Australia’s fertility rate is declining, but is this the whole story?

Australia’s total fertility rate is declining, but this doesn’t necessarily result in a lower number of births. This distinction is important, and this briefing describes the relationship with other demographic characteristics and the implications for local government service planning.

Australia With case study
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First hand international perspectives on the risks and rewards of being a councillor

This briefing explores the challenges faced by local councillors in various countries. It highlights the personal and political tribulations of balancing public service with the harsh realities of a polarised political climate, including harassment, work-life imbalance, and mental health struggles. The narrative also underscores the intrinsic satisfaction derived from community improvement despite these adversities.


Housing and planning round-up June 2024

The UK general election is the big issue in this month’s housing and planning round-up, with parties setting out their proposals to improve housing and planning. Other stories include evictions, accessibility, homelessness, short term lets and permitted development.

England & Wales, Scotland
Members & Global Local

Educational attainment – who’s getting it right?

This briefing outlines the educational attainment gap, its contributing factors, and the methods for measurement across different countries. It highlights effective approaches in Finland and Singapore, emphasising early education, teacher autonomy, and supportive environments as key strategies for achieving high levels of educational success and narrowing the gap.

Global With case study

The future of a wellbeing economy is just an economy

Australia’s shift towards a wellbeing economy, prioritising holistic wellbeing over GDP, is gaining momentum. This briefing examines recent trends in wellbeing, and explores questions of how else government can effect sustainable policy shifts and whether the current scrutiny on wellbeing measurement detracts from implementation?


The rates system in Northern Ireland – part 1

This briefing considers the rating system in Northern Ireland. It explores how the rating system has evolved, the current nature of the rating system in comparative perspective to the arrangements for property taxation and financing of local government elsewhere in the UK, and alternatives to rating.

Global, Northern Ireland

Parliamentary update: April-May 2024

This briefing provides updates on legislative progress relevant to local authorities in England and Wales, covering advancements and the status of pertinent bills during the parliamentary session’s last half-term before prorogation. It addresses both new and carried-over legislation, detailing their implications and developments.

England & Wales

England policy round-up: April and May 2024

Our England policy round-up summarises the key announcements and publications for local government. This edition is the last before the general election in July. It features papers on devolution and local democracy and five ‘levelling up’ challenges. There is also an update on a deposit return scheme for drinks containers.

England & Wales

Threat to democracy: The alarming rise of violence against council staff

Across the UK, a disturbing trend is emerging with a surge in violence and abuse directed towards those who serve at the heart of local communities: council staff and elected officials. This briefing examines case studies on what councils are doing to support staff in the face of rising violence.

England & Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland With case study