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


Manchester chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein stands down as ...

Gateshead cuts £92m from budget; Leeds cuts leadership team; Leicester cuts children's centres; Cambridgeshire wants to cut cost of PFI deal; Buckinghamshire considers cutting district councils and Cornwall tries to cut car-use. More cuts....

Serial fly-tippers cost Liverpool City Council £1m

Liverpool City Council     Source: BBC News

Fly-tippers have left a council with a £1m waste disposal bill after six incidents in less than four months. Liverpool City Council said it had been forced to pay out after thousands of tonnes of waste were dumped at vacant industrial sites in Merseyside.  Read in full

Gateshead Council give green light to £92m budget savings sparking fears of more cuts

Gateshead Council     Source: Chronicle Live

Gateshead Council will have to make £92m savings over the next five years, sparking fears of more savage cuts. The cash-strapped authority has already sliced £130m from its budget since 2010 and it is estimated that by the end of 2018 the council’s government funding will have been slashed by 46% - or £800 per household.  Read in full

Sunderland City Council experiences 'serious disruption' to IT systems

Sunderland City Council     Source: Sunderland Echo

Residents say they have been left unable to pay for school meals for their children after Sunderland City Council’s website stopped working. A power failure has caused problems for the authority’s computing systems.   Read in full

ADASS Care Apps Showcase & Conference relaunches as online platform and year round care apps programme

ADASS            Source: Public Service Digital

New programme format combines an online showcase with a year round programme of activities, a live event in Birmingham 7 March 2017 and a suite of Care Apps Awards. Read in Full

Sir Howard Bernstein to stand down as chief executive of Manchester council after 45 years at town hall

Manchester City Council     Source: Manchester Evening News

Sir Howard Bernstein, the veteran chief executive of Manchester council, is standing down after 45 years at the town hall. The 63-year-old, nationally regarded for securing a string of extraordinary breakthroughs for the city – including the post-IRA bomb rebuild, the Commonwealth Games and devolution – said the time was now right to hand over the reins, leaving Manchester looking ahead to a ‘very, very strong’ future.  Read in full

Leeds City Council to cut leadership team to save cash

Leeds City Council     Source: Yorkshire Evening Post

The first major overhaul of Leeds City Council’s structure for ten years has been announced as the local authority seeks to cut the size of its senior leadership team in a bid to make “significant savings”. The council has said it faces further severe reductions in its funding over the next three years so challenging that it will have no choice but to make tough decisions that will impact on front line services.  Read in full

Sheffield City Region: Elected mayor 'not a done deal'

Sheffield City Council     Source: BBC News

Plans for a directly elected mayor in South Yorkshire are "not a done deal" and could be dropped from the regions proposed devolution agreement. Sheffield City Region signed a deal in 2015 paving the way for a mayor with certain devolved powers.  Read in full

Children's centres face the axe as part of £4 million council savings

Leicester City Council     Source: Leicester Mercury

Nearly half of Leicester's children's centres could close and 172 posts could be axed as the city council aims to save £4 million. The authority has announced a series of proposals to almost half its £9 million budget for its early years help service by 2018.  Read in full

Controversial workplace parking levy clocks up £9.3 million for Nottingham City Council

Nottingham City Council     Source: Nottingham Post

More than £9 million was collected by Nottingham City Council last year as a result of the controversial workplace parking levy. The charge is made to businesses who have more than 10 parking spaces in the city boundary, costing £375 per space.  Read in full

£165m Worcestershire incinerator will not need any recyclable waste, says County Hall's deputy leader

Worcestershire County Council     Source: Evesham Journal

The county council's deputy leader has defended Worcestershire's new £165 million incinerator - saying it will help the fight against landfill. In just six months' time the massive rubbish-burning plant will fling open its doors, with the construction of the site currently still on schedule.   Read in full

City facing £5.1m shortfall in health and social care funding

Stoke-on-Trent City Council     Source: The Sentinel

Health and social care services in Stoke-on-Trent face a shortfall of more than £5 million following the withdrawal of NHS funding. Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been working with the city's clinical commissioning group on the Better Care Fund, which supports community services to keep patients out of hospital.  Read in full

Cambridgeshire wants to renegotiate its £700m, 27 year PFI to handle waste

Cambridgeshire County Council     Source: Wisbech Standard

Eight years into its 27-year £700 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) deal to handle waste, Cambridgeshire County Council wants to renegotiate the contract even though officials admit “there are limited options”. Graham Hughes, the council’s executive director for the economy, transport and environment, says: “The waste PFI is costing the council a significant amount of money and this is increasing so the intention is to renegotiate this to remove some of this cost.”  Read in full

Essex County Council to invest £85 million in 400 new special needs school places

