Pause with a Purpose

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 which raises a question about how local government… Read More

Financial and economic impact of local government – our report for the LGA

What is the daily cost of local authority social care, and how does that compare to one NHS hospital bed-day? What is the return on investment of each £1 spent on interventions to reduce drug and alcohol dependency? How much is spent on children’s mental health and what proportion of this is spent by local… Read More

Reorganisation is about outcomes not structures

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 and that structures do not themselves improve outcomes.… Read More

We need to talk about devolution

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 of securing devolved powers and resources from government.… Read More

A blueprint for local climate leadership

In just one year since the first local authority in the UK (Bristol CC) declared a climate emergency, two-thirds of all local authorities have followed suit. But how, in practice, do local authorities move quickly from a declaration of climate emergency, into practical action? In 2019 we worked with two councils to drill down into… Read More