England & Wales Democracy, devolution and governance

Bingate, council webcasts and innovative ideas from H&F council leader


Bob Neil calls on councils to show a “can-do approach” to emptying bins. Councils are being given a rough ride by the press over rubbish collections. Whether or not councils should have done better could be debated endlessly. What’s more interesting are the political tactics at the root of the stories. CLG has been complaining about council rubbish collections to the media long before this story started to get written up. It’s almost as if CLG has been using the press to goad (increasingly independent) councils into taking action on this issue. On reflection, this approach is probably preferable to the previous government’s over-reliance on ineffective central prescription to tackle problems. But it’s also true that councillors will need to develop a thicker skin pretty quickly as further service reduction take place.

LGIU plays an active role in regenerating Corby. Last month we co-hosted a Builder’s Breakfast in Corby which brought together Council Chief Executive Chris Mallander, MPs and construction industry bosses to discuss ways of boosting the economy and creatine sustainable jobs in the area. There’s is a really nicely edited youtube video of the meeting here.

There’s a stimulating article by Hammersmith & Fulham council leader Stephen Greenhalgh in the Guardian Public. Arguing that local government has the “opportunity to lead the charge when it comes to reforming the way local public services are delivered” and “we should be thinking more intelligently and innovatively about the way local public services are delivered” Mr Greenhalgh offers three examples of changes in service delivery that are definately worth a read.

Two interesting stories to end on here that suggest a growing appetite for political meetings to be broadcast live via the web. Kirklees Council have been webcasting their meetings for the past few months and although viewer figures dropped heavily after the first initiative, they have risen every month since. Hot on the heels of Kirklees is the US Congress which announced yesterday that it’s opening day is to stream live on Facebook.