For CFOs already trying to manage an over-stretched budget, last
week’s announcement that councils would now be required to provide
COVID-19 marshals was yet another blow. This is a further example of this
government’s failure to acknowledge the financial commitments and demands
facing an already strained sector.
On the one hand, councils are filling in very detailed forms regarding
their losses in order to receive income compensation dating back months.
On the other, they are being given responsibility for a task that lacks
any detail or funding and was introduced almost overnight.
It places the sector in an impossible position. I will make sure that
the call for a sustainable settlement is the bedrock of our response to
the spending review. However, funding is only part of the picture. We
need to address the thorny subject of devolution and reorganisation. I
raised some talking points on this in CIPFA’s recent
webinar, but it’s important that we keep the discussion going.
Business grants for local lockdown
Businesses in England required to close due to local lockdowns or
targeted restrictions will now be able to receive grants.
Local authorities will be responsible for distributing the grants to
businesses. Local authorities will also receive an additional 5% top-up
of business support funding to enable them to help other businesses
affected by closures that may not be on the business rates list.
Accounting Code annual consultation
The CIPFA/LASAAC Local Authority Accounting Code Board has issued its annual
consultation on the 2021/22 Code of Practice on Local Authority
Accounting in the United Kingdom. This year’s consultation also includes
an open question on the recommendations put forward by Sir Tony Redmond
last week and provides us with an opportunity to gather initial thoughts.
The Westminster Public Accounts Committee inquiry into the practices
of local authorities borrowing to invest for commercial yield recommended
that a review of the prudential framework should be undertaken. CIPFA is
planning to review the Prudential Code. Our intention will be to both
strengthen and modernise the Code while maintaining the integrity and
spirit of the existing permissive framework.
Treasury and Capital Management Panel will lead the review with a
view to consultation in 2021 and publication of a revised Code by early
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
• The case for local government reorganisation. 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 2020 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
COVID-19 advice portal for local authorities
Essential guidance for local authorities on all aspects of coronavirus
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
Please share any questions or issues you’re experiencing with Joanne
CIPFA Local Government Policy Manager: email@example.com
Chief Executive, CIPFA