Our Global Local bulletin highlights local solutions to global challenges, with a different theme each week offering critical insights, policy suggestions and case studies. We love hearing what our subscribers are up to, and the successes and challenges they’ve experienced in policy or projects.

As such, we’re looking for your insights on our upcoming editions. If you can tell us about these topics, please get in touch and we can help you craft an effective case study.


Support for victims of crime/trauma-based services, May 16th:

Although primarily an issue for police and the criminal justice system, local government has an important role in supporting the victims of crime. We’d like to hear about the approaches you’ve taken pride in to support your residents who have fallen victim to crime, from funding victim support services, to crime-prevention campaigns, to backing community initiatives.

Sister/twin cities and towns, May 23rd: 

The idea of twin towns and sister cities dates back to the 800s and is widely used today to promote cultural, political, economic and commemorative ties. We’re looking for case studies of your sister relationships with towns across the globe, both historically and in the present day.

Citizen science, May 30th:

For this edition, we’re looking for examples of citizen science projects you’ve organised or how you’ve promoted citizen science in your local area. Have you found citizen-led data collection projects have led to a greater understanding of your local environment? Has citizen science led to improve public engagement and awareness of local issues? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

Rural 20 minute neighbourhoods, June 13th:

Can the idea of walkable neighbourhoods extend to our more rural places? Is it feasible for people living in more regional and rural areas to have their daily needs and wants met within a 20 minute round trip? How can we better promote walking, pedestrianisation and active travel in environments historically more dependent on the car? We’re looking for big ideas and initiatives you’re taking to make the countryside feel more accessible.

Food policy councils, June 20th:

Popular in North America and increasingly in Europe, food policy councils have begun to facilitate sustainable food system governance activities among local stakeholders, and act as an alternative to conglomerate food companies. With their focus on sustainable outcomes and democratic processes, we want to know how these councils have operated in practice. We’d love to hear your experience of participating or operating food policy councils in your local area.

Tourism, June 27th:

For this edition, we’d looking to hear from local authorities responsible for regions dependent on tourism and how it affects your residents in the busy and off seasons. We’re looking for perspectives on hot button issues like tourism tax, second homes and short-term rental lets.

Coastal management, July 4th: 

We’re looking for insight on how your coastal management teams balance the risk to life, property and environment caused by coastal erosion, alongside perspectives on advising new and existing developments on your coastline and managing the threats of flooding.

Your experiences welcome!

We’re always eager to hear from our local government colleagues on anything you’re doing or ideas you’d like us to cover. Let us know!

If you have a story to share, please get in touch. You can submit content through our online suggestion box or get in touch directly by emailing  Perhaps you already have something written up or maybe you’d like help constructing a case study? Either way, we’d love to hear from you.


England & Wales, Scotland Democracy, devolution and governance

New councillor? LGIU is here for you


This welcome message is part of our Resources for New Councillors.

Congratulations on being elected as a new councillor. You are at the start of an amazing journey, representing your local communities and helping to shape local services and neighbourhoods during the biggest cost of living crisis we have seen for decades.

The role of a councillor can be unbelievably rewarding, but no-one said it was easy. How do you keep on top of everything that’s going on? How do you process huge amounts of technical information at short notice? How do you know what other councils are doing and what works? How do you navigate a sea of information to find the best ideas?

That’s where LGIU comes in. For 40 years the LGIU has been by the side of local government. We are the largest independent membership organisation for councils and a registered charity. We give councillors and council officers the information they need to do their jobs today, the ideas they need to improve for the future and the networks they need to learn and to share.

We do this through briefings, a daily news service, training, independent research and practitioner networks.

And it’s not just in the UK. We believe that local government is at its best when it is informed, engaged and networked, and that all our members gain value from global perspectives, lessons and relationships. We work across the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Australia and share best practices from around the globe.

We know that places are unique, sometimes even down to a neighbourhood or a street; but so many of the challenges faced by local governments and by elected representatives are shared with their colleagues across countries and across continents. That’s why our Global Local newsletter service shares local government good practice and innovation from around the world.

We would love you to be part of all that we do. We are only as good as the combined wisdom of our members and the more we hear from you the better we can serve you. If your council is a member of LGIU you have unlimited access to all our materials and resources. We hope that they help you as you begin your career as a councillor.

Best wishes,


Jonathan Carr-West
Chief Executive

New councillor? What you need to know about LGIU

The Local Government Information Unit is your source for information, innovation and ideas about local government. Founded by local government, fully owned and governed by local government and staffed by people who are passionate about local democracy – LGIU is your organisation. And we want to help you get the most out of LGIU.

Our resources for new councillors page is probably the best place to start. You’ll find articles to help you get to grips with your new role including a briefing for new councillors. There are links to resources that will introduce you to some of the many topic areas you will come across as you progress and suggestions for training to build your skills.

If you are from an LGIU member council then everything on our website is available to you – you just need to sign up and create you free member website account. Make sure you opt in to receive ‘The essential resources’ (Daily News) update – it is a key part of your council’s LGIU membership and keeps you up-to-date with local government news and all your latest LGIU resources.

If you’re not a member

Resources such as news services, our varied in-depth and detailed briefings and other content are exclusively for members. But non-members will find much of interest from the LGIU, including

Just sign up for a free website account and newsletter today.

So all that remains is to say: welcome to the LGIU! We hope you settle into your new role quickly and we look forward to working with you over the coming months and years.


