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 […]

Local cure for initiativitis January 18, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN The Guardian (Society) It is time we dispelled the myth that localism is somehow second-best. The past decade has demonstrated the competence of local government, measured, tested and capped by Whitehall. The coming decade must move toward a mature central-local relationship, where each respects the other, rather than facing the constant […]

The kindest cut? January 13, 2006

Dick Sorabji, Head of Policy, NLGN Public Finance The coming year will unleash a series of vital debates on the future role of local government. Neighbourhoods and city regions; locally joined up government through Local Area Agreements (LAAs) and centrally driven performance regimes, council reorganisation, design and funding are all on the agenda. These issues […]

Taking strides to cross divides January 12, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN Municipal Journal Organisations are like people: some get on like a house on fire, others pass each other with barely a nod of recognition, and occasionally outright hostility can break out. The complex relationships between the public sector at its varied levels are frustrating at best, dysfunctional at worse. Inter-departmental jockeying […]

City Regions the key to council reform January 1, 2006

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN Policy Review Council reform is now firmly back on the policy agenda. Prompted by a couple of unexpected political developments in the past year or so, it comes alongside some clear and coherent analysis of local government’s future by various opinion-formers. The ‘No’ vote in the North East regional assembly referendum […]

The Next Step December 13, 2005

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN and Ian Parker, Head of Strategic Communications, NLGN SocietyGuardian.co.uk The debate about City Regions is gathering momentum. The Minister of Communities and Local Government, David Miliband has spent the Autumn touring England’s ‘Core Cities’. This has raised speculation that a forthcoming report from his department will put reform of city governance […]

A crisis of identity? December 12, 2005

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN Yorkshire Post Unlike the other regions of England, Yorkshire isn’t a point on the compass. It has a well-defined boundary with a well-defined character, and an extremely strong identity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that the North East or South West have equally strong characteristics – it’s just that you […]

We can’t gamble with fairness in a brave new world of choice December 2, 2005

Chris Leslie, Director, NLGN New Start It’s the latest craze in public policy – ‘empowering’ the public as consumers of services rather than treat them as passive recipients of whatever the central state and its local arms deem appropriate. All very laudable and worthwhile, but nevertheless fraught with the danger that we lose sight of […]