As CFOs, we recognise that although
there is always a fire to fight, it is necessary to look beyond today’s
problems to the longer term horizon. Planning for 2021/22 will be
challenging. With income falling, unemployment expected to rise and a
lack of certainty around funding, there are going to be difficult
decisions to make. Strong leadership from the CFO combined with good
financial management will be essential as budget planning gets
However beyond that, as a profession we
need to start a conversation about the long-term outlook for local
government if we are to avoid lurching from crisis to crisis. Crisis
management should be the exception not the rule.
In my recent article for Public Finance, I expressed
concern around social care and reflected on some of the issues the sector
will need to think about, such as the balance sheet and investment. But
this is just part of the story. The role of the CFO is going to be key in
the recovery and regeneration of the sector and, as an institute, I want
us to shape the next chapter.
Initially that might be about imminent
funding challenges, including working with MHCLG to find funding
solutions, but our policy focus will continue to be trained on the long
This new fund reflects the impacts of
Grenfell, and will meet the cost for unsafe, non-ACM cladding on
residential buildings that are 18 metres and over and do not comply with
building regulations. This £1bn fund is predominately targeted at
supporting leaseholders in the private sector. However it is also
available for buildings owned by providers in the social sector where a
CFO declaration may be required in some cases.
for track and trace
Tom Riordan, CEO at Leeds City Council,
launched the Local Outbreak Control Plans and shared the £300m funding
announcement. These control plans will be produced by directors of public
health within upper tier local authorities. However, as there is likely
to be a spike in activity, CFOs will need to be aware of the requirement
to build capacity.
Local authorities have been told they
will be central to supporting the new test and trace service across
England, with the government providing a new funding package of £300 million. Each
local authority will be given funding to develop tailored outbreak
control plans, working with the local NHS and other stakeholders. The
Department of Health and Social Care will allocate funding to local
authorities in England, working with MHCLG on the allocation formula. The
funding is ring-fenced for this specific purpose.
Here at CIPFA, our partnership with
Xantura can incorporate track and trace data feeds into the platform,
providing a local view on potential hotspots and where additional safety
measures should be taken.
For more information, visit our website or contact: John.O'Halloran@cipfa.org
from the networks
Solidarity Campaign Ltd vs Secretary of State for Communities and Local
In a landmark verdict, the court ruled
in favour of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) in a legal case
which has set a significant precedent for local decision making for local
government pension funds. The ruling has significant implications on the
level of intervention allowed by central government on how local
government pension schemes invest their funds.
Find out more.
Financial Advisory Network
and Capital Management Update
CIPFA’s Treasury and Capital Management
Panel have also issued CIPFA Bulletin 04 with general guidance to
complement the Prudential and Treasury Management Codes. It also includes
guidance in response to challenges raised by COVID-19.
We are running a series of topical
webinars exploring various consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for
local government and other public service professionals.
- How to be an effective leader in a crisis. Watch here.
fraud implications of COVID-19 - 4 June 2020 at 11:00am
As in any crisis, fraudsters will be
making the most of COVID-19 to take advantage of those who are seeking
help. As public sector finance professionals, we must do everything we
can to prevent fraud and mitigate against it occurring again in the
future. In a continuation of a previous fraud webinar focused on the
impact of COVID-19, CIPFA's Head of Counter Fraud Policy and Strategy
Laura Hough and Neil Green from the Government Internal Audit Agency
provide an updated perspective two months into the pandemic. Those who
attend will hear about current fraud risks, and what public sector
professionals should expect to see as the crisis continues.
Register for this webinar here.
advice 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: Coronavirus: 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 to Joanne Pitt,
CIPFA Local Government Policy Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org