“Come to us with a plan for strong accountable leadership and we will give you the tools to change your area for the better”. That was prime minister Boris Johnson’s offer to councils outside the current combined authority areas in his levelling up speech last month. In...

We need to de-mystify foresight skills and make them everyday writes Ben Lee. The RSA’s new report A stitch in time? offers a blueprint for improving how we think about the future and foresight. Developing our ‘futures literacy’ means incorporatinig more of what we know and don’t know...

At Shared Intelligence we are convinced the time is ripe for Total Place #2 write Phil Swann and Tony Blake. Local councils and their partners face a combination of challenges that require close collaboration and engagement with local communities and businesses: responding to coronavirus; supporting economic recovery;...

What's the local vision and what structures will get us there writes Phil Swann. The government’s much anticipated devolution and recovery white paper looks set to be delayed. According to some reports ministers’ apparent enthusiasm for the creation of more unitary councils is rapidly waning. All of...

Plans for unitary local government need to support wider public service reform – and this needs time writes Tony Blake. The government has reignited the unitary council debate but is local government reorganisation a guilty pleasure? We all know that the discussions distract from business as usual...

From 1st September 2020 Phil Swann who has led the company since 2015 steps down as Executive Chair of Shared Intelligence as the start of a 2-year phased retirement.  Lisa McCance who joined the company as a director 5 years ago takes over as Chair...

Council action on devolution must be as much about talking as options appraisal writes Phil Swann. Ministers look set to present councils in two tier areas with a stark choice: establish mayoral combined authorities and introduce unitary local government or in effect opt out of the possibility...

The idea of one ‘new normal’ is a dangerous blind alley writes Ben Lee. It seems increasingly likely the COVID-19 pandemic is already leaving a permanent legacy. Had the crisis lasted only a few days or weeks then perhaps a ‘return to normal’ might have been possible. However,...

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