England & Wales, Northern Ireland Democracy, devolution and governance

Who runs the councils in No Overall Control?





Made with Padlet


Following the elections in May 2023,  there are 91 councils across England in “No Overall Control”.  Ingrid Koehler and Greg Stride look at what this means in practice. This post is part of LGIU’s one-stop shop for local elections coverage, analysis and support

Sign up for a free LGIU account to keep up to date with local government.

What does NOC mean in practice?

So what does it mean to be a NOC council? As you might expect, it’s a little different in each council area. Some councils have a minority administration often because one party has half or close to half of the seats and they are the largest party. In other places coalitions are formed where the political flavour is a little more evenly distributed. In some councils, the largest political party is unable to form a minority administration because a coalition of smaller parties has banded together. Across these different possibilities we see a range of governance options.

In practice, NOC councils can work really well and help politicians come together around local issues without spending too much time on party political issues. In other NOC councils, there is constant political jostling.

When councils mainly operated under committee systems, some councils had rotating chairs and power was genuinely shared. Most councils now have Cabinet systems and decisions are made by the executive rather than in committees. And this is why councils with a Leader and Cabinet model want clear majorities and there can be a scramble for power when the political balance is fine. Effectively, though, once the leader has been chosen he or she can form a cabinet and get on with running the council, with only occasional need to go to the full council on things like budget setting.

Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGIU:

“Councils in No Overall Control is a quirk of local authority governance that can be confusing for citizens. But it doesn’t mean that no one’s making decisions. In most cases one party will be able to form a cabinet, either with support from other parties or because the other parties do not agree on enough to effectively oppose them. That might sound unstable but in reality NOC councils have a pretty good track record of getting business done effectively.”

How is it calculated?

At the LGIU, we define a council as NOC if no single party holds 50%+1 of the seats.

England’s “first past the post” system for individual wards tends to favour bigger parties so it’s often easier for local party machinery to get out candidates in all wards and depending on the flavour of local politics have one party or another in charge. Most of England’s councils are majority run and some councils are or nearly are a one party state, for example Lewisham in London or Manchester which has over 90 Labour councillors and only a few Liberal Democrats.

Where alternative voting systems are used, such as in Scotland or Northern Ireland, multiple parties often win considerable numbers of seats. In Northern Ireland, by design it’s very difficult for any single party to have a majority administration – none of the 11 Northern Ireland districts with elections in 2023 have a single party majority. The single transferrable vote (STV) system encourages multi-party ward representation so to gain an all-out majority means that not only must one party do really well across all wards, other parties must not also do consistently well as a 2nd or 3rd choice.

Councils with No Overall Control in England up for election this year

There were  230 councils in England holding elections this year. Unfortunately, there is no central data source collecting information on all council seats, vacancies or control, so we have made use of the excellent data collected at Open Council Data UK. The numbers here are correct as of 16/03/2023 using our definition of No Overall Control mentioned above.

Of the 230 councils holding elections, 75 of them did not currently have a party with 50%+1 seats. 49 of these are holding all-council elections, meaning that the party composition could change substantially after the election. The other 26 are holding elections in only a third of their seats.

Since the 2023 elections, this number has increased to 91 councils in No Overall Control  – our table below highlights those councils in NOC and which party holds the largest number of seats. In the days following election, and sometimes until the end of May, negotiations take place among elected councillors as which parties will form a ruling coalition. As of writing (9 May 2023), we are not currently collating this information.

histogram of political control of councils


CouncilPre-election control2023 outcomeNOC Largest PartyRegion
ArunCON minNOCCONSouth East
AshfordCON minNOCCONSouth East
BaberghIND/LD/GRNNOCGRNEast of England
Basingstoke and DeaneCON minNOCCONSouth East
BoltonCON minNOCLABNorth West
Bournemouth, Christchurch and PooleCON minNOCLDSouth West
BrentwoodCONNOCLD/CON TieEast of England
BroadlandCONNOCCONEast of England
BromsgroveCONNOCCONWest Midlands
BurnleyLAB/LDNOCLABNorth West
Cannock ChaseCONNOCCONWest Midlands
CanterburyCONNOCLABSouth East
Castle PointCIIP/PIPNOCINDEast of England
Central BedfordshireCONNOCINDEast of England
CharnwoodCONNOCCONEast Midlands
CherwellCONNOCCONSouth East
Cheshire EastLAB/INDNOCCONNorth West
ColchesterLD/LAB/GRNNOCCONEast of England
DarlingtonCON minNOCLABNorth East
DerbyCON minNOCLABEast Midlands
Derbyshire DalesNOCNOCLDEast Midlands
East DevonIND/LD/GRNNOCINDSouth West
East HampshireCONNOCCONSouth East
East HertfordshireCONNOCGRNEast of England
East LindseyCONNOCCONEast Midlands
East Riding of YorkshireCONNOCCONYorkshire and The Humber
East SuffolkCONNOCGRNEast of England
ElmbridgeIND/LDNOCLDSouth East
Folkestone and HytheCON/GRN/LD/INDNOCLDSouth East
Forest of DeanIND/GRNNOCGRNSouth West
Great YarmouthCONNOCCONEast of England
HarboroughCONNOCCONEast Midlands
HartlepoolCON/INDNOCLABNorth East
HerefordshireIND/GRNNOCCONWest Midlands
HertsmereCONNOCCONEast of England
HyndburnLAB minNOCLAB/CONNorth West
Kings Lynn and West NorfolkCONNOCCONEast of England
LancasterGRN/INDNOCLABNorth West
LichfieldCONNOCCONWest Midlands
MaidstoneCONNOCCONSouth East
MaldonCON/IND/LDNOCINDEast of England
Malvern HillsIND/LDNOCINDWest Midlands
MeltonCONNOCCONEast Midlands
Mid SussexCONNOCLDSouth East
Milton KeynesLAB/LDNOCLABSouth East
Newark and SherwoodCONNOCCONEast Midlands
North HertfordshireLAB/LDNOCLABEast of England
North SomersetIND/LD/LAB/GRNNOCCONSouth West
North WarwickshireCONNOCCONWest Midlands
North West LeicestershireCONNOCLABEast Midlands
PendleCONNOCCONNorth West
PeterboroughCON minNOC CONEast of England
PortsmouthLD minNOCLDSouth East
Redcar and ClevelandIND/LDNOCNorth East
Ribble ValleyCONNOCCONNorth West
RochfordNOCNOCCONEast of England
RugbyCONNOCCONWest Midlands
RunnymedeCONNOCCONSouth East
RutlandCON/IND/GRNNOCLDEast Midlands
SheffieldLAB/LD/GRNNOCLABYorkshire and The Humber
SloughLABNOCCONSouth East
South GloucestershireCONNOCCONSouth West
South KestevenCONNOCCONEast Midlands
Southend-on-SeaLAB/IND/LDNOCCONEast of England
SpelthorneCON minNOCCONSouth East
StaffordCON minNOCCONWest Midlands
Staffordshire MoorlandsCONNOCLABWest Midlands
StockportLD minNOCLDNorth West
Stockton-on-TeesLAB minNOCCONNorth East
TamworthCONNOCCONWest Midlands
TandridgeIND minNOCINDSouth East
TendringCON/INDNOCCONEast of England
TewkesburyCONNOCLDSouth West
Tonbridge and MallingCONNOCCONSouth East
TorridgeINDNOCINDSouth West
Tunbridge WellsLD/IND/LABNOCLDSouth East
WarwickCON/INDNOCGRNWest Midlands
WealdenCONNOCLDSouth East
Welwyn HatfieldCONNOCCONEast of England
West DevonCONNOCCONSouth West
West LindseyCON minNOCLDEast Midlands
West OxfordshireLD/LAB/GRNNOCLDSouth East
West SuffolkCONNOCCONEast of England
WirralLAB minNOCLABNorth West
WokinghamLD/LAB/INDNOCLDSouth East
WorcesterCON minNOCLABWest Midlands

LGIU supporting local government every day

Every year LGIU puts the spotlight on local elections, with information, commentary and analysis for our members and wider local government. Because for us, these elections are the most important elections – the part of our democracy that is embedded in the places where we live and work. And supporting the people who make local elections happen, who uphold our local democracy, is at the heart of what the LGIU is about.

But we support local government every day, through our exclusive membership briefings and daily news, our resources for new councillors, training and policy events (some are exclusively for members, others attract a member discount) and our articles, comment and newsletters that are open to everyone who wants to improve local democracy. Why not sign up to stay informed and support strong local governance everywhere or find out more about membership.

Sign up for a free LGIU account to keep up to date with local government.

Resources for new councillors


Our Global Local bulletin highlights local solutions to global challenges, with a different theme each week offering critical insights, policy suggestions and case studies. We love hearing what our subscribers are up to, and the successes and challenges they’ve experienced in policy or projects.

As such, we’re looking for your insights on our upcoming editions. If you can tell us about these topics, please get in touch and we can help you craft an effective case study.

Air quality

Nearly all of us experience polluted air, and air quality is closely linked to the earth’s climate and ecosystems. Policies to address air pollution, then, offer a win-win for the environment and our physical and mental health. We want to know the regulations and policy directions you’ve taken to improve air quality, from more active transport and green spaces to messaging residents on air pollution levels.

Nordic spotlight

Scandinavia is a hub for innovative local government policy, and this edition will present some of our favourite recent examples of general municipal best practice across the Nordic nations. If you are in, have knowledge of, or have connections to Nordic local government, then we want to hear from you. Specifically, we are looking for examples of forward thinking infrastructure and planning policy, alongside new ideas in transport and sustainable development.

Technology and social care:

A relatively young issue, we are looking for new perspectives on the benefits, challenges and risks posed by rapidly integrating new digital technologies in health care provision to local authorities. Are you preparing for how technology will change health and social care? Are you trialling any new digital infrastructure that could help meet your care needs?

Young people and democracy:

Young people’s participation and attitudes towards democracy is worrying for all levels of government. We’re looking for local governments making a good effort to reach out to young people and engage them in democratic processes. We want to know how if you’ve set out to address our more polarised and narrower social networks, declining social interaction, or even the increased disillusionment with democracy some young people experience.

International women’s day:

This edition is focused on the the crucial role women play in our local governments. We would love to hear from women in local government on your experiences – both good and bad – in council leadership and representing your communities. We want to know how if your council is working to help the next generation of female local government participation and leadership. In addition, we want to know how your local government is helping to improve the lives of the women who live, work and visit your local area? We’re after case studies on how you’re making your spaces and assets more gender-equal.

Risk management and extreme events

How has your risk management approach changed in the light of Covid, the war in Ukraine and the rising frequency of extreme weather events. The unfathomable has become the unpredictable has become the situation we need to build resilience for. How are you working with communities to understand and mitigate extreme risk?

