When choice isn’t fair? November 18, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN Inside Housing Recent years have seen a fundamental shift in the purpose of local authorities, from being direct providers of services, to institutions that facilitate and support others on territory over which they are now expected to offer ‘community leadership’. Of all the services ‘lost’, housing is perhaps the most well […]

Finance after Lyons November 15, 2006

Dick Sorabji, Deputy Director, NLGN LGC Act one of Labour’s devolution drama was the White Paper. Act two will be Lyons final report; especially the recommendations for reform of local government’s financial regime. Lyons has concealed his intentions behind a multitude of inquiries and suggestions. It raises the question of whether he is moving towards […]

Flexing our municipal muscle November 7, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN House Magazine The publication of the local government White Paper marks a cautious but gradual shift in real decentralisation and devolution from central government. ‘Localism’ is apparently one of the few areas of consensus in Westminster, but there is a crucial difference between political leaders paying lip service to its aims […]

Mind the gaps in the white paper November 2, 2006

Dick Sorabji, Head of Policy and Research, NLGN Local Government Chronicle Despite publication just before the Lyons Inquiry and the resulting absence of essential answers on local funding, the white paper has more substance than expected. Stronger local leadership, joined up government and fewer targets are the biggest gains. But the omissions are just as […]

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 […]