The Conservative led Coalition Government has set out its stall. Its agenda is about more than cutting the public deficit fast and furiously. It wants a smaller state and less collective support for communities.
Local government has been hit harder than most of the public. The third sector has also experienced massive cuts to its [...]
The Labour Party is not the natural home of big ideas about local democracy. At best the concept has been outsourced to successive (often very different) CLG ministries, at worst it has been actively shunned to enforce strategic control and avoid the perceived consequences of the ‘postcode lottery’.
When it does so the Labour [...]
Its not an easy time to be young.
Tuition fees have been trebled. University places have been cut. The EMA has been slashed. There are dozens of applicants for every job, and fewer jobs every day. The numbers of 18 to 24 year olds looking for work grows every day. And its harder than ever [...]
Eric Pickles visited the North East last week, the first time he has set foot in the region since taking up residence in Eland House.
A self-confessed political bruiser, Eric has been dubbed the worst Secretary of State, Local Government Secretary has had in recent history. He clearly relishes his hard man, no nonsense image [...]
The Government is currently reviewing the way local government is resourced, looking specifically at options for re-localising business rate revenue so councils have an incentive to grow their business base. It has stated that one of the principles guiding the review is ‘fairness’.
So, putting aside the question of whether councils really need incentives [...]
Last week, people power came to Stanley, County Durham. On a Saturday morning, hundreds of local residents queued, not in an election, not to oppose a planning application, but to cast their votes on how to spend £100,000 of public money in their local area.
This was just the latest milestone in a journey which [...]
With the Localism Bill in the Lords this week it seemed a good time to ask what Labour’s view of localism is.
Back when David Miliband was secretary of state for Communities & Local Government he developed the rather wonkish sounding concept of ‘Double Devolution’. He never got [...]