Doorstep Democracy March 17, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN progress 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 swirling vortex of national politics? Judging from the coverage of the local elections (masked […]

Follow the regional road March 3, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN Public Finance Whitehall policy watchers might have been bemused of late to see someone other than the New Local Government Network (NLGN) advocating elected mayors for some of the UK’s major cities. The call from the Centre for Cities certainly brought a wry smile to those at NLGN who remember the […]

‘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 […]