Constitutional Reform April 4, 2007

Dick Sorabji, Deputy Director, NLGN The Guardian Constitutional reform is too important to be left to political scientists. Yet in debates on Lords reform the tradition is to pack away views on public service management and polish up Locke, Hobbes and Rawls. The reality is that political theories which ignore the managerial needs of government […]

Road user charging April 1, 2007

James MacGregor, Senior Researcher, NLGN Parliamentary Monitor The very concept of road pricing is controversial. In a recent YouGov poll, roughly half of respondents were against road user charging in principal, regardless of the details of any scheme. The well-publicised Number 10 petition uncovers a mistrust of the concept on the grounds of perceived increased […]

The next PM should follow Lyons’ vision March 29, 2007

Dick Sorabji, Deputy Director, NLGN Local Government Chronicle “Philosophers only interpret the world. The point is to change it.” That has been Lyons’ dilemma; to produce a report that is analytically rigorous and also politically effective. Lyons argues that funding reform alone will not equip councils to take on their larger role. He wants to […]

Restoring the Balance March 29, 2007

Dick Sorabji, Deputy Director, NLGN The MJ Two years and eight months later the Lyons report has arrived. It is comprehensive in its coverage and rigorous in its determination not to gloss over complicated problems. This strength creates new challenges. Competing interests ensure that finance is the centre of political attention. Yet Sir Michael’s analysis […]

Will Councils have pride in Lyons? March 22, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director, New Local Government Network Yorkshire Post For over two years now a little known group of civil servants and policy specialists have been beavering away in an attic room in Whitehall, led by a former council chief executive, grappling with grandiose concepts of devolution, local democracy and life as we know it. […]

Brown’s Future is Real March 15, 2007

Dick Sorabji, Deputy Director, NLGN LGC The Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 (CSR07) is likely to be Gordon Brown’s final act as Chancellor. Like biennial Spending Reviews CSR07 will set service spending levels three years ahead. But CSR07 goes much further, deciding government priorities over the next 10 years. This in turn is based on an […]

Redesigning Regionalism March 5, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN Yorkshire Post Following the ‘no’ vote in the north east’s referendum on an elected regional assembly three years ago, a question mark has hung over the way bigger decisions affecting our economy should be made across Yorkshire and the other English regions. Quite rightly, most issues can and should be left […]

Economical with the locality? March 1, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN The MJ Can the public sector really influence whether economic growth occurs, or whether a community is regenerated, or whether jobs are created? Many see public policy in this regard as more of an “art” than “science”, and while clearly it is enterprise and business that choose to employ or lay […]