From:                                         Rob Whiteman, CIPFA <cipfa@email.cipfa.org.uk>

Sent:                                           10 September 2020 13:07

To:                                               Moore, Ashleigh

Subject:                                     CIPFA COVID-19 Bulletin

 

Weekly update on coronavirus

CIPFA | The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy


CIPFA COVID-19 Bulletin

What a week! New lockdown regulations, the resignation of Simon Clarke after only six months in his role with MHCLG, and the publication of Sir Tony Redmond’s review recommendations. CIPFA has certainly been keeping busy.

Among Redmond’s proposals was a new financial reporting requirement for local government. While the proposed requirements would support more effective communication of the often complex financial affairs of local authorities, we of course understand the difficulties behind doing this and resource pressures finance teams currently face. Our full response to the report can be found here.

The report will have implications for the profession and sector. It will be important for all CFOs to continue to be part of the discussion through a consultation CIPFA will be running in due course. As we agree our approach to the consultation, we will share details with you.

There were also several other recommendations in the report that CIPFA will be looking to take forward, one of the most exciting being the opportunity to play a role in public sector audit training. If you would like to learn more about our ideas, this piece for the Local Government Chronicle from our Head of Policy and Technical, Don Peebles, provides a great summary.

COVID-19 funding

Following the publication of the guidance on the local government income compensation scheme for lost sales, fees and charges last month, we can confirm that CIPFA and MHCLG are working on the spreading of the collection fund deficit and will update you when we have some news.

New CIPFA President

I’d like to offer a welcome to CIPFA’s new president, Professor Andy Hardy, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. His recent profile (Public Finance, free registration required) addresses the potential financial repercussions of COVID-19 and how the public sector may adapt to any potential ‘new normal’.

Second wave of COVID-19

Even with limited resources and substantial financial pressures, councils have been at the centre of the local response to COVID-19. Although the initial wave may have passed, funding concerns are increasing as CFOs start to plan for 2021/22. Knowing that the chances of a second wave, and the demands that this brings with it are highly likely, David Caplan (CIPFA Head of Research and Analytics) explores what this might mean.

Housing

MHCLG has continued to support housing initiatives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Rent deferrals and delays in evictions as well as policy approaches to support those living on the streets have all required local government participation. Looking at the longer term, government ambition on housing policy was reinforced this week with the announcement of the Affordable Homes Programme, allowing local authorities the opportunity to access funding.

Children's social care and the spending review

The COVID-19 crisis has hit children’s social care. The disruption caused by the lockdown and continuing restrictions has forced social workers to conduct visits with children remotely, local authorities to take a less rigid approach to procurement, and the government to temporarily remove some statutory protections for vulnerable children. The crisis followed a decade of big increases in spending on child protection, but severe cuts to universal services such as children’s centres.

Ahead of the spending review, this joint webinar with the Institute for Government (Tuesday 29 September 2020, 13:00–14:00) will look at what level of funding is needed for children's social care, what the right balance is between early intervention and crisis support and which of the changes made in response to the crisis should be kept. More information can be found on the IfG’s website.

New look Public Finance Magazine

Those of you that subscribe to Public Finance Magazine will be now have received the first edition of a new-look, more extensive publication.

The new print edition, available to CIPFA members and subscribers, includes 50% more pages and will be published every two months. Subscribers will be able to keep up to date with the latest news through email bulletins, as well as the Public Finance website and social media. The new magazine will showcase in-depth articles and detailed long-form features.

In addition to news analysis, opinion articles and deep dives into current issues facing the public sector, the magazine contains a new “In Practice” section, featuring tips, case studies and commentary to assist public finance professionals in their work.

Recent webinars

We are running a series of topical webinars exploring various consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for local government and other public service professionals. 

  • The importance of NEDs in a post-COVID world. Watch here
  • The future of adult social care. Watch here

Upcoming webinars 

Public sector performance reporting and the Sustainable Development Goals: 24 September 10.30am–12.00pm

As climate change becomes an increasingly important factor in the decision making of governments, sustainability and performance reporting has grown in both relevance and importance for those working in public finance. Join us for this webinar to discuss the latest frameworks in public sector performance reporting as it relates to the UN’s SDGs and the future of sustainable reporting in the European context. Register here

PAID FOR: The Redmond Review on local government financial reporting and external audit: 28 September 9.00am–12.00pm

Hear directly from Sir Tony on the recommendations and impact of the Redmond Review and the likely timeline for implementation. Gain an early insight from Rob Whiteman, CIPFA’s CEO, on how the Institute will be responding to the recommendations, in order to best support and promote these recommendations. Register here

A place for prevention: 8 October 11am–12.15pm

Placing emphasis on place-based prevention will help mitigate the heavy burden expected to fall on public services in the coming years and safeguard them in the event that another crisis hits. The panellists at this webinar will discuss their research into place-based prevention and tools to create and implement place-based approaches in local communities. Register here

Essential guidance for local authorities on all aspects of COVID-19 support can be found on the GOV.UK website. It is being regularly updated and should act as the definitive reference point for councils: COVID-19 guidance for local government.

Further advice and guidance can also be found on CIPFA’s COVID-19 hub.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please share any questions or issues you’re experiencing with Joanne Pitt,
CIPFA Local Government Policy Manager: joanne.pitt@cipfa.org                                   

Rob Whiteman
Chief Executive, CIPFA


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