Press release: James Brokenshire confirms funding package for local authorities in 2019 to 2020

first_img Berkshire Buckinghamshire East Sussex Hertfordshire Lancashire Leicester and Leicestershire Norfolk Northamptonshire North and West Yorkshire North of Tyne Solent Authorities Somerset Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent West Sussex Worcestershire Please use this number if you are a journalist wishing to speak to Press Office 0303 444 1209 This year’s settlement paves the way for a fairer, more self-sufficient and resilient future for local government. That is why local authorities will have more control over the money they raise and a real terms increase in their core spending power. The settlement also recognises the pressures councils face in meeting growing demand for services and rewards their impressive efforts to drive efficiencies and rebuild our economy. Office address and general enquiries Twitter – – – Email [email protected] Following negotiations with London authorities, the Greater London Authority, the City of London and all London boroughs will also be forming a 75% business rates pilot pool. Existing pilots in devolution deal areas will continue. 2 Marsham StreetLondonSW1P 4DF Contact form https://forms.communit… If your enquiry is related to COVID-19 please check our guidance page first before you contact us – you still need to contact us please use the contact form above to get in touch, because of coronavirus (COVID-19). If you send it by post it will not receive a reply within normal timescale. Media enquiries Councils in England are to benefit from increased funding for core services including additional support for the most vulnerable in society, Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP confirmed today (5 February 2019).Local authorities’ core spending power will rise in 2019 to 2020 by £1.3 billion, taking councils’ funding to £46.4 billion.This year’s local government finance settlement includes extra funding for local services with a strong focus on greater support for adult and children’s social care. The settlement also supports and rewards economic growth and sets out reforms for a sustainable path for the future funding model for local government.The real terms funding increase for 2019 to 2020 is in recognition of the pressures local authorities are facing to deliver the services residents need, whilst protecting taxpayers from excessive increases in bills.The 2019 to 2020 settlement marks the end of a 4-year deal – accepted by 97% of councils – which provided local authorities with access to £200 billion in the 5 years to 2020.Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said: General enquiries: please use this number if you are a member of the public 030 3444 0000 Social media – MHCLG Provisional plans for the local government finance settlement for 2019 to 2020 were published in December followed by a period of extensive consultation with the sector. Representations from around 170 organisations and individuals were carefully considered before finalising the settlement.The final local government finance settlement for England, 2019 to 2020, will be debated in the House of Commons with a vote by all MPs on Tuesday 5 February.This year’s Spending Review will determine funding for local authorities from 2020 onwards.What the financial settlement includes:Additional support for social careThe government committed £650 million more for social care for 2019 to 2020 in the Autumn Budget. This includes £240 million towards easing winter pressures on adult social care, with local authorities able to use the remaining £410 million on adult or children’s social care, and, where necessary, to relieve demand on the NHS.This additional funding, alongside the adult social care precept and the improved Better Care Fund, means the government will have given councils access to £10 billion in dedicated funding which can be used for adult social care in the 3-year period from 2017-18 to 2019-20. For 2019 to 2020, local authorities will have access to £4.3 billion in dedicated resources for adult social care, including £1.8 billion in improved Better Care Fund Grant.The Budget also confirmed £84 million is available, over 5 years, to drive improvements in social work practice and decision-making in children’s social care. The additional funding is part of the government’s measures to address pressures in services helping society’s most vulnerable.Business rates pilotsTo test out aspects of proposed business rates retention reforms in a wide range of areas across the country, the selection of 15 areas as 75% retention pilots for the 2019 to 2020 financial year has been announced.Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has confirmed London will be piloting 75% rates retention in 2019 to 2020.And as previously confirmed, pilots originally launched in 2017 in devolution deal areas will continue on the existing basis in 2019 to 2020.The pilots will inform the government’s proposed reforms ahead of a renewed business rates retention system being introduced in 2020 to 2021.Business rates levy account surplus to be redistributed to councilsLocal authorities play a key role in supporting economic growth.The current business rates retention scheme is performing well, with local authorities estimating in 2018 to 2019 they will keep around £2.4 billion in business rates growth, on top of settlement funding.As a result of increased growth in business rates income, the government has announced it plans to distribute £180 million of the business rates retention levy surplus to all local authorities and proposes to share it on the basis of need.Future of business rates retentionThe government is aiming to increase the level of business rates retention from the current 50% to 75% from 2020 in a way which is fiscally neutral. It is also intending to implement reforms to the business rates retention system to ensure local councils have the levers and incentives they need to grow their local economies.A consultation, launched in December, is seeking views until the 21 February on the proposed reforms. It seeks views on how the business rates system can be reformed to continue to provide a strong incentive for local authorities to grow their business rates bases. It proposes a change in how the system is administered to mitigate the volatility business rates appeals have on local authorities’ income and to help reduce complexity in the system.Review of relative needs and resourcesHaving consulted last year on a review of local authorities’ relative needs and resources, the next stage of consultation ahead of the review’s planned implementation in 2020 was announced at the provisional settlement in December and will run to 21 February.This continues the government’s work to address concerns about the fairness of current funding distributions by determining a robust and effective funding formula.Maintenance of Council Tax referendums thresholds, aside from further flexibility offered on the police precept level.The threshold at which a local referendum is triggered for rises in Council Tax will stay at 3%.Further flexibility is also available for certain local authorities, such as those with responsibility for adult social care services. Referendum limits for police and crime commissioners will be set at £24, for a band D property, to address changing demands on police forces.Northamptonshire county council will have an additional 2% Council Tax flexibility, to assist with the improvements to council governance and services after their serious issues.The level of Council Tax will be a matter for the authority’s cabinet and full council.During the provisional settlement consultation, some local authorities called for referendum limits to be removed.However, the government is committed to protecting local taxpayers from excessive Council Tax increases, in line with the government’s manifesto. The Council Tax referendum provisions ensure that local residents have the final say over any large increase.Negative Revenue Support Grant (RSG)Negative RSG is a direct consequence of the distribution methodology adopted for the 2016 to 2017 settlement, whereby for less grant dependent authorities the required reduction in core funding exceeds their available RSG.Having listened to representations from local authorities since the provisional settlement, government has announced it intends to directly eliminate the £152.9 million of Negative Revenue Support Grant in 2019 to 2020 through the use of foregone business rates. This will prevent any local authority from being subject to a downward adjustment to their business rates tariffs and top-ups which could act as a disincentive for growth.New Homes BonusThe consultation after December illustrated local authorities want certainty on the future of the New Homes Bonus after next year. The government remains fully committed to incentivising housing growth and will consult widely with local authorities on how best to reward housing delivery effectively after 2019 to 2020.An additional £18 million in funding will be provided for the New Homes Bonus, and the baseline for growth, below which new allocations of the Bonus are not paid, will stay the same at 0.4%.This housing growth baseline provides a further incentive to local authorities to welcome housing growth and build more homes to relieve housing need. This strikes the right balance between supporting local authorities and ensuring they work to give more people the opportunity to have a place to call home.Rural supportCommunities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP has responded to a number of councils’ concerns over rural services funding by announcing the level of Rural Services Delivery Grant in 2019 to 2020 will increase by £16 million to £81 million, in line with the levels of grant funding provided in 2018 to 2019. This recognises the extra costs of providing services in rural communities.Fire funding for pensionsAround £97 million of funding has been announced to cover fire pensions liabilities. This responds to concerns raised by the sector over increased pensions liabilities for Fire and Rescue Authorities.Further informationThis relates to England only.The provisional settlement gives councils a 2.8% cash-terms increase, and a 1% real-terms increase in core spending power in the 2019 to 2020 financial year – up from £45.1 billion in this financial year to £46.4 billion.The areas selected for business rates pilots are:last_img read more

