News

Uk Parliament

Writing in the Municipal Journal, SIGOMA chair, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, explains why levelling up is now on life support following the Autumn Statement.

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Stephen Houghton

SIGOMA chair responds to the Autumn Statement

Posted on November 22, 2022

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton's response was covered across the local government press and in The Guardian.

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Finance

Analysis shared with the Local Government Chronicle and The Observer shows how uneven increases in Council Tax are in different parts of the country.

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Homeless

Writing in The Yorkshire Post, SIGOMA chair Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, warned that the government must not repeat the mistakes of austerity.

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Writing in the Municipal Journal, SIGOMA chair Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, set our his asks for the upcoming Autumn Statement.

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Downing Street

Writing in the Municipal Journal, SIGOMA chair, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, sets our 3 key ways the new Secretary of State can restart the "levelling up" agenda.

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Social Care

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton welcomed the delay, but warned that it must come with additional resource for the sector.

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Uk Parliament

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton responds to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's statement about the public finances.

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Social Care

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton warns that pause must come with additional resource.

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Detailed financial survey published reveals £2.5bn inflationary pressure over three years and the risk to frontline services and regeneration projects central to the "levelling up" agenda.

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Parliament

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton said that inflationary pressure has severely impacted budgets for the current and subsequent financial year.

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Finance

Writing in the Municipal Journal, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton warned that while support is welcome, inflationary pressure will place extraordinary pressure on council budgets this winter.

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Money

Writing in the MJ, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton argued that formula grant, rather than new devolved tax powers, were the best way to support "levelling up".

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SIGOMA chair responds to Sunak comments

Posted on August 18, 2022

Writing in the Local Government Chronicle, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton responded to leaked comments made by the ex-Chancellor about "deprived urban areas".

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Finance

Writing in the MJ, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton argued that placing deprivation as the "cornerstone" of how local government is funded could help re-start the flagging agenda.

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Money

Writing in the Municipal Journal, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton warned that inflation will impact the poorest most and the government needs to step in to stop a return to austerity.

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Finance

Survey of SIGOMA member authorities, covered by The Guardian, The i and the Local Government Chronicle, finds urgent need for emergency funding and certainty.

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Commons

"Welcome but overdue" - Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton responds to the various measures announced by the Chancellor in today's mini "emergency" budget

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Uk Parliament

Writing in the Municipal Journal, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton warned that unless more funding quickly reaches the most deprived areas time will run out for the 'levelling up' agenda.

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Brexit

Writing in the Municipal Journal, SIGOMA chair, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, called for the government to release the council-by-council comparative funding data to show that the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will match previous EU structural funding.

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Money

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton offered his initial analysis following publication of council allocations of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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Budget

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton offered his initial response to the Chancellor's statement and then set out a lengthier analysis in The Municipal Journal.

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Social Care

Writing in the Municipal Journal, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton explained the importance of Covid funding, including the Contain Outbreak Management Fund (COMF), being extended into 2022/23.

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Parliament

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton set out his thoughts on the levelling up white paper in the Municipal Journal.

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Money

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton offers his response to the final local government finance settlement and public health grant allocations.

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Stephen Houghton

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton offers his initial response following the publication of the long-awaited white paper.

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Money

Writing in the Municipal Journal, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton set out the importance of reform of government finances to allow proper funding core council services which protect the most vulnerable.

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British Parlament

Writing in the Local Government Chronicle, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, also set out what to watch out for when the paper is published.

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Stephen Houghton

SIGOMA responds to the settlement

Posted on December 16, 2021

SIGOMA chair, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, responds to the local government finance settlement.

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Money

SIGOMA sets out settlement "asks"

Posted on December 14, 2021

Writing in the MJ, SIGOMA chair Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, welcomed recent comments regarding business rates retention and set out what measures the government could take in the upcoming settlement.

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Money

Analysis of the CRF found that despite the claim that the fund would "support people and communities most in need" just a quarter went to the most deprived councils.

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Stephen Houghton

SIGOMA chair asks key UKSPF questions

Posted on November 09, 2021

Writing in The Municipal Journal, SIGOMA chair Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, set out the key questions that arose from the recent announcements regarding the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

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Stephen Houghton

SIGOMA responds to the Spending Review

Posted on November 01, 2021

Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton delivers analysis of the spending review which was covered in the local government press and The Guardian.

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Parliament

Today, Cllr Houghton, chair of SIGOMA launched an alternate "3 block" model for sustainably funding local government finance.

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Stephen Houghton

Writing in the Municipal Journal, and the Yorkshire Post, SIGOMA chair, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, responded to the recent social care announcements.

