Author: Rob Dale

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Results of annual LGiU winter comms survey

Councillors, officers and members of the public took part in an informal poll over the last week in a bid to establish which digital communication channels are the most effective during special and specific situations e.g. school and road closures due to snow. The exact question was; It’s November and the weather is miserable. Icy…

England & Wales Blog Post

Public notices. Reducing spend

As part of LGiU’s investigation into how councils publish public notices we are collecting case studies from councils who are experimenting with innovative ideas within the current legal requirements. Here is a guest post from Buckinghamshire County Council.

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Local press consolidation: bad news for local democracy

Roy Greenslade reports today the plans of David Montgomery to create Local World, a company that “will effect a consolidation of regional newspapers”. Here are some key bits: “As a consistent cold-blooded cost-cutter, he has plenty of experience in making cuts” “The next step for large newspaper groups struggling to maintain profitability is an extensive…

England & Wales Blog Post

Laws launches new LGiU schools report

David Laws MP began with a challenge for local government: that “the previous model of schools under local authority control has not always been a success. This is tied too often to low aspirations amongst council officers and politicians.” However, he went on to recognise that 24,000 schools cannot be run from Whitehall and that local…

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Public notices – the case for radical reform: part 1

I want a vibrant, investigative local press. One that will, with strength, scrutinise local institutions. But how can newspapers do this when they are bound by a backdoor subsidy to the very organisations they seek to hold to account?

England & Wales Blog Post

Why social media will solve the problem of local voter apathy

As part of their Democracy Week, the Guardian’s Local Government Network asked me to write about how social media can and is impacting on local democracy. Below is a copy of their edited version. In this year’s local elections only one eligible voter in three participated. This was the worst turnout since 2000. Look into…

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Council workers deserve more credit for successful Olympics

The first part of the August MORI poll was released yesterday and focused on public reaction the the Olympics. It asked who ‘deserves the most credit for the Olympics games being a success?‘ The athletes, unsurprisingly, come out on top with 66%, followed by the Games makers/volunteers (58%), Lord Coe and LOCOG (55%) and the…

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Soon all spending data over £250 will be published online

Since August 2010 the Department for Communities and Local Government  has been publishing details of all goods and services spent over £500 – matching a demand it made of councils in June of that year. Now it appears Eland House is upping the ante. A press release came out today announcing the department is opening…

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Avoiding Community Infrastructure Levy-induced legal headaches

Cash-strapped local government has been eyeing the Community Infrastructure Levy with considerable interest.  Put simply, CIL will allow local authorities to impose a levy on developers to fund infrastructure projects around the local area.  It is an additional revenue stream to Section 106. One of the main attractions of CIL is that, unlike Section 106, the infrastructure…

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