Most popular LGiU content of 2019

January

Loose change: using behaviour insights to influence outcomes

This briefing (£) outlined the principles of behavioural change, such as social psychology and behavioural economics, and how they can be applied in local government.

Favourite in Scotland.

Viewpoint: A long-term plan for the NHS – now we need a vision for health, care and wellbeing

Christine Heron examined the implications of the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP). In this blog she looked at health, wellbeing and prevention.

Favourite in England and Wales.

Europe’s Underground Waste Management Systems: are they the way forward?

This briefing (£) considered the the use of underground waste management systems in Europe and their benefits and disadvantages.

Favourite in Ireland.

February

LGiU Fortnightly: Fixing council funding

English councils are facing unprecedented financial pressure and core services are creaking. How did we get here and what needs to happen? In this podcast, we spoke to council leaders, the LGA, SOLACE and experts from the NAO, IFS and CfPS about their reaction to the findings of LGiU’s State of Local Government Finance survey.

Favourite in England and Wales.

Reflections on housing policy challenges

Ensuring availability and affordability of housing, to rent or buy, and market stability, poses major policy challenges for 2019 and beyond, with no easy answers and few risk-free options. This briefing (£) covered the past, present and future of the current housing crisis and what we can do.

Favourite in Ireland.

The local government officer – is it time for a change?

Councils are facing substantial challenges, and this has led to an increased need for its workforce to change and adapt. This briefing (£) argued that the skills and experience needed will be broader than the technical expertise that has stood many in good stead historically.

Favourite in Scotland.

March

Exploring Basic Income in Scotland

In this blog Cleo Goodman from Citizen’s Basic Income Network Scotland told us more about the project and the Basic Income movement in the UK.

Favourite in Scotland.

Swift Read: Ireland’s Planning Regulator

This briefing (£) covered the recommendations of the Mahon Tribunal to transfer the Minister of the Environment’s enforcement powers to an Independent Planning Regulator.

Favourite in Ireland.

‘Keeping kids safe’: Children’s Commissioner – gang violence etc

There are an estimated 27,000 children in England who identify as gang members, only a fraction of whom are known to children’s services. This briefing (£) called for local areas to face up to the scale of the problem and stop treating children in gangs as criminals.

Favourite in England.

April

Swift read: Shared services: are they all they are cracked up to be?

Shared services do not necessarily reduce costs or improve performance. That is the conclusion of new research published by academics at the University of Oxford. This swift read (£) summarised the research and the possible reasons for the findings.

Favourite in England and Wales.

Islands Deal – What can our islands do for you?

It’s an exciting time for Scotland’s island communities, as the Islands Deal begins to take off. Our own Kim Fellows went along to the Islands Deal Holyrood Reception reception in February to find out more.

Favourite in Scotland.

Directly Elected Mayors – a platform for shifting local and central relations, or a pipedream of no consequence?

In this briefing (£), LGiU Ireland examined the government’s proposals for executive mayors in Cork, Waterford and Limerick, and draws upon relevant experiences from other countries that have moved in the direction of executive mayors.

Favourite in Ireland.

May

LGiU Fortnightly 24th May: Andy Burnham Special

On the podcast we spoke to Andy Burnham, Mayor of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, about the positive effects of devolution, his thoughts on a whole-place approach to reforming services, Whitehall’s top down approach and of course football.

Favourite in England and Wales.

Tipperary Month in the Life

As part of our series focusing on individual councils’ activities, this briefing (£) looked at achievements and innovations from Tipperary County Council.

Favourite in Ireland.

In conversation with... Cllr Gavin Corbett

LGiU Scotland’s Kim Fellows interviewed Gavin Corbett, a Green councillor at the City of Edinburgh Council, about canals, the climate emergency and community clean-ups.

Favourite in Scotland.

June

Swift Read: A Scottish approach to public service reform: lessons from What Works Scotland

This briefing (£) covered the findings from the What Works Scotland research project and their recent report “Key Messages about Public Service Reform in Scotland”.

Favourite in Scotland.

Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark: Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards Winner

As part of our series exploring winning programmes from the 2018 Chambers Ireland Excellence in Local Government Awards this briefing (£) looked at the winner of the Sustainable Environment category,  Clare County Council’s Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.

Favourite in Ireland.

LGiU Fortnightly 7th June: Tax and the City

Edinburgh Council’s Leader, Cllr Adam Mcvey, is marching the issue of tourism tax all the way to Holyrood. In this podcast, we spoke to him about what he’s learned from the process about developing a solid evidence base and reaching out to less-than-enthusiastic stakeholders.

Favourite in England and Wales.

July

South Tyneside Council’s comprehensive approach to combatting modern slavery

Councils – as service provider, commissioner and community leader – have a range of roles to help eradicate modern slavery. This briefing (£) explored how South Tyneside’s Modern Slavery Strategy has identified opportunities to leverage its resources, powers and influence to work with partners to tackle this insidious crime.

