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.

Liberal Democrats keep the faith in Harrogate

March 8, 2009 by Jasmine Ali

Children and families were a key feature of the Liberal Democrat Spring conference this weekend in Harrogate. They voted in ‘Equity and Excellence’ (PDF), a motion to improve 5-19 Education.  A heated debate ensued and the Lib Dems almost but didn’t quite agree to scrap state funded faith schools. The proposals…

Yes Minister and CPA

March 7, 2009 by Andy Sawford

This week Comprehensive Performance Assesment finished its 7 year run as one of the principle means by which councils are constrained by Whitehall.  It is being replaced by the Comprehensive Area Assesment which reduces the number of central targets and supports the move towards greater local partnership working across the…

Event with Hazel Blears

March 6, 2009 by Jonathan Carr-West

The Community Empowerment agenda has been a big feature of the policy landscape for the last few years. But what will happen as the economy nosedives. Will empowerment come to seem an expensive luxury? Or a vital tool for economic renewal? We’ve got some views of course, but you might…

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…

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