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Uk Parliament

SIGOMA publishes "levelling up" report.

Posted on September 14, 2021

Wide ranging report from towns and cities across England details major failings of government's "levelling up" agenda.

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HCLG

The Housing, Communities and Local Government committee heard oral evidence from sector representatives including SIGOMA chair Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton before publishing their report "Local authority financial sustainability and the section 114 regime".

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HCLG

The Commons public accounts committee report warned that it was "unacceptable that local authorities continue to face uncertainty about the level of financial support they can expect from government".

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Money

Analysis of council tax increases show that the most deprived decile have seen the biggest increases of the tax - areas that can least afford to pay for the increases.

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Uk Parliament

SIGOMA responds to Budget 2021

Posted on March 03, 2021

A disappointing budget for the sector also contained worrying information regarding the prioritisation for the £4.8bn Levelling Up fund.

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Parliament

SIGOMA chair warns that spending power increases based on council tax rises are an unsustainable way to fund local government particularly for social care.

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Stephen Houghton

SIGOMA responds to the Spending Review

Posted on November 27, 2020

While there are some individual elements to be welcomed, taken as a whole the spending review is a missed opportunity for levelling up.

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Money

SIGOMA Survey reveals financial cost of Covid

Posted on September 03, 2020

An internal survey, shared exclusively with The MJ, revealed the severe financial strain and uncertainty that Covid has caused for council finances.

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Finance

SIGOMA chair, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, warned councils would face a "large gap" between income losses and government compensation.

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Uk Parliament

Analysis with the Guardian has shown definitely that austerity has unevenly hit local authorities.

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Money

Analysis of the "Covid returns" of the 47 members of SIGOMA found that a combination of income losses and increased expenditure would lead to a shortfall of £2.2bn over 2021/22.

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Capture

In advance of the settlement debate today, Sir Stephen Houghton has sent a personal message to MPs whose constituencies include poorer municipal councils represented by SIGOMA, the organisation he chairs.

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SIGOMA Goes to Downing Street

Posted on July 12, 2019

19 June - MPs and Council Leaders meet to highlight the effect of cuts to local government on life chances for the young

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New Vice Chair of SIGOMA elected

Posted on July 12, 2019

Councillor Wasim Ali of Sandwell Council new Vice Chair of SIGOMA

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Money

SIGOMA responds to CCN 'Review of Local Government Spending Need and Funding' report

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England Relief Location Map

Sir Stephen Houghton argues a more nuanced view should be taken on recently mooted Treasury plans for more fiscal devolution.

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Finance

Sir Stephen Houghton says "Central government must stop shifting an unbalanced burden onto bill payers."

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Sir Stephen Houghton says today's announcements still leave under-pressure local services in England’s most vulnerable towns and cities hanging from a precipice.

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Homeless

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton responds to latest funding review consultation.

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Sir Stephen Houghton says urban areas have lost confidence in the Government’s ability to carry out a fair funding review

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Finance

SIGOMA Chair responds to the County Councils Network's defence of downgrading deprivation as part of the 'Fair' Funding Review

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SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton considers the implications of the 2019-20 Settlement on deprived towns and cities

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Tower Block With Cladding Exposed In Sheffield 2017

SIGOMA Chair Comments on unfair allocations in the 2019-20 Provisional Settlement

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False Confessions and the Fair Funding Review

Posted on November 06, 2018

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton challenges county claims of funding disadvantage

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Budget Doublethink

Posted on October 29, 2018

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton Comments on this year's Autumn Budget.

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Steve And Marie

SIGOMA leaders draw attention to unbalanced austerity and the potential impact of current policy proposals ahead of the Local Government Finance Settlement

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Sir Stephen Houghton and Cllr Peter Box argue Brexit could be an opportunity for the UK economy to fire on all cylinders if government engages more with local representatives and seeks to balance economic interests fairly

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Key Cities Sigoma

SIGOMA and Key Cities call on Brexit Secretary David Davis to engage more meaningfully with local government.

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Stephen Houghton

Sir Stephen Houghton responds to the Chancellor's speech, expressing disappointment following a lack of investment in social care

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Steve And Jo

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton and Doncaster Chief Exec. Jo Miller call on the Health and Social Care minister to end the postcode lottery in care services.

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Tower Block With Cladding Exposed In Sheffield 2017

Chair Sir Stephen Houghton sets out SIGOMA's stance against Transition Grant ahead of the Final Local Government Finance Settlement

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Train2

Responses to the Transport Select Committee’s Rail infrastructure Inquiry reveal broad agreement on reasons for the regional disparity in rail funding. 

