GROUPS

ARTICLES

VIDEOS

PODCASTS
BACK TO
FRONT PAGE

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

@councilnewsuk

Council News Monitor March 4th - this week's essential Local Authority news stories

Newcastle, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Devon and Somerset make progress on devolution; Oxfordshire opposes break-up plan; Birmingham and South Lanarkshire agree cuts; four London boroughs threaten legal action over Heathrow third runway; Salford challenged by Liberty over swearing ban and Booking Opens for BETTER CONNECTED LIVE - The re-invention of local public services

Newcastle city leaders give seal of approval to prospective £1.5bn devolution deal

Newcastle City Council     Source: Chronicle Live

City councillors have given the green light to a historic £1.5bn devolution deal. Newcastle City Council agreed to pursue the creation of a North East Combined Authority- similar to that in Manchester and Liverpool.  Read in full

Site visit before council HQ decision

Northumberland County Council     Source: Berwick Advertiser

It’s full steam ahead for the proposed relocation of Northumberland County Council’s HQ from Morpeth to Ashington as councillors prepare to decide on the planning application. More than £32million of capital funding for the project – whose costs over a 35-year period are stated to be £38.5million – was approved as part of the council’s budget and medium-term financial plan.  Read in full

Private firm Capita's £60m council service deal

Blackburn with Darwen Council     Source: The Citizen

Private company Capita has kept a key part of its ground-breaking 15-year contract with Blackburn with Darwen Council. Under government rules the £10million-a-year outsourcing deal, struck in 2001, had to be ended by June 30 this year.  Read in full

Booking Opens for BETTER CONNECTED LIVE The re-invention of local public services 

Gerry McGovern, founder and CEO of Customer Carewords and Ayub Khan, Customer Services Manager (Face to Face) for Warwickshire County Council and a member of the national executive board of the Society of Chief Librarians will be joining Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council, Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council and Dylan Roberts, Chief Information Officer of Leeds City Council and Chair of Local CIO Council on the Better Connected Live platform in central Birmingham 24 & 25 May 2016.

This new event, with two days of packed programmes to choose from, brings together public service leaders at all levels, inspiring them to seize the linked opportunities of digital and devolution to redesign services and support for local communities.

The programme combines a headline conference with top speakers, best practice events, professional workshops, demonstrations, and the first ever Better Connected Awards.

If you lead transformation for a local authority, run a major service area, are responsible for customers, communities, data or insight, manage digital or customer services, you’ll want to join the conversation with your peers from across the public, private and third sectors. BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW.

Liverpool to send record MIPIM delegation

Liverpool City Council     Source: Place North West

A record 36 private sector partners have joined Liverpool’s delegation to attend international property conference MIPIM in Cannes this month. The 2016 delegation exceeds the 27 businesses that supported Liverpool at the event in 2015.  Read in full

Hull Venue: Music and exhibition centre plans approved

Hull City Council     Source: BBC News

Revised plans for a £36m music and exhibition centre in Hull have been approved by the city council. The 3,500 capacity Hull Venue is due to be built on land close to Princes Quay shopping centre and open by 2018.  Read in full

Council creates £3 million flood fund

Calderdale Council     Source: Calderdale Council press release

Calderdale Council will create a flood recovery and resilience fund worth £3 million after the budget was approved at Annual Budget Council on Monday 29 February 2016 at Halifax Town Hall. As the Council is now facing exceptional financial challenges the budget includes a 1.95% rise in Council Tax in 2016/17.  Read in full

Devolution deal closer as eight Nottinghamshire councils confirm

Nottinghamshire County Council     Source: Nottingham Post

Eight councils in Nottinghamshire have agreed a devolution deal for the county to merge with Derbyshire in the hope of having a bigger voice for the region in Westminster. The group of 13 councils will now present its plan to the government, where it will ask for more say on transport networks and housing plans.  Read in full

Thousands of street lights across Lincolnshire could be switched off to save council £1.7m

Lincolnshire County Council     Source: Lincolnshire Echo

Thousands of street lights across Lincolnshire could be switched off in a bid to save money. Lincolnshire County Council has announced it is making changes to how it manages street lighting as the authority looks to make savings of £1.7 million.  Read in full

