Blog

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.

Harrogate, Cable, Cameron and Denham – do they get local democracy?

July 7, 2009 by Andy Sawford

“It felt like I was there with you” someone said, commenting on the frequency of my Twitter updates from Harrogate. Micro-blogging is great for fast moving occasions like the 3 day LGA Annual Conference. Blogging is better I think for more reflective posts. My overall impression of the week was…


Local government and web 2.0

July 7, 2009 by Andy Sawford

 Our pamphlet on social media is creating a buzz online.   It makes the argument that the use of new web technologies has a hugely valuable role to play in helping councils engage with and deliver to local communities.  In the pamphlet the heads of each of our four policy centres —…


Schools White Paper

June 30, 2009 by Andy Sawford

After four White Papers in five years, it is good to hear some different messages from government. The White Paper today is going in the right direction: letting teachers teach rather than prescribing numeracy and literacy strategies, putting the money into schools rather than the beuracracy of the national strategies,…


Building Britain’s Future – updated

June 29, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Gordon Brown delayed the general election that never was in October 2007 so that he could set out his ‘vision’.    It’s taken 20 months but we are told that today’s paper ‘Building Britain’s Future’ sets out the vision.   It will be available from around 15.30 today, following a statement in parliament.   I’ll…


Celebrating local government

June 26, 2009 by Andy Sawford

I dashed from the School Governors conference to the NLGN Annual Reception where John Healey made a great speech showing why we will miss him in the local government brief but also giving encouragement that he will take his commitment to working with us as a central part of his…


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…