Briefings

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Swift Read: The Transport Bill transforming local authority powers in Scotland

New powers for local authorities in Scotland are included in the Transport (Scotland) Bill passed on Thursday 10 October 2019, including powers for councils to bring in bus service improvement partnerships or operating their own bus companies, the introduction of low-emission zones and the introduction of the workplace parking levy. This briefing covers the main…

Scotland
Members

Local Government Performance 2018: Report of the National Oversight and Audit Commission

This briefing is the latest in our series of briefings on reports commissioned and published by the National Oversight and Audit Commission. Report no 22 is NOAC’s fifth annual Performance Indicator Report, which addresses some 37 selected indicators at national level. By and large they cover all of the key services provided by local authorities.

Ireland
Members

Universal Credit and Foodbank Use

This briefing covers a recent Trussell Trust report, which examines the impact of the five week waiting period for Universal Credit (UC) on food bank use and other consequences of financial hardship. The analysis demonstrates a substantial increase in foodbank use accompanying UC roll out.

England & Wales, Scotland
Members

The new cold war: why everyone wants a piece of the Arctic

This briefing offers a beginner’s guide to Arctic matters and the interests of the key states and prospective players in the region. It surveys the new opportunities created by the retreating ice, and the new dangers these pose to the sustainability of the Arctic and its population. It also considers the governance of the region:…

England & Wales, Global, Ireland, Scotland
Members

Local Government in Sweden

This briefing is one of a series looking at local government across the world and offers an insight into the local government system in Sweden. It includes some of the differences and similarities Sweden has to other European governments.

Australia, England & Wales, Global, Ireland, Scotland
Members

Housing Review: September 2019

While Brexit may be the main item on the political agenda at the moment, housing issues continue to exercise a strong hold on public attention. The latest Eurobarometer report (March 2019) shows that for Luxembourg (57 per cent) and Ireland (52 per cent) housing tops the list of what counts as the most important issue…

Ireland
Members

Party conferences and beyond

Everything is, of course, still dominated by Brexit. The party conferences did provide some idea of what could be in manifestos – so what can we glean from these about how the parties view key issues for local government in Scotland, England and Wales?

England & Wales, Scotland
Members

Low-income voters

This briefing deals with two recent JRF reports on the voting behaviour and priorities of low income voters. Taken together, they vividly illustrate the needs and priorities of people living on low incomes. Low income groups have become more important in recent elections, and political parties are constructing their offers accordingly.

England & Wales, Scotland