Councils building houses – updated

UPDATE:  I had a great response to my post and tweets about council housing, which fed into my contribution to this useful feature in the latest issue of Local Government Chronicle. After several decades of central government seriously limiting the role of councils in the provision of affordable housing, reducing council house building to virtually…

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Fitter for the future? Children’s services and the new CAA post Baby P

Children’s services are currently contemplating Ofsted’s contribution to the new CAA and what this will mean for the future inspections of children’s services. Councils are burdened with bureaucracy and pressure from government offices, which is getting in the way of them meeting local concerns and needs. We need to change the way in which council…

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Tory housing policy – update

The Conservative Party has published the new housing policy paper “Empty Homes: Tackling Britain’s Social Housing Crisis”. 

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CAA and inspection

The Audit Commission, bringing together various public services inspectorates, today published the new Comprehensive Area Assesment framework.  A briefing from LGiU will be sent out to our member councils soon, but for those who can’t wait to find out more (yes, there are some people who will be interested, trust me) you can see the…

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Carbon Trading

The LGiU has taken on the mantle of carbon trading from the RSA through CarbonDAQ. We are developing the website in order for groups – whether its business, schools or sports teams – to take part in local carbon trading. In the Guardian’s Ethical Living blog, Lucy Siegle rightly questions whether we are all ready…

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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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