What we’re reading 10/11/10

Pickles revels in mutual contempt. An excellent piece on what sounds like a definite mis-step from Pickles. But Alistair Hayman probably overstates the vulnerability of Pickles. Cameron needs Eric to provide some red meat to keep the party faithful behind a compromised agenda in other areas. It seems very unlikely to me that Cameron would risk the wrath of the (already restive) right of the party by replacing Eric with someone more placid to please Labour councils.

Lost dog who to call? This discussion on The East Dulwich Forum shows that the Big Society – with people taking responsibility for public services – isn’t exactly alive and kicking in South London. It’s doing slightly better in Sutton where 7,000 residents have taken up the council’s offer of grit to use on roads and pavements.

MPs to investigate local government audits. The CLG Select Committee is going to look at how councils are audited and inspected following the abolition of the Audit Commission. It’ll be an interesting test case of MP’s confidence in the UK’s “army of armchair auditors”.

Traders celebrate success of first lottery draw. The LGiU’s Glyn Gaskarth has argued that it’s often small-scale low-cost initiatives that deliver the most impact. We profiled Rochford’s local shopping website in our Small is Beautiful report. Here’s another great example of what can be done to boost local businesses.

For more local stories go the excellent Openly Local.