No ban for BNP teachers

A government-commissioned review has concluded that teachers should not be banned from joining the BNP. The author of the report has argued that the problem of BNP membership is so small at the moment that a ban would be the equivalent of “taking a very large sledgehammer to crack a minuscule nut”. The report found…

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Cllr 11

We’ve had great feedback from the Cllr 10 national conference for councillors and have today started to plan for Cllr 11, to be held in early 2011.  It might seem a long way away, but our aim is to build on this year’s success and create a bigger and better event to celebrate the work…

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The unstoppable momentum of localism in criminal justice

The LGiU teamed up with BT and Alan Duncan MP, Shadow Prisons Minister, yesterday for an event to discuss reforming the criminal justice system.  For the LGiU it was an opportunity to continue to develop support for localism.  We found again that we are pushing at an open door, so why the slow progress?   We argue that the system…

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The awesome Westminster Council

Cllr Colin Barrow, Leader of Westminster City Council invited me to an interesting event this morning.  A gathering of mainly Westminster public service and community leaders, with a few outsiders like me, including Caroline Spelman.  Colin did a speech and q&a about Westminster’s future plans.   It was exciting to hear about plans for the iconic parts of the Borough…

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The BBC’s lazy council cuts story

The BBC survey of 49 local authorities has been widely reported with the headline of ‘cuts’. The survey is shallow and the reporting sloppy. A waste of money from an organisation that itself needs to operate much more efficiently. Shock findings: Councils are going to be at the hard end of reductions in public spending…

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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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Conservative Policy on Gypsies and Travellers

The Conservatives today publish unworkable plans for dealing with the highly sensitive issue of unauthorized Gypsy and Traveller sites by giving police a power of arrest for intentional trespass. They also mean to dispose of Human Rights protection, missing the point that backing down on rights for unpopular groups means that the prospects would also…

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Local council elections in 2010

UPDATED:  Rallings and Thrasher say there are 176 councils with elections.  The Electoral Commission say there are 166.  My original post below: There are 166 councils with elections on May 6th.  This includes:  32 London Boroughs, 36 Metropolitan Authorities, 20 Unitaries  and 78 District Councils.   In four of these councils there will also be simultaneous…

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Hung Parliament

The political mood has changed.  Where in 2009 there was a presumption that there would be a Conservative government, the prevailing mood now is one of great uncertainty.   I was briefing the Cabinet of a Conservative led council recently and they wanted to spend equal time thinking through what would happen if the Consevatives don’t win a…

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