Does the White Paper pass the Litmus Test? October 30, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN Public Finance So now we know. The Local Government White Paper has been published, and despite the gloomy predictions of vacuous content, it actually turns out to be a reasonably meaty document, presaging a great deal of praiseworthy policy. Sure, this is anything but the final word in local government reform, […]

Education and the new local authority October 23, 2006

James Hulme, Head of Communications in New Start The last eighteen years of central government reforms have transformed the role of the local authority in promoting better educational outcomes, most recently with the 2006 Education and Inspections Act. With controversies over the role of authorities under the Act still fresh in the mind, NLGN is […]

England’s few elected mayors score high on accountability October 16, 2006

Kiran Dhillon, Senior Researcher www.citymayors.com 15 October 2006: The directly elected mayoral model has been one of the more controversial elements of England’s local government reform agenda. Enthusiasm for the model by central government was borne out of recognition that effective, high profile, and legitimate local leadership is essential to delivering high quality local public […]

On Track Together October 12, 2006

Kiran Dhillon, Senior Researcher www.citymayors.com When earlier this year I set out with Treasury Ministers Ed Balls and John Healey new thinking about the direction of regional policy for England, there were some predictable reactions from those skeptical of any talk of regionalism. Our message was simple: following the ‘no’ vote in the North East […]

Sustainable Communities Plan: what progress has been made so far? September 25, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN The House Magazine Many moons ago, when I was a junior Minister at ODPM in 2003, I helped my colleagues with publication of the landmark ‘Sustainable Communities Plan’ (SCP), an ambitious document that sought to tackle serious housing shortages, particularly in London and the south east, and to arrest the decline […]

Next Generation Leaders September 21, 2006

Dick Sorabji, Head of Policy and Research, NLGN Municipal Journal The White Paper is now weeks away and Sir Michael Lyons’ inquiry is coming within sight of a Christmas finishing line, for local government change is coming. Stronger leadership is part of the debate. The focus is on reforms that enhance the capabilities of today’s […]

Thinking afresh about council leadership September 1, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN Yorkshire Post Stacked high on a shelf in the Victoria Tower of the Houses of Parliament sits the original copy of the Local Government Act 2000, not quite gathering dust at this stage, but containing a little known and under-used section enabling local residents to raise a petition and fundamentally change […]

Eyes on the prize July 28, 2006

Dick Sorabji, Head of Policy, NLGN Public Finance Labour and the Conservatives are both vying to be the party of devolution, but do their proposals include the radical ‘whole system’ reform necessary to succeed, wonders Dick Sorabji If words were the measure of political deeds then ten days in July saw the Labour and Conservative […]