Author: Gemma Bradshaw

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Local spending reports

The slow iteration of improvements in local spending reports continues. As part of the Sustainable Communities Act the government was required to provide a breakdown of all public spending in each local authority area. Now, three years on, we have an interactive website to play with. The problem still remains – where is all the local spending information? Local spending reports were…

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Fancy a pint – buy your own local

Pub closure rates are running at 39 a week, shockingly this is an improvement on 2009 figures that saw closures peak at 52 pubs a week. Closure of local pubs is not just a concern for the local economy, but to community life more broadly. In a bid to save the public house the government…

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New local deal on climate change

Those with eagle eyes for new ideas to tackle climate change may have noticed a tentative proposal from CLG for local carbon budgets. At the time nobody really knew what that would look like or how it would work. Today, John Denham MP gave us a few more hints – presenting local carbon budgets as…

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Currency of choice

Last night saw the launch of the Brixton Pound (B£), a new local currency that as of today will circulate in Brixton only, alongside the Sterling Pound. The event was the culmination of the efforts of a team of local volunteers, who for 18 months worked incessantly engaging businesses, the community and the council to…

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Local carbon budgets

Today’s report from CLG Strengthening local democracy  marks a significant turnaround for UK climate change policy. Among a wealth of proposals on local accountability and democracy, the government is seeking ideas for new powers for local government to tackle climate change. CLG’s report makes it clear that more needs to be done to incentivise local…

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Getting action from talking

Everyone is holding their breath for the climate change talks in Copenhagen in December this year. Will we get a post-Kyoto deal and will the US and China get on board? But the build up to December is already under way with international conversations about how to deliver challenging carbon reduction targets and really adapt…

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Fashion, cycling and sustainable communities

Today the tricky problem of getting women to cycle and cycling fashion (note: I use the term fashion here loosely) was pondered in the Guardian. Helen Pidd questions why it is beyond the imagination of designers to come up with garments suited to the demands of the cyclist that didn’t risk the wearer being mistaken…

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Lights out

You might not think Nelson’s Column, Southampton Civic Centre and Bristol Zoo have a great deal in common. Tomorrow night though, they will join 2000 cities and towns across the world switching their lights out for Earth Hour. On March 28, at 8:30 p.m, iconic buildings, businesses and homes will be turning off their lights…

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Would your town survive sea level rise of 1m?

The pace of climate change seems to be speeding up everyday. Scientists today warned that the latest climate change predictions are already out of date and we are likely to see sea level rise by 1m by 2100.  But what does that really mean? In the UK it means flooding. Before we even see areas…

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