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Beads, jars and the summer fete: the Duty to Involve

LGiU held a seminar on the Duty to Involve on Tuesday, with the focus on methods of involvement and making them work. Some really interesting points were raised and we had useful discussions on the Duty and the implications that it will have for local authorities. Some of the more pertinent discussions we had were:…

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Getting action from talking

Everyone is holding their breath for the climate change talks in Copenhagen in December this year. Will we get a post-Kyoto deal and will the US and China get on board? But the build up to December is already under way with international conversations about how to deliver challenging carbon reduction targets and really adapt…

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Britain’s councils got talent

A Saturdayish thought.   We are regularly hosting councillors and council staff at the LGiU who have good practice and innovation to share with others, and are keen to do so.    I wonder what the response would be if we organised a ‘Council’s got talent’ event to promote great local practice and innovation.  I’ve just tweeted…

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Highlights from the Local Government Financial Statistics bulletin

This information was correct as of 2009 – if you want the latest information on local government, check out our facts and figures page. The Department for Communities and Local Government today posts some interesting facts and figures in: Local Government Financial Statistics England No.19 2009.   Highlights, for those few people out there as strange as…

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David Cameron, Conservatives and local democracy

UPDATE:  The BBC are now running this story, with video clips of David Cameron’s speech, and quotes from me Over the weekend the Milibands highlighted devolution as part of the way forward from the current political mailaise and it is great to see David Cameron stepping up his commitment to decentralise power, in this article published this…

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Think before you tweet!

It is with exasperation that I report that Argyll and Bute council has banned teachers from Twitter. The ban followed the inappropriate use of the site by a teacher who used it to criticise pupils. Blanket bans however understandable are rarely the best way forward and usually unworkable. What we really need here is a…

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More cafe and gauloises

Well not quite, but I did spend Tuesday in Lille as the guest of a futures workgroup on participative democracy hosted by the regional council of Nord pas de Calais. I was there to give an English perspective and some examples of how local government has tried implement participative democracy over here. In the end…

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The Times calls for ‘more powerful local government’

There is an excellent Leader column in the Times this morning.  I don’t agree with all the finer points, but it is good to see others joining us in saying that decentralisation is one of the important ways in which we can rebuild our democracy and restore the body politic to health after the MPs…

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We should vote, despite this wasteful PR by the European Parliament

I think we should vote in the European Elections.  Whatever your view on politics or our relationship with the rest of Europe, it is important to participate.  Decisions are made by those who show up.   But I have just sat here in disbelief as I opened a large jiffy envelope that came in the post. …

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Low-mark for kitemark

Demos and their authors Sonia Sodha and Silvia Guglielmi can be commended on producing A stitch in time: tackling education disadvantage: interim report a-stitch-in-time-tackling-educational-disengagement). It is an excellent overview of the field, showing what has happened and why it is not working. The “third sector” solution is not new, and has been tried, but do…

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