“Councils ‘in the dark’ over future funding amid cash warnings”

“Councils in England and Wales have warned they are “completely in the dark” about how much money they will get from central government next year.
The Local Government Association says councils need “urgent guarantees” they will get enough to provide key services like child protection and social care.

More than 90 of its members fear they will run out of money to meet their legal obligations within five years.

Ministers said councils had been given extra funding for vulnerable residents.

The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government said total funding for local authorities had gone up by nearly 3% this year to £46.4bn, with an extra £650m to help councils provide care for the elderly….”


“You can expel an MP for fiddling expenses – but not violence or misogyny. Why?”

” … Under the Recall of MPs Act 2015 constituents can recall their MP if they receive a custodial sentence, if they are banned from the House of Commons for 10 sitting days (which only happens if they’ve previously been banned for a shorter period) or if they are convicted of providing a misleading expenses claim.

That means that so far this year, the public has been able to recall one MP for lying to avoid a speeding ticket and another for fiddling his expenses claim for two landscape photographs. But even if an MP admits to aggressive or violent behaviour, without a custodial sentence they are untouchable until the next election. That’s why the Women’s Equality party has written an open letter calling on parliament to amend the Recall Act 2015, to give the public the power to recall their representatives in cases where they have been found guilty of violence or harassment by the independent parliamentary commissioner for standards.

We live in a country where violence against women and girls is endemic yet rarely prosecuted. An astonishing 98.3% of rapes reported to the police in England and Wales do not lead to a conviction. Nor does assault always result in a prison sentence, with many perpetrators getting off with a fine. These problems urgently need to be addressed, but we should not have to wait for an improvement in conviction rates to ensure that MPs are held accountable for their actions.

Violent people do not belong in government. Let’s make that clear.”


Independent Group councillors getting flak about Exmouth regeneration

Contributors do appear somewhat confused about personal and prejudicial interests and predisposition. This might help:

Click to access members-interests-bias-an-533.pdf

But this is the problem with “social enterprises”, “joint working” and “contractual obligations” – so many grey areas where things can go wrong or be misinterpreted.

Bad news on fire service station cuts

And the bad news is: the chair of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Authority is none other than our old pal and former Leader of EDDC, Sarah Randall-Johnson – you know, the person who consistently voted down any scrutiny of the Devon NHS Clinical Commissioning Group, and took her Tory committee members along with her.

Oh dear.