Options for bus reform June 7, 2007

James MacGregor, Senior Researcher The Transport Times The coming Local Transport Bill could bring a conclusion to the long-running debate about how to provide bus services. Despite the present government’s reforms, the controversial privatisation and deregulation of buses in the 1980s continues to shape the landscape. The effects of this legislation have been mixed. Private […]

Doorstep Democracy June 7, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director Progress Magazine Despite the media’s coverage, local factors played heavily in May’s elections, finds Chris Leslie It is the worry of local councillors throughout the ages: for all their efforts, carefully implemented council policies, casework, surgeries and doorstep campaigning, do the voters take a blind bit of notice when matched with the […]

Gordon Brown and Local Government June 1, 2007

Dick Sorabji, Deputy Director Public Finance Gordon Brown says that his Premiership “starts with governing in a different way”. That offers hope for those in local government, but it is blunted by the current fashion for psycho-analysing the next Prime Minister. We cannot not know what is in Gordon Brown’s mind, but we can see […]

Where next for Lyons? April 19, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director LGC The so-called ‘purdah’ period before the local elections began so soon after the Chancellor’s Budget that little further Ministerial comment has emerged on the next steps following the Lyons’ report. Sir Michael concluded in two halves – a short term push for council tax reform which was not accepted, coupled with […]

Breaking boundaries April 19, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director, New Local Government Network societyguardian.co.uk Local newspaper headlines in south London have become depressingly lurid in recent months, depicting communities riddled with a drug-fuelled gang culture. Whatever the realities of violent crime in the capital – which is not, in truth, as bad as the scare stories suggest – there is little […]

Post Lyons April 13, 2007

Dick Sorabji, Deputy Director, NLGN Public Servant So the media caravan has moved on and so too will Sir Michael Lyons when he arrives at the BBC. How have the prospects for devolution changed since the Lyons inquiry reported? The timing of the report maximised the chances for both disappointment and misreading. On the one […]

His friends in the north April 13, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director Progress Magazine David Cameron has Labour’s northern voters in his sights As David Cameron tries his hardest to prove that the Tories have turned over a new leaf, Labour should anticipate his next foray into new territory: the north of England. I’m not predicting that the Conservatives’ faux ‘estuary English’ drawl will […]

The Future of RDAs April 12, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director Parliamentary Monitor The question of regional governance has to a large extent been stuck in political purgatory since the North East overwhelmingly voted against an elected regional assembly in 2004. There are some who still believe that directly elected and accountable regional bodies are the most sensible way forward – John Prescott […]