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This blog is a space for us – and you – to comment on the news, share opinions and debate local government issues. You can comment on any of the posts below. Sign up to receive email alerts when a new blog post is published.

If you would like to contribute a new post contact Jane Sankarayya.

Conservatives and Elected Mayors – why wait?

February 24, 2009 by Andy Sawford

An interesting political challenge is emerging to the Conservative Party on their Green Paper proposals for referendums in the twelve largest cities after London to have a directly elected city-wide Mayor.    The cities are: Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Wakefield, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Newcastle upon Tyne.     The proposals…


Rent rises

February 20, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Our too centralised system of government means that just when councils really need the flexibility to take action to help people in their commuities, they are hamstrung by government guidelines, laws and financial arrangements.   The current controversy over rent rises illustrates the problem. The Government’s rent guidelines will lead to rent rises of around…


Red Tories?

February 19, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

UPDATE: “Red Tories” feature in the New Statesman There’s little doubt who’s making the biggest splash in think tank world so far this year. Philip Blond, director of the Demos Progressive Conservative Project and self proclaimed Red Tory, has got everyone talking about his essay in this month’s Prospect. More importantly…


Waste dating – first base or all the way?

February 19, 2009 by Andy Johnston

Boris has launched a ‘waste dating agency’ for London.  The idea is that anyone generating waste can be put in touch with someone who recycles or treats waste.  In terms of efficiently managing London’s waste this must be a good thing, right? The devil is in the detail, the ‘dating agency’…


Talking Twitter

February 19, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

Our friends at Conservative home are hosting a lively debate on whether councillors should be twittering – views range from ‘yes of course’ to ‘ABSOLUTELY NOT’ (their capitals not mine) I think the use of the word ‘should’ is a little heavy handed. I’m not sure we need a party…


Conservative proposals on Elected Mayors

February 17, 2009 by Andy Sawford

The Conservative Local Government Green Paper “Control Shift” published today includes proposals for referendums in the twelve largest cities after London to have a directly elected city-wide Mayor.  The cities are: Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Wakefield, Coventry, Leicester, Nottingham, Newcastle upon Tyne.   There is little detail in the Green Paper. …



UPDATED: Conservative green paper on localism

February 17, 2009 by Andy Sawford

The Conservative Party today released a Green Paper on local government – “Control Shift”. It includes plans to: give councils the powers to levy business rate discounts give councils financial benefits for new businesses and housing in their area make the local government funding system more transparent end capping powers in favour of referendums…


Twittering local government

February 16, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Twitter is really catching on in the local government world.   CllrTweeps now has 112 councillors signed up.  If you are on twitter or plan to sign up, in addition to councillors, we suggest following these local government twitterers: 


David Cameron on localism

February 16, 2009 by Andy Sawford

David Cameron looked ahead to the publication of the Conservative local government green paper tomorrow (Tuesday) when he appeared on the Politics Show.    He stresses the importance of local economies and we should expect this to be emphasised in the media launch tomorrow.  The extract is below; watch it here.  JON SOPEL: And…


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