Articles in the Local democracy category:

A strong green and mutual vision can help Labour engage new voters

May 6, 2017

For the past few months I’ve been out campaigning as Labour and Co-op Party candidate in the Oxfordshire county council election in the Oxford suburbs of Kennington and Radley. The division is just outside the City boundary and has no Labour tradition. It is a Lib Dem seat and I won’t win this time round. […]

Britain’s western powerhouse?

April 26, 2016

The ‘Northern Powerhouse’ has caught the political imagination even if there is some debate about whether the financial resources to turn it into reality are really going to appear from the Treasury. The English devolution agendas post the Scottish referendum, and the desire to create poles of economic, cultural and political influence in England outside […]

Devolution comes to the cities?

March 27, 2015

It has been interesting times for localists since the Scottish Referendum. The result and the fallout has had a bigger impact on the governance of Britain debate than some in Westminster and Whitehall seemed to imagine. This is mainly because of the ‘solemn vow’ made by the three party in the days just before the […]

Rebalancing Britain

March 24, 2014

 The Scottish referendum campaign is having an interesting  knock-on impact on English political debate.  The position and dominance of London – the place Scots most dislike about the United Kingdom in its present form, is being looked at more critically. There have been a couple of think tank-type report is recently , but the debate […]

The English Question

January 17, 2014

It is worth contemplating the possibility of a scenario in which Scotland votes for independence in September and a new Government holds an ‘in/out’ referendum on the remainder of the UK’s membership of the EU in 2017 and the vote produces an ‘out’ result.  Whether it is of the social democratic  variety espoused by the […]

A better deal for bus users

November 19, 2013

I was involved in a cycling accident in the summer and wound up with a broken right shoulder. It has been painful and restricted me a lot, including no cycling or driving for six weeks. One positive, apart from being able to enjoy the summer sunshine in the garden, has been taking buses much more […]

Responsibility without power: the fate awaiting newly elected councillors

April 23, 2013

There was a really good April Fool this year from green think tank the Green Alliance   announcing the abolition of the Department for Communities and Local Government. Apart from the clue in the date of the blog, it didn’t take long to realise that it was a jape because of the wonderful comment about how […]

Council tax: the new Poll Tax

March 5, 2013

The Poll Tax riots in 1990 famously brought down Mrs Thatcher and led to the hasty introduction of the Council Tax. Twenty three years later are the reforms to Council Tax due for implementation in less than a month, about to bring the Poll Tax back from the grave? From 1 April, instead of the […]

‘City Deals’: a missed opportunity for green growth?

January 15, 2013

Today sees the deadline for the submission of the second round of ‘City Deals’. Twenty cities and city regions are putting proposals to DCLG based around four ambitious objectives to: • Boost local economic growth • Rebalance the economy spatially and sectorally • Decentralise the powers and levers cities need to drive local economic growth […]

Local Government and the Democratic Mandate: An Outdated Model?

September 26, 2012

Local government could never be described as fashionable, yet today there is more talk than ever about the importance of ‘the local’. However, this has converted into less, rather than more, freedom to act locally. Whitehall’s desire to control is strong, as the current freeze on council tax rises demonstrates. Local government hasn’t suffered as […]