Birmingham households face 3.9 per cent council tax rise as council approves £88m cuts package

Birmingham City Council     Source: Birmingham Mail

Birmingham’s Labour councillors approved an £88 million package of cuts, but there were no scenes of protest like those that have hit previous council budget meetings. Despite 1,200 council workers facing redundancy and a series of services being axed or sold off and charges increased it was the first time during five years of austerity cuts that there were no vocal protests outside or during the annual Birmingham City Council budget meeting.  Read in full

Worcestershire's public farms will not be sold, insists council leadership

Worcestershire County Council     Source: Worcester News

Council chiefs in Worcestershire insist their treasured public farms will not be sold - despite the pressure to get rid of more property. The Conservative leadership says it would rather focus on trying to release more surplus buildings than re-consider the future of its 95 farms and smallholdings.  Read in full

£100 million investment in transport in Thurrock 'Getting closer'

Thurrock Council     Source: Your Thurrock

Thurrock's top councillor for transport is proud to say that an investment of over £100 million in the east of the borough is getting ever-closer. Cllr Oliver Gerrish, the portfolio holder for transport, will be introducing two items at the 9 March cabinet meeting, one on the widening of the A13 and one on the new public transport interchange at Stanford-le-Hope.  Read in full

Waveney and Suffolk Coastal could create one of largest councils in country

Suffolk Coastal District Council     Source: East Anglian Daily Times

Two Suffolk councils are to examine their future working relationship – with the possibility of a merger being explored. If Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils were to officially join, it would create one of the geographically largest local authorities in the country.  Read in full

Booking Opens for BETTER CONNECTED LIVE The re-invention of local public services 

Gerry McGovern, founder and CEO of Customer Carewords and Ayub Khan Customer Services Manager (Face to Face) for Warwickshire County Council and a member of the national executive board of the Society of Chief Librarians will be joining Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council, Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council and Dylan Roberts, Chief Information Officer of Leeds City Council and Chair of Local CIO Council on the Better Connected Live platform in central Birmingham 24 & 25 May 2016.

This new event, with two days of packed programmes to choose from, brings together public service leaders at all levels, inspiring them to seize the linked opportunities of digital and devolution to redesign services and support for local communities.

The programme combines a headline conference with top speakers, best practice events, professional workshops, demonstrations, and the first ever Better Connected Awards.

If you lead transformation for a local authority, run a major service area, are responsible for customers, communities, data or insight, manage digital or customer services, you’ll want to join the conversation with your peers from across the public, private and third sectors. BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW.

146 Isle of Wight council staff ‘at risk’ after Government cuts

Isle of Wight Council     Source: onthewight.com

The council have entered a 30 day consultation with 146 members of staff after 82 posts were identified for potential redundancy. Following the setting of the council’s budget on 24 February, the Isle of Wight Council has now issued a formal HR1 notice, notifying the government and recognised unions of potential redundancies that may come forward as part of the budget savings identified.  Read in full

Oxfordshire leader points out 'gaping holes' in plans for unitary councils

Oxfordshire County Council     Source: Oxford Times

Proposals to abolish Oxfordshire County Council and create four new unitary councils have "gaping holes" in them, its leader warns. Ian Hudspeth also claimed the move could threaten a multi-billion pound devolution deal still to be struck with the government.   Read in full

Devolution bid to boost prosperity in Devon and Somerset

Devon County Council     Source: Express & Echo

Council chiefs and business leaders in Devon and Somerset have submitted their “prospectus for productivity” in a bid to win more powers to boost jobs and growth. They say they want a “devolution revolution” to improve the lives of people in the two counties.  Read in full

Dorset County Council bids to save £1.5m by transforming back office functions

Dorset County Council     Source: Dorset Echo

Dorset County Council is making progress with efforts to save more than £1.5million by transforming its back office functions. Members of the council’s cabinet received an update on its review of support services.  Read in full

Heathrow third runway: Councils in legal threat over plan

Wandsworth Council     Source: BBC News

Four Tory councils have threatened to sue the government if plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport go ahead. Solicitors acting for Wandsworth, Hillingdon, Richmond and Windsor and Maidenhead councils have written to the prime minister saying expansion would be "irrational or otherwise unlawful."  Read in full

