Author: Andy Sawford

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D-day for localism

John Tizard is director of the Centre for Public Service Partnerships (CPSP@LGIU). This article was originally posted on the Public Finance Blog The government’s expected decision to publish the Localism Bill on the same day that it informs local authorities of their grant allocation could be construed as a clever piece of ‘joined-up government’ or…

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*update* Localism and Decentralisation Bill

The slightly delayed Localism and Decentralisation Bill will be published “very soon” I am told.   Bringing together what we know at this point, these are the aims of the Bill as they are expressed by coalition politicians: • Give councils a general power of competence. • Give residents the power to instigate local referendums on any local…

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Tale of Two Cities: Manchester and Birmingham, cuts and redundancies

After the storm over the LGA’s statement yesterday that 140,000 jobs will be lost in local government, I noticed today a contrast between two of the council’s that LGiU works closely with: Manchester and Birmingham.  Stephen Hughes, the Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council, has issued a letter to all staff in which he writes about the…

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Council budget cuts consultations “Your Say” and “You Choose”

This morning Gateshead Council tweeted me a link to the launch of their Budget Consultation process.    Looking around at what councils are doing the headline themes are clearly that big savings are needed and local people should have their say.    Cllr Jeff Green, the Leader of Wirral Council, told me about Wirral’s Future, which he says has…

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Elected Mayor races hotting up: candidates emerge in Leicester, Birmingham & Liverpool

After Eric Pickles backed down on imposing elected Mayors in 12 cities, plans are now gearing up for referenda to be held on the 5th May 2011 in:  Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Coventry, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Wakefield. In Leicester there might be an earlier referendum.   Leicester Mercurys’ political reporter David Maclean, who by the…

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BASW report is misguided: social work needs leadership not legislation

Update: Andy’s comments have been written up in Community Care. I have argued in the media, including here in the Independent and here in the Guardian, that social work is an overworked, underpaid and undervalued profession, when any reasonable comparison is made to other health or children’s services professions.   Now the British Association of…

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Shadow Cabinet announced

Leader of the Opposition Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband MP Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Alan Johnson MP Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Minister for Women and Equalities Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP Shadow…

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The Man in the Arena

I found this brilliant Teddy Roosevelt quote this morning.  I’ve heard it before, when John McCain used it in his Presidential run,  but had forgotten it.  I’ll think of it at the party conferences as I watch the men and women in our political arena. “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out…

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Cameron on local government and decentralisation

There is an interesting article from the Prime Minister in today’s Observer, setting out progress and plans for decentralisation.  In the paragraph on local government David Cameron hints at local government finance reform amongst other things.  Note the sequencing… power to neighbourhoods, then ‘after that’ power to local government.  “We’re giving more power to neighbourhoods. Neighbours will be…

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Local government Big Society network – get involved

The Big Society needs to be more than just a slogan and local authorities must play a central role in it – but to do this they need to be proactive in helping develop the concepts and the local policies that will make it a reality. The LGiU is launching a learning network will take…

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