Lakers’ 115-95 loss to Celtics marks first regular-season sweep since 2007-08

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> Through ownership turmoil, youthful mistakes and persistent losing, another low point now defines the Lakers’ 2016-17 season.The Lakers lost both regular-season meetings to the Celtics.Sure, the stakes don’t compare to when the league’s heritage franchises met in 12 NBA Finals appearances or to decades of regular-season matchups that often previewed those championship series. But the Lakers’ 115-95 loss to the Celtics on Friday at Staples Center extended their losing streak to six games and gave their rivals their first sweep of the regular-season series since 2007-08.And in a season defined more by growth than results, the Lakers (19-43) showed none of it against the surging Celtics (40-22). AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersSo much for fulfilling the pregame hopes of Lakers coach Luke Walton, who admitted, “I personally want this one a little more than most games.”“I wanted to win. We wanted to win,” he said. “As an organization, players and fans, we never want to get swept by our rivals. But that’s very far down the list I concern myself with and where we’re at and trying to go.”Walton saw plenty of other more pressing problems.Lakers rookie forward Brandon Ingram went scoreless on only one shot attempt while collecting five fouls, three rebounds and two assists in 20 minutes. Ingram had not taken a shot in the game until missing a 10-foot jumper with 4:10 remaining.Said Walton: “He had some tough fouls and was in and out of foul trouble the whole time. It felt like it was one of those funky nights where he couldn’t get in the rhythm of the game.” Said Ingram: “I didn’t agree with some of the calls. But I can’t fault the referees for everything. I have to keep playing and learn from it and do better next time.”Second-year guard D’Angelo Russell (17 points on 7-of-12 shooting, four assists) and third-year forward Julius Randle (13 points on 5-of-13 shooting 7 rebounds) looked like different players in the first and second half. After finishing with nine points and three assists in the first half, Russell had only six more points and no assists in the second. After collecting nine points and four rebounds before halftime, Randle had two more field goals and three more rebounds in the second.And let’s not forget about the Lakers’ defense. They’ve certainly forgotten about it for much of the season, and Friday’s game and the Celtics’ season-high 70-point first half was no exception.“They made a lot of shots early on. Some of that was they are skilled players. Other parts we were a second late on defensive rotations,” Walton said. “Elite teams beat you with that. As we were playing hard and competing, they were inching that lead more and more. Then it felt like we got in desperation mode. What we need to learn from tonight, is no matter what happens in the game, the game is long.”Every Boston starter scored in double figures, with Isaiah Thomas (18), Al Horford (17), Avery Bradley (15), Jae Crowder (14) and Amir Johnson (13) providing nice balance. The Celtics scored seemingly anytime they wanted to in the paint (52 points) or on fast breaks (24). During one third-quarter sequence, Thomas threw a pass off the backboard to Jaylen Brown (16 points), drawing aahs from the crowd as the Celtics open a 89-58 lead with 4:50 left in the third quarter.Although Walton admitted feeling “a little bit of anger and frustration,” he understood the Celtics for being green.“Obviously it’s not enjoyable to watch teams showboat on your homecourt,” Walton said. “If I’m them, why not? We’re not getting back on defense. Rub it in our face and hopefully it (ticks) the players off.”It apparently did, as the Lakers went on a 20-4 run following the lob.Walton yanked his starters for most of the second half because he didn’t like their effort. After going scoreless and missing his first six shots in the first half, Lakers reserve guard Jordan Clarkson scored a team-high 20 points on 7-for-19 shooting. Trailing by 31 in the third, Clarkson almost single-handedly cut the Lakers’ deficit to 15 by scoring their final 13 points entering the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Walton called reserve guard David Nwaba a “big part of that spark that got us back in the game” by providing seven points, two rebounds and defense that initially made the Laker sign him to a 10-day contract from the D-Fenders.“That’s what should happen. We should take pride in playing on our home floor,” Walton said. “Obviously we should play harder than that before. But especially when something like that is going on, it should motivate the group.”So should the prospect of a matchup with the Celtics, though that did not seem to entice the Lakers as it once did.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

