High Speed Rail update – Summer 2019

August 26, 2019

This briefing reports on recent key developments on the HS2 project, including an overview of a recent HofL’s Economic Affairs Committee report and an update on the progress of the enabling legislation for the project. HS2 is still highly contentious. Will the new PM have a different perspective on it?

Housing and planning round-up August 2019

August 23, 2019

The August round-up includes government announcements, latest statistics, major reports and ongoing consultation documents. This month’s ‘big issue’ is social housing.

When work doesn’t pay enough: in-work poverty

August 22, 2019

There are more people working in the UK than ever before. Yet research highlights a growing phenomenon of in-work poverty. Local authorities can use their resources to act independently and collaboratively to tackle in-work poverty head on.

Resolution Foundation: Low Pay Britain 2019

August 21, 2019

This report coincides with two anniversaries: the twentieth year of the National Minimum Wage and the fourth full year of the National Living Wage, started in 2016. Set against a background in which both main parties are committing to raising the wage floor, it considers progress in tackling low pay.

Swift Read: Local government finance – facts and figures

August 20, 2019

Scottish Parliament Information Centre published its annual briefing of useful financial statistics in July 2019. This Swift Read aims to summarise the briefing and to pick out some key statistics to help to identify how the financial landscape is changing and how individual Scottish councils are being affected.

The NOAC report on the internal audit function of Irish local authorities

August 18, 2019

This briefing provides an overview of some of the key findings of the 17th NOAC report on the internal audit function of local authorities. Irish local authorities spend billions of euro annually on delivering services, so it is absolutely critical to have an effective internal control system in place.

Creating a challenge culture? New statutory guidance on overview and scrutiny

August 16, 2019

Overview and scrutiny committees have not yet realised their potential contribution to policy making and better public accountability. The government has published new statutory guidance on overview and scrutiny in local and combined authorities to raise the profile of scrutiny and increase its effectiveness and relevance.

The Puzzle of Rural Exodus in High Income Countries

August 13, 2019

This briefing explores the main causes of rural depopulation in high income countries, challenges faced by urban and rural communities as a result of rural depopulation and examples of how local authorities are trying to adapt to this trend.

Densification and its objectors in Johannesburg, South Africa

August 12, 2019

What are the reasons and objectives behind the drive for densification in South African cities generally and Johannesburg specifically? This briefing describes the policies to achieve densification in the city, why they have engendered animosity from resident groups and how the city is handling these objections.