Favourite in England and Wales.

The NOAC report on the internal audit function of local authorities

This briefing (£) provided an overview of some of the key findings of the 17th NOAC report on the internal audit function of local authorities. Irish local authorities spend billions of euro annually on delivering services, so it is absolutely critical to have an effective internal control system in place.

Favourite in England and Wales.

Spatial hub: Turning local government data into self-sustaining assets

In this blog, Alison Clark-Dick explained how the Improvement Service are turning local government data into a valuable and self-sustaining asset and what this means for local authorities.

Favourite in Scotland.

August

The Regional and Sectoral Impacts of Brexit

This briefing (£) dealt with what has been said so far about specific regional and sectoral impacts of Brexit; it concluded with a brief review of the meaning of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, which has recently come to be considered as a serious policy option in the current debate.

Favourite in England and Wales.

Planning: Past, Present and Future

Now that the Office of the Planning Regulator is up and running, this briefing (£) provided an overview of some of the other important reforms that have been implemented over the past two decades in order to make the planning system fit for purpose now and in the future.

Favourite in Ireland.

When work doesn’t pay enough: in-work poverty

There are more people working in the UK than ever before. Yet research highlights a growing phenomenon of in-work poverty. This briefing (£) argued that local authorities can use their resources to act independently and collaboratively to tackle in-work poverty head on.

Favourite in Scotland.

September

The Puzzle of Rural Exodus in High Income Countries

This briefing (£) explored how fighting rural depopulation requires an understanding of the root causes in a deep and systematic way, that solutions will require more than earmarked investments and industrial deals, and both rural and urban local authorities can benefit from exploring partnerships.

Favourite in Ireland.

The importance of impartiality in public services in a“posttruth”world

This briefing (£) covered the Smith Institute’s report on the importance of civil service impartiality “in a post truth world”, including the impact of Brexit and recently recurring politically motivated accusations of lack of impartiality on an apolitical civil service is addressed in the report.

Favourite in Scotland.

Devolution at 20: a process, not an event

Devolution is 20 years old. The anniversary has prompted debate amongst politicians, the media and commentators about the state of devolution. This briefing (£) asked whether devolution increased the quality of democracy, boosted the economy, improved public services and led to a clear constitutional settlement that works for the UK as a whole.

Favourite in England and Wales.

October

Local government’s Brexit preparations: the Chief Executive view

This briefing (£) contained findings from an LGiU survey of UK council chief executives, exploring local government’s Brexit preparations and will be of interest to chief executives who want to learn about what their peers are working on in terms of Brexit planning.

Favourite in England & Wales.

Disconnected Communities: could direct democracy be the path to a more representative democracy

Across Europe there has been a rise in the number of people who feel excluded from mainstream political decision-making. With this in mind, this briefing (£) explored ‘direct democracy’ and questioned whether this could be a tool for local authorities to build more representative, trusted and cohesive models of governance.

Favourite in Ireland.

Understanding the ‘lived experience’ of poverty

There are 14.3 million people in the UK in poverty. Despite many policy initiatives by central and local government, the poverty rate has hardly changed since 2000. So what can be done to better understand poverty in the UK, asked Kerry Furguson in this blog.

Favourite in Scotland.

November

More focus on towns

Towns are starting to get the attention they deserve in policy terms. LGiU has long covered the particular challenges facing smaller towns and Janet Sillett looked at the issues in this blog.

Favourite in Scotland.

The Grenfell Inquiry

The initial phase of the Grenfell public inquiry was keenly anticipated. We summarised the key points in this briefing (£), some responses to it, and look ahead to phase two.

Favourite in England and Wales.

Connecting the dots: Mayo County Council’s global diaspora

Mayo County Council has been to the forefront of diaspora development and engagement for many years, and the Council has for some years been seeking ways to magnify the human capital and financial resources that emigrants, and their descendants contribute. This briefing (£) explored how a local authority can bring added value through its links with its diaspora.

Favourite in Ireland.

December

Swift Read: Lothian Buses – A publicly owned success story

This briefing (£) looked at Lothian buses, which is currently the only municipal bus company in Scotland and the largest in the UK. It is a success story worth considering for local authorities internationally when thinking about running a publicly owned bus service.

Favourite in Scotland.

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities: Commons Education Committee

This briefing (£) looked at the House of Commons Education Committee’s report Special educational needs and disabilities (October 2019). The report aims to influence the forthcoming spending review and to examine the effect of government policies on the implementation of the 2014 Act.

Favourite in England and Wales.

On COP25: “caught in the devil’s bargain, we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden”

This think piece from LGiU’s Kim Fellows reflected on the progress being made to address climate change, covering on the developments of COP25, the upcoming COP26 meeting in Glasgow, and the actions that local government and individuals are taking to address climate change where those at the international stage are not.

Favourite in Ireland.