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Blog 3rd August 2017

Aug 3rd, 09:36

Blog 3rd August 2017

In this week’s blog, I write about Housing Business Planning in an Uncertain Environment, Building New Affordable Housing, the state of the United Kingdom economy and the potential effect of Brexit on Children’s services.

We are holding seminars on ‘Housing Business Planning in an Uncertain Environment’ during November 2017. These seminars will look in depth at how local authorities can update their housing revenue account business plans.

Business Planning has been an important element of the management of council housing for some time. However, we are now operating in a very uncertain environment. There is a minority government; the Housing & Planning Act will not be implemented in full; the future funding of supported housing is under threat; and the implications of the vote for Britain to leave the European Union are not clear.

The public finances are weak; welfare reform is a ‘work in progress’; government policy on rent reductions, ‘right to buy’, new development and the integration of housing, social care & health are all unclear. Demographic change continues to put pressure on housing services.

This requires a new way of business planning including a robust approach to the development of strategy, financial forecasting, sensitivity analysis, risk management and contingency planning.

For more information about these seminars or to make a booking, please click HERE

To download a copy of our brochure, please click HERE

For more information about Business Planning, please click HERE

My letter on ‘Building New Affordable Housing’ was published in ‘Inside Housing’ on 21st July 2017. In it, I argue that:

“An announcement from Ministers about how they now intend to ensure that more affordable homes are built is now overdue.”

A copy of my letter can be downloaded from HERE

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published economic data for the second quarter of 2017. It shows that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the United Kingdom grew by 0.3% due to an increase in expenditure on services of 0.5% offset by a decline of 0.5% in manufacturing and a decline of 0.9% in construction. This underlines the structural weakness of the United Kingdom economy with its low productivity and dependence on government and consumer spending that is reliant on unsustainable levels of public and private borrowing. During the same period, the Eurozone economies grew by 0.6%. Darren Morgan, Head of GDP at the ONS said that:

“The economy has experienced a notable slowdown in the first half of this year.”

Alison Michalska, Corporate Director of Children and Adults at Nottingham City Council and President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services has written an interesting article in the ‘Local Government Chronicle’. In it, she argues that ‘Brexit could impair Children’s Services’; and says that:

“Children and families have benefitted directly and indirectly from European Union laws and regulations on everything from toy standards and Television advertising to parental leave to our child protection work with colleagues on the continent.”

The article can be viewed by clicking HERE

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