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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.

Highlights from the Local Government Financial Statistics bulletin

May 28, 2009 by Andy Sawford

This information was correct as of 2009 – if you want the latest information on local government, check out our facts and figures page. The Department for Communities and Local Government today posts some interesting facts and figures in: Local Government Financial Statistics England No.19 2009.   Highlights, for those few people…


David Cameron, Conservatives and local democracy

May 26, 2009 by Andy Sawford

UPDATE:  The BBC are now running this story, with video clips of David Cameron’s speech, and quotes from me Over the weekend the Milibands highlighted devolution as part of the way forward from the current political mailaise and it is great to see David Cameron stepping up his commitment to decentralise power,…


Think before you tweet!

May 23, 2009 by Jasmine Ali

It is with exasperation that I report that Argyll and Bute council has banned teachers from Twitter. The ban followed the inappropriate use of the site by a teacher who used it to criticise pupils. Blanket bans however understandable are rarely the best way forward and usually unworkable. What we…


More cafe and gauloises

May 22, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

Well not quite, but I did spend Tuesday in Lille as the guest of a futures workgroup on participative democracy hosted by the regional council of Nord pas de Calais. I was there to give an English perspective and some examples of how local government has tried implement participative democracy…


The Times calls for ‘more powerful local government’

May 22, 2009 by Andy Sawford

There is an excellent Leader column in the Times this morning.  I don’t agree with all the finer points, but it is good to see others joining us in saying that decentralisation is one of the important ways in which we can rebuild our democracy and restore the body politic…


We should vote, despite this wasteful PR by the European Parliament

May 21, 2009 by Andy Sawford

I think we should vote in the European Elections.  Whatever your view on politics or our relationship with the rest of Europe, it is important to participate.  Decisions are made by those who show up.   But I have just sat here in disbelief as I opened a large jiffy envelope…


Low-mark for kitemark

May 20, 2009 by Jasmine Ali

Demos and their authors Sonia Sodha and Silvia Guglielmi can be commended on producing A stitch in time: tackling education disadvantage: interim report a-stitch-in-time-tackling-educational-disengagement). It is an excellent overview of the field, showing what has happened and why it is not working. The “third sector” solution is not new, and…


Balance of Power report: government is more centralised than ever

May 20, 2009 by Andy Sawford

Busy day today so posting in haste, below is the statement we have put out on the Balance of Power report and here is a link to an interview I did on CNBC this morning.  20/05/09 Responding to the publication today of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee’s report on…


Bottled water

May 14, 2009 by Joyce Lee

The Governor of New York is phasing out the use of bottled water in the public sector, it’s a great initiative that paves the way for local government in the US. Similarly, local government in the UK should be talking about introducing such initiatives. Making tap water available for free…


remember Donnygate?

May 12, 2009 by Andy Sawford

I was just thinking back to the speech I made at the Future Leaders Conference on the 15th April this year, organised by Changemakers with young people in their late teens and early twenties.   I said: So what is wrong with our system of government and what can we do…