54 posts categorised "Local government"

02 February 2016

Why housing needs to be at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse

By Jane Forbes Today I attended the Parliamentary Launch of ‘Homes for the North’ (H4N), a collaboration of 20 large housing associations from across the North of England committed to putting housing at the heart of the Northern economy and delivering increased numbers of quality homes across the region, maximising...

11 January 2016

Power shift: Placing public service users at the heart of the devolution agenda

By Tina Hallett The devolution revolution looks set to be one of the defining political narratives for 2016. Devolution gathered momentum over the course of 2015, from the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill in the Queen’s Speech through to the Spending Review and the latest round of devo deals....

06 January 2016

A tale of thirteen cities

By Esmond Birnie Almost 160 years after Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities drew social parallels between London and revolutionary Paris, drawing economic parallels between London and the leading cities of the United Kingdom has become a contemporary tale of thirteen cities. Until recently, considerations of economic growth and performance...

26 November 2015

Will the social care precept be enough for the care sector?

By Andrew McKechnie The Chancellor announced yesterday that local authorities will be allowed to raise council tax by up to 2%, as long as additional funds raised are used to fund adult social care. With the social care sector facing unprecedented financial pressures, are his plans enough to stabilise the...

25 November 2015

Where now for the "devolution revolution"? Local government's Spending Review

By Jonathan House Despite the billing of a "devolution revolution", George Osborne's Spending Review struggled to live up to its claim. There were no new devolution deals announced and no dramatic devolution of large departmental lines. However, the direction of travel remains clear and the shift in local government funding...

18 November 2015

The devolution revolution rolls on: from deals to delivery

By Stephanie Hyde, Head of Regions This week saw two landmark devolution deals, cementing the government’s commitment to empowering local areas to drive their own agendas. The deals announced as part of the Spending Review process are setting out the trajectory up to 2020 and mark a significant shift in...

30 October 2015

Engaging the public in the ‘devolution revolution’

By Tina Hallett Decentralisation may be firmly in the sights of politicians nationally and locally, but is the public aware of the plans for decentralisation and do people understand its implications? Our new polling, with Ipsos Mori North and New Local Government Network, shows that while the public is supportive...

04 October 2015

Building the Northern Powerhouse: time to get on board

By Iwan Griffiths With Conservative Party Conference taking place in Manchester this week, the Northern Powerhouse will be high on the agenda. Having previously worked in London, Seoul and Tokyo, I am delighted to see the strides that Greater Manchester has made in driving forward devolution and ensuring the city...

30 September 2015

How can housing associations build on the Summer Budget?

By Matthew Williams The scale of the challenge laid down for housing associations by the 2015 Summer Budget is significant, but not insurmountable. There will be variation across the housing sector but the emerging rule of thumb seems to be a reduction of around £16 million for every£100 million of...

28 September 2015

Delivering on decentralisation: where will we be in 2020?

By Neil Sherlock One of the best meetings that I have ever attended was with Michael Heseltine, Greg Clark, John Shipley and Andrew Adonis. It was a privilege for me as a special adviser, for Nick Clegg from 2012-13 in the last Government, to discuss and debate decentralisation with such...

21 September 2015

Sticky cities: How can cities and regions attract and retain talent?

By Tina Hallett Another Monday morning and I am back on the train to London. Although born in Wolverhampton and living in Bristol, my week is largely spent working in London. And I am not alone. There is no doubt that London is a major magnet for talent, both globally...

07 September 2015

Public services in beta

By David Padwick What is the potential for digital transformation to reduce costs and reform public services? This was on the agenda of a recent roundtable, as part of a series of discussions being undertaken by the Treasury on the key challenges and opportunities ahead of this autumn’s Spending Review....

04 August 2015

A central government take on ‘decentralisation by design’

By Tina Hallett It’s clear the momentum behind decentralisation in England is growing, with the Summer Budget and productivity plan firmly embedding decentralisation in the government’s strategy for delivering growth and improving productivity. However, while much of the focus has been on whether local government or local enterprise partnerships have...

23 July 2015

Distinctive by design: what does the future hold for housing associations?

By Kevin Jarrett The year 2010 will prove to be a watershed moment in the history of the social housing sector, marking, as it seems likely to do, the end of substantive grant to invest in social housing. The direction of travel in terms of government funding policy was confirmed...

13 July 2015

Combining authority: what could mayors mean for policing and crime?

By Andy Key Under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, further devolution deals may see directly elected mayors take on the role and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). This will happen in Greater Manchester and follows a similar model to Greater London. This could give more...

08 July 2015

Firing up the powerhouse: summer budget sets out next steps for decentralisation

By Jonathan House Today’s Summer Budget has further demonstrated that the Government sees strong city regions and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ at the heart of its vision for the national economy. With further devolution of powers outlined for Greater Manchester, devolution deals on the table for Sheffield, Liverpool and West Yorkshire,...

02 July 2015

Decentralisation by design

By Jonathan House Devolution has certainly been in the air this week at the LGA conference, reflecting a growing momentum behind decentralisation. However, to ensure that decentralisation is more than just hot air, places need to keep a clear focus on delivering improved outcomes for people and places through working...