Maternity and infant care and family support

How we start life can have a big impact on how we lead life. How are you working with partners to support families and children in their first weeks and months? And what difference is it making to outcomes in your area?

Your experiences welcome!

We’re always eager to hear from our local government colleagues on anything you’re doing or ideas you’d like us to cover. Let us know!

If you have a story to share, please get in touch. You can submit content through our online suggestion box or get in touch directly by emailing  Perhaps you already have something written up or maybe you’d like help constructing a case study? Either way we’d love to hear from you.


Global Communities and society, Welfare and equalities

Community wealth building – does it exist in Finnish?


This headline might seem misspelt, but it is not. While researching for the ‘Finland: an individualistic welfare state public sector reform and community wealth building‘ briefing, I came across an interesting issue. No matter what word combinations or phrases I used, it seemed that on the surface, there was no translation for Community Wealth Building (CWB) in Finnish.

But looking deeper, I started to find more and more content that shared the core principles of community wealth building surfacing in Finnish conversations. All of these areas; plural ownership, localised financial power, progressive procurement and fair and just use of land, are currently in flux.

It is a fact that the two societies, British and Finnish, experience socio-economic differences in different ways. Whereas the UK is the fifth most unequal country in the world, Finland sits in the fourth spot for the most equal country in the world, right after its neighbouring Nordic countries. With this in mind, it is evident that concepts such as CWB have a different amount of emphasis in the local political sphere in Finland than it does in the UK but issues that CWB address exist in Finland, as well.

Throughout Covid-19 and even more recently during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Finland, like many nations, has started to draw more attention to being self-resilient, focusing on building strong supply chains and an economy that is not tied to global superpowers. This has historically also been important when building a modern Finland that is not ruled by its neighbours but rather stands on its own. I think this is engrained in the Finnish culture, the ability of one to be able to stand on their own. There is even a famous Finnish word, “sisu”, that the BBC has helpfully translated as “strength, perseverance in a task that for some may seem crazy to undertake, almost hopeless”. Building a more equal society can feel like that kind of task.

As a young person, I didn’t give that much thought to the economy, apart from being aware that it’s obvious that the rich get richer and if we want to have a democratic, equal society, we need change. When I talked with Hanna Muukka from Pellervo, one of Finland’s largest cooperative lobbying organisations, I was disappointed to hear about the way co-operatives as a business model are not appealing anymore, especially for young entrepreneurs.

Today, the Finnish co-ops are mostly associated with supermarkets, and more historically, with agriculture and its products such as dairy and meat. In the background, there is a legislative reason for this change; previously, to set up a business (ltd) in Finland, you were required to have a start-up capital of at least 2,500€. This requirement was removed in 2019 to ease the burden of setting up new businesses, especially for smaller businesses and self-employed people. Previously a co-operative would’ve been an appealing option if you didn’t have the capital to set up a business now that obstacle has been removed. But here, the authorities have to step in. This isn’t a negative thing, necessarily. By empowering small businesses, the community economy can get stronger and more versatile.

My briefing will include examples from smaller, more rural towns and that is something that is close to my own heart, having grown up in the scarcely inhabited countryside of Finland where it’s not only the wealth that is escaping the community, but also talent. Urbanisation increases in Finland all the time, with 72% of the population living in cities in 2020. Much like co-ops, rural towns have little to offer for young people, but increasingly they also fail to provide basic services for anyone else, either.

And this is where I want to introduce you to another special Finnish word that came to my mind time after time when thinking about community wealth building, specifically how locals can come together to keep their community thriving: “talkoot”. This word has no direct translation, either, but it has been translated to “work party” by some. In essence, it means doing work together, voluntarily to help one’s own community in some way. Usually, in the countryside, this would be, for example, piling up processed timber, or neighbours getting together to help with the harvest. In the urban environment, housing blocks organise “talkoot” to clean up the communal areas and gardens.

In essence “talkoot” might help to achieve a better community, whether it is by making it cleaner, or simply coming together in tasks that would be too laborious for one household to manage alone. And that’s what I started to think of CWB, as well. For it to work and be implemented, many actors have to come together within the community, to make a better, more equal place. It could be easier, and cheaper, to simply get an external provider to do the job, for example, to set up a new sports centre for a town, but it can also be done by the locals, for the locals.

I know that “talkoot” is not quite the same as the economic model of community wealth building and perhaps I have just made the definition of it even more complicated. Yet it prompted me to think about the power words and translations have. The word “economy” itself “can be traced to Greek word oikonomia, which in turn is composed of two words: oikos, which is usually translated as “household”; and nemein, which is best translated as “management and dispensation” (source).

Overall, the economy is a social construction and with that comes the idea that every society probably sees it in a different way and that community, whether it’s a household or a town, has been in the heart of the economy since ancient times. Perhaps we’ve kept moving away from that with the introduction of capitalism, but that doesn’t mean we cannot embrace the idea that we can achieve much more when we all embrace a little more “talkoot” spirit and work together.


England & Wales, Scotland Communities and society, Welfare and equalities

In Conversation with Ian Millen of Veterans Outreach Support


Veterans Outreach Support is a UK-based charity that since 2008 has provided welfare, wellbeing and mental health support to veterans and their families. Ian Millen, CEO at Veterans Outreach Support, chatted to Freya Millard from LGIU about the key challenges facing veterans re-entering society, the support needed for the families of ex-service personnel, and how local government can best support veterans during the initial re-integration period and throughout their lives.

