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Blog: 21st century public servant: the discussion phase

Blog: 21st century public servant: the discussion phase
Description
Written by Catherine Needham. This post is based on a provocation which I posed at INLOGOV's recent Summer Symposium. It is an attempt to move on the conversation about engagement between local government, other public institutions, citizens and communities.
Date:
Tuesday 8th July 2014

INLOGOV briefing paper: What happened to the NOC councils after May 2014?

INLOGOV briefing paper: What happened to the NOC councils after May 2014?
Description
Written by Chris Game, Honorary Senior Lecturer at INLOGOV. Most of the results – and effectively the outcomes – of May's local elections were in the media the following day. For a fifth of councils, though – the black holes in this Briefing Paper's cover map – while the results, in terms of seat numbers, were available, the all-important outcomes – who will actually run the authority – weren't, often for weeks. The Briefing Paper's main purpose is to fill in those black holes, detailing who's now running what and how.
Date:
Friday 4th July 2014

Blog: What happened to the NOC councils after the May elections: a moan and a puff

Blog: What happened to the NOC councils after the May elections: a moan and a puff
Description
Written by Chris Game. 'Five Days in May': the time it took in 1940 for Churchill to manoeuvre the War Cabinet into a five-year World War, in 2010 to form Britain's first post-war peacetime coalition – and in 2014 for Tower Hamlets LBC to announce its local election results. OK, I've exaggerated – it was actually 119 hours after the polls closed, so only 4.96 days, but still not good, even discounting the malpractice allegations.
Date:
Monday 30th June 2014

INLOGOV briefing paper: Reflections on 'Bridging the gap'

INLOGOV briefing paper: Reflections on 'Bridging the gap'
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin, June 2014. The Inlogov Symposium, Bridging the Gap, was designed to encourage the sharing of new ideas,creativity, evidence and experience on some of the key challenges for local government. This post expands on an earlier blog piece, reflects on the discussions and suggests points and questions for the future.
Date:
Thursday 26th June 2014

Blog: Strengthening democracy and participation: routes to re-connection and engagement - a provocation

Blog: Strengthening democracy and participation: routes to re-connection and engagement - a provocation
Description
Written by Catherine Durose. This post is based on a provocation which I posed at INLOGOV's recent Summer Symposium. It is an attempt to move on the conversation about engagement between local government, other public institutions, citizens and communities.
Date:
Friday 20th June 2014

Blog: Re-valuing The Public

Blog: Re-valuing The Public
Description
Written by Teresa L. Córdova. When we are on the ground getting the policies implemented, or perhaps even making the policies, we focus on doing what we can get done. One of our first questions is, "what are the constraints, the limits of what is possible (or probable), given current fiscal conditions, regulatory structures, or political dynamics."
Date:
Friday 20th June 2014

Blog: Building communities to bridge the gap

Blog: Building communities to bridge the gap
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin. England is around halfway through significant reductions in public expenditure and heading for a 'new normal' at much lower levels, whilst seeing demographic and other pressures rise. Local Government is currently projected to see a £10.5bn funding drop between 2010and 2020.
Date:
Friday 13th June 2014

Blog: Democracy in The Circle: a route to reconnection and engagement?

Blog: Democracy in The Circle: a route to reconnection and engagement?
Description
Written by Frank Hendriks. One of the theme's at INLOGOV's 2014 summer symposium is "Strengthening democracy and participation: routes to re-connection and engagement." One of the possible routes is tellingly sketched in Dave Eggers's recent novel The Circle (2013).
Date:
Friday 13th June 2014

Blog: Towards a people-centred language of demand management

Blog: Towards a people-centred language of demand management
Description
Written by Gavin Jones. I'm regularly asked to make presentations to groups of people (the last one being to 22 Deputy Lord Lieutenants!) to set out the issues and opportunities facing local government in the light of increasingly painful budget cuts. Of the pictorial slides I use to tell the story, the one guaranteed to have the greatest impact and make people hold their heads in their hands and mutter depressing words of despair is my 'motivational' slide that alarmingly shows demand outstripping resources at a frightening pace – often known as the '' or 'Map of Misery'.
Date:
Wednesday 11th June 2014

The Conversation: Watered-down recall bill proves MPs just don't get it

The Conversation: Watered-down recall bill proves MPs just don't get it
Description
Written by Chris Game. "Meaningless", "a stitch-up", "a breathtakingly cynical attempt to convey an impression of democratic reform" – this was how Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith reacted to his own government's announcement in the Queen's Speech that ministers would, after all, be introducing a recall of MPs Bill before the 2015 election.
Date:
Tuesday 10th June 2014

INLOGOV briefing paper: Social Value Survey Report

INLOGOV briefing paper: Social Value Survey Report
Description
This report outlines the findings of a joint survey (carried out between August to mid October 2013) by the Society of Procurement Officers (SOPO), the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA) and the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham on the impact of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012.
Date:
Monday 2nd June 2014

