Balance and emphasis September 15, 2005

Ian Parker, Head of Strategic Communications, NLGN
PR Week

Those who attack ‘spin’ in politics often date it from the arrival of New Labour in the UK and the beginning of the Clinton era in the US. In truth, ‘spin’ – or what might be termed the tactical use of emphasis in political communications – has been around as long as the Tuscan hills. Well, at least since Machiavelli offered his many words of wisdom to the Florentine Medici.

Our cities need their local voices September 13, 2005

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN
Yorkshire Post

Once upon a time, over a century ago, our great municipal forefathers built the great cities of Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Birmingham and elsewhere from a foundation of local government strength, where Mayors and Council Leaders were respected alongside some of the nation’s leading figures. Times have changed, and while there is enormous cynicism about politics and politicians in general, few people would naturally assume that their local councillor is a powerful political figure, and local government in particular has suffered a decline in respect, participation and awareness. This is a great shame, not only because we desperately need to build up the strength of our neighbourhoods and cities to fight for attention from a strong central government, but also because local democracy matters.

Save money, save face September 9, 2005

James MacGregor, Researcher, NLGN
Public Finance

The news that local authorities are well on course to achieve government targets for efficiency savings was announced with quiet satisfaction by ODPM at the beginning of August. Understandably so, when there has been a relatively smooth transition from announcement to delivery, particularly considering the trepidation within local government when it was announced that £6.45 billion of savings had to be achieved by 2007-08. This trepidation has been replaced by a renewed confidence in the ability of local authorities to meet and surpass central government efficiency requirements. Even more impressively, local authorities expect to exceed the required £1 billion in efficiency gains for the period 2005-06.

Leadership & Change Management Programme 2006: Learning from Good Practice September 2, 2005

Anna Randle, Head of Policy, NLGN
Local Government Chronicle

Active citizenship is a key strand of current government thinking. The idea is as follows: multiple benefits can be achieved through citizens becoming more engaged and active in their communities, including the building of individual capacity, the strengthening of community cohesion and the improvement of local services and the fabric of the area.

Go for the panda-angle for national coverage August 10, 2005

Ian Parker, Head of Strategic Communications, NLGN PR Week London-locked as I tend to be these days, I was out of town during early July and missed at first hand both high and low of the Olympic vote and the bombings. Despite rolling news and regular phone contact, it felt pretty strange being 200 miles […]

Forward Thinking August 4, 2005

Warren Hatter, Head of Research, NLGN Local Government Chronicle People take good public services for granted. And so they should. But this poses a problem for people in the policy world when we see investment rise and delivery improve, while polling-based levels of satisfaction with services stubbornly stay put or even decline. In these circumstances, […]

It’s not rocket science August 4, 2005

Natalie Tarry, Research Manager, NLGN Community Care The modernisation of social care services has recently received a boost through the Adult Social Care Green paper. With a focus on individualised budgets, the extension of direct payments, more emphasis on prevention, new technologies, local partnership working and new roles for care staff, the choice agenda in […]

Earned Autonomy July 23, 2005

Warren Hatter, Head of Research, NLGN First magazine Let’s face facts – two, to be precise. First, local authorities will have to earn their autonomy for the foreseeable future. We will make more progress by recognising this than by arguing for a new constitutional settlement to give local government sovereignty as of right. Second, ministers […]