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Innovation. Influence. Information.
‘Whole place community budgets’ have been lauded by the coalition government as a flagship policy to put major principles of localism, ‘customer first’ service integration, public services reform, and deficit reduction into practice. They also tend to be supported enthusiastically by local government in both community leadership and local results delivery roles. This briefing looks at the progress made (or lack of it) on community budgets since the submission of the four whole area pilots business cases in October 2012 – covering the:
- Business cases themselves;
- ‘Scaling up’ and analytic work undertaken by, amongst others, the LGA and NAO;
- Response from the government around the Budget; the launch of the government’s ‘transformation network’; and
- Issues being raised regarding the role of community budgets in the impending Spending Review, due to be announced on June 26 2013.
It then considers the implications of the results to date for local government as a whole, and individually. This briefing will be of interest to senior politicians, officials and our partners across the local government ‘family’, as well as specifically for policy officers involved in community budget and related work streams.
Since 2009, LGiU has been analysing the social impact of The Big Lunch. We wanted to understand where Lunches took place, who participated and the difference that this made in communities. What we discovered was profound. Through the simple act of …
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) took full effect from 27 March 2013:
• The framework is based on a ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’. From now, the NPPF takes precedence where the local plan is ‘absent, silent or relevant policies are out-of-date’. An up-to-date adopted local plan is therefore critical for local planning authorities (LPAs) – but 51 per cent do not have one.
• There is a concern that LPAs without a plan cannot demonstrate a 5-year ‘deliverable’ supply of specific housing sites (plus a 5 or 20 per cent buffer) – as set out in the NPPF – and will be vulnerable to applications for housing development on land where the community does not want it, especially on greenfield sites where development costs are lower.
• Robust evidence, especially on housing need and market housing, is vital – planning inspectors are looking for a ‘compelling link between what the evidence states and what the plan says’.
• There remains a tension between the pressure to significantly increase the development of new housing nationally, and the rhetoric of localism and the right of communities to shape where they live.
• This briefing will be useful for elected members, planning portfolio holders or executive members, policy and development management planners, and neighbourhood planning officers and forums.
This briefing reports on the government’s response to the recent Select Committee inquiry on the role that councillors play in their communities.Key recommendations included the possibility of councils transferring the whole responsibility for setting allowances to independent local bodies, and a review of ways that employers can be encouraged to support those of their staff who serve as councillors. Ministers have not accepted any of the Committee’s specific recommendations. In the response, they set out their view of the role of councillors in the context of localism. This briefing will be of interest to all elected members, member support staff, and those involved in community engagement. Some issues are topical for members and officers with responsibilities for commissioning and procurement policies.
This briefing covers the final report of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee following its inquiry into the prospects of codifying the relationship between central and local government.
The briefing summarises the content of the report including the draft code, the principles underpinning the code and pertinent points arising from the Committee’s consultation.
This briefing will be of interest to local government officers, elected members and those with an interest in localism, democracy and devolution.
This briefing reviews the work of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee in the current UK parliament. It considers what to expect of a select committee – its role and remit – and what scope it has for influence. Information is provided on recent reports and current inquiries.The briefing is of interest to all concerned with the implementation of localism, and it draws attention to reports and inquiries on planning, housing, welfare reform, regional policy, the mutual and co-operative provision of services, and the role of councillors
Greg Clark MP, Financial Secretary and the Minister for Decentralisation, has published his assessment of the Government’s progress on decentralisation.
He claims that all departments have engaged constructively with the agenda with most having made “significant progress” with the Departments for Education and for Communities and Local Government standing out with “ambitious” programmes underway.
Clark is seeking a longer term commitment beyond current reform plans and advises that the Government needs to learn from the experience of those to whom power is devolved and make decentralisation a genuinely co-operative process.
This briefing will be of interest to local authority cabinet and elected members and all senior executive officers in top-tier and district councils.
Iris Murdoch once wrote of pubs as ‘universal places, like churches, hallowed meeting places of mankind’. This leads you to two inevitable conclusions: 1) she had a lovely turn of phrase and fully deserved that DBE, and 2) she had …
This briefing outlines the main findings of a Select Committee inquiry on the role that councillors play in their communities, which covered localism, the nature of representation, barriers to becoming a councillor, support and training.
Key recommendations include the possibility of councils transferring the whole responsibility for setting allowances to independent local bodies, and a review of ways that employers can be encouraged to support those of their staff who serve as councillors.
The briefing also draws attention to the government’s announcement that the councillor pension scheme will close in 2014.
It will be of interest to all elected members, member support staff, and those involved in community engagement. Some recommendations are aimed at officers with responsibilities for commissioning and procurement policies.
Lord Heseltine has published his report on creating growth (“No Stone Unturned in pursuit of Growth”) which was commissioned by the Prime Minister.
He sets out what he sees as the structural flaws with the Country’s governance which weaken the potential for growth in both its relationship with local areas, local economies and the business sector.
He advocates passing more initiative for deciding how funding is spent from central government to a local level enabling local enterprise partnerships (and chambers of commerce) to take a holistic view of the challenges they face and develop local growth strategies grounded in the economic reality of their areas.
He believes that central government needs to become more strategic and much more confident in its actions, providing an overarching vision for how best to achieve growth in the UK economy.
In his recent Autumn Statement George Osborne said that the Government will formally respond to the 89 recommendations made by Lord Heseltine in the spring. In the meantime he has announced a number of measures to strengthen the role of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).
This briefing will be of interest to local authority cabinet and elected members and all senior executive officers in top-tier and district councils and to partners engaged in economic development. It is the latest in a series of briefings covering local growth issues.