Essex County Council     Source: Essex Live

More than 400 new special school places are set to be created as Essex County Council prepares to splash out £85million across the county. The record investment comes following an increase in the number of young people in the Essex being diagnosed with autism.  Read in full

Bucks County Council could abolish all five councils by 2019

Buckinghamshire County Council     Source: getbucks

Bucks County Council could abolish all district and county councils and replace them with one 'Buckinghamshire Council'. If they are given the go-ahead, all five councils could be replaced with one single authority. BCC say this would provide better services and enhance local decision-making, while saving tax payers more than £18m a year.  Read in full

Hampshire insist no talks have taken place with borough council on devolution on roads

Hampshire County Council     Source: gethampshire

Hampshire County Council has denied that talks have taken place with Rushmoor Borough Council over granting increased devolved powers with highways issues. Get Hampshire was told by Rushmoor borough councillor Gareth Lyon that talks had taken place between the two authorities and said they were going ‘very well’.  Read in full

£200 parking permits are to discourage people from owning cars - non-driving Cornwall transport boss

Cornwall Council     Source: West Briton

Concerns have been raised over plans to introduce parking permits in seven towns across Cornwall which could cost some households £200 a year. Cornwall Council has been carrying out a review of parking in towns across the county including the issue of people being unable to park near their own homes.   Read in full

Hinkley Point C: "once in a lifetime" opportunity say Somerset politicians

Somerset County Council     Source: Somerset Live

Final approval of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station has been hailed as a "once in a lifetime opportunity" for Somerset which will bring £200 million in investment and job creation to the county and an estimated £4bn for the wider region. Councillor John Osman, leader of Somerset county council, said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our businesses, young people and the county as a whole."  Read in full

Care workers sue council contractor in minimum wage battle

Haringey Council     Source: BBC News

Seventeen care workers are alleging failure to be paid the minimum wage in the sector's biggest ever legal claim. Payslips appear to show contractor Sevacare had some staff in Haringey, north London, on a rate of £3.27 an hour - less than half the then minimum.  Read in full

Croydon Council waiting to hear if it can send asylum seeking children away to ease pressure

Croydon Council     Source: Croydon Advertiser

Croydon Council is waiting to hear if some of the asylum seeking children in its care can be sent to other areas to ease the pressure as a report outlines the "considerable drain" on resources by those who go missing. In total, 84 unaccompanied asylum seeking children who are in the care of Croydon Council went missing between April 2015 and March this year.  Read in full

Edinburgh outlines nine-point action plan to improve city’s homes

The City of Edinburgh Council     Source: Scottish Construction Now

Reducing the cost of living for tenants and building more affordable homes have been identified as the key elements to a new raft of objectives to improve housing in Edinburgh. A nine-point action plan for the next decade was approved for further consultation by the City of Edinburgh Council’s health, social care and housing committee.  Read in full

South Ayrshire paying £10m PFI bill

South Ayrshire Council     Source: Carrick Gazette

The Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland figures released last month have revealed PFI payments are shown to have risen to £1 billion per year in scotland for the first time. The SNP has called on Labour and the Liberal Democrats to apologise for their actions whilst in administration in Scotland.  Read in full

£700m city deal for the Swansea Bay region could be signed next year

City and County of Swansea      Source: South Wales Evening Post

A city deal that could bring more than £700 million worth of investment to the Swansea Bay City Region could be signed next year. Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart says work on finalising an 'Internet Coast' proposal with the UK and Welsh Governments will take place over coming months.  Read in full

New Powys council trading company to run care homes

Powys County Council     Source: BBC News

A new trading company could be set up by Powys council to run 12 residential care homes. The council cabinet has agreed in principle to develop a company to run Bupa Care Ltd homes across the county, after its contract with Bupa expires in May 2017.  Read in full

Multi-million pound package agreed for City of Derry Airport

Derry and Strabane District Council     Source: The Irish News

A multi-million pound funding package has been agreed for City of Derry Airport. Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said he is confident the funding will safeguard the airport's future growth. City of Derry has struggled for many years and is currently supported by rate payers in Derry and Strabane with an annual subvention of £2.15 million.  Read in full

New £100,000 raindrop artwork to overlook Belfast

Belfast City Council     Source: News Letter

A stainless steel raindrop is to be unveiled as Belfast’s newest piece of public art. The six-metre tall sculpture, known as Origin, overlooks Belfast from Squire’s Hill Cavehill Country Park and will be visible from across the city.  Read in full

And finally…

George Osborne admits he favoured Manchester all along

Manchester City Council     Source: Liverpool Echo

George Osborne has confirmed what most people in Liverpool already suspected – the former chancellor always favoured Manchester. Mr Osborne made the admission about his six years at the Treasury while also praising Sir Howard Bernstein, the outgoing chief executive of Manchester City Council.  Read in full

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