It Was 20 Years Ago Today: My Recollection Of The Dramatic Night Wales Voted 'Yes'

Kevin Brennan | Posted 18.09.2017 | UK Politics
Kevin Brennan

The heavens opened that night and I got thoroughly soaked as I walked the mile home at dawn but I didn't care. We had done it, and even though Cardiff had voted no overall, our campaign had brought out enough yes voters in the Capital city to play our part in the narrowest of victories.

We Need More Devolution Deals - And We Need Them Now

Andrew Laird | Posted 13.06.2017 | UK Politics
Andrew Laird

The manifesto talks about the good government can do. Right now this should involve devolving powers to the relative stability of local government, mayors and combined authorities. This has been the ambition of successive governments - but with Westminster facing its own set of challenges, it is more urgent than ever.

New Greater Manchester Mayor Commits To Mental Health And Young People

Bryan Blears | Posted 12.05.2017 | UK Politics
Bryan Blears

The newly elected Mayor for Greater Manchester Andy Burnham began his time in office this week with pledges to tackle homelessness, create a free bus pass for 16-18 year olds in education and promote mental health and well-being through a range of talking therapies for anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

Will Metro Mayors Bring More Experimentation To Public Services?

Andrew Laird | Posted 11.05.2017 | UK Politics
Andrew Laird

Last week saw the election of the first batch of metro mayors. Areas with a new mayor include the major urban conurbations of Greater Manchester (where former Labour Health Secretary Andy Burnham was successful) and the West Midlands (where former John Lewis boss Andy Street was elected for the Conservatives).

Why We Should Welcome The New Metro Mayors

John Williams | Posted 05.05.2017 | UK Politics
John Williams

Time will tell if the first generation of mayors are able to rise to the challenges and realise the opportunities of their positions. Yet for now, despite the big national political challenges ahead for the whole of the UK, we should herald the arrival of the metro mayors and I look forward to directly working with them to address local and national needs.

Devolution Will Hand Huge Power To Local Leaders: We Must Have More Women In The Room

Carys Roberts | Posted 31.03.2017 | UK Politics
Carys Roberts

On the one hand, there's a risk that power is handed to people who don't represent the communities they claim to. On the other, we have the opportunity to re-evaluate our democratic processes and institutions, and make sure gender equality is designed in from the start. Let's choose the second; it is the twenty-first century, after all.

Brexit, Devolution And The Future Of Northern Ireland

Janice Morphet | Posted 27.03.2017 | UK Politics
Janice Morphet

The call for an independence referendum for Northern Ireland by Sinn Fein, closely following on from that of Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, is not an opportunistic endeavour. The recent elections in Northern Ireland demonstrated that the political tide is turning.

A Budget For Inclusive Growth

Tina Hallett | Posted 13.03.2017 | UK Politics
Tina Hallett

While the Budget was a positive first step, a long term commitment is needed to deliver inclusive growth and productivity across the regions, with business and citizen engagement at its heart.

West-Midlands Devolution And The Potential For Public Services

Andrew Laird | Posted 14.02.2017 | UK
Andrew Laird

In May, the people of the West Midlands will vote for their first democratically elected "Metro Mayor". This is all part of a devolution deal struck w...

For The Sake Of Places And Communities Local Government And VCS Must Be Together

John Tizard | Posted 27.01.2017 | UK Politics
John Tizard

The next few years are going to require some bold and creative solutions to some very challenging problems. These solutions are going increasingly to invented and implemented on a place basis and will be best achieved when local government and the VCS are together promoting and striving for their communities.

Friend Or Foe? Truth Or Dare? Social Care Tax Row Takes New Twist

Simon Sapper | Posted 24.01.2017 | UK Politics
Simon Sapper

David Hodge has grabbed our attention and deservedly so. We know that social care needs to be better connected to health care. We know that government should take a lead in both encouraging integration and ensuring adequate funds are available. But residents cannot wait for someone to blink first or be reshuffled/voted out of office.

Four Things That Will Define Public Policy In 2017

Tom Jeffery | Posted 12.01.2017 | UK Politics
Tom Jeffery

What's going to define public policy in 2017? With a bit of help from the think tanks, here's the top four challenges we've identified at Think Tank Review that will set the tone.

Prison Suicides: Emerging Crisis Shows Need For Welsh Solutions

Leanne Wood | Posted 06.12.2016 | UK Politics
Leanne Wood

While we are buying presents and planning family Christmas holidays, for most of us, our minds couldn't be further away from those who are suffering or who find themselves in troubled situations. That includes all of those people who will be spending these holidays behind bars.

Funding For Urban Innovation: The Emerging UK Picture

Peter Madden OBE | Posted 02.12.2016 | UK Politics
Peter Madden OBE

As the work begins and the dust starts to settle on this year's Autumn Statement, I think we can see it as a real shot in the arm for infrastructure, R&D and innovation. These measures should see a real return in terms of productivity and growth. They should, too, help the UK keep up in telecomms developments. And they present a great opportunity to push even harder on urban innovation, so our companies can continue to develop and sell world-beating products and services that help cities thrive.

The Brexit Court Ruling Confirms My July Blog - An Open Letter to Theresa May

Dr Michael Arnheim | Posted 07.11.2016 | UK Politics
Dr Michael Arnheim

Dear Theresa -- I hate to say it, but I told you so! In a blog published here on12 July 2016, I told you that the Brexit referendum result is pure...

A Thriving Midlands Is Key To A Thriving UK, We Cannot Rely On One City

Maria Machancoses | Posted 03.11.2016 | UK Politics
Maria Machancoses

It is a fact that the world's successful economies do not lean on one single superpowered capital, but a network of strong, well-connected regions. As the UK prepares for Brexit, having strength in our regions is more important than ever. Our economy cannot prop itself up on an overcrowded, overpriced capital. Building strongholds in regions to attract international and national businesses are a must, and with its position at the heart of the UK, the Midlands will be crucial to economic success.

English Devolution Post-Brexit: Cameron Exit Stage Left, Cue Mrs May

Nikki Knowles | Posted 22.09.2017 | UK Politics
Nikki Knowles

Conflicting messages and vague assurances could undermine the process and at this time of economic and democratic uncertainty, the business community and local government need some guarantee that the Government has an industrial strategy for the whole of the UK and plan for Brexit and beyond.

Andy Burnham Should Put Health at the Heart of His Mayoral Campaign

Harry Quilter-Pinner | Posted 13.08.2017 | UK Politics
Harry Quilter-Pinner

Taking control of Manchester's health budget will not be easy. Funding will be a big headache - as the region faces a £2billion black hole in the finances over the next five years. Finding the necessary efficiency savings will be no mean feat given that many of the easy savings have already been made over recent years.

You Say You Want Devolution?

Tom Jeffery | Posted 25.07.2017 | UK Politics
Tom Jeffery

The referendum result, the appointment of a new prime minister and a reshuffle may have briefly muted think tanks, but not for long. Devolution was very much on the agenda this week - but why?

The Brexit Referendum - Joke Letter From 1,054 Barristers

Dr Michael Arnheim | Posted 12.07.2017 | UK Politics
Dr Michael Arnheim

The result of the Brexit referendum on EU membership has no binding force in law. This was the main point made in an open letter to David Cameron signed by 1054 barristers on 9 July 2016. This is undoubtedly correct. But the rest of the letter, and especially the part that proposes "a way forward", reads like a joke.

The Opportunities of Devolution Must Not Come at the Cost of Our Universal NHS

Luciana Berger | Posted 06.07.2017 | UK Politics
Luciana Berger

When Aneurin Bevan spoke in support of the second reading of Labour's NHS Bill 68 years ago, he made a very simple, clear case. He argued that for healthcare to be truly universal, and democratic, it must be delivered through a national system. The N in NHS must truly stand for National, he argued...

A New Settlement for Post Referundum Britain

Simon Sapper | Posted 24.06.2017 | UK Politics
Simon Sapper

The future is of course unwritten. The post-referendum landscape will inevitably be different, and we can't leave it to others to shape it. The opportunity to shape a new constitutional settlement - that takes the heat from the referendum campaign and produces something effective, enduring and empowering - is one we must take.

A Disunited Kingdom: Views on the Brexit Differ in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Dyfed Loesche | Posted 22.06.2017 | UK Politics
Dyfed Loesche

If you, for simplicity's sake, wanted to slice the cake four ways: Scotland and Northern Ireland both seem to prefer to remain. While Wales is somewhat undecided, England tilts towards wanting to leave. Hence, the Kingdom seems more disunited than ever.

How Our Hubs Are Making Literacy a Priority for the Whole Community

Jonathan Douglas | Posted 14.06.2017 | UK
Jonathan Douglas

"It is only when you get close up to a community you see literacy leadership comes in different guises," Julia Cleverdon, the Chair of the National Li...

Powerhouse Politics: Four Lessons for the North

Ed Cox | Posted 14.05.2017 | UK Politics
Ed Cox

Lesson No. 1: Labour and the big cities London very often likes to portray itself as England's last bastion of the liberal left, with national news ...