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Blog: Queen Cersei and the evaporating Revenue Support Grant

Blog: Queen Cersei and the evaporating Revenue Support Grant
Description
Written by Chris Game, Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV. Next week is the last week of Hilary Term, or revision week at the end of Spring Term, as it's known here at the UoB and most other universities who feel no great affinity to the probably inappropriately named 4th Century St Hilarius of Poitiers. Over the many years in which I lectured undergraduates, I used rather to like it: end of the course/module in sight, legitimate chance to share and spread gossip about approaching local elections, lecture attendances boosted by students desperate for exam hints. Plus, nowadays, plenty of discussion-prompting visual aids – one of which is the pretext for this blog.
Date:
Friday 20th March 2015

INLOGOV Informs, Issue 7 - Spring 2015

INLOGOV Informs, Issue 7 - Spring 2015
Description
Research, Advice and support, Executive development and Postgraduate programme news from the Institute of Local Government Studies, University of Birmingham.
Date:
Thursday 19th March 2015

Blog: Grubby-handed local politicians? It's called local democracy and devolution, Sarah!

Blog: Grubby-handed local politicians? It's called local democracy and devolution, Sarah!
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer, INLOGOV. The BBC's Radio 4 Today programme isn't what Americans would call a Hot Talk show, and nicely spoken presenter Sarah Montague, even in her own fantasies, is no shock jock. So listeners must have been slightly surprised to hear her, while questioning the proposed devolution of NHS funding to Greater Manchester's combined authority, talk of "local politicians sticking their grubby hands into the decision-making process".
Date:
Friday 13th March 2015

Gender gap shame leaves little to celebrate this International Women's Day

Gender gap shame leaves little to celebrate this International Women's Day
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer, INLOGOV. We're celebrating International Women's Day for the 107th time. It has a longer history than is often supposed and, as reflected in its still occasionally used Leninist title – International Working Women's Day – a more socialist one.
Date:
Tuesday 10th March 2015

Blog: International Women's Day and Britain's gender gap of shame

Blog: International Women's Day and Britain's gender gap of shame
Description
Written by Chris Game. Sunday sees the 107th celebration of International Women's Day (IWD), and for the 102nd year on March 8. It's a longer history than is often supposed and, reflected in its still occasionally used Leninist title – International Working Women's Day – a more socialist one.
Date:
Friday 6th March 2015

Blog: What is local government for?

Blog: What is local government for?
Description
Written by Howard Elcock. Do we know what local government is for? Is it just a device for providing services to people at the behest of the central government, or does it provide local citizens with a means of making policy choices about what they want their councils to do?
Date:
Thursday 5th March 2015

Blog: The expansion of arms-length government is not necessarily at odds with democratic accountability

Blog: The expansion of arms-length government is not necessarily at odds with democratic accountability
Description
How democratic is arms-length government? Catherine Durose, Jonathan B. Justice and Chris Skelcher argue that those who consider it to be an undemocratic phenomenon over-simplify, and make the case for assessing the question in a more citizen and community focussed manner.
Date:
Monday 2nd March 2015

Blog: The future is analogue – confirms local government's Honey Man

Blog: The future is analogue – confirms local government's Honey Man
Description
Written by Chris Game is a Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV. Of all the reactions to Northamptonshire County Council's controversial 'Next Generation Model' – abandoning service provision in favour of outsourcing everything to 'specialist social enterprises' – few can have been as measured and dispassionate as my colleague Ian Briggs' reflections on the merits or otherwise of Public Interest Companies (PICs).
Date:
Thursday 26th February 2015

Blog: All eyes on Manchester

Blog: All eyes on Manchester
Description
Written by Catherine Needham, Reader in Public Policy and Public Management at the Health Services Management Centre. If you live in Birmingham, like I do, you could be forgiven for feeling slightly green-eyed at what is going on in Manchester at the moment. After the unprecedented devolution package that the city secured at the end of 2014, it has today been announced that Greater Manchester will be given complete control of its £6 billion NHS budget.
Date:
Thursday 26th February 2015

Blog: Getting to Grips with Public Interest Companies

Blog: Getting to Grips with Public Interest Companies
Description
Written by ian Briggs. The recent announcement by Northamptonshire County Council heralding a move towards a 'next generation model' where four public interest companies are to be established to deliver front line services and leaving a core client organisation of around 150 employees adds to the growing number of councils (and other parts of the public sector) who are seeking to adopt this model. What is interesting here is that is goes far beyond the tired rhetoric of what is best, direct public provision or privatisation?
Date:
Tuesday 24th February 2015