Read our Global Local Bulletin on local government and support for veterans – open to LGIU members and Global Local subscribers.

How did you get involved with Veterans Outreach Support in the first place? 

I joined Veterans Outreach Support (VOS) as the CEO in 2018 following a 30-year career in the Royal Navy followed by another 10 years in public service and the private sector. I am a veteran of the Falklands War, and I was initially attracted to the role at VOS because of its origins, being initially set up by veterans of that conflict. As someone who benefited greatly from my own service, and transitioned well into civilian life, I wanted to help those who were not so lucky.


If you’re comfortable answering, can you tell us a bit about your personal experience leaving the military and reintegrating back into your community? For example, what assistance did you find beneficial or what aspects do you think could have been improved?

I’m very fortunate to have transitioned into civilian life fairly painlessly. After leaving the Royal Navy, I continued in public service for the first few years, which was a reasonably smooth transition. Working in law enforcement, the working environment and the ethos of my work colleagues was similar to that in the services. Moving into the private sector after a few years required me to learn new skills and do things differently. Whilst this transition went ok for me, it was a very different world to public service, and I can understand why some veterans struggle to adjust to a world that is very different to the one they are used to in the armed forces.

The armed forces do a fantastic job of turning civilians into soldiers, sailors, and airmen, educating, and shaping young people well to serve their country. There are resettlement schemes and support available on leaving, but I’m afraid that the same effort does not go into preparing those who leave the service early, and some young people face re-integration into an unfamiliar society. If you have never had to worry about housing, paying bills, finding a doctor and dentist and looking for a job, these things can be daunting. I’m happy to say that some charities are putting an effort into making this transition easier for early service leavers, helping them to take their place back in our communities.


From your experience at Veterans Outreach Support, what would you say are some of the key challenges facing veterans upon leaving the service?

Challenges for veterans vary greatly, as do the circumstances of leaving the armed services. At one end of the spectrum, if you have served a good number of years and have a family and stable home, you are far less likely to face the challenges that a young early service leaver, who joined the forces at 16 and left a few years later might have. For many, the fundamental challenge on leaving the service is one of adjustment. In the armed forces, you live alongside your peers and develop very strong bonds that come from shared experience, and sometimes danger, so it’s understandable that you miss that close camaraderie on integrating back into civilian society. Some service leavers find life outside of the armed forces to be an unfamiliar place, but it’s important to note that this is by no means all service leavers. The vast majority will transition well into civilian society with a great work ethic and many transferable skills that can serve them and their employers well.


What do you think are the best ways local government and their community partners can support veterans during this initial reintegration period? 

By investing in support and services to help people transition into civilian life by recognising the challenges of what can be a significant change in life. This starts with understanding veterans. Our own local council has an Armed Forces Champion, someone who is a focal point within local government and can help others to understand veterans. Signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant is another way that local government can help. Many businesses also take this step and actively seek to hire veterans. I would like to give a shout-out to the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), which encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver, and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant. Our city council in Portsmouth has an ERS Gold Award and is a great supporter of the armed forces community and our veterans, working closely with charities like ours and other local councils for the benefit of veterans. If I have one piece of advice for local government, it would be that the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme is a great place to start.


What would you say are some of the big challenges facing veterans later in life? 

The first thing to note is that veterans are citizens, just like everyone else, so the challenges that they face are mirrored by many in our communities. That said, it is fair to say that life in the armed forces can expose some of those serving to things that they might ordinarily experience in a civilian occupation. The greatest challenges are, once again, related to adjustment to new circumstances. Retirement, divorce, bereavement, poor or declining health are problems that all members of society encounter and veterans are no different. That said, some of the more serious aspects of poor mental health can present themselves in a veteran’s later life, including PTSD which can have a particularly long incubation period. Whatever the challenges, we and other charities, along with the statutory services are here to help our veterans.


Again, how do you think local government and their community partners can best support and assist veterans during these challenging times throughout their lives? 

Local government has a big part to play in supporting veterans in our communities, not least by partnering with local charities and statutory services to ensure that support is both available and joined up, ensuring that the picture of need and the understanding of resources to meet it are clear. At Veterans Outreach Support we have strong links with our local city council, working closely in alignment with the UK’s Armed Forces Covenant. The key to providing support to our veterans lies in this close collaboration, based on understanding. Our veterans are citizens, and the balance sheet shows that they are a positive asset in our communities, for the most part contributing more than what they take, but we need to be there for them when they need a little help.


What type of support do you find that the families of veterans usually need? And do you think there is a role for local government in helping provide that? 

Families in general, armed forces or not, deserve the very best support we can give, but the families of veterans often need extra support, not least as they have probably lived service housing and moved around a lot. On leaving the service, this support is no longer available, and they need to either get onto the property ladder or join the queue for housing with everyone else. I personally think that housing is one of the biggest challenges for the families leaving the armed forces. Not far behind is probably schooling for children who have also moved around a lot and had Mum or Dad spend lots of time away from them, deployed on operations. There are some excellent charities, such as the Naval Families Federation, but I urge local government to put plenty of effort into understanding how difficult it can be for families moving away from service life into our communities. Those that need help deserve all that local government can do to assist them.


Lastly, what can the wider community do to help veterans integrate after leaving the service? And do you think local government can be used to facilitate this?

