Cadence recently did some work on making the business case for local government in relation to health. We used the example of health inequalities to tease out some of the issues, focusing on the environmental and social causes of them. It is therefore interesting to see the health white paper this week that suggests public health at least is going to become a local authority responsibility ... more
A packed house at Nesta yesterday for a ResPublica event, launching a new book by one of their Fellows, John Seddon. Seddon's book is a small collection of case studies showing how Systems Thinking has delivered 'more for less' in a few different public services ... more
Communities Secretary got a grilling today on the radio about local government cuts. A BBC survey has suggested that there will up to 25,000 job losses at councils in the next few years. Tony Travers of the LSE suggested it could be nearer 100,000.
John Denham stuck to his line that local authorities need to make efficiency savings before cutting front line services and suggested that Tory councils were taking the opportunity to make the cuts they had always wanted to make ... more
The BBC in South Yorkshire has done a survey of 500 people about the mayoral system in troubled Doncaster Council. They have found that 73% of people do not know who the Mayor is and that the majority would not vote for mayoral system in a referendum ... more
The idea of local authorities adopting a budget airline, no frills approach has been around for a year or so now and originates from Conservative controlled Barnet. It's been labelled easyCouncil and the image that conjures up is not exactly positive, particularly for anyone interested in making the business case for local government (Work Cadence are involved in for LGYH). A profile of the ex-Leader of Barnet in the Society section of the Guardian this week made good reading, because the shorthand has perhaps masked some of the more interestng features of the approach. While the 'relentless drive for efficiency' is what one might expect to see, the focus on families with multiple needs catches the eye. The article goes on to highlight some problems Freer faced as Leader that demonstrate that nothing is ever that easy in local government ... more
Over the festive season the media is full of reviews of the previous year, which morph into predictions for the coming year as the holiday progresses. Some revisit previous predictions and admit that their visions for the year were somewhat less than 20:20 ... more
Over the last 10 years every so often a report comes out by a think tank saying that elected Mayors are a good idea. 'There is a growing body of evidence to support the contention that mayors have enhanced and overseen improvements in local authority performance', says the most recent ippr report.
Cadence agree, but Tony Blair was keen and made no real progress during his time in power and Gordon Brown has shown no appetite for meaningful local government reform ... more
Ken Livingstone welcomes his freedom to sack or take to task staff who don't deliver - a key flexibility, he says in today's Guardian, he adds its necessary to get things done. This says a lot about the difference between the Mayoral model and traditional local government structures, the article suggests Ken has been won over, but then you would be if you the one with the powers ... more
Children should start school later, suggests ippr Director, Lisa Harker when commenting on the new Children's Plan. Cadence agree that formal learning should be delayed and play should be taken more seriously ... more
Gordon Brown's first big speech on the environment suggested that the UK's emission target of a 60% cut by 2050 could be increased to 80%. The responsisbility to deliver this target will largely devolve to local government. Are they up to the job? ... more
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