South Africa takes doping seriously

first_imgRay Maota Rugby veteran Victor Matfield is one of several South African sports stars that have pledged their support to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport as its official anti-doping ambassadors. Other ambassadors include: rugby stars Bryan Habana and Pierre Spies, and swimming champ Natalie du Toit. (Image: Gauteng Film Commission) MEDIA CONTACTS • Paena Galane  Department of Sports and Recreation  +27 79 509 9833 RELATED ARTICLES • South Africa’s gift to baseball • The big business of sport • Prince meets SA’s tennis aces • Taking a nation’s health to heartDoping scandals have rocked the sporting world since the beginning of 2012, from Lance Armstrong in the US to fellow cyclist, South African David George, whose recent suspension by Cycling South Africa made headlines.South African anti-doping authorities should therefore be excited for the opportunities that will arise from the country hosting the fourth World Anti-Doping Conference in late 2013.Expected to run from 13 to 15 November at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, the event will be held under the auspices of the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada), after its board chose Johannesburg in 2010.Sports minister Fikile Mbalula, making the announcement earlier in the year, pledged his department’s commitment to drug-free sport.“We appreciate the work that the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) does in our sport,” he said. “We continue to lead the continent in the implementation and support for anti-doping in sport.”Wada president John Fahey said the conference will serve as a critical event for the world’s anti-doping community.“I would again like to thank the Department of Sport and Recreation and the City of Johannesburg for agreeing to host the conference, which is further proof of their commitment to the fight against doping in sport,” he said.The event has previously been held in Lausanne, Switzerland (1999), Copenhagen in Denmark (2003) and Madrid in Spain (2007), making South Africa the first African host. It is set to attract policy makers, sport administrators and academics in the fields of sports science and management. Living by the codeFormed in 1999, Wada is an independent agency that oversees measures against doping in a variety of sporting codes. Its key activities include scientific research, education and training, development of anti-doping capacities and monitoring the world anti-doping code, a document that brings together policies opposed to the practise in all sports.The code is in the process of being reviewed and revised, and a new version is expected to be adopted at the 2013 conference.“We promote health, fairness and equality for athletes worldwide by working to ensure harmonised, coordinated and effective anti-doping programmes at international level, and at the national level through our stakeholder relationships,” said Fahey.South Africa is a founder member of Wada, and has an anti-doping laboratory accredited by the world body, in Bloemfontein in the Free State province.“The sad reality is there is still an enormous amount of work to be done,” said Fahey. “Doping continues to occur, and it changes rapidly.”He added that there are athletes who are still lured by the glory of winning at all costs and there are members of the entourage still motivated to profit from an athlete’s doping while risking little themselves. Measures against dopingHFL Sport Science, an independent drug surveillance laboratory service that operates worldwide, has launched supplement drug contamination screening programmes in South Africa in a bid to minimise the risk of inadvertent doping by local athletes.HFL claims that up to one in four supplements purchased at a regular retail shop may be contaminated with trace levels of steroids and/or stimulants like testosterone and methylhexanamine (commonly known as DMMA) as a direct result of inadvertent contamination.The company launched two programmes called Informed-Choice and Informed-Sport, which ensure supplement certification, in 2007 and 2008 respectively.Through all its programmes, regular tests of supplements on the South African market will be conducted to help authorities spot prohibited substances. These tests are also done during manufacturing, to avoid the release of prohibited substances.“The programmes allow companies to use a logo on packaging to enable athletes to easily spot those products that have been tested for banned substances,” said Dr Catherine Judkins, business sector manager at HFL, adding that such products will have met rigorous certification requirements by HFL’s anti-doping lab. The doping scandals of 20122012 saw one of the biggest doping scandals in the history of world sport, when cycling veteran and seven-time winner of the prestigious Tour de France (TDF), Lance Armstrong, the US Anti-Doping Agency found that there was enough evidence to conclude that Armstrong had participated in a doping programme during his career.For years Armstrong denied allegations of doping, and continued to enjoy the support of charities and major brands associated with him, until the very recent conclusion of the agency on its findings. In addition to the loss of endorsements and sponsorship, the 41-year-old was also stripped of all his TDF titles and banned from the tournament for life.Closer to home, David George, former South African Commonwealth Games cycling silver medallist, tested positive in August for the drug Erythropoietin, or EPO, in an out-of-competition test conducted by SAIDS South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport. George was a member of Armstrong’s US Postal Service team from 1999 to the year 2000.He also lost one of his major sponsors, banking institution Nedbank, which withdrew its support within hours of the news hitting social media networks across the country.Furthermore, George was provisionally suspended by Cycling South Africa, and would not be able to compete in any of its events, pending the outcome of an independent tribunal on the matter.The South African road running scene has not gone untainted, as two of the top ten finishers in this’s year Comrades Marathon tested positive for prohibited substances.Soon after the finish of iconic marathon, winner Ludwick Mamabolo made headlines when both his A and B samples, as per Wada code requirements, tested positive for DMMA. The test was conducted by Saids.Lephetesang Adoro from Lesotho, who came seventh in the event, was also later reported to have tested positive for a high concentration of testosterone. Both runners will know their fate at the end of independent tribunals on their cases. Athletes against dopingSeveral of South Africa’s most popular sports stars have pledged their support for Saids, and are the organisation’s official anti-doping ambassadors.Rugby stars Victor Matfield, Bryan Habana and Pierre Spies are three such ambassadors, while Olympic swimmer and Paralympic medallist Natalie du Toit also does her bit for the cause.Mbalula, who himself is a cycling enthusiast, has also made the pledge.last_img read more

