Budget 2017: Infrastructure model trial announced
The government has agreed a memorandum of understanding on further devolution with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London Councils. The parties will create a taskforce to explore piloting a new approach to funding infrastructure. The group will explore options for piloting a development rights auction model (DRAM) on a major infrastructure project in London.
Council tax rises ‘highest for a decade’
Council tax bills in England and Wales will rise by the fastest rate for 10 years next year, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. A survey by the institute found the average rise for next year will be 4%. Sean Nolan, Director for Local Government at CIPFA said: “We can expect these levels of increase to continue at least for next year.
Central government platform ‘could save councils millions’
Local authorities could save millions of pounds by using central government’s online identity verification platform, according to a report. The Government Digital Service said: “Having a verified identity that is trusted by both local authorities and central government enables the transfer of personal data between organisations with the user’s consent. This saves the user having to gather the information themselves from the separate organisations then sending through a pack to prove their eligibility for a service.”
Capita Asset Services sale set for second half of year
Outsourcing giant Capita expects to complete the sale of its asset management services arm, Capita Asset Services, in the second half of the year. The company’s outgoing chief executive, Andy Parker, made the announcement on the release of the firm’s annual results. Parker resigned after a bigger than expected drop in profits.
Uneven transformation progress for Scottish councils
Scottish councillors elected in May face major challenges and need to focus on improving long-term planning, says the Accounts Commission. In its 2017 overview published today, the local government spending watchdog outlines a long-term decline in Scottish Government real-terms funding which makes up around 60% of council income. The report identified wide variations between councils, saying: “Some have grasped the nettle in finding new ways to provide services more efficiently. Others have been slower off the mark.” Half still don’t have organisation-wide workforce plans, it added.