Blog: Pickles' Shock-horror News: Biggest Councils Have Biggest Tax Arrears

Blog: Pickles' Shock-horror News: Biggest Councils Have Biggest Tax Arrears
Description
Written by Chris Game, Visiting Lecturer at INLOGOV. Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles is famed for his sensitive news antennae. I wonder therefore just what – in a week dominated by revelations of his party's and government's moral flakiness on the whole tax collection business – persuaded those antennae that it would be a good time to attack local authorities' tax collecting record.
Date:
Friday 20th February 2015

Blog: Core Activities: notes from the Core Cities Summit, February 2015

Blog: Core Activities: notes from the Core Cities Summit, February 2015
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin, Associate Fellow of INLOGOV. On the 11th February over 300 people from across the public sector met for the Core Cities Summit in Glasgow. This post summarises the point reached so far and some of the conference's live issues, and suggests three areas for further consideration: how to involve MPs and MSPs more fully, engaging communities in the debate and considering what kind of country the UK should become.
Date:
Friday 20th February 2015

Ed Balls pledges £30 billion to English regions – and that's not all

Ed Balls pledges £30 billion to English regions – and that's not all
Description
Written by Chris Game. Two noteworthy things happened in Milton Keynes on Monday morning. Ed Miliband chaired the first meeting of Labour's English Regional Shadow Cabinet – comprising mainly leaders of councils and combined authorities. And, as a curtain-raiser, shadow Chancellor Ed Balls announced that, if Labour forms the next government, it will transfer £30 billion-worth of funding for housing, transport, business support, employment and skills training to England's regions.
Date:
Thursday 5th February 2015

Podcast: Ethnic minority political representation in Britain: the end of the Race Relations Paradigm?

Podcast: Ethnic minority political representation in Britain: the end of the Race Relations Paradigm?
Description
The Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) Departmental Seminar. Speaker: Maria Sobolewska (Manchester), Respondant: Dr Chris Allen (University of Birmingham.
Date:
Thursday 22nd January 2015

Blog: The fairness (or otherwise) of the 2015-16 local government finance settlement

Blog: The fairness (or otherwise) of the 2015-16 local government finance settlement
Description
Written by Chris Game. In choosing to announce the 2015-16 local government finance settlement just eight days before Christmas, ministers presumably hoped – as, indeed, I'd expected – that the argument about the presentation of funding and spending cut statistics for local authorities, both collectively and individually, would have died away by mid-January. However, it hasn't, which is why I too am returning to the topic, which had its importance re-emphasised several times over the past week.
Date:
Wednesday 21st January 2015

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers
Description
Written by Chris Game. Chris reflects on those MPs leaving the Commons, adding to the standard categories of Seniority, Sin, or Stash.
Date:
Tuesday 20th January 2015

Blog: Do Local Authorities Really Want Sustainable Construction Powers?

Blog: Do Local Authorities Really Want Sustainable Construction Powers?
Description
Written by Max Lempriere. When it comes to setting sustainable construction standards new research reveals English local authorities favour national regulation over local powers.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers

The arrival (and departure) of the parliamentary single-termers
Description
Written by Chris Game. All university admissions tutors know about single-termers. They are those students – some badly advised and intellectually bewildered, others more devious – who decide around mid-November that they want to change degrees, study elsewhere or just drop out. They're a pain, but higher education is a complex world and, after all, they are young. MPs, you might suppose, would be different. But in this parliament anyway, you'd be dead wrong.
Date:
Monday 19th January 2015

INLOGOV In-house programmes

INLOGOV In-house programmes
Description
If attending an on-campus programme at Birmingham isn't an option available to you or your staff, have you thought about our 'In-house' Programmes as an alternative? We often think of Universities as places that you come to - but we can come to you as well.
Date:
Friday 9th January 2015

Blog: New ways of working for district councils

Blog: New ways of working for district councils
Description
Written by Anthony Mason. My primary school history teacher always taught that the shires of England were mapped out by Alfred the Great. For me, that story was confirmed by an illustration in my treasured Ladybird book on the great man (Alfred – not the teacher) that shows four burly Saxons knocking in a waymark post as they lay out the boundary pattern. I still have that book. I later learned that while the reality was much more complicated, it is essentially true that much of our shire county structure would be familiar to a returning Anglo Saxon – even if not much else would be.
Date:
Friday 19th December 2014
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