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LGA and re-balancing our democracy

Good meeting with John Ransford, new Chief Executive of the LGA, today.  It was a smart move by Margaret Eaton and her colleagues to ask John to lead the Association in this critical time leading up to and immediately post the next General Election.   John is frank about the difficulties of recent months, but our conversation was…

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Councils and community cohesion

No doubt there are many complex factors underlying this week’s refinery strikes and protests over the employment of foreign workers, but it is hard not to see them as an early indication of how community cohesion can suffer in economic hard times. When people are struggling to make ends meet they are naturally angered by…

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Social networking

We have been looking at the potential of social networking at the LGiU.  We recently launched our social networking action learning set to support councils, particularly engaging with young people.  You can find out more by joining the Facebook group and going to our website. I am really liking Twitter.  It’s got lots of potential for connecting with people to…

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Cllr Peggy Mitchell?

The really big local government news this week is that Peggy Mitchell in Eastenders is standing as a councillor. Too early to know if she’ll get elected or whether the BBC will play it straight or for laughs. No doubt some will think this is pretty frivolous, but given a general lack of recognition of…

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Science and opinion

Doing a course a few weeks ago, some councillors expressed scepticism about climate change and how much we should care about it.  I don’t think it was so much that they really disagreed with the science, they just resent what they see as an enforced consensus.  I can understand that.  People like to arrive at their…

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Abolish council tax?

At our seminar this week on the future of council tax, we heard a proposal for a new ‘Takeaway Tax’. Every time you have a kebab, the taxman skewers you. The idea wasn’t from within the LGiU and we don’t think it is a runner, but we are nothing if not democratic here, so tell…

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Follow me on Twitter

Have kick started my twittering, click here to follow my updates…

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Crystal Balls

The beginning of a new year normally sees a rash of predictions as commentators of all descriptions tell us what they think the next 12 months will hold. Of course at LGiU we’re keen to get in on the act, but the sheer unpredictability of last year gives us pause for thought before we reach…

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