Belfast council blasted for scrapping Holylands CCTV

Belfast City Council     Source: Belfast Telegraph

Belfast City Council has been accused of failing Holylands residents by removing a CCTV system in the area just weeks before some of the worst St Patrick's Day trouble for years. The system was installed in the student-dominated south Belfast enclave in 2009 after March 17 rioting hit headlines worldwide and left residents traumatised. But councillors voted to remove the CCTV last month, voting down an Alliance proposal to maintain it.  Read in full

Sinn Féin challenge over council funding decision has ‘no merit’

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council     Source: Newtownabbey Times

Sinn Féin has failed in a bid to overturn a decision by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council not to award funding for local events to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising. The party lodged a number of ‘call ins’ or complaints regarding decisions taken by council members at a meeting on February 29, claiming the local authority was failing to deliver services in an equal and unbiased way.  Read in full

And finally…

Bolton Council must reveal name of councillor who failed to pay tax on time

Bolton Council     Source: The Bolton News

A top judge has made a landmark ruling that Bolton Council must release the name of a councillor who failed to pay council tax on time. In a huge victory for The Bolton News and our reporter Dale Haslam, Upper Tribunal Judge Kate Marcus QC has allowed an appeal against a previous tribunal ruling — meaning the council must release the name of the Labour councillor in question within 35 days.   Read in full

 

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