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School governors

June 26, 2009 by Andy Sawford

A great day yesterday at the School Governors Conference organised by our Children’s Services Network at the LGiU.  The theme was 21st Century governance.   We talked alot about how schools are changing with the focus on the whole child in the community, the notion of ‘it takes a village’ to…

Speaker Bercow

June 23, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Only that most small c conservative of instititions, Parliament, could see John Bercow’s proposals for ‘reform’ as radical.    I am writing to Speaker Bercow to suggest that one key way of increasing participation in Parliament is to engage more with local government.  Councillors should be invited and/or be able to request opportunities to…

Is Denham going centralist already?

June 23, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

Oh dear… less than three weeks after his appointment it seems the new Secretary of State for Communities is already slipping into the easy language of centralism. Commenting on the long awaited CLG place survey released today, John Denham said, “There is a challenge here for both local and central…

An open letter to the new local government Ministers

June 22, 2009 by Andy Sawford

This appears in the current issue of the Municipal Journal: Dear John and Rosie, Welcome to your roles at the Department for Communities and Local Government.  It is good to see two experienced and highly-regarded ministers taking the top local government posts.  We are also pleased to see John Healey, who…

New local government Ministers

June 12, 2009 by Andy Sawford

A hastily arranged get together yesterday afternoon with the new Ministers.  I thought John Denham seemed genuinely very pleased to be at CLG and he spoke first with humour then with some passion about the brief.    The shakedown of different lead roles in the Ministerial team have been confirmed.  John Healey picks up the…

Empowerment and young people: the answers are within

June 12, 2009 by Laura Wilkes

The LGiU is, for the second time, taking part in the Changemakers Future Leaders programme. This means for the next six months we will have a young person (known as a Young Advocate) placed with us, who will lead a project designed to help the LGiU improve and increase the…

Finding money isn’t easy

June 10, 2009 by Joyce Lee

Climate change will have an impact on communities, especially the poor and vulnerable. For example, half a million farmers in rural India face crops failure due to bad weather. This is also evident in the UK as demonstrated by the summer floods in 2007. There is an urgent need to…

Councillors welcome and goodbyes

June 9, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Hello to all the new councillors elected on Thursday.  Congratulations.  It is a great job.  I hope you will want to sign up for LGiU services, have a look at our website and in particular our fully revised induction materials aimed at helping new councillors settle into their roles effectively and quickly.…

Robert Kennedy’s words for the state of Britain’s politics

June 5, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Reading ‘The Gospel According to RFK’ a new collection of  speeches edited by Norman Macafee.   I picked it up at the Kennedy libary in Boston, so it is loaded with meaning having seen the exhibition about Bobby’s contribution to politics, including the civil rights struggle.   There are so many excellent…

Beads, jars and the summer fete: the Duty to Involve

June 4, 2009 by Laura Wilkes

LGiU held a seminar on the Duty to Involve on Tuesday, with the focus on methods of involvement and making them work. Some really interesting points were raised and we had useful discussions on the Duty and the implications that it will have for local authorities. Some of the more…

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