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21 October - 17 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

‘Councillors at the casino’?

Why local councils are going bust and what we can do about it

Councillors at the Casino

Professional audiences

What’s on offer?

Professor Andy Pike’s new book – Financialization and Local Statecraft – sheds light on the causes and implications of this crisis by looking beyond the high-profile councils hitting the headlines to the wider local government landscape in England since 2010.

Focused on an accessible and lively debate about the book, this event aims to increase public awareness of the financial situation of local councils and address the question of what they are for and how they can be funded? The purpose is to improve public understanding of local council finances that affect their access to local public services and their ability to challenge local council financial management. 

The diverse panelists will include the book’s author and public policy leaders, commentators, and academics from the north east.

What’s it about?

The crisis in local council finances is coming to a head as a growing number of local leaders are warning of funding gaps across England including the north east.

Although local councils manage over £100m of revenue expenditure and deliver essential services to over 56m people across England, the wider public are hearing about financial scandals and bankruptcy without much knowledge of the financial plight of their local council.

Distrust and disconnection are evident as local taxpayers wonder what their local councils have been up to with their money.

More than a decade on from the UK government’s austerity and ambition for local government financial self-sufficiency, local councils continue to struggle with balancing their budgets.

As local councils were forced to find savings and new income sources to close funding gaps, accusations emerged of ‘councillors at the casino’ taking risks with local taxpayers’ money by engaging in new and untried financial strategies and jeopardising essential local public service provision.

Who’s leading the event?

Professor Andy Pike

Open to

The event will be open to the public and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion with the book’s author Andy Pike and panelists.