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


Peterborough, Hartlepool and Cambridgeshire agree devolution deals as Lincolnshire, Suffolk and Norfolk deals falls through

Chancellor gives West Midlands housing, transport and training powers, Leeds starts procurement of £115m orbital road scheme; Barnet cuts a third of qualified social workers; city deal agreed for Aberdeen; Mid Ulster to discuss Irish republic presidential voting rights and more....

Peterborough and Cambridgeshire to get elected mayor after devolution deal finally agreed

Peterborough City Council     Source: Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough will get an elected mayor from May 2017 after seven Cambridgeshire councils voted for a new county-wide combined authority. After months of negotiations, consultation and debate, a devolution deal was finally agreed on November 22 as the final two councils signed up for the “once in a generation opportunity.”  Read in full

Sussex NHS cut travel related carbon and costs

Sussex    Source: Health & Care Innovation Monitor

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust has cut its transport carbon emissions by nearly a fifth through methods including tracking its mileage and helping its employees to plan patient visits more efficiently. Read in full

Hartlepool councillors give go ahead for new Teesside elected mayor

Hartlepool Borough Council     Source: Hartlepool Mail

Final approval for a new regional elected mayor as part of a £450 million devolution deal has been given the go ahead by Hartlepool councillors. An extraordinary meeting of Hartlepool Borough Council was held to debate the powers and functions of the post which is tied to the newly created Tees Valley Combined Authority, of which Hartlepool is a member.  Read in full

Gateshead Council hire new chief executive to steer authority through 'the tough years'

Gateshead Council     Source: Chronicle Live

A cash strapped council which is facing £92m of cuts over the next five years has hired a new Chief Executive. After a nationwide search Gateshead Council has chosen Sheena Ramsey to take the reins of the authority from next February.  Read in full

Liverpool community plans ‘bring clarity’ for nursing staff

Liverpool City Council     Source: Nursing Times

Community nursing staff working in Liverpool and Sefton will continue to be part of the NHS, under latest proposals on the future provision of community services for the area. The announcement confirms the break-up of a community provider that was heavy criticised earlier this year for its aggressive pursuit of financial savings and foundation trust status, leading to a culture of bullying and harassment and substandard patient care.  Read in full

Amey wins £5m payout in Cumbria roads court battle

Cumbria County Council     Source: Construction Enquirer

The High Court has ordered Cumbria County Council to pay Amey over £5m at the end of a long-running legal battle over a seven-year roads maintenance contract. The contract for the provision of highways maintenance ended in 2013 with Amey claiming over £30m in unpaid fees and the council counterclaiming £20m for payments for what it said was substandard work.  Read in full

Bid race starts for £115m East Leeds Orbital Route project

Leeds City Council     Source: Construction Enquirer

The ELOR will stretch from the Outer Ring Road at Red Hall round the east side of Leeds to Thorpe Park joining a new Manston Lane Link Road where it would connect into the existing highway infrastructure and link to the M1 motorway. The project will be broken down into three phases.  Read in full

Nick Clegg: Sheffield tree arrests ‘like something from Putin’s Russia’

Sheffield City Council     Source: The Star

Who would have thought that the disagreement between Sheffield City Council and local residents over the fate of some trees on Rustlings Road would have come to this? In scenes you’d expect to see in Putin’s Russia, rather than a Sheffield suburb, council contractors and police descended on Rustlings Road under the cover of darkness, dragged people out of bed to move their cars and detained peaceful protesters – all to chop down eight trees.  Read in full

Lincolnshire councils reject Government’s £450 million devolution deal

Lincolnshire County Council     Source: Rutland & Stamford Mercury

Two local leaders in Lincolnshire have confirmed their intention not to proceed with a devolution deal which it is claimed would have brought a £450m boost to the county. Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council have walked away from a deal which eight other councils had signed up to – and which they had agreed with the government just eight months ago.  Read in full

Derbyshire County Council makes U-turn on bus cut proposals

Derbyshire County Council     Source: Buxton Advertiser

Public outcry over proposals to cut bus services across the county has made council chiefs reconsider their plans. Originally, Derbyshire County Council has proposed to save £4.6million by withdrawing all funding for subsidised bus services from October 2017.  Read in full

Autumn Statement: West Midlands mayor to get more powers and cash

West Midlands Combined Authority     Source: Birmingham Mail

Chancellor Philip Hammond has confirmed the West Midlands Mayor to be elected next year will have extra powers and funding to improve local services and create jobs. He announced Government backing for a second “devolution deal”, handing cash and control over key issues such as housing, transport and training to the West Midlands.  Read in full

£12m Worcester leisure site sold to Surrey: we don't lack "vision", insists council

Worcestershire County Council     Source: Evesham Journal

A senior Conservative at Worcestershire County Council has rejected criticism over not buying a prime Worcester leisure site - saying they are still interested in "targeted acquisitions". As the Worcester News revealed the city's Vue Cinema, Subway and Nando's complex in Friar Street has been sold for £11.8 million to help prop up services at Surrey County Council.   Read in full


Suffolk councillors support devolution - but the deal is off the table

St Edmondsbury Borough Council     Source: Cambridge News

Councillors in Suffolk have made a public commitment to devolution – but the deal they had planned will not go ahead. On November 21, St Edmundsbury Borough Council discussed proposals for a devolution deal for Norfolk and Suffolk.  Read in full

Surrey County Council 'squeezed dry' as pressures on finances show 'serious and detrimental' impact

Surrey County Council     Source: getsurrey

Surrey County Council's finances have been "squeezed dry" with last month’s budget showing a £15 million financial overspend, a senior councillor has said. Figures discussed at the council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday indicate the authority’s financial position at the end of October is "serious".   Read in full

Volker wins £45m contract with Medway Council

Medway Council     Source: Highways Magazine

VolkerHighways has landed a new highways maintenance contract with Medway Council, worth approximately £9 million a year. The new contract will begin on 1 August 2017 and run for five years, with possible extensions of up to five further years.  Read in full

Somerset County Council received 420 calls during severe weather across the county

Somerset County Council     Source: Somerset County Gazette

Highway teams across Somerset responded to more than 500 calls this week as severe wet and windy weather hit the county. More than 100mm of rain fell across Somerset between Saturday and Monday night.  Read in full

Watchdog puts 'unsafe' Cornwall care homes in special measures

Cornwall Council     Source: The Guardian

Elderly people have been living in “grim, shoddy and unsafe” conditions in four care homes run by a private company in Cornwall, the health and social care watchdog has found. Residents of the Morleigh Group homes lay in urine-soaked bedclothes, sat in chairs for hours with plates of unfinished food in front of them and waited weeks to receive medical attention, the Care Quality Commission said.  Read in full

Council sheds qualified social worker posts to save money

Barnet Council     Source: Community Care

A local authority plans to save £400,000 in 2017/18 by reducing the number of qualified social workers it employs by more than a third. Barnet council is deleting 23 (36.8%) of its full-time equivalent adult social worker posts and replacing them with 17 assessment and enablement officers (AEOs), as part of a restructure that started in April this year.  Read in full

Islington councillors 'gagged from speaking out on decision to reopen Fabric'

Islington Council     Source: London Evening Standard

Councillors have been gagged from discussing the reopening of legendary nightclub Fabric, it has been claimed. The world-famous venue was given a reprieve after weeks of talks, allowing it to reopen with strict new conditions.  Read in full

£250m Aberdeen City Deal hailed as 'catalyst for economic growth'

Aberdeen City Council     Source: Herald Scotland

Aberdeen has been given a "strong vote of confidence" with the formal agreement of a £250 million programme to improve infrastructure, business and jobs over the next decade. It is hoped the City Deal agreed by the UK and Scottish governments will lead to further investment from private companies and act as a "catalyst for economic growth and diversification" in the region.   Read in full

Glasgow City Council unveils plans to create 50,000 jobs by 2023

Glasgow City Council     Source: Evening Times

Glasgow has announced plans for what it bills as the UK’s most ambitious jobs creation target, with 50,000 posts in just six years. Unveiling its new economic strategy up until 2023, the city council’s leadership said its plans would include an additional 1,000 new businesses within the timescale.  Read in full

Work is due to begin on installing more than 13,000 street lights on Cardiff's roads

Cardiff Council     Source: WalesOnline

More than 13,000 new street lights will be installed on Cardiff’s roads from next week. The cost of the installation will be £4.4m.  Read in full

£23,000 parking ticket payback time for council over disabled fines blunder

Conwy County Borough Council     Source: Daily Post

A council is set to repay up to £23,600 to disabled drivers in parking fines it had no right to issue. Conwy County Council started penalising drivers who parked within 10 metres of road junctions on May 1 this year.   Read in full

Mid Ulster Council to discuss ‘presidential vote’

Mid-Ulster District Council     Source: Tyrone Times

Mid Ulster District Council is set to discuss presidential voting rights for all Irish citizens regardless of their place of residency. Sinn Féin is asking council to support the recommendation made by the Constitutional Convention to extend the right to vote in the Presidential election in two years time.  Read in full

Mid and East Antrim Council seeks to capitalise on Game of Thrones

Mid and East Antrim District Council     Source: Larne Times

Mid and East Antrim Council is ‘looking forward to getting its teeth into” Game of Thrones as part of its tourism strategy, says its Head of Tourism. The comment, by council officer Ainsley McWilliams, was made during a discussion on the installation of two new Game of Thrones signs at Glenarm and Sallagh Brae during a council meeting.  Read in full

And finally…

Gritney Spears or Usain Salt? Oldham Council invites public to name new gritter

Oldham Council     Source: BBC News

Gritney Spears and Usain Salt are among the names suggested for a new road gritter. Oldham Council's highways team has bravely - or perhaps unwisely given the Boaty McBoatface saga - asked the public to name its new yellow truck.  Read in full


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