Can the localism bill successfully define what a community is? We asked a couple of weeks ago if the local government Twitter community, and readers of this blog, could help CLG define what a community is for the Localism Bill. The results are here. The Guardian is now running a poll asking readers if they think the Localism Bill will be able to provide a decent definition or just “confusing jargon”. You can vote here. Most respondents to the poll seem sceptical so far. It’s interesting, then, that the normally reliable Allister Hayman reckons that the Localism Bill will be delayed again due to “lack of Parliamentary time”. Perhaps. Or maybe Eric’s navigating the tensions between a Burkean and Rousseauesque definition of community? It’s a nice thought.
BSF legal fight set for the High Court. The MJ is reporting that six local authorities have been granted a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in January to decide whether they can seek a judicial review of the decision to cut the BSF programme in their areas, after they’d been told it would go ahead. It’s turning into a bad week for Gove. The LGiU’s John Fowler worked out on Tuesday that at the current rate the government’s academy programme could take 140 years. But, if councils and schools are making life difficult for the education secretary, it looks like he’s about to return the favour. John has told LGC (£) that he reckons that education funding formula changes will come with “a degree of pain for schools”.
Landlord warning about cold homes. The Health White Paper has been described a return to the good old days of municipalism when councils had broad responsibilities for everyone in their charge. Here’s a reminder that, in reality, councils never really gave up on this job. Rossendale Council has won a case against latter-day Rachman Joseph Heyworth, a landlord, for failing to provide warm habitable accommodation. He was fined £3,627.
Taxi firm asks – why not water? Water transportation is not currently included in the Greater Manchester Local Transport Plan. Manchester Water Taxi is now urging people to register their support for the inclusion of water-based transport in their submission to the consultation on the plans. The company will provide transport between Manchester Victoria and the Trafford Centre in its “waxi” for 12 lucky sea-dogs from 2011.