A blooming international success for Ennis

While any local authority aims for the highly-coveted Tidy Towns Award, this article looks at how Clare County Council’s capital town of Ennis recently achieved international success in the 2023 Communities in Bloom awards ceremony in Canada.


Rethinking a plural, participatory ‘local state’

Dr Madeleine Pill discusses the state-society relationships of local governance and the need for better engagement between local governments and citizens. This article focuses on creating participatory spaces through institutional innovations, which broaden the range of agency, expertise and resources available to care for place.

England & Wales, Global, Scotland

Five international lessons for Scottish local government finance

To mark the launch of a research project on the State of Local Government Finance in Scotland, LGIU and Solace hosted a roundtable discussion with Senior Officers in Scottish local government to present five applicable local government finance lessons from LGIU’s international research.


What is a Best Value Notice?

This week, the central government issued a ‘Best Value Notice’ for South Cambridgeshire District Council over its four-day week trial. This blog unpacks what a Best Value Notice is and what it means for a local authority.

England & Wales

Don’t forget the women behind the 97% – A personal account on women’s safety

A few years ago, ‘shocking’ statistics came to light, spotlighting an epidemic infecting women’s ability to be safe every day, everywhere. This personal account details incidents of public harassment and assault and illustrates that 97% is more than just a ‘shocking’ number. It’s a harrowing and united experience for nearly all women in society.


Collaborating for better outcomes: managing our natural assets and urban landscapes

Collaboration between local governments and environmental organisations offers opportunities for healthy and sustainable natural environments in towns and cities. This article focuses on the Landscape Foundation of Australia’s three strategic priorities in facilitating community engagement and local government collaboration for natural environment management.


Loosening your belt to cure obesity: Rethinking standard vehicle sizes

Standards Australia is updating the design standard for off-street car parking to accommodate larger vehicles. This article unpacks the revision, including the risks of a car-dominated built form, the role of the Standard in informing decision-making, and the long-term need for consistency. 


Arts Council in Northern Ireland

In this article, the Chair of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Liam Hannaway, emphasises the importance of investment in the arts and the risks posed by a continual under-funding of the arts in Northern Ireland, urging caution against further cuts.

Ireland, Northern Ireland

Sexism in Irish local politics – time to wake up!

In recent years, the local to national political systems of Ireland have had low levels of women and Minority Ethnic Community representation. In this article, LGIU’s Ireland Commissioner, Dr. Seán Ó’Riordáin, discusses this trend in light of the recent Women’s Collective Ireland Limerick paper on sexism in politics.