The changing nature of office-based workplaces in the 21st Century

TL:DR – They’re not like they used to be, and are a consequence of policies of successive governments as well as corporate cost-cutting pressure. But now those policies have come back to consume them, and the response to CoVID 19 has exposed them. This post stems from this thread on Twitter. via Kim Spence-Jones. It’sContinue reading “The changing nature of office-based workplaces in the 21st Century”

Did all those ministerial initiatives work?

TL:DR “Politicians like to panic. They need activity; it’s their substitute for achievement!” Sir Humphrey Appleby in Yes Minister, 1980. Rose Grayston discovered this interesting chart in Urban Geography by Michael Pacione (2009, Routledge). It has been part-digitised here, with the accompanying text to the chart. Above – UK major policy initiatives 1965-2005, from Pacione 2009. Rose Grayston thenContinue reading “Did all those ministerial initiatives work?”

On proposed local government reorganisation in England

TL:DR – An exercise of this scale affecting so many people over an extended period of time requires a much greater evidence base along with much greater involvement of not just those in the sector, but with the general public as well. In the summer of 2017 I complained that Cambridge could not have niceContinue reading “On proposed local government reorganisation in England”

Two institutions call for two ministerial resignations on the same day.

TL:DR – The system of ministerial accountability is collapsing in Westminster in the face of silence from backbench MPs and evasion from ministers. The first was from the Director of the Institute for Government, below. “For the long series of serious misjudgements about schools during the pandemic, the buck should stop with the secretary ofContinue reading “Two institutions call for two ministerial resignations on the same day.”

Hopeful towns around Cambridge – and how to make them

TL:DR – A substantial report demonstrating the complexity of social policy, the Hopeful Towns Report by Chris Clarke, Rosie Carter and Chris Fairley for the Hope not Hate Charitable Trust highlights a number of risks posed by the rapid housing growth in the towns and villages around Cambridge – as well as some hints onContinue reading “Hopeful towns around Cambridge – and how to make them”

Cambridge – still protesting on multiple issues despite the Covid-19 lockdown

TL:DR – 18 months ago I wrote about Cambridge being a protesting city. What’s changed? The above-mentioned blogpost is here. Unlike last year, I can’t get out and about filming due to shielding. With Romsey Town next door being the latest place to record a spike (however small) in cases of CV19, I can’t takeContinue reading “Cambridge – still protesting on multiple issues despite the Covid-19 lockdown”

Building design is broken – but what to do about it?

TL:DR – Can architects and building professionals work with local communities to come up with new designs that don’r resemble identikit minimal cost could-be-built-anywhere architecture? The former leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, these days no longer on this side of town, echoed comments of others on the proposals for the now defunct Pemberton Arms.Continue reading “Building design is broken – but what to do about it?”

Cambridge without our arts, music and theatrical venues is missing its beating hearts

TL:DR I don’t know what the answer is, but there’s something soulless about the town centre with its performing arts venues all locked down due to the CoronaVirus. I’m particularly gutted for the school and college students who had to go through this year – especially those taking public exams and having nowhere to celebrateContinue reading “Cambridge without our arts, music and theatrical venues is missing its beating hearts”

What could a day college for adults in [South] Cambridge be like?

TL:DR North Cambridge has Cambridge Regional College, but south of the city doesn’t really have an equivalent – and the city itself does not have anything like CityLit in London Formerly the City Literary Institute in London, the college provides a series of daytime short courses for adults. Given the recent, current, and proposed growthContinue reading “What could a day college for adults in [South] Cambridge be like?”

How are you coping without live music?

“If money can’t buy happiness, I guess I’ll have to rent it!” Words to that effect by Weird Al Yankovic from a time gone by spoofing a time gone by before even then. Though I always imagined the music video to have been far more upbeat when I first heard the song. Because we areContinue reading “How are you coping without live music?”