England & Wales

What we’re reading 19/11/10


Lord Young apology over ‘never had it so good’ remarks. Lord Young didn’t impress us with his comments about early intervention. But this is in the Champions League of blunders. Woe upon him.

Local Authority Council Taxbase 2010 England. This year’s statistical release shows that 7.7 million dwellings were entitled to a discount as they were occupied by single adults. This represents a pretty enormous 34 per cent of all dwellings. True, some of these people will be young professionals. But a large number will be OAPs on a small budget. It’s just one of the many reasons that council tax is in urgent need of reform. The government’s also released more data on its spending.

Consultation on Nairn Town Centre Development Plans. Sheena Black comments that “The council is making cuts all over! They have no money!”. A blunt but accurate summation of the situation councils across the UK find themselves in. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves, Sheena.

Merton wins environmental award for invest to save scheme. Councils are understandably focusing on their bottom line at the moment. There’s a risk that investment, which could save substantial amounts of cash, will be dismissed as speculative as budgets are decided. This brilliant little scheme shows that tying cash to outcomes can help guarantee that investment delivers a saving.

Rope councillor’s tribute after death of respected journalist. A heartfelt tribute to Potteries journalist John Abberley who has died aged 78. Abberley worked for The Sentinel and Radio Stoke. Cllr Brian Silvester said that he was “keen to get the full details of a story” and had an enormous “depth of knowledge of local matters”. They don’t make them like that anymore. Our dumbed-down media has sent “old school” (i.e. good) journalists the way of the Dodo.