Editor's picks

Karen Thornton, Editor of first, selects her highlights from the latest edition of the LGA's monthly membership magazine.

The Housing White Paper was published last month, with the promise of additional funding for council planning departments among other proposals the LGA has been lobbying for. However, we continue to call for councils to be given the borrowing powers needed to reprise their historic role as major builders of new homes.

This month's first takes a look at the LGA's behind-the-scenes work, and how it has secured additional funding for local government and prevented additional burdens and responsibilities being laid on councils – not least the devolution of Attendance Allowance, now dropped from business rates reform.

Elsewhere in the magazine, we look at the reform agenda for fire services, and our annual public health report. The report highlights the potential for council-run public health, if properly resourced, to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our residents. That view is reinforced by Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, in this month's interview.

We are hoping to interview Communities Secretary Sajid Javid soon, so if you have any questions you would like us to put to him, please email me at karen.thornton@local.gov.uk.

A careers system that works for everyone
The LGA is calling for a locally commissioned and coordinated careers service for all, with funding to match the responsibility.

Engaging with residents
A new LGA guide sets out how councils can improve engagement and build trust with local residents (see ‘New conversations: LGA guide to engagement' at www.local.gov.uk/publications)

Driving reputation
Council ownership of Reading Buses means the service can be used to help deliver local priorities and social benefits – for example, on reducing carbon emissions and providing a wider range of routes.

28 February 2017