The Conversation: Both Labour and the Tories are pursuing a cynical 15% strategy

The Conversation: Both Labour and the Tories are pursuing a cynical 15% strategy
Description
Written by Chris Game. The "35% strategy" – the idea that a party could win the 2015 general election on 35% of the vote – entered political discourse last year, generally as a Conservative taunt directed at Labour. The 35% comprised Labour's supposed "core vote": the 29% it managed in 2010 and brought it 258 or nearly 40% of Commons seats – plus a guesstimated 6% for Lib Dem defectors.
Date:
Thursday 29th May 2014

Blog: Building communities to bridge the gap

Blog: Building communities to bridge the gap
Description
Written by Daniel Goodwin. England around halfway through significant reductions in public expenditure and heading for a 'new normal' at much lower levels, whilst seeing demographic and other pressures rise. Local Government is currently projected to see a £10.5bn funding drop between 2010 and 2020. Pressures on services are projected to rise by around £6bn, resulting in a £16.5bn total gap, under-resourcing services by around 30%. This average masks a wide variation – the LGA predicts that some of the poorest areas are projected only to be around 55% funded by 2020, whilst some shire districts will be 100% funded.
Date:
Tuesday 27th May 2014

The Conversation: London aside, Farage's UKIP now has its imprint on England

The Conversation: London aside, Farage's UKIP now has its imprint on England
Description
Written by Chris Game. You'll be expecting, understandably, UKIP stuff – and there will be, but later. These were elections to determine the political and policy control of 161 English local authorities. Working for a department known in the wider world as the Institute of Local Government Studies, it would be inappropriate for me not to look first at those councils where we know control has changed hands, none of which directly involve UKIP – almost inevitably, given its almost baseline starting point.
Date:
Friday 23rd May 2014

The Conversation: Labour should be the biggest local winner – this year anyway

The Conversation: Labour should be the biggest local winner – this year anyway
Description
Written by Chris Game. Two countries have synchronised their EU election and local election dates this cycle: Greece and parts of the UK (England and Northern Ireland).
Date:
Thursday 22nd May 2014

Blog: Under what conditions are decisions best made? Football managers and the public sector

Blog: Under what conditions are decisions best made? Football managers and the public sector
Description
Written by Ian Briggs. I am not much of a football follower, but I am becoming increasingly bemused by the fascination for premiership clubs in becoming so closely associated with their managers. You can hardly fail to notice that the headlines stories on the back pages of newspapers concentrate a great deal on the relative merits of the approaches taken by the current crop of managers. Am I alone in thinking that they get more attention now than the players?
Date:
Wednesday 14th May 2014

Blog: Gerrymandering in Northern Ireland local government? Surely not.

Description
Written by Chris Game. It seemed obvious from the outset that Gerry Adams' arrest in connection with the 1972 murder of Jean McConville was a momentous event with potentially massive implications: long-term, short-term, north and south of the border. So I was slightly surprised the following morning to hear a Sinn Fein spokesperson, protesting about the timing of the arrest, highlight its impact specifically on the Northern Ireland local elections.
Date:
Thursday 8th May 2014

Blog: Public data: saleable asset or national resource?

Blog: Public data: saleable asset or national resource?
Description
Written by Tom Barrance. Recent announcements by two government agencies, the HMRC and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), regarding the sale of information has thrown a spotlight upon government information and the attendant debates of privacy verses exploitation. What is the ownership of information collected by the state? Held in trust for the citizen, or seen as assets like 3/4G mobile phone licences to be sold by government to the highest bidder? Or should all government data be treated as open data that is made freely available to all?
Date:
Wednesday 30th April 2014

Blog: The 2014 local elections – a preview

Blog: The 2014 local elections – a preview
Description
Written by Chris Game. Two EU countries this May will hold local elections that coincide with their European parliamentary elections: Greece and ourselves. On Sunday 25 May Greeks vote in the second, 'run-off' round of elections to all their 13 regions and 325 municipalities. England, though nearly five times as populous as Greece, also has 325 lower-tier and unitary authorities. We, however, will elect mostly only fractions of fewer than half of our councils, yet still it takes seven lines of a table to summarise the 161 authorities whose voters on Thursday 22 May will probably have both a local and Euro vote. We bemoan our disappointing local turnouts, but we don't make the system exactly voter-friendly.
Date:
Tuesday 29th April 2014

INLOGOV briefing paper: The 2014 local elections – a preview

Description
By Chris Game. This year's English local elections have been postponed to Thursday 22nd May to coincide with those to the European Parliament. There are all-out elections in the London boroughs, elections by thirds in the metropolitan boroughs, and a mixture of the two in some unitaries and shire districts. This preview will lead you through this potential confusion, and also provide a guide to those councils most likely to change political control.
Date:
Monday 14th April 2014
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