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Bucks goes back to the drawing board

Local Government is digging deep into its capacity for innovation as we all seek to adapt to life with less money but more responsibilities. Each Council will have to find its own answer but in Buckinghamshire we’ve started to put the pieces together for a solution of compromise, reality and affordability.

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Honouring the armed services: the twelve steps councils can take

The Local Government Information Unit and the Royal British Legion, in our new publication Honouring the Armed Service Community have developed twelve painless steps  councils can take to provide real help for this community which has given so much for our country. First, local authorities should know how many veterans; reservists and armed forces personnel there are in…

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Elected Mayor for Leicester update – Soulsby steps down as MP to be Labour candidate

The Labour Party’s epic internal selection contest to find its candidate for the Leicester Mayoral election in May, concluded dramatically over the weekend.   Sir Peter Soulsby, who has been the MP for Leicester South since 2005, but was previously council Leader for 17 years, won a five way contest, beating current council Leader Veejay Patel who…

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Looking after Middle England’s old people

The divide between health and social care in the UK is a cruel one. On the one hand, people who need care from a hospital receive it gratis regardless of their wealth.  On the other hand, people who need care from a residential home, but have assets of more than £23,250, must dip into their…

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US and UK research explores how the public perceives community information services

I spent some time last night sifting through the US-based ‘How the Public Perceives Community Information Systems‘ report  – for those short of time here’s a link to a good summary from Pew Research Center. The conclusion of the piece is that public trust in government is strongly tied with their engagement and involvement in…

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The Big Society Bank has a crucial role in fuelling social action

*UPDATE* Here’s the Written Ministerial Statement on the Big Society Bank – 21st March 2011 WRITTEN MINISTERIAL STATEMENT CABINET OFFICE 21 March 2010 Minister for Civil Society: Big Society Bank ________________________________________________________________________ Nick Hurd:On 14 February, the Minister for the Cabinet Office and I published a strategy to grow thesocial investment market, giving charities and social…

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Digital delivery – “faster, cheaper and more convenient”

This morning saw the publication of Socitm’s Better Connected 2011 report (which the Guardian reported on here). It concluded that ‘most councils still do not recognise digital delivery as faster and more convenient for the public as well as cheaper for the taxpayer’. As councils across the country are setting their most difficult budgets in recent…

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Will the Localism Bill deliver a new settlement between people and planning?

This article was originally published in the LGiU’s C’llr Magazine which is distributed to all councillors in LGiU member councils. The government has set out plans in the Localism Bill to revolutionise the planning process by  “taking power away from officials and putting it into the hands of those who know most about their neighbourhood – local people themselves”. The Bill…

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Publicity Code: what it means for “town-hall Pravdas”

This post is based on a LGiU members briefing (£) written by Juliet Morris Writing in the Guardian, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles said “glossy council propaganda sheets threaten local newspapers and waste taxpayers’ money“. This desire to ‘crack down’ on council-led public communications came through again last week when The Government  laid a revised Code…

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Free councils?

Interesting reports today that the government’s review of local government funding will result in between a quarter and a third of councils being set free from central government and allowed to retain the bulk of business rate and council tax income. The LGiU has always argued that councils should have greater freedom (and a corresponding…

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