Innovation. Influence. Information.

Contributions by: Jonathan Carr-West

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Synaptic public services

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What’s next for localism? Jonathan Carr-West spells out a vision for synaptic public services, where councils shift from doing things to making things happen.

Connected Localism


Connected Localism, a new collection of essays published by LGiU today argues for radical public service transformation through networks of local innovation.

Localism at Risk: one year on, is the NPPF delivering planning for people?


Our identification with place is a fundamental part of our humanity.  We all care deeply about the places that we live and work in.  But we also want different things from them.  On the one hand we want them to …

Fat is a local government issue


Yesterday, the LGiU published a report on public health with Westminster City Council. Of all the recommendations in the report, which ranged from improving the supply of fresh fruit and veg to promoting use of public transport, the one that grabbed the headlines was our suggestion that local authorities could consider varying local benefit levels to reward and incentivise those people who sign up to exercise programmes.

What did the party conference season tell us about local government?


This article was first published by the Guardian Local Government Network. It’s a distinct moment in the political calendar. As summer holidays become a distant memory and the weather takes an autumnal turn, thousands of activists break out their lanyards …

The neglected drama of the social care crisis

This article was first published by Total Politics. This week a group of parliamentarians from both Houses and all parties met under the auspices of the all-party parliamentary group for local government to continue their inquiry into adult social care. …

Is the deluge of data good for government?

This article was first published by Total Politics. Open data is becoming big news and, potentially, big business. Policy wonks and digital democracy campaigners have for years expounded its virtues in a variety of conferences, hack events and gov camps. …

Should local government borrow its way to growth?

This article was first published by Total Politics. George Osborne’s third Budget has created a bit more of a stir than one might have expected given that it was in many ways a steady as it goes Budget: a “stability …

Localism trumps secularism on council prayers

This article was first published by Total Politics. The recent High Court ruling that councils have no statutory right to hold prayers before meetings has continues to reverberate in local government. The decision follows an action bought against Bideford Town Council …

The year local government takes charge

This article was first published by Total Politics. This year, many of the coalition’s localist policies come into effect. What will this mean for how we see local politics? 2012 looks like being a big year for local politics. Strangely, this may …