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.
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
wave, and the demands that this brings with it are highly likely,
David Caplan (CIPFA Head of Research and Analytics) explores what this
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
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
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
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
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.
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
- The future of
adult social care. Watch
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
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
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
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
CIPFA Local Government Policy Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Executive, CIPFA