As I said earlier, veterans are citizens, so having them welcomed when they join our communities is very important. They won’t expect any special treatment but will benefit from having people around them who recognise the challenges of transition. Local government can play its part in providing support and services for the whole community and, where appropriate, educating and encouraging others to provide a warm welcome to our service families. My final response to your last question is to remind all your readers of the Armed Forces Covenant and the Defence Employers Recognition Scheme. It’s a great place to start the process of understanding our veterans and their families and the first step in serving those who have served our nation – not just the veterans, but the families without whose support our armed forces would be far less effective.


Australia Climate action and sustainable development, Finance, Housing and planning

Sustainable waste management in Maroondah City Council


Maroondah City Council is a peri-urban residential local government area in Victoria, Australia in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with a population of 117,498 residents and 45,665 households (at June 2019).

In October 2022, Maroondah City Council became the first Council to supply municipal solid waste to the Maryvale Energy EfW in Victoria.

What is energy-from-waste? 

Also known as waste to energy, energy-from-waste (EfW) refers to treatment technologies which derive the energy value from waste for turning into electricity, biogas, heating or fuel. The technology creates energy from the controlled combustion of non-hazardous waste materials that would otherwise go to landfill and provides an important source of renewable, sustainable energy and is a vital link in the waste management chain.

Sustainable waste management in Maroondah 

A sustainable approach to waste is 1 of 8 outcomes in Maroondah’s long-term vision for 2040. The Waste, Litter & Resource Recovery Strategy 2020 – 2030 showed that in the 2019-2020 financial year, Maroondah City Council sent 20,144 tonnes to landfill and generated 11,259 tonnes of commingle recycling and 15,261 tonnes of garden waste. However, with 24,861 tonnes of recycling and green waste diverted from landfill in 2021/22, Maroondah creates less landfill waste than the average Melbourne household. Consequently, as of the 31st March 2021, Maroondah City Council has been certified Carbon Neutral by Climate Active for its operations as a public statutory body.

Nonetheless, population growth risks sending more waste to landfill, with general waste currently disposed of at Hanson Landfill in Wollert which uses greenhouse gas capture and management. Moreover, a significant challenge Maroondah identified is local governments limited scope of influence over the production chain which generates waste, dealing with materials at the end of the value chain – when resources become rubbish.

However, policy direction at the state level in the form of Recycling Victoria ensures the development of a energy from waste sector in Victoria with investment support, funding of research for end-use of residual products and developing a waste to energy framework.

The Maryvale EfW project

The Maryvale Energy from Waste (EfW) project is targeted for the second half of 2022, with the facility potentially operational by late 2025.

Opal, Veolia and Masdar Tribe Australia have designed this state-of-the-art EfW facility to be constructed at Opal Australian Paper’s Maryvale Mill in the Latrobe Valley. The EfW facility will use non-recyclable residual waste to produce steam and electricity to supply the Mill

The Maryvale EfW project has EPA and Latrobe City Council regulatory approvals for construction and has been granted $48.2 million through the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

To ensure that the Maryvale EFW plant does not impact upon waste reduction initiatives, supply plans to councils maximise higher-order solutions, meaning participating councils will only be required to pay for capacity used, incurring no penalty for councils that successfully implement residual waste reduction initiatives

With air quality impact assessment indicating no impact to human health, and the site buffered from urban development, Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Mike Symon said supplying non-recyclable municipal solid waste will help the council meet its strategic targets.

“Our Waste, Litter and Resource Recovery Strategy 2020–2030 has identified a need for Council to focus on more sustainable waste and recycling methods, with the main objective to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill,”.

Estimations of the facility calculate a net reduction of 270,000 tonnes per annum in greenhouse gases, which is the equivalent to removing 50,000 cars from the road annually. It is envisaged that Maroondah City Council will send about 20,000 tonnes of non-recyclable household general waste to the facility per annum. Up to 325,000 tonnes of non-recyclable residual waste from Councils and businesses will be used to produce energy for the Maryvale Mill, with a net benefit to Victoria’s energy network will result in enough gas and electricity to power over 50,000 homes.

To conclude, Cllr Symon encapsulates the significance of sustainable approaches to waste, and comments that “this project is just one of the ways Council is thinking outside the square to build a more sustainable future for our community”.

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Ireland Communities and society, Democracy, devolution and governance, Finance, Health and social care

All things Ireland: Bracing for November


Welcome to All things Ireland

Welcome to All Things Ireland, the new weekly overview brought to you by LGIU Ireland team. This edition looks at back at the week and includes a comprehensive weekly breakdown of All Things local government in Ireland.

This week, LGIU Ireland heard from Galway City Council about Active Travel in the West of Ireland and how they became the first Irish Council to implement a City Centre School Street. You can find the full account from Galway City Council here.

From the LGIU Ireland team

The week in Irish Local Government


This week details were released for the Residential Zoned Land Tax. Introduced in the Finance Act 2021, The Residential Zoned Land Tax is a new tax aimed at increasing housing supply by activating zoned, serviced residential development lands (including mixed-use lands) for housing. Read more here.

Wexford County Council’s funding application was approved by the Office of Public Works Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme. Under the scheme, funding of €44,218 is set for a Feasibility Study at Bridgemeadows, Co Wexford. To find out more, click here.


Department of Finance released the fiscal monitor for October 2022. Exchequer figures show that tax revenues to end-October were €63.9 billion, a 25% increase from last year. Find out more here.