29 June 2015

Housing 2020: What do the next five years hold for housing associations?

By Richard Parker Where is the housing association sector heading? Indeed, is it even possible to describe housing associations as a sector these days? As part of its ongoing commitment to the (r)evolution of the housing association sector, PwC hosted at a roundtable dinner for leaders from across the sector...

26 June 2015

Delivering growth: Where next for Local Enterprise Partnerships?

By Stephanie Hyde & Ray Mills Local Enterprise Partnerships have come a long way since their inception, bringing a strong private sector voice to the table and ensuring the decentralisation drive is rooted in enabling local growth and improving productivity across England. However, as we look to the next five...

28 May 2015

As the momentum behind devolution grows, are local areas ready to deliver?

By Jonathan House Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s Queen’s Speech, tomorrow the interim mayor for Greater Manchester is expected to be appointed. With a powerful trio of ministers in place –architect of the City Deals Greg Clark MP as Secretary of State at the Department for Communities, James...

14 May 2015

Delivering on decentralisation

By Jonathan House With today seeing the Chancellor’s announcement on the City Devolution Bill together with the Core Cities' ‘Devolution Declaration’, it seems that the momentum established behind devolution looks set to continue through this parliament. The appointment of Greg Clark has CLG Secretary of State has largely been met...

22 April 2015

Redefining local government revisited

By Chris Buttress Local authorities are facing challenges on all fronts, with little let up likely over the course of the next parliament. So, how can councils prepare themselves for the road ahead? In 2014, we published ‘Redefining local government’, setting out a six step approach for councils to respond...

14 April 2015

Transforming health and social care in the Midlands: next steps on integration

By Andy Ford & Mike Wallace The devolution of Greater Manchester’s £6bn health and social care budget has re-ignited the debate on integrated care. However, integration alone will not lead to the transformational change that’s needed in our health and care services. We recently hosted chief executives from four local...

13 April 2015

Local State We're In: plugging the digital gap

By Jonathan House Local government increasingly recognises that digital can play a transformative role in reshaping services and redefining the relationship between council and citizen. However, our annual survey, the Local State We're In, highlights a significant gap between digital rhetoric and a reality that councils must work to plug....

07 April 2015

Are local enterprise partnerships ready to deliver?

By Ray Mills With the election fast approaching, I recently chaired a discussion on the future of one of the 2010 government’s delivery vehicles – Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). This was held on the fringes of the LEP annual conference in London. Since their inception, LEPs have emerged as a...

31 March 2015

Local State We’re In: spotlight on Governance

By Claire Halstead The findings of our recent Local State We’re In 2015 survey highlight that local authorities are facing continued pressure and a challenging and uncertain longer term outlook. In our experience, this will have a significant impact on the ability of authorities to maintain control over services and...

25 February 2015

Great expectations for Manchester’s health deal

By Dr Tim Wilson & Jonathan House The expected devolution of Greater Manchester’s £6bn health and social care budget builds on the city-region’s impressive record on collaborative working across the public sector. While the detail is yet to be set out, there is huge potential for Greater Manchester to take...

23 February 2015

Think digital, act local: transforming relationships between services and citizens

By Mike Wallace, Tim Hoban & Stewart Wilson Digitisation can help local government save money, reinvent services and recast the relationship between the citizen and the state. But councils should go further in exploring digital capabilities, potentially in collaboration with each other and other agencies, as highlighted by a new...

27 November 2014

Good growth across UK cities – we look back

By John Hawksworth, Nick C Jones and Jonathan Bruce The economic outlook continues to improve, with renewed business confidence evident across all UK regions. But there is some way to go yet before the recovery becomes fully sustainable – and the public finances still need to be repaired. In the...

26 November 2014

Delivering the devolution dividend: making devolution a reality for the Core Cities and beyond

By Ray Mills Devolution is the word on every politician’s lips at the moment, with the main political parties jostling in an attempt to outbid each other to demonstrate their commitment to decentralisation. Over the past ten years we’ve seen, step by step, the attitudes in Westminster change, and an...

06 November 2014

Where Manchester leads, will others follow? Next steps for decentralisation in England

By Nick C Jones The recent announcement of additional powers over transport, housing and planning for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, under the leadership of a directly elected city wide mayor who will also take over policing, marks a significant step on the road to decentralisation in England. But while...

04 November 2014

Where next for the two tier debate?

By Mike Wallace and Simon Parker Councils in two tier authorities need time and space to develop local forms of collaboration. It takes at least three years to deliver savings, costs money and harms performance in the short term, while eating up parliamentary time and burning political capital. No wonder...

29 October 2014

Two tier futures: how far can collaboration go?

By Mike Wallace Sitting with a blank sheet in front of them, few would devise the mosaic of districts, counties, unitaries and mets that makes up local government in England today. But it’s that messy reality that’s the starting point as councils search for solutions to deal with their financial...

