John Tizard: We don’t need Brexit to improve public procurement

The English Local Government Association (LGA) has called on the Government to reform public procurement regulations if Brexit occurs. It is arguing that the Government should introduce a more efficient UK system of regulating how the public sector, and in particular local authorities, procure goods and services if and when the UK leaves the European… Read More...

Schools Are Local And Should Be Locally Accountable

Over the summer there are have been many media articles and political interventions raising questions about the growth and increasing power of Multi-Academy Trusts (MATs), and their lack of accountability to parents and local communities. Revelations about senior MAT staff salaries – when teachers are facing real cuts in their pay -and the free movement… Read More...

Public sector outsourcing and contractors must always be transparent

The BBC programme Panorama recently reported that it had seen documents suggesting that G4S has been making significant profits from running two immigration removal centres near Gatwick Airport. One of these, Brook House, was the focus of a Panorama investigation, which exposed chaos, bullying and and the abusive treatment of detainees by some staff. Panorama… Read More...

Practical question to keep Labour’s PFI policy prudent

Labour’s break with PFI is exciting and timely but unpicking deals is likely to be difficult and potentially expensive, argues John Tizard When John McDonnell announced to the Labour Party Conference yesterday that a Labour government would not let one more PFI contract and would bring existing contracts ‘in-house’ you could feel the conference hall… Read More...

Let’s take stock

For many in local government and the wider public sector, there is unlikely to be much time to take a break and clear one’s mind of work related issues. The pressures of austerity, Brexit uncertainty, social housing standards, social care, health inequalities, air pollution and so much more don’t conveniently take a long vacation over… Read More...

Is It Time For Trade Unions, Charities And The VCS To Find Common Cause?

Today’s landmark judgement by the Supreme Court on the Government’s unlawful imposition of fees for access to Employment Tribunals represents a huge victory for fairness, justice and rights for employees. It also demonstrates the value and importance of effective trade unions – in this case Unison, which deserves massive congratulations and thanks for this long… Read More...

Grenfell Tower – procurement lessons must be learnt

The Grenfell Tower fire was an appalling atrocity. The human consequences are horrendous and will sadly continue for many years.  Lessons must be learned. Quite rightly, the Government has established an enquiry, which must have as wide a brief as the local community wants, and all local stakeholders must have confidence in this enquiry. Just… Read More...

Accountability Matters And Should Never Be Ducked By Leaders

Accountability is core to good governance, democracy and trust. It enables lessons to be learnt and for mistakes not to be repeated. It requires leaders to take responsibility and where necessary accept the consequences for failure. This issue is both topical and important. There are two clear caveats to what follows: press coverage of disasters… Read More...