Capital idea July 19, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN SocietyGuardian.co.uk All cities should enjoy the powers granted to the mayor of London, says Chris Leslie The rise of the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, is one of the most astonishing political stories in recent times. Out of favour with all political parties at different times, he none the less wins […]

Time to get serious about council finance reform July 13, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN Municipal Journal When the Mail on Sunday reported last week that the New Local Government Network were advocating a “£6,500 super council tax threat to Middle England”, for a split second I wondered whether our Head of Policy Dick Sorabji, author of Pacing Lyons – a route map to localism, had […]

Taking it from the top July 12, 2006

Anna Randle, Head of Policy, NLGN Westminster & Whitehall World The Government is faced with two fundamental domestic challenges: addressing the political disengagement of citizens and reforming public services. These are hugely complex issues which cut across many of the separate issues dealt with by different departments, ministers and other cogs in the machinery, and […]

Who pays for the Party? An opportunity to rejuvenate grassroots politics June 30, 2006

An alternative to centralised state funding of political parties in the shape of a ‘Civic Aid’ scheme – instead of options that would subsidise the central HQs of the main parties in Westminster – would better connect parties with real communities and local people, according to a new pamphlet from the New Local Government […]

In the right direction June 30, 2006

Clare Montagu, special advisor and Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Public Finance The public sector is on the road to efficiency – now it needs to get its productivity act together. Clare Montagu and Rob Whiteman explain Productivity needs to have a greater focus in the provision of public services, […]

Something happening in the ‘hood June 15, 2006

James MacGregor, Researcher, NLGN Municipal Journal As the Department for Communities and Local Government reflects on the challenges of replacing the ODPM, we are presented with an opportunity to revisit two fundamental questions – what powers can effectively be devolved to neighbourhoods? And what will this cost? The possibility of convincing central government and parliament […]

Local Political Accountability June 8, 2006

Dick Sorabji, Head of Policy, NLGN Public Servant Sir Michael Lyons has decided that his reform plan cannot work unless political leadership becomes stronger. His demanding “place-shaping” remit asks political leaders to seize the role of strategic leader and effectively convene local partners. Leaders will have a tougher job if they are to deliver on […]

The Nature of our Discontent May 2, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN SocietyGuardian.co.uk Most people who vote BNP are protesting their social disempowerment, writes Chris Leslie A classic dilemma faces mainstream politicians when deciding how to tackle the rogue threat of extremists such as the British National Party. Do you rise above the gutter, but fret privately about complacency, or do you confront […]