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.

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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…

Can social workers safeguard children through technological advancement?

March 4, 2009 by Jasmine Ali

Social workers and technological advancement are rarely seen in the same sentence. This didn’t stop Dominic Campbell from futuregov and the LGiU bringing together representatives from social care and the Twitterati to look at the serious business of safeguarding children through the application of social network sites. The concept is simple: just…

School places lottery – Newsnight

March 2, 2009 by Andy Sawford

UPDATE: the clip is here, around 35 minutes in. Over to Television Centre today to pre-record a clip for Newsnight to be aired tonight, Monday.   It was clear once the interview got going that they hoped I would say that the lottery or ‘random allocation’ for school places is a good system.   There is little…

Hammers and Nails

March 2, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

This week I found myself changing my mind about something even as I was saying it. That’s not that unusual for me, but it doesn’t normally happen in public. My colleague Jasmine invited me to speak at a session she was running on Youth participation and social networking – she’s…

Social Networking Action Set shrugs off scare stories

March 1, 2009 by Jasmine Ali

With a bit of luck, people will take this week’s scary headlines about social networking sites with a pinch of salt. They certainly did little to deter the group of 37 experts representing 30 local authorities that make up the LGiU Action Learning Set on Youth Participation and Social Networking…

Twitter top 10 – local government

February 27, 2009 by Andy Sawford

UPDATE: This has been our most popular post ever with a huge number of hits so I am keen for your views before I do a monthly update of the list at the beginning of March.  There will be some significant changes.  Do let me know what you think, either here,…

The Obama effect – making local government cool

February 25, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

At a meeting with Dominic Campbell of FutureGov (see out top ten local government twitter post) yesterday, he mentioned almost in passing that he saw part of what he does as ‘making government cool’. That got me thinking. While there are lots of cool people in local government and lots…

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…

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