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Stephen Houghton

Consensus is key

Posted on December 06, 2017

Sir Stephen Houghton considers the progress of the Fair Funding Review and the importance of consensus building

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Chris Grayling

SIGOMA challenges Transport Minister to provide official data on his department's regional infrastructure spending plans.

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Where next for council funding?

Posted on September 18, 2017

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton looks to the future of local government finance

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Council leaders respond to Transport Minister’s controversial comments in the Yorkshire Post

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Uturn

Council leaders from across the country to call for balanced regional investment after Transport Investment U-turns

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Risk And Reward

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton injects some international perspective into the national debate surrounding council finances 

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Budget

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton comments on a Budget that provided some short-term relief but little long-term confidence for struggling local authorities.

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Education

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton argues that systemic real terms cuts to education funding are the real driver behind local pressures.

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Commons

Sir Stephen Houghton speaks out over accusations that Surrey County Council were compelled to climb down from planned council tax referendum.

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SIGOMA Challenges SEEC Claims

Posted on January 24, 2017

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton rebukes claims made by the South East England Councils group that the authorities they represent face “greater challenges” than others.

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SIGOMA Chair Calls for Care Support

Posted on December 12, 2016

Sir Stephen Houghton wrote to the Chancellor on 9 December to express SIGOMA's care funding concerns.

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SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton comments on the crucial announcements and omissions from the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

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Autumn Statement Comment from SIGOMA Chair

Posted on November 11, 2016

SIGOMA Chair Sir Stephen Houghton gives his take on the upcoming Autumn Statement.

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Brexit 2

Parliament To Vote on Article 50

Posted on November 03, 2016

The High Court has ruled that the Government cannot legally trigger Article 50 without a Parliamentary Vote.

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Finance

New IFS report highlights the major changes to local government finance since 2010 and looks to the future in light of upcoming reforms.

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Homeless 2

Homelessness Reduction Bill

Posted on October 25, 2016

Government is to support a Homelessness Reduction Private Members Bill first introduced in June, but must ensure new burdens are fully and fairly funded.

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Money

Lower NLW Increase Expected

Posted on October 14, 2016

Following low growth in pay after the Brexit vote on June 23, a prominent think tank now expects the National Living Wage rate to be revised down.

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Downing Street

SIGOMA Submits Pre-Autumn Statement Views

Posted on October 07, 2016

The Special Interest Group for Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) has today made their formal submission to HM Treasury in respect of the Autumn Statement 2016.

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School Funding

New Education Funding Announced

Posted on October 04, 2016

SIGOMA welcomes education investment in some of the least socially mobile parts of the country, but argues the net must be cast wider.

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Theresa May

May Reportedly Set to Scrap Northern Plans

Posted on August 22, 2016

City mayors and Northern Powerhouse policies could be set to change under current Prime Minister

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Brexit

Assurance Needed on Post-Brexit Funding

Posted on August 15, 2016

Local authorities seek ministerial guarantee on £5.3bn of EU funding earmarked prior to Brexit

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Growing Divide 2

Growing Divide Holding Communities Back

Posted on August 01, 2016

New research reinforces the prominence of a growing regional divide between rich and poor.

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Justice 3

100% Retention Must Ensure Fairness

Posted on July 25, 2016

New report highlights regional inequalities that could result from 100% retention of business rates.

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Secretary Of State Clg

New CLG Secretary of State

Posted on July 14, 2016

Sajid Javid MP has been appointed as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

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Care 2

Adult Social Care Survey

Posted on July 13, 2016

Council tax rises fail to cover funding shortfall according to ADASS.

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Budget

Budget 2016

Posted on March 17, 2016

SIGOMA's on the day briefing on key points of the 2016 Budget.

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New Homes

New Homes Bonus

Posted on March 10, 2016

SIGOMA's response to DCLG proposals for reforming the New Homes Bonus.

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Business

Review of Needs Formula

Posted on February 18, 2016

SIGOMA chair, Sir Stephen Houghton, comments to the Local Government Chronicle on the Government's review proposal.

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100% Business Rate Retention

Posted on February 01, 2016

SIGOMA's submission to the CLG committee enquiry into 100% business rate retention.

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2015 Finance Settlement

Posted on January 15, 2016

SIGOMA's response to the 2015 provisional local government finance settlement.

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Game Of Cuts

Game of Cuts

Posted on March 03, 2015

A short light hearted youtube presentation but with a serious underlying message which has become increasingly relevant as austerity continues to bite unevenly across the country.

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Protecting Vital Services

Protecting Vital Services

Posted on February 25, 2015

SIGOMA's 2015 publication proposes an alternative, fairer funding mechanism to support vital services.

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