The government’s ‘localism’ veil is looking increasingly thin and worn with every passing week. Since the Localism Bill passed through the Commons by 300 to 216, despite being called a Centralism Bill by Prof George Jones and a complete failure by one of the Lib Dem’s own MPs, we have seen further assault [...]
As with all local councils up and down the country, Durham County Council currently finds itself forced to make huge savings as a result of savage and unprecedented government grant cuts, for our residents amounting to more than £65 million in 2011-12 with at least £60 million more to come over the next two to [...]
Labour councillors elected in May 2010 and 2011 are in the unenviable position of being pushed in two opposing directions at once. Elected to resist cuts, yet we have to implement them. Moreover, the sheer length of the Coalition’s economic cuts programme – six years, more than one full term of local government - also means that we [...]
In this special extended article, Graham Allen MP argues for the constitutional liberation of local government, backed up by independent financial powers, in order to restore true local democracy.
The local elections were a victory for the Labour Party. Imagine the victory if the previous Labour government had had the imagination and will to legislate [...]
There was a glimmer of hope for young people this week, when the latest quarterly youth unemployment figures showed the first fall since last summer. The new government had inherited a trend of monthly falls in youth unemployment following the peak of the recession in 2009, and had reversed that trend. And this week they quietly published reports vindicating the actions taken by the [...]
‘Participation’, ‘empowerment’, ‘active citizenship’, ‘the Big Society’; almost all local authorities, and certainly all progressive local authorities, say that they are committed to some variant of these buzzwords.
The problem is that the focus seems to be disproportionately on traditional methods of getting people involved directly in their local public services. This could be through [...]
I was being polite when I described the government’s Regeneration and Growth White Paper as ‘weak and disappointing’ when I gave evidence to the Select Committee last week. I fully support a need to rethink regeneration. Even in the economic good times, regeneration failed too many places. However, the document is unsure of [...]
I attended the launch of an ACEVO commission report on the Big Society, “Powerful People, Responsible Society”. I’m afraid I found the report quite insipid and stale. Even worse than the report were the introductions to it from two of the speakers which showed me that while talk of localism runs deep, practice of [...]
It’s Report and Third Reading of the Localism Bill tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday. This will be crunch time for both government and opposition amendments to be debated and voted on before the Bill goes to the Lords.
Labour will be attacking the government claiming its localism is a ‘sham’ and that the [...]
The local election results in England indicate that there is no universal support for the Conservative-led government’s ambition for a smaller state and deep public expenditure cuts.
However, local authorities whatever their political composition are faced with making cuts and little, if any room, to manoeuvre around these. Local residents and their communities will experience [...]