As I wrote my foreword for the latest edition of Public Finance
Perspectives (more information below), I was reminded of the importance
of early intervention. Unfortunately, a preventative approach often
suffers when we only have a short-term planning horizon.
We all know the government will have to make some extremely difficult
decisions in the upcoming spending review, finding a sustainable balance
between funding, taxation and the growing deficit. The reality may well
be that one of the decisions is to switch to a one-year spending round.
While this short-term optic is understandable, it is important that as a
profession, we continue to defend the need for a longer-term settlement.
Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG)
BEIS has published
guidance for local authorities on the LRSG which was
announced on 9 September to support businesses required to close due to
local restrictions. They will cover the full cost for properties on the
rating list and will give authorities a further 5% to develop schemes to
support those not on the rating list. BEIS has also committed to funding
the administration of this grant, with a new burdens assessment to be
Social care post COVID–19
Our new publication, The
Road to Reform: COVID-19 as a catalyst for change in funding social care,
proposes a five-point plan to inform the development of a sustainable and
equitable system of funding to ensure the future of this vital sector.
Public Finance Perspectives
The latest edition of Public Finance Perspectives, published by Public
Finance magazine, contains a collection of nine essays under the theme of
challenge: Children’s welfare after COVID-19’.
Spending review submission
In our submission
to the comprehensive spending review we have stressed
that radical adjustments to NHS capital budgets and the level of funding
for local authorities would be key to meeting demand, with the only
alternative being the adjustment of service level expectations. Our
submission also highlighted the weaknesses in the resilience of the
social care system that have been exposed by COVID-19, calling for
sufficient funding to cover the additional costs of the pandemic, and to
ensure financial sustainability in the aftermath.
The Committee on Standards in Public Life has announced a landscape
review of public standards. The review will look at
best practice and identify any gaps in the way the Seven Principles of
Public Life are promoted and maintained.
CIPFA Benefits and Revenues service
Replacement of the Job Retention Scheme and amended self-employed
income support scheme. On 24 September, the Chancellor announced a new in-work
Job Support Scheme, replacing the Job Retention
Scheme that ends in October. The new scheme will support businesses and
workers affected by COVID-19 for the next six months.
New data service launched
A new data service will help public finance professionals make smarter
decisions. Hosted on a cloud-based platform, CIPFAstats+
represents a wide-ranging variety of financial and non-financial data on
local authority frontline services.
CIPFA seeks new chair for Local Authority Accounting Panel
For more information on the role, contact CIPFA policy support officer
Mark Mclean: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 future of adult social care. Watch
• The case for local government reorganisation. Watch
• Public sector performance reporting and the sustainable development
Beyond COVID-19 – What’s next in adult social care
transformation?: 7 October 2.45–3.45pm
In a new report 'Beyond COVID: New thinking on the future of social
care', the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) argues that,
despite the massive challenges facing the sector, this is the time for
bold reform. SCIE, CIPFA and Peopletoo invite you to join the second
webinar in a new series, in which we discuss how as a sector we are going
to achieve sustainable transformation in adult social care. 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