The £3 Billion Pound Question

Jason Lowther The Institute for Fiscal Studies’ latest review of English council finances documents why so many chief executives and treasurers have been having sleepless nights since “whatever it takes to tackle Covid” transformed into “as little as we can get away with giving you”. On Wilkins Micawber’s “income” side, Covid has hit councils’ commercial … Continue reading The £3 Billion Pound Question

Simon Clarke – first his speech goes, then him

Chris Game Boris Johnson didn’t start the modern trend of hyper-rapid ministerial turnover, but he did ratchet it up.  His election last July produced a larger ministerial cull than in any other recent transition between ministers of the same party, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government being no exception. So, were you paying … Continue reading Simon Clarke – first his speech goes, then him

Prime Minister, remember when you weren’t hell-bent on infantilising local government?

Chris Game   I should just have returned from Limpopo, northernmost South African province and home to a substantial chunk of the famous Kruger National Park.  I, however, would have been there not for the wildlife, or even the wild life, but for the eminently respectable annual conference of IASIA, the International Association of Schools … Continue reading Prime Minister, remember when you weren’t hell-bent on infantilising local government?

Prime Minister, remember when you weren’t hell-bent on infantilising local government?

Chris Game   I should just have returned from Limpopo, northernmost South African province and home to a substantial chunk of the famous Kruger National Park.  I, however, would have been there not for the wildlife, or even the wild life, but for the eminently respectable annual conference of IASIA, the International Association of Schools … Continue reading Prime Minister, remember when you weren’t hell-bent on infantilising local government?

Prime Minister, remember when you opposed infantilising local government?

Chris Game I should just have returned from Limpopo, northernmost South African province and home to a substantial chunk of the famous Kruger National Park.  I, however, would have been there not for the wildlife, or even the wild life. Quite the contrary. I’d have been presenting a paper at the eminently respectable annual conference … Continue reading Prime Minister, remember when you opposed infantilising local government?

Prime Minister, remember when you opposed infantilising local government?

Chris Game I should just have returned from Limpopo, northernmost South African province and home to a substantial chunk of the famous Kruger National Park.  I, however, would have been there not for the wildlife, or even the wild life. Quite the contrary. I’d have been presenting a paper at the eminently respectable annual conference … Continue reading Prime Minister, remember when you opposed infantilising local government?

Social care reform – comprehensive is good, but comprehensible vital

Chris Game Cllr Ketan Sheth’s recent blog on ‘Local Government and the NHS Integrated Care System’ was, as he explained, timely for him personally – as an elected London borough councillor about to take on a novel scrutiny role in a new ICS. For us Midlands readers it was timely too, for reasons most easily … Continue reading Social care reform – comprehensive is good, but comprehensible vital

Can democratic renewal help us ‘build back better’ from the COVID-19 crisis? Key recommendations from the Newham Democracy and Civic Participation Commission

Elke Loeffler and Nick Pearce Newham has seen one of the highest rates of COVID 19 mortality in England and Wales. Being one of the 10% most deprived areas in the UK (according to 2019 deprivation indices) the crisis has exposed wider social and economic inequalities – in health, housing, access to services and income … Continue reading Can democratic renewal help us ‘build back better’ from the COVID-19 crisis? Key recommendations from the Newham Democracy and Civic Participation Commission

Central Government, Evidence and Short-Term Strategies in the Support to Businesses and Local Economic Recovery in the Age of Covid

If there has been one mantra by which government policy has claimed to have lived by during the COVID-19 crisis, it is that it has been led by, guided by or that it is following the science. All this has provoked an interesting question of the relationship between science, evidence and data-analysis with policy-making in the UK. How does one affect the other?

England’s over-centralisation – Part 2: It IS instinctive

There was much in Jessica Studdert’s recent post on this blog to agree with and applaud, but one sentence particularly struck me – the one opening her fourth paragraph: “The centralised response isn’t just structural, at times it has felt deeply instinctive.” So, equally instinctively, I did what even an erstwhile academic does during a lockdown – some heavyweight research, naturally.