Author: Laura Wilkes

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The Big Society

The following post is an extract from a recent policy briefing on the Big Society, which can be accessed by members through the LGiU website: It is clear that the Big Society could have the potential to positively transform localities; how communities operate, the sort of responsibilities that they have, the services that are available…

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John Lewis Council Vs EasyCouncil: the fight for 20% savings

After hearing much about Barnet Councils ‘Future Shape’ project which estimates budget savings of 20%, dubbed by the media as ‘Easy Council’ after the EasyJet budget airline business model, Lambeth have now offered an alternative: the ‘John Lewis Council’. As a co-operative council, residents of Lambeth would be asked to get involved with the running council…

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Citizen empowerment: John Denham’s speech on the Labour vision

Unlock Democracy held the second in a series of lectures in the run up to the election about ‘Citizenship Empowerment’ yesterday. The first, in November was given by Oliver Letwin who gave the Conservative take on empowerment, and yesterday, John Denham gave Labour’s vision for the agenda. John Denham outlined that Labour strongly believe that…

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Open Primaries: could this work for local government?

Yesterday saw the selection of Dr Sarah Wollaston as the Conservative candidate for Totnes through an all-postal open primary. Instead of the local Conservative party members in Totnes selecting their candidate, all registered voters in the constituency were invited to take part in the postal vote and have their say on who they wanted as…

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Empowerment and young people: the answers are within

The LGiU is, for the second time, taking part in the Changemakers Future Leaders programme. This means for the next six months we will have a young person (known as a Young Advocate) placed with us, who will lead a project designed to help the LGiU improve and increase the way that we engage with…

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Beads, jars and the summer fete: the Duty to Involve

LGiU held a seminar on the Duty to Involve on Tuesday, with the focus on methods of involvement and making them work. Some really interesting points were raised and we had useful discussions on the Duty and the implications that it will have for local authorities. Some of the more pertinent discussions we had were:…

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The ‘ingredients’ of local democracy?

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears has announced today that empty and boarded up shops should be transformed by making temporary use of them for social enterprises, art displays and learning centres, as a means to prevent ghost towns during the economic downturn. But is this about more than just the turbulent economy? Town and villages centres…

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Alastair Campbell Vs Peggy Mitchell

We blogged back in February saying Eastenders would run a story on Peggy Mitchell standing as a councillor, and here we were, wondering whether the BBC would take the campaign seriously. Well, it would seem that they are, as is Alastair Campbell. In a world where fiction and reality have collided, Alastair Campbell (real person)…

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