The top read GB articles of 2017

The future of local government is unclear, with 2018 beginning amid the same financial uncertainty. GB takes a look back at our top read features from last year.

1 - GB Top 10 - Children’s services (15 May 2017)
In May 2016 Birmingham City Council’s children's services began being run by a trust after years of failings that saw the department named ‘a national disgrace’ by inspectors. This month, the independent trust which will be responsible for children’s services in Birmingham has appointed its first chief executive, Andy Couldrick, with plans to have the organisation fully set up by April 2018.

In the second of our Top 10 series, one year on from Birmingham’s well publicised troubles, Government Business analyses the state of children services by focusing on the top 10 performing local authorities for their child care offering

GB Top 10 - Children’s services

2 - Summary of Budget 2017 (22 November 2017)
Philip Hammond has delivered his second Budget as Chancellor. Government Business provides a summary of the key points of his speech, covering Brexit, housing, public finances and health and social care.

3 - Adopting a ‘transparency manifesto’ (28 September 2017)
The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead needs to make 40 per cent in savings across all service areas over a three-year period. Louisa Dean, communications and marketing manager for the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, looks at the benefits of creating a touchless digital council

4 - £2.6bn spend on IT for public sector (9 October 2017)
In August, the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) revealed that the government and other public sector organisations had spent more than £1.2 billion with cloud and digital SMEs since 2012. Almost half of digital spend by the public sector - £1.39 in every £3 - is going to SMEs.

Dan Saxby, category director from the Crown Commercial Service’s Digital Future team. explains what has enabled the current sea change in government technology spend - and what the future might hold

5 - Planning for Growth – the sum of the parts (13 January 2017)
A new year brings new announcements and initiatives and January 2017 is no exception. Already, we have seen announcements on garden villages and starter homes, while the long-awaited Housing White Paper is due to be published towards the end of the month. The continued challenge with multiple initiatives is how to join up and create thriving, sustainable and inclusive places on the ground.

Design Council Cabe’s David Waterhouse discusses the various initiatives that will continue to be at the forefront of local and national politics in 2017 and provides a view on what is working, what is not, and crucially, why

Planning for growth - the sum of the parts

6 - Smarter energy for a more efficient authority (6 September 2017)
In April, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) awarded funding worth £24 million to help develop clean and efficient heating systems to 13 local authorities across England.

Following on from July’s waste management Top 10 list, September’s issue sees us investigate how well local authorities across the UK are improving their energy efficiency

7 - Will we ever see a paper-free public sector? (23 January 2017)
Few people would dispute that a paper-free workplace is a hugely attractive proposition. It’s a much-discussed topic and many government departments, including the NHS and Ministry of Justice, now have targets set for going paperless.

Bob Larrivee, chief analyst at AIIM, looks at the paper-free progress made by the public sector as organisations migrate to a more digital workplace

8 - GB Top 10 – In defence of flood resilience (16 March 2017)
Floods during the winter of 2015-16 devastated communities across England. In the 15 months that have followed, a number of councils have stretched their resources and finances, embraced innovation and ensured that their communities are more flood resilient. Here, in our first Top 10 list, Government Business looks at the Top 10 local authorities for flood resilience

GB Top 10 – In defence of flood resilience

9 - Smart Cities, Big Data and the Built Environment (19 May 2017)
The smart city and big data agendas offer exciting benefits and opportunities for local authorities, people living in cities, and the business sector. The built environment sector has a key role to play in helping shape this revolution in data provision at city level. But how should the sector and other actors respond to key challenges, particularly as the UK government promotes further city devolution? Tim Dixon explains

10 - The Crown Commercial Service: GB Interview (16 March 2017)
As the growth and reach of the government’s Crown Commercial Service continues to increase, Government Business posed some questions to Malcolm Harrison, who stepped into the position of chief executive in November 2016