Essential Guides

Personal safety for councillors

This short guide offers some guidance on assessing risk and adopting strategies and behaviours that will minimise any potential hazards you might identify as part of your councillor role. This guide has been abridged from a longer publication - Personal Safety for Councillors - by…


Though aimed at council communications teams, this guide is designed to help anyone working in local government, including councillors, approach media opportunities with greater confidence and thereby make the most of them. It brings together and adds to several briefings we have published in England…

Business rates

This guide looks at business rates both as a tax and as a source of funding for local authorities. It is divided into two parts: Part I describes the system as it is currently constituted across England as a whole; Part II looks at the programme of reviews,…

Financial sustainability

The main section of this essential guide outlines different approaches that can be employed to put services on a sustainable financial footing. These can be implemented individually, but are most powerful if they are combined. The narrative for each approach contains numerous case studies. This…

Public Service Mutuals

This guide provides an overview for councillors and officers in local government with an interest in or considering ‘spinning out’ their internal service teams into an external mutual organisation, and for councillors scrutinising existing mutuals.

Planning, Health and Wellbeing

This guide summarises the available guidance that has been published to support the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG). It pulls together a number of briefings that the LGiU has published since winter 2013.

How Services are Funded

It is well known that local authority budgets are experiencing a period of unprecedented pressure. However, it is rare to find someone with a good understanding of the nature of this pressure. There is no shortage of data on local authority budgets, but few people…

Local Audit and Accountability Act

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 completed its passage through both Houses of Parliament and received Royal Assent on 31 January 2014. This guide describes the background to the Act, the provisions of the Act and the new local audit framework.

Local Enterprise Partnerships

In 2010 and 2011, 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships were formed across England: partnerships between local authorities and business charged with driving forward growth in their areas. This guide examines their aims and inner workings.

Whole-place Community Budgets

The policy agenda behind community budgets is, of course, not new. For over twenty years central government and local government have preached joined up government: to break down departmentalism and to bring together budgets around people and places rather than functions, organisations and structures. This…