local government finance

Money advice services across Scotland's local authorities

Report that has been published as part of a two-year action research project funded by the Money Advice Service and the Improvement Service.

The principal aim of the research was to provide an overview of money advice services delivered and commissioned by Scottish Local Authorities. A secondary research aim was to identify potential areas for improvement in money advice services, which could lead to enhanced positive outcomes for citizens and communities.

Using cost information to improve performance: are you getting it right?

Report that highlights the importance of having good quality cost information to inform policy decisions and scrutinise performance, and identifies some of the guidance and cost measures that already exist. It also provides some case studies to illustrate how councils and councillors are currently using cost information.

Government expenditure on the voluntary sector in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

After 25 years of systematic data-collection and publication, the UK Government is currently no longer producing information on its spending in the voluntary sector across the UK: its last publication of these figures was for the years 2005-06.

It is now only possible to analyse current government spending in the voluntary sector in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, where data-gathering continues. This article analyses their data for the years 2004-05 to 2008-09.

Smart cuts? Public spending on children's social care

This report tracks the rise in spending on children’s social care over the last decade in England and Wales, highlights how it is predicted to fall in 2011–12, and projects how this downward trend might develop in future years.

Finally, it estimates how spending reductions (particularly in early intervention) might affect the overall demand for and cost of children’s services over the medium term.

Early intervention: smart investment, massive savings

Second independent report to Her Majesty's Government. It proposes two complementary approaches to funding: one is to use current public funding more effectively; the other is to mobilise additional investment from sources outside the public sector.

This will require a new approach to supporting service commissioners, providers and a new cadre of investors.

How can local authorities with less money support better outcomes for older people?

Research shows that older people want and value low-level support - 'that bit of help' - but the benefits of investing in this are realised over many years, making it harder to prove impact and protect funding in the face of severe pressure on spending.