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Social Care Green Paper and the inner workings of a think-tank

The Government will publish a Social Care Green Paper today.   We have long been calling for radical reform of the social care system and have lobbied the Government heavily in the lead up to the Green Paper.    With only 10 months at most before the next election this Green Paper will not be turned into…

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Ageing strategy and timebanking

The Government published its Ageing Strategy yesterday. It has been due out for a while and we have been talking to DWP Ministers and officials about it, particularly around the recommendations of our Never Too Late for Living report on demographic change and older people services.    This is the LGiU response:

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Parsing some recent speeches: Miliband and Denham

On a recommendation, I am just reading the John Smith memorial lecture given by David Miliband this week. I was struck in particular by this honest passage: New Labour promised a “change not a revolution” in its 1997 manifesto. The charge against us today is that people wanted a revolution – or at least disruptive…

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Harrogate, Cable, Cameron and Denham – do they get local democracy?

“It felt like I was there with you” someone said, commenting on the frequency of my Twitter updates from Harrogate. Micro-blogging is great for fast moving occasions like the 3 day LGA Annual Conference. Blogging is better I think for more reflective posts. My overall impression of the week was of the confidence of local…

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Schools White Paper

After four White Papers in five years, it is good to hear some different messages from government. The White Paper today is going in the right direction: letting teachers teach rather than prescribing numeracy and literacy strategies, putting the money into schools rather than the beuracracy of the national strategies, a new emphasis on collaboration…

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Building Britain’s Future – updated

Gordon Brown delayed the general election that never was in October 2007 so that he could set out his ‘vision’.    It’s taken 20 months but we are told that today’s paper ‘Building Britain’s Future’ sets out the vision.   It will be available from around 15.30 today, following a statement in parliament.   I’ll be looking very closely at…

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Celebrating local government

I dashed from the School Governors conference to the NLGN Annual Reception where John Healey made a great speech showing why we will miss him in the local government brief but also giving encouragement that he will take his commitment to working with us as a central part of his approach to housing, and in…

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School governors

A great day yesterday at the School Governors Conference organised by our Children’s Services Network at the LGiU.  The theme was 21st Century governance.   We talked alot about how schools are changing with the focus on the whole child in the community, the notion of ‘it takes a village’ to raise a child, and the…

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Speaker Bercow

Only that most small c conservative of instititions, Parliament, could see John Bercow’s proposals for ‘reform’ as radical.    I am writing to Speaker Bercow to suggest that one key way of increasing participation in Parliament is to engage more with local government.  Councillors should be invited and/or be able to request opportunities to make brief contributions in debates…

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