The government published its first annual update of Housing for All. Under the plan, supply of new homes is increasing with 20,807 new homes completed in the first three quarters of the year, more than the whole of 2021 (20,560) or any other year since the CSO series began in 2011. Check out the full report and reactions here.


Minister for Social Protection announced a double Child Benefit payment will be paid this week to support 638,000 families with the cost of living. The measure means that €280 will be paid in respect of 1.2 million children across the State. Read here.

Dublin North Inner City, Longford and Waterford are set to host a pilot Local Community Safety Partnerships (LCSPs) scheme. LCSPs aim to combat anti-social behaviour by creating a tailored local community safety plan with input from the local community and public services. Once the LCSPs are rolled out to your area, you can get involved by contacting your local authority or your local community safety coordinator. Find out more here.


This week three new Greenway and road projects will be open for locals and visitors in Kerry. Funded by  Department of Transport and delivered by Kerry County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland, click here to read more from Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell.


67 projects are to be funded under the International Protection Integration Fund 2022. With every county in Ireland set to benefit via multiple projects, the Fund aims to enable community based organisations across Ireland to play a greater role in supporting the integration of International Protection applicants at local and national level. Find more about the projects here.

Northern Ireland

Ahead of Northern Ireland’s local government elections in 2024, the Northern Ireland Local Government Association launched a new campaign to encourage people of all backgrounds, abilities, sexes, genders, sexual orientations, and races to step forward for election. Find out more here.


A study from COFORD on the economic activity and employment levels in the Irish Forest Sector showed the economic contribution to the economy is estimated at over €2 billion per annum. The full report is available here.

On a lighter note…

Cork City’s first Cost Rental apartment Scheme opened this week. Delivered in partnership by Cork City Council, Clúid Housing, O’Callaghan Properties, and CField Construction, a Cost Rental Scheme means rents must be a minimum of 25% below open market values.

Remarking upon the projects completion, Cork City Council Chief Executive, Ann Doherty commented that this “represents an exciting evolution in the realisation of much-needed affordable and social homes in Cork City”. Find out more about Cork City Council and the Cost Rental Scheme here.

Coming up…

Looking ahead into next week, LGIU Ireland is set to bring you all the latest on housing and will review everything local government related in the latest Oireachtas report.

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Scotland Communities and society, Democracy, devolution and governance, Finance, Health and social care

All things Scotland: Another Busy Week for Local Government


Welcome to All things Scotland

This week, LGIU Scotland took a look at the recent Dad’s Survey 2022, an annual survey of Scottish Dad’s conducted by Fathers Net Scotland. With input from Gayle Gorman, the Chief Executive of Education Scotland and His Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education read the LGIU’s local government lens on Fathers Net Scotland here, Dad’s Survey 2022: The key takeaways for Councils.

Reports and updates

This week

  • Audit Scotland released a radical call for action on data. With Accounts Commission and Auditor General repeatedly highlighting the existence of data gaps across a wide variety of policy areas, this blog is essential reading for those in the public sector. Read the full blog post here, or check out this BBC Scotland article.
  • Social Security Scotland’s annual publication contains the latest estimates of take-up of Scottish benefits. Encompassing the Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Grant, Best Start Foods, Young Carer Grant, Job Start Payment and Funeral Support Payment. You can find the full publication here.
  • Scottish Government Cost of Living report. This report draws together analysis from a wide range of sources to provide an overview of emerging evidence on the cost of living crisis. It includes evidence from Scotland and the UK as well as from other European countries. Read the full report here.
  • This master register of Compulsory Purchase Order’s (CPO’s) is updated to October 2022 and provides a breakdown of local authority applications for a CPO. Find out more here.
  • The Delivery Plans for Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation set out how it will work with partners to implement the National Strategy for Economic Transformation. The Group brings in the COSLA President to ensure local government retains crucial role as a delivery partner for NSET. You can find more details here.
  • Scottish Social Attitudes survey 2021/22: attitudes data. The SSA survey is run by ScotCen Social Research, with the aim of collecting objective data about public attitudes on issues relevant to Scotland. To find out how public attitudes to local government compare to the UK and Scottish Government’s, click here.
  • Short Life Working Group on Processions in Scotland released recommendations to improve how marches and parades are planned and organised across Scotland have been published. City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council and COSLA are among the key partners considering the report recommendations. Read the recommendations here.


This week LGIU Scotland has a tailored array of briefings that are useful for understanding and informing local government this November.

This week in Holyrood…

  • After much anticipation, the Emergency Budget Review for 2022-23 released this week sets out the next steps that Scottish Government is taking to respond to the current economic circumstances. Click here for more.
  • At its meeting on 25 October, Finance and Public Administration Committee took evidence on the Financial Memorandum (FM) for the National Care Service (Scotland) Bill from Scottish Government officials and from representatives of local government. This report is essential reading to understanding recent debates over the NCS and you can find it here.
  • Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy responded to the National Care Service Bill.  The professional body for people in public finance, CIPFA was involved in the Integrated Resource Advisory Group. Real CIPFA’s financial analysis here.
  • A cross-party group launched a new report on rent control options for Scotland. The outcome of a collaborative effort from the Scottish housing sector, Professor Ken Gibb, director of the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE), presented the report which you can read here.
  • Finally, Storm Arwen report reviewed how organisations across Scotland have put in place a series of measures to protect communities from the effects of severe weather ahead of winter. With key resilience recommendations to strength local government’s responses, read the full report here.

On a lighter note…

Aberdeenshire Council is encouraging residents to both carve and consume their pumpkins this Halloween to save money and reduce food waste.

