‘New Localism’ has taken political root March 2, 2006

Ian Parker, Head of Strategic Communications, NLGN PR Week Five years ago this week, I accepted an offer from a local government think tank to run its new communications unit. With links to some of the UK policy community’s more radical thinkers and a reputation for saying the unsayable in the more Jurassic corners of […]

A moving target February 24, 2006

James MacGregor, Researcher, NLGN Public Servant The e-government programme has concluded. The end of 2005 marked the culmination of years of effort and billions of pounds spent on putting government services at the local and national level online, or at least available over the phone and supported by back-office IT systems. Local authorities have been […]

Workers gear up for a mobile revolution February 22, 2006

James MacGregor, Researcher, NLGN Guardian e-Public We could be forgiven for thinking that e-enablement has not improved the performance of local government. While standards of service delivery have doubtlessly risen in recent years, the effects of the £2 billion spent putting existing service online are not strongly visible. This aspect of the local e-government revolution […]

Upward mobility February 9, 2006

James MacGregor, Researcher, NLGN Municipal Journal The UK is a very different place than it was 10 years ago, in no small part due to the effects of the mobile phone. We are contactable wherever we are and whatever we are doing – depending on signal strength of course. When making calls, the questions is […]

For social justice, local action is the magic ingredient February 7, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN The Guardian Peter Preston expresses concern that devolution to the local level will jeopardise fairness, equality and consistency across Britain, a common but misguided fear. But stop and think for a moment about the heroic business of implementing social justice from the national perspective. Doesn’t a change in the law need […]

Local government must now step into the breach January 25, 2006

James MacGregor, Researcher, NLGN The Guardian (Society) Central government has failed to tackle climate change. Emissions have increased year-on-year since 1997, energy efficiency has failed to take hold, the nuclear option is firmly back on the agenda, the environmental lobby is in collective shock, and still voters do not seem to care. With David Cameron […]

Local cure for initiativitis January 18, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN The Guardian (Society) It is time we dispelled the myth that localism is somehow second-best. The past decade has demonstrated the competence of local government, measured, tested and capped by Whitehall. The coming decade must move toward a mature central-local relationship, where each respects the other, rather than facing the constant […]

The kindest cut? January 13, 2006

Dick Sorabji, Head of Policy, NLGN Public Finance The coming year will unleash a series of vital debates on the future role of local government. Neighbourhoods and city regions; locally joined up government through Local Area Agreements (LAAs) and centrally driven performance regimes, council reorganisation, design and funding are all on the agenda. These issues […]