Breaking boundaries April 19, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director, New Local Government Network Local newspaper headlines in south London have become depressingly lurid in recent months, depicting communities riddled with a drug-fuelled gang culture. Whatever the realities of violent crime in the capital – which is not, in truth, as bad as the scare stories suggest – there is little […]

Post Lyons April 13, 2007

Dick Sorabji, Deputy Director, NLGN Public Servant So the media caravan has moved on and so too will Sir Michael Lyons when he arrives at the BBC. How have the prospects for devolution changed since the Lyons inquiry reported? The timing of the report maximised the chances for both disappointment and misreading. On the one […]

His friends in the north April 13, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director Progress Magazine David Cameron has Labour’s northern voters in his sights As David Cameron tries his hardest to prove that the Tories have turned over a new leaf, Labour should anticipate his next foray into new territory: the north of England. I’m not predicting that the Conservatives’ faux ‘estuary English’ drawl will […]

The Future of RDAs April 12, 2007

Chris Leslie, Director Parliamentary Monitor The question of regional governance has to a large extent been stuck in political purgatory since the North East overwhelmingly voted against an elected regional assembly in 2004. There are some who still believe that directly elected and accountable regional bodies are the most sensible way forward – John Prescott […]

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 […]