On this topic


Government announces £6.2bn cuts, looks to local government for 20%

May 24, 2010 by Andy Sawford

Chancellor George Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws have today announced measures to make £6.2 billion of savings in 2010-11. The package includes £1.165 bn of savings to be made in Local Government by reducing grants to Local Authorities.   This means that local government will have to…


2010: localism and governing ‘with the people’

December 21, 2009 by Andy Sawford

The body politic faces two overarching and intertwined challenges in 2010 and beyond. The first is to begin to restore the public’s trust in the people they elect. The memory of the parliamentary expenses scandal will linger long in the public consciousness. Councillors can rebuild the political system by establishing…


Public sector spending

December 4, 2009 by Andy Sawford

The recession is doggedly continuing and the character of the upturn, in speed and extent, is very uncertain.   Modelling the future, given the variables, is difficult, but latest analysis from CIPFA of public sector finances predicts a contraction of expenditure of between 7.5% and 15% in the next spending round…


Barnet or bust?

October 23, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Much has been said and written about Barnet councils emerging new approach, officially the ‘ Future Shape’ project, better known as ‘Easy Council’.     I have talked to the Chief Executive, Nick Walkley, and the lead Director, Max Wide, about it and I agree with much of their analysis of both…


Taking the Lib Dem local government pulse

September 22, 2009 by Andy Sawford

A Chatham House event with councillors from 13 Liberal Democrat councils.  The question we put: with a 30% contraction in local government spending over the next five years (likely according to latest figures from PWC, and Vince Cable’s analysis) what are you going to stop doing (the savage C word)…


Do Regions Matter?

July 16, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Our regions conference yesterday went with a fizz.    I started the event by proposing ‘five principles for a new debate': Regional arrangements should be voluntary and locally self defined – not dictated by the EU or by Whitehall  Democracy and accountability of regions should be vested in local government, accountable to…


Council housing progress

April 21, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Following much lobbying, including by the LGiU, expect to see an announcement in the budget tomorrow of a new fund to support council house building. It will be one part of a package of around £1bn to stimulate the housing market, which will also include extending the stamp duty holiday…


Rent rise u-turn

March 6, 2009 by Andy Sawford

The government have announced a u-turn on rent rises today after campaigning by many local authorities, local government and housing organisations, supported by the LGiU. Margaret Beckett has today announced that the average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 will be halved from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent for…


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…


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