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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.