Google Apps Go Social With Improved Contacts & A New API

first_imgsteven walling For those who’ve ponied up for the Premier Edition of Google Apps, a new API will let you call up data pertaining to all the user profiles in your company Apps suite. That’s on top of the shared contacts API released in December of 2008. More Facebook Than GmailBy letting users search and interact with user profiles regardless of whether they are “contacts” or not, Google Apps has become slightly more like a corporate social network. While it still deigns to use terminology like “address book” instead of a friend and/or subscriber list, it’s no longer tied to behaving like email. Not to say that this is revolutionary for Apps. On the contrary, enterprise users of the suite would naturally demand full access to profiles, since there’s no logical reason why you shouldn’t have at least theoretical access to the contact information of everyone in your company using the platform. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now With some core changes to contacts, Google Apps has dipped a toe in to the enterprise social networking waters. As of today, Apps contacts exhibits shades of Facebook and Twitter by allowing you to find and interact with all the user profiles in your Apps suite. According to Google, these adjustments where made at the behest of enterprise Apps users. It has also made a user profiles API available to Premier Edition customers, one that allows IT to retrieve and manipulate data about all the people using Apps in a company. How the New Contacts WorkPreviously, contacts within Google Apps functioned just like email: only people you’d previously communicated with or added intentionally appeared. But now, a search will provide profiles from your company’s entire address book, acting very similar to the way enterprise social networking platforms treat user profiles. Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts Tags:#enterprise IT + Project Management: A Love Affairlast_img read more

Will Certified Green Homes Ever Serve Middle America?

first_imgCustom high-performance certified green homes? Been there, done that.If you already build a decent custom home that is anywhere near Energy Star certified, getting it green should be reasonably easy to do and cost you less than $1 per square foot. It’s not really breaking new ground in most communities anymore to build a nationally certified custom green home, unless it’s a freakishly designed emerald- or platinum-level zero-energy home. In short, the custom market in housing, like the custom segment in many industries, is leading the way when it comes to integrating green design details, products, materials, and construction methodologies that will ultimately become mainstream.Now, logically, these practices should be trickling down to semicustom and high-end production homes for the middle class, right? And as they become more widespread and costs drop, the final frontier will be starter homes, workforce housing and government-subsidized housing, correct? Well, my experience shows that the middle market is being left behind as low-income housing jumps to the front of the race to build nationally certified green homes.In the last year alone, we have priced out 200 LEED-certified Section 8 townhouses that came in at less than $70 per square foot, including a gross profit of approximately 12%. We are currently working on the pricing of 95 single-family homes considered LEED/NGBS-certified workforce housing, and they are coming in very close to the same cost and gross profit return. How is this possible?The home-size adjuster in each program is what makes it possible. In essence, there is a sliding scale that compensates for the effect of home size on resource consumption. All else being equal, a larger home consumes more materials and energy than a smaller home over its life cycle, so both programs adjust their awards threshold points in each category based on the size of the home. Thus, smaller-than-average homes require fewer points to reach a given award threshold than larger-than-average homes.The average home sizes for the LEED program are 1900 square feet with three bedrooms, 2600 square feet with four bedrooms, and 2850 square feet with five bedrooms. The NGBS also applies bonus points to the scoring for smaller-than-average homes. The bottom line is that the ratio of a small home to a large number of bedrooms has a much easier time reaching any given point threshold in either program than does the ratio of a large home to a small number of bedrooms.And that’s the key to how we are making green affordable in the workforce housing and/or low-income market. These houses are smaller and they have lots of bedrooms. That makes them a lot easier to certify. A 1700-sq.-ft. townhouse with four bedrooms gets a 10-point credit and only needs 35 points to be certified. At that point, it becomes a footrace to the least expensive way to get those points. But does that make it greener? That’s the topic of my next blog!last_img read more