Waste Manager Ros Baxter commented: “29% of what people throw away in Aberdeenshire can be recycled at the kerbside using existing services—and the majority of that 29% is actually easily identifiable food waste. This means that there is an opportunity for residents to both save their money, reduce waste, and divert council resource to more beneficial areas.”

Follow Aberdeenshire’s Waste Facebook Page to find more pumpkin recipes and food-waste recycling tips.

Coming up…

Keep your eyes peeled for LGIU content next week, news, views and we publish our conversation with Alan Russell, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Council and briefings on Finland and Community Cooperation as well as covering the latest in energy and homelessness policy.

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England & Wales, Global Communities and society, Economy and regeneration

Creativity, hard work and partnership underscore cost of living support at South Tyneside


Many councils are making heroic efforts to support their communities during the cost of living crisis. Councillor Ruth Berkley from South Tyneside Council outlines their approach with partners and wonders why this is necessary at all in one of the world’s richest economies. Find out more about the work of councils to support their constituents during this cost of living crisis. 

Find out about more approaches to the cost of living crisis in our collection of resources. 

South Tyneside is an amazing borough full of history, passionate people and beautiful natural and coastal assets, as well as an innovative business base which is leading the way on the green economy, from minewater and electric vehicles to offshore wind. However, as one of the most deprived areas of the country, poverty has been an issue in South Tyneside for many years. Back in 2019 the People Select Committee started an in-depth investigation to ensure the Council was doing all it could to help people escape poverty while supporting those in difficult circumstances. Little did we know then that things were set to get so much worse. Firstly, the pandemic plunged many of our residents into dire straits while those already struggling with their finances found things so much harder. Now a cost-of-living crisis is making life so much tougher for many more of our residents, including middle income earners who have never struggled financially before.

The extent of the challenge cannot be understated. South Tyneside is an area of deprivation with almost half its population living within the most deprived 20 per cent of England. Over the last three months our Welfare Support Team has seen a doubling of applications for local welfare provision, Citizens Advice has seen a 23 per cent increase in clients over the last six months, the number of those in work accessing food banks has risen and we are seeing a rise in loan shark activity.

The reality is stark and there is little sign that we can expect things to improve any time soon given the current macroeconomic picture.

So the problems are huge but if there is one thing that sets South Tyneside apart it is our partnership working and determination to pull together for the benefit of our residents. We recently organised a cost-of-living summit which demonstrated this fact. More than 60 representatives from 28 organisations including charities, faith groups, food banks, the NHS, transport and other partners joined the Council to see how we could effectively respond to the challenges.

Direct action has already been taken. Since the summit, the Council has launched its Warm Spaces. More than 50 spaces in venues such as our public buildings, community centres, churches and charities are now available where people can beat the chill and the cost of living as well as access free activities.

A cost-of-living directory of support has also been prepared, highlighting the breadth of support people can access, from food banks and debt advice to subsidised travel and energy efficiency.

Moves will also be taken to better promote the Welfare Support Service which helps people navigate the benefits system to ensure they are receiving the help they are entitled to. Last year the team secured £4.6million for residents who were either not claiming the benefits they were entitled to or recovered benefits at appeal which had been stopped by the Department of Work and Pensions. Our debt caseworkers are currently advising people with a total debt of £863,624.63. Last year our team helped their clients write-off or manage £672,000 of debt, allowing people to spend their money on essential living costs instead of throwing it at bad debt. The impact of this work is simply transformative and we are looking to see if we can boost capacity in the team to allow more people to be helped.

We are also looking to establish an online cost-of-living support hub which would allow ourselves and our partners to see where demand is greatest and ensure we all have access to the most up to date support for residents and can target it effectively. This includes regular partner surveys and intelligence reports to enable us to look at the issues in real time. This is not a situation that one organisation can tackle independently so signposting to one another and using each other’s resources and expertise will be critical.

As a Council, we already support vulnerable people through donations to the Borough’s food banks with more than £440,000 given since 2020/21. Going forward, we, together with our partners, will consider how to support the expansion of community shops and pantries which provide subsidised food.  We are also considering further dedicated support and funding to debt advice agencies which have seen a surge in demand as well as how we can work with local businesses to maximise support, be that on funding or volunteering. We are also taking a partnership approach to the Household Support Fund by working with partners to identify those just above the benefits line but who are really struggling and in need of support.

Despite our strenuous efforts, there is only so much that local government can do. Our Leader, Councillor Tracey Dixon, has already written to the Chancellor to highlight the devastating impact the cost-of-living crisis is having on our residents and to call for additional support. We believe there is a genuine safeguarding issue and need more support to be able to help our residents through this incredibly challenging time. Letters have also been sent to the energy companies to ask them for more support for those hardest hit by soaring energy prices.

Despite high levels of deprivation, I am uplifted by the resilience that is shown by the people of South Tyneside. I am also proud that as communities we pull together in adversity. This was shown very clearly in the pandemic and that resilience will be needed again now. When times are hard, we support each other and our sense of community shines through. There is also a determination and a willingness from those with the means to offer support to pool our resources to best effect. It is only by working together that we can seek to make a real difference to those at the sharp end of this crisis. Strong partnerships and a genuine desire to be part of the solution are what sets us apart. The question remains, however, whether this ought to be necessary in the fifth richest country in the world.

Cllr Ruth Berkley is the Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equality, South Tyneside Council


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