Cllr Richard Kemp, Dave Briggs, Fiona Millar and Leeds Kirkgate Market

Another quick collection of blogposts that we think are quite interesting.

Pickles in a Pickle –  ‘Never has the relationships between local government and our sponsoring ministry been so bad’, according to Cllr Richard Kemp

Referring to the on-going conflict over bin collections (which we’ve blogged about before) Cllr Kemp says, ‘there is no real dialogue between local government and  DCLG at present not because of the policies but because of the tone of the debate and the blame game culture’.

We need more councillors, not less – Following the  announcement that Buckinghamshire County Council will be cutting the number of elected members, Dave Briggs of Learning Pool argues that local democracy actually needs more representatives – working more collaboratively and independently from the traditional party system.

The changing role of councils in local markets –  As a student in Leeds I often bought my groceries from Kirkgate Market – the cities ‘Crown Jewel’ – so am following the debate about its future with some interest. It’s an interesting battle for power between council and community – and it looks like local traders may be on verge of taking more control over the space. Perhaps this could be a case that will be used in the future to measure the success of the Big Society by?

At this rate it would take 140 years to convert every school to an academy – Fiona Millar of the Local schools Network again refers to post on the LGIU blog about the uptake of schools applying for academy status. John Fowler, LGIU Policy Manager, recently published research on the Academies Act and will be leading a seminar here at the LGIU on its implications for local authorities.