Haringey to join Islington-Camden ICT partnership

Haringey Council     Source: UKAuthority.com

The London Borough of Haringey is set to turn a two-way partnership into a trio with a move to join the shared ICT service being set up between nearby Islington and Camden. The measure is set to go to its cabinet for approval on 15 March, laying the ground for a change programme that would involve shared costs and savings between the three.  Read in full

SNP tax changes to hit 40 per cent of Edinburgh households

The City of Edinburgh Council     Source: Edinburgh Evening News

Nearly four out of ten Capital households will pay more council tax under SNP reforms. People in the top four bands will shoulder a bigger share of the burden, while the bottom four bands remain untouched.  Read in full

South Lanarkshire Council approve £43 million of cuts

South Lanarkshire Council     Source: Daily Record

South Lanarkshire Council approved £43 million of cuts as the budget for 2016/2017 was given the go-ahead by councillors at a special meeting on Tuesday. But some key services were saved from the chop, including free transport for secondary school pupils.  Read in full

Council merger plans could mean areas 'lose their identity' say Welsh Conservatives

Monmouthshire County Council     Source: South Wales Argus

Monmouthshire and other historic areas of Wales would “lose their identity” if plans to merge councils across the country go ahead, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies has claimed. The Local Government (Wales) Bill could see the number of local authorities in the country slashed from 22 to just eight or nine, including merging Newport with Monmouthshire, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Caerphilly.  Read in full

Plans to merge Carmarthenshire schools into Welsh only education compared with Apartheid

Carmarthenshire County Council     Source: WalesOnline

Plans to make a Carmarthenshire primary school Welsh medium only have been described as being like a “new Apartheid movement” by campaigners. It comes after plans to discontinue Llangennech Infant School and Llangennech Junior School and establish a new Llangennech Community Primary School were approved by Carmarthenshire council’s executive board. Read in full

Register of interests may be put on Belfast City Council website

Belfast City Council     Source: Belfast Telegraph

Belfast City Council is to consider publishing the register of members' interests on its website. The council currently holds a copy of the register for its 60 councillors in City Hall, but the public can only view it by appointment.  Read in full

Details emerge about the theft of £100,000 from Derry City Council

Derry and Strabane District Council     Source: Derry Journal

Details of the investigation into the theft of almost £100,000 from the now former Derry City Council in February, 2015 emerged this afternoon at a Council meeting in the city. The information came to light at the monthly meeting of the Open Assurance Audit and Risk Committee of Derry City and Strabane District Council.  Read in full

And finally…

Salford City Council outlaws swearing in public

Salford City Council     Source: The Telegraph

Human rights group Liberty has challenged a local council over its move to criminalise the use of “foul and abusive language” on public streets. Salford City Council introduced a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in August making it against the law to swear in an area of Salford Quays - location of the BBC's Media City, the Lowry theatre and the Imperial War Museum North.  Read in full

Booking Opens for BETTER CONNECTED LIVE The re-invention of local public services 

Gerry McGovern, founder and CEO of Customer Carewords; Ayub Khan Customer Services Manager (Face to Face) for Warwickshire County Council and a member of the national executive board of the Society of Chief Librarians and Helen Milner, CEO of the Tinder Foundation will be joining Martin Reeves, Chief Executive of Coventry City Council, Mark Rogers, Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council and Dylan Roberts, Chief Information Officer of Leeds City Council and Chair of Local CIO Council on the Better Connected Live platform in central Birmingham 24 & 25 May 2016.

This new event, with two days of packed programmes to choose from, brings together public service leaders at all levels, inspiring them to seize the linked opportunities of digital and devolution to redesign services and support for local communities.

The programme combines a headline conference with top speakers, best practice events, professional workshops, demonstrations, and the first ever Better Connected Awards.

If you lead transformation for a local authority, run a major service area, are responsible for customers, communities, data or insight, manage digital or customer services, you’ll want to join the conversation with your peers from across the public, private and third sectors. BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW.

Together we've got the public sector covered