• Keep it in the closet

    08 January 2021

    There’s not been much to smile about in recent months.

  • Bah humbug!

    08 January 2021

    Last year was tough and 2021 will no doubt still be a bit of a slog for councils recovering from COVID.

  • Pub-lic service

    14 December 2020

    Many in lockdown have been missing being allowed to nip to the pub for a swift half.

  • Taking the tea

    26 November 2020

    Diary appreciates it’s not been easy for councillors to get to grips with the new technology involved in holding meetings virtually.

  • Early days for motion

    23 November 2020

    It was a heartfelt message of thanks to local authorities that went out from Green Party MP Caroline Lucas.

  • Classic Matt

    16 November 2020

    Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock took time out of his schedule last week to brief councillors and directors of public health.

  • All Hope not lost

    09 November 2020

    The fittingly-named Danielle and Adam Hope are now husband and wife after Northumberland Council was able to bring forward their wedding by 11 days, with just 24 hours’ notice.

  • Soft play hardball

    02 November 2020

    As local authