Local authorities and their role in schools: Andy Sawford
The role of local councils in the education system is ever changing but the current push and rush towards academies and free schools is more revolution than evolution. The political diagnosis of our education system is clear: we could do a lot better. From Kenneth Baker’s reforms of the late 1980s onwards, Ministers have [...]
Total Democracy: John Tizard
Labour needs its own clear and distinct localist and local government agenda. Over the next few years Labour is likely to grow its local authority powerbase. It needs a clear set of policies to underpin this. It also needs an agenda for local action for when it forms a government at Westminster.
Labour authorities will [...]
Labour must rebuild confidence in an empowering state: Cllr Patrick Diamond on his chapter for the Progress Purple Book
This Progress Purple Book chapter on empowerment and transparency in public services contends that future challenges will be met only if Labour seeks to rebuild confidence in an empowering state. Incompetence and bureaucratic centralisation erode trust not only in political parties, but in institutions and the role of government as a force for [...]
The Right to Challenge is an opportunity not a threat: Ralph Mitchell, ACEVO
The government’s proposed ‘right to challenge’ is on the eve of passing through the lords (though it may well be watered down first).
The measure would give community groups a right to suggest new ways of running a local service, and have their proposal given due consideration by the council. The council could accept, amend [...]
Capital Finance: localism vs deficit reduction: Tom Symons, NLGN
Promises of TIF, the introduction of Enterprise Zones and the de-ringfencing of capital grants are positive signs that the Government’s localism agenda is going to carry over into capital finance policy. However, when it comes to PFI, we are also seeing that old habits die hard, and this is not always good news for [...]
Frustrated first time buyers need better rental options: Jenny Pennington IPPR
New research by Oxford Economics for the National Housing Federation has predicted the demise of the owner occupier, with an increasing proportion of households set to rent over the coming decade. This would not necessarily be cause for alarm, were it not for the state of the private rental sector that they will [...]
Councils should care about social investment: Anna Randle
Last week’s announcement that four local authorities are to pilot the first local government Social Impact Bonds was met with a mixture of interest, bafflement and a good old-fashioned ding-dong between Polly Toynbee and Bond advocate Sir Ronald Cohen on the Today Programme.
While even the most fervent advocates of the SIB model [...]
Sir Robin Wales: building resilience is the key to helping people take control of their lives
In an exclusive video for ProgLoc, Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham, sets out his vision for the borough. He talks of his determination to tackle deprivation and help people to improve their lives.
He discusses the Olympic legacy and the agreed principle that the East End must converge with the rest of London [...]