20 October 2014

Lyons Housing Review: Housing a nation

By Richard Parker The recent publication of the Lyons Housing Review brings home once again the stark reality of the UK’s housing challenge. A look back over historic data on new builds demonstrates just how challenging the Review’s target of at least 200,000 completions a year by 2020 is, with...

26 September 2014

Where next for decentralisation in England?

By Nick C Jones In the wake of the Scottish vote, the ramifications for Scotland of devo-max are now to the fore. With the West Lothian and related ‘English’ questions now firmly on the agenda, how will the leaders in Westminster take up the challenge of decentralising further power and...

12 September 2014

Decentralisation by default

By Nick C Jones and Stephanie Hyde Is decentralisation the answer - both to unleashing the potential of our regions and improving public service outcomes? The answer is an emphatic ‘yes’ according to a report by IPPR which we’ve supported on ‘The Decentralisation Decade’. There are economic problems associated with...

22 August 2014

Who’s accountable now?

By Nick C Jones and Stephanie Hyde Decentralisation is firmly in the sights of politicians nationally and locally, but is it really possible for government to ‘let go’ in our centralised political culture? We first investigated this question five years ago, with the think tank IPPR. The original research suggested...

30 July 2014

London needs effective, efficient and sustainable infrastructure to thrive

By Ray Mills The need for increased capacity and infrastructure investment in London is well recognised. London needs effective, efficient and sustainable infrastructure to thrive, be competitive and remain an engine of sustainable growth for the UK economy. In our latest Cities of Opportunity, PwC’s index of 30 major cities...

11 July 2014

Your spending speaks louder than your cuts

By Jonathan House Digital technology can play a role in linking up multiple organisations and supporting a person-centric approach to service delivery, says PwC’s Jonathan House Over the last few years we’ve found that councils have dealt in many different ways with the financial challenges they face. As the case...

10 July 2014

‘Why wait ten years?’ Decentralisation decade at LGA conference

By Jonathan House This week we’ve decamped to the seaside for the Local Government Association's annual conference in Bournemouth. Following roundtables in Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham and London, we thought we’d use the opportunity to discuss the emerging findings of our programme of research with IPPR, the Decentralisation Decade. Joined by...

02 July 2014

Decentralisation Decade: Next stop Birmingham

By Richard Parker What does the future look like for local governance in the UK and, of equal importance, how do we get there? This was the key question discussed at our most recent roundtable event with IPPR North in Birmingham; the third in our Decentralisation Decade series. We were...

01 July 2014

Communities count: making more of social value

By Mark Graham The Chartered Institute of Housing, Orbit Group, PwC and Wates Living Space have just published the findings of their jointly commissioned research into the impact of the Social Value Act on commissioning, procurement and contract management in the Housing Sector - Communities count: The four steps to...

24 June 2014

Decentralisation Decade: the view from the North East

By Bill MacLeod To what extent is the high degree of centralisation in England holding back regional growth? This was the topic for discussion at our recent roundtable event hosted in Newcastle with IPPR North, and we certainly got a lively debate! The roundtable discussion forms part of a wider...

17 June 2014

Talking decentralisation at the International Festival of Business, Liverpool: ‘free us to grow’

By Jonathan House What would a new deal for English local governance look like? This is the question we posed at a meeting we hosted with IPPR North at the International Festival of Business in Liverpool. It is particularly timely to reflect on this issue with less than 100 days...

12 June 2014

Switching on to outcomes

By Jonathan House Another year, and it appears, another blow to the confidence of local government leaders and chief executives in PwC’s fourth annual Local State We’re In survey. While there’s many findings in the survey that will stand out depending on your point of view, perhaps one of the...

12 May 2014

Local Government Pension Schemes: tax and ratepayers deserve some Government courage

By Marc Hommel The combined £180bn Local Government Pension Schemes have deficits of more than £70bn and cost tax and rate payers £6bn every year; funds which would otherwise be available to boost local services and reduce burdens on national and local tax payers. But does this have to be...

09 May 2014

Whole person care in the Midlands

By Dr Tim Wilson and Michael Kitts As the pressures facing health and social care organisations continue to mount, there is growing recognition that a whole system approach is needed in response. With the Midlands leading innovation, thinking and, above all, action in the field of joining up care, this...

24 April 2014

Redefining local government for 2015 and beyond

By Chris Buttress As we look forward to 2015 and beyond, there’s growing recognition in the sector that efficiency savings alone aren’t going to cut it for local government. A new approach is needed, based around building much stronger links between what councils do and what they’re seeking to achieve,...

11 April 2014

Free cities?

By Nick C Jones Another week, another high profile speech on the importance of getting on with decentralisation, this time in Birmingham where the Labour leader extolled the virtues of giving more powers to those at local level. And following on from Lord Heseltine’s much lauded report No stone unturned,...

01 April 2014

Launching the Decentralisation Decade

By Stephanie Hyde, Head of Regions, PwC We need to see stronger regional growth if we are to secure a lasting recovery in the UK. As Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England has noted: “…it is not enough just to have a recovery in London and the South...