Author: Andy Sawford

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Big Society means government by citizens, for society

Writing in the Evening Standard this week, Matthew Dancona makes a spirited defence of the Big Society.    He veers around the subject, pivoting on what he sees as the ideological underpinning of Cameron’s big idea – the small state.  This pitching of state against society, government against citizen, really misses the point.  Government should be…

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Councils can revive Cameron’s Big Society idea

  When the LGIU brought together a group of council Leaders to meet with Lord Nat Wei – David Cameron’s Big Society guru – along with officials at Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Office, we shed some light perhaps on why the Big Society isn’t taking off.   The first is that whilst many…

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Council tax cap of 3.5%

Eric Pickles has announced a cap of 3.5% on council tax rises for this year’s budgets from April 2011 to April 2012.   The Government has previously announced that councils who set an increase of less than 2.5% will be refunded the money.  Although council’s are facing huge budget cuts it seems unlikely that they will opt to set council tax increases above…

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Local government finance review must be wide ranging

After speaking with Greg Clark last week I have high expectations for the government’s announcement on the review of local government finance.    It seems though that there is a conflict at the heart of the coalition about how ‘radical’ to be.   Allister Hayman over at LGC has more on this.    My two pennyworth, which I…

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LGIU Briefing on the Localism Bill

Overview Localism is a main theme of current government policy, and the Localism Bill is presented as the main vehicle for measures that will strengthen the capacity of communities and individuals to find local solutions to local problems. The pursuit of localism, seen from LGiU’s perspective, takes the form of strengthening local democracy by putting…

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Job vacancies at LGIU

We’re currently welcoming applications for two new roles here at the Local government Information Unit.

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DRAFT: 2012 local elections information and predictions

This May around 5000 council seats will be contested in 127 councils in England, 32 Scottish local authorities and 22 Wales. The local elections will be held on Thursday 3 May, the same day as Mayoral contests in Liverpool and Salford and referendums on whether to adopt the Mayoral model in 10 cities. There is…

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The localism bill: the key points for councils

This article was origianlly publish on the Guardian website A massive piece of legislation announced alongside a huge cut in funding for local government, the localism bill will have a big impact on local councils and communities. Looked at carefully, it’s clear the bill provides practical reasons to believe that the relationship between citizens and…

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Tough settlement: oh yes, it is

This article was originally published on the Public Finance blog In the 36 hours since the local government finance settlement was announced I’ve heard accusations of ‘spin’ by the government, and ‘whingeing’ by councils. Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles claims that the maximum funding reductions are 8.9%.  But in this season of pantomime, councils are…

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Reaction to Localism Bill

These announcements will each have a huge impact on local councils and local communities.  Together they represent unprecedented change in our public services and in the governance of Britain.   The finance settlement will be very tough for councils and there is no doubt that some, if not all, will have to make major cuts in…

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