Better Buy British: Six Reasons Why

Lucy Duggan | Posted 19.02.2015 | UK Lifestyle
Lucy Duggan

Every time you buy British goods that are made with skilled labour, you're not only creating jobs for British workers, you are also keeping skills alive in this country. Often these skills have been handed down through the generations. It's about culture, tradition, heritage and history as much as it is about the thing you buy.

Voluntary and Community Sector Must Engage in General Election Now!

John Tizard | Posted 06.03.2015 | UK Politics
John Tizard

The UK General Election is only four months away. This will be a very significant general election with potentially major implications for the future of the state, the economy, society and consequently for the charity and voluntary and community sector.

Counties Demand Devolved Powers - What 'One Place, One Budget' Could Achieve

David Hodge | Posted 22.11.2014 | UK Politics
David Hodge

Last week's No vote in the Scottish referendum marks the start of a new discussion, one devoted to devolution that could lead to the transform of the whole of the UK. Whatever results from the negotiations around Scottish Devo-max or the immediate fallout for the UK's other regions, what is perhaps more significant is that a generation of voters has recognised a Whitehall and Westminster centred model is not set in stone...

Time for National Charity and VCS Bodies to Lead a National Discourse

John Tizard | Posted 25.10.2014 | UK Politics
John Tizard

These are going to be critical months for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and charities more generally - and this is especially the case for the national sector bodies. It will also be a critical period for all of us and there needs to be an open debate about the future of society which these bodies can lead.

Business Rates Need More Localism

Dhruv Patel | Posted 30.05.2014 | UK
Dhruv Patel

I believe it is vital that the tasks of setting rates and reliefs, and deciding how to spend them are devolved to local and regional levels of government. This would give people a democratic say in which types of businesses they want to encourage and how the receipts are spent, allowing them to witness the resultant effect in their own, and neighbouring, areas.

People Are Switched Off Politics - We Must Bring Them Back

Nicholas Rogers | Posted 19.04.2014 | UK Politics
Nicholas Rogers

That people are disenchanted with politics is hardly an original observation. Turnout at elections is declining, politicians are almost universally derided, distrusted and disliked. Perhaps it was ever thus, but modern voters seem less interested and less willing to listen to what politicians say than ever before.

Open Primaries Can Fix Our Broken Politics

Louis Degenhardt | Posted 09.03.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Louis Degenhardt

A jolt of energy needs to be administered to our comatose national politics, faltering on life support. Let's demand better involvement and better politicians. It's time to create a better politics.

My 2014 Predictions

Jonathan Guy | Posted 08.03.2014 | UK Tech
Jonathan Guy

Predictions are incredibly hard. Either you get it spot on and appear to be prescient or you are so wide of the mark that you look foolish. There is no middle ground and for that reason most people wisely stay clear of making them. Given that I'm not most people, here goes.

State and Market: Will the Autumn Statement Help Clear Up Current Confusion?

Dan Corry | Posted 01.02.2014 | UK Politics
Dan Corry

Recent events in British politics have shown how confused our public is on the issue of the role of the state versus that of the market and indeed of society, something that political leaders and officials at local and national level probably experience every day.

Print, Prejudice and the Struggle for Sites: The Ugly Face of Localism

Joe Cottrell-Boyce | Posted 02.12.2013 | UK Politics
Joe Cottrell-Boyce

Last month, Inside Housing reported that only 101 of the 597 Traveller pitches allocated government funding in England since 2012 have managed to secure planning permission. Without permission, it is unlikely any of the remainder will go ahead; another broken promise in the ongoing struggle for adequate Traveller accommodation in the UK.

Trees, Thoroughfares and a Total Lack of Communication

Neil Jeffery | Posted 09.10.2013 | UK Politics
Neil Jeffery

You've heard of Hereford, haven't you? No, it is not a place that possesses some Brigadoon-esque existence, appearing every 200 years. Hereford is one...

Can Localism and Local Government be Core for a Labour Government?

John Tizard | Posted 27.08.2013 | UK Politics
John Tizard

Labour has an opportunity to build on the localist successes of the last Labour Government whilst avoiding some its tendency to adopt over proscriptive and unnecessary centralist controls and targets.

The Voluntary and Community Sector Must Be Confident

John Tizard | Posted 13.06.2013 | UK Politics
John Tizard

There is no doubt that many in the voluntary and community sector are struggling to survive, to secure funding, and to honour their missions.

Voluntary and Community Sector and Local Government Should Seek Common Cause

John Tizard | Posted 16.05.2013 | UK Politics
John Tizard

My strategic advice to the sector, is to seek to find common cause with local government to make the case to central government to stop or at least mitigate the impact of further cuts; to expose the human and financial implications of the Government's welfare 'reforms'; and to argue for greater localism with more devolved responsibility and resources to localities.

Downing Street Must Learn to Harness the Crowd or Face Revolting Results

Mark Borkowski | Posted 21.01.2013 | UK Politics
Mark Borkowski

All of this is simply to highlight the power of the public and its cruelty. If the government is to create engagement between the police and the polis, it will need to engage in the first place - as failure to do so can lead to revolting results.

The New CLG Ministerial Team Must Deliver for Local Government

John Tizard | Posted 05.11.2012 | UK Politics
John Tizard

The Government reshuffle has led to an almost complete new ministerial team at Communities and Local Government though Eric Pickles remains Secretary of State. The Department has a major role to play in terms of the Government's re-launched policy agenda - not least in terms of planning reform.

Racecourse Closure - Is There a Local Answer?

Neil Jeffery | Posted 13.10.2012 | UK Sport
Neil Jeffery

Do you remember July 27th? That was the day that The United Kingdom prepared itself for the Olympics, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport showed off his bell-ringing prowess, and everyone got ready for a fortnight of good news, Well, almost everybody.

Welcome to the Big Nudge

Dave Clements | Posted 29.08.2012 | UK Politics
Dave Clements

The Big Society is, he says, 'designed to conceal a deeply damaging withdrawal of the state from its responsibilities to the most vulnerable'. The vulnerable - a group that the great and the good ill-define the better to hide behind them. You get the Big Society you deserve I suppose.

Localism: Wake Up And Smell The Coffee

Paul Scully | Posted 11.12.2011 | UK Politics
Paul Scully

You may assume that the Daily Mail would welcome George Osborne's announcement that Council Tax would be frozen for the second year in a row. In an in...

'£250 Million To Take Away A Tikka Masala? We're All Bin It Together' Says Prescott

Huffington Post UK | Felicity Morse | Posted 30.11.2011 | UK Politics

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles' pledge to set up a £250 million fund to incentivise weekly rubbish collections has provoked strong reaction from ...

Winnie the Pooh can Teach the Government A Thing or Two About Environmental Planning

Nik Darlington | Posted 05.09.2011 | UK Politics
Nik Darlington

The author of Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne, once said that 'organising is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up'. This coalition government has demonstrated a boldly pragmatic and non-ideological mindset since taking office. Nevertheless, there is a danger that on planning, the Government is ideologically dismissing an integrated approach in favour of extending responsibility to communities. Localism is great for running a local park, but it cannot provide integrated national solutions to the big environmental challenges facing the UK.

Tesco Towns or Localism – Who Runs Planning?

Tony Burton | Posted 02.09.2011 | UK Politics
Tony Burton

Seven months is a long time in legislation. It was only last December that the Localism Bill was published amid a fanfare of radical decentralisation, communities "in control" and a "power shift" to those who know their areas best. New radical rights to draw up neighbourhood plans were unveiled and communities pricked up their ears and wondered.