Category Archives: local government

A Christmas wish… or two

As 2016 draws to a close, many in local government will be reflecting on an extraordinary year with so many extraordinary events.  For local government itself, in spite of further cuts and increasing service demands, there have also been some encouraging developments including continued devolution. There is little prospect of local government’s financial position improving… Read More...

Improving Corporate Governance and Company Behaviours – public procurement has a role

The Government’s recently published Green Paper on Corporate Governance is widely regarded as disappointing by many in the public sector and trade unions. Whilst there are some important and positive proposals for improving accountability and transparency, especially in respect of senior executive pay, the overall set of proposals falls short of what many had hoped… Read More...

Nobel Economics Laureate’s academic work could prevent inappropriate public service outsourcing

The awarding of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Economics to Oliver Hart of Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA and Bengt Holmström of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA was a recognition of their excellent work over decades on the significance of contracting to economic institutions including companies and the public sector. Modern economies are… Read More...

Do councils have a future in education?

Reading the excellent report from the Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) on accountability and the ever-changing education governance architecture Your School, Your Community, I was reminded once again of how democratic local government has seen its role, responsibility and accountability for schools and their education outcomes diminished. It was encouraging to see the Local Government… Read More...

Taking Back Control: Empowering Local Communities

On 23rd June 2016 the British people voted against remaining members of one of the boldest ever international attempts to create a union of collaborative nations based on the pursuit solidarity, economic progress and peace.  This union will survive and evolve if and when and on whatever terms the UK leaves it.  Ironically the historic union that is the...

John Tizard: Are the right questions being asked if local government outsourcing is growing?

The simple answer must be “No”!

The value of outsourcing contracts signed by UK local authorities in the first half of 2016 increased by 84% despite a dip in the value of overall public sector spending. This was revealed by the recent arvato UK Outsourcing Index. The Index also reported that the value of outsourcing contracts signed by councils in...

Where are the revolutionary public sector leaders?

The government is pressing ahead with the privatisation of many services and outsourcing. In fact, central and local government, the NHS and wider public sector are relentlessly extending the reach, scope and volume of public service outsourcing. A change in Conservative leader could accelerate this.

In part, this is a direct result of government policy to redefine and reduce the...

Keep the relationship alive

Local government is changing and faces the most severe financial test for many decades, certainly in the experience and memories of both its political and executive leaders.

After more than five years of cuts in central government support, more are planned for the remainder of this Parliament. Worse still, the axe is not falling evenly across local authorities and nor...

Democracy must be at heart of English devolution

English devolution is gathering pace. The Government is set on supporting devolution to combined local authorities and directly elected mayors across England. Local government is responding with enthusiasm and energy.

 

There are many arguments to be made for this policy though the extent of the devolved powers and the transfer of resources to support these powers bears detailed scrutiny and...