Let’s face it - the £500m from last Thursday’s announcement, even when combined
with other support announced to date, is not going to be enough for the
sector to meet its current challenges. Working it through quite
generously, we identified a funding gap of at least £1.2bn. While we will
have to wait for clarity on the detail, especially around income, you can
guess that many schemes regarded as commercial rather than part of a
regeneration initiative will be excluded.
Allocation will again be a key discussion point, with the impact of
the pandemic hitting local areas differently. For example, while London
and the south east will take a harder hit initially, they will likely
bounce back quicker than other areas. This means that local decision
making will need to be at the centre of the recovery.
Locally based directors of finance need to make sure that money from
government is spent well. The ability to do this is grounded in the skill
set of the section 151 officer - financial management, governance and
good decision making. Recognising that section 151 officers may need
extra support post-Covid, we have already started to work on CPD that
focuses on your needs.
Collection fund deficits
We have already had discussions with MHCLG around the proposals for
changing the accounting treatment of the 2020/21 collection fund
deficits. Details of how the scheme will work will be confirmed over the
coming weeks as MHCLG draft the statutory instrument that will give the
Many of you will remember the backdated appeals provision from 2013/14
when the new business rates scheme was first introduced. A similar
approach is expected to be applied to both council tax and non-domestic
rates, and is expected to be incorporated into the regulatory process of
estimating the collection fund deficits in January 2021. This will mean
that 2020/21 collection fund deficits will still be recovered but over a
longer time frame than the existing regulations require.
We will continue to work with MHCLG on establishing the detail of the
proposed changes and will provide support to practitioners in
understanding and implementing the changes as soon as we are able.
CIPFA recently hosted two round tables to discuss the PWLB consultation. The feedback and comments
have been developed into a draft response which is now being considered
by the CIPFA Treasury & Capital Management Panel. The insightful
discussions covered messaging around definitions, lender of last resort
and decision making.
Procurement and commissioning network
According to data released by Tussell (providers of market insight
around government procurement), Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on
public bodies tendering activities. In April this year, only 900
competitive opportunities (i.e. invitations to tender) were published by
the wider UK public sector. This was down 66% on pre-Covid levels in
We are running a series of topical webinars exploring various
consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for local government and other
public service professionals.
- Understand the economic impacts of Covid-19:
Macro and local government perspectives. Watch here.
- Decision-making in a VUCA environment. Watch here.
The importance of non-executive directors in a post-COVID world
– 15 July 2pm - 3pm
In a time of increasing uncertainty and change, the leadership and
experience provided by non-executive directors will be essential. Join
our discussion about the importance of NEDs, their key roles and
responsibilities and why the position will become even more crucial in a
post-COVID world. Register here.
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 COVID-19 hub.
Please share any questions or issues you’re
experiencing to Joanne Pitt,
CIPFA Local Government Policy Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chief Executive, CIPFA