Levelling up local government in England – by Centre for Cities

TL:DR – Proposals in this paper risk solidifying Conservative rural rule over urban and suburban areas, which if implemented only create an incentive for a future non-Conservative government to overhaul them once again…which is a sort of reverse of what happened in the 1960s & 1970s. The publication by the Centre for Cities is here.Continue reading “Levelling up local government in England – by Centre for Cities”

“Talk to someone” and “Yay! Charidee!” no longer suffice for mental health campaigns.

We need answers to why so many of us are becoming ill in the first place, and why successive ministers have failed to respond with anything like the policies needed to deal with the problems. Journalist Debbie Luxon, who has written extensively on equalities issues, featured a local-to-Cambridge case for World Suicide Prevention Day. It’sContinue reading ““Talk to someone” and “Yay! Charidee!” no longer suffice for mental health campaigns.”

Allan Brigham – the passing of one of Cambridge’s greatest ambassadors

The city found out early on Wednesday morning that one of our town’s civic champions, Allan Brigham, had died. For those of you interested in Allan’s published work, see Capturing Cambridge here, which published a number of his pieces. Above – The late Allan Brigham, local historian, giving a short, sharp history lesson to aContinue reading “Allan Brigham – the passing of one of Cambridge’s greatest ambassadors”

A Cabinet Minister telling the Commons that the Gov’t intends to break international law, is not normal.

….and in trying to dampen down the outrage, ministers are only making it worse. This is the front page that won the internet today: Wednesday's front page: Britannia waives the rules – revolt over Brexit deal flouting international law#TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/eVmbnzkBmk — i newspaper (@theipaper) September 8, 2020 …and it relates to this. 🚨 Brandon LewisContinue reading “A Cabinet Minister telling the Commons that the Gov’t intends to break international law, is not normal.”

I don’t like this ‘getting back to normal’ – and it turns out not a lot of you do either

TL:DR. Boris Johnson’s “Back to work, peasants!” call, amplified by the print press has fallen on deaf ears – with the exception of car drivers. Even though air pollution makes things even worse for those experiencing breathing difficulties with the Corona Virus. A quarter (25%) of business leaders have become work-from-home converts as a resultContinue reading “I don’t like this ‘getting back to normal’ – and it turns out not a lot of you do either”

The community action case for investing in local history

TL:DR. It’s community cohesion and a shared story. This stems from the blogpost Hopeful towns and how to make them, and focuses in on one of the factors identified in the HNH Report on Hopeful Towns. <<– Essential reading if you are in local government. That factor is on heritage assets. You could add theContinue reading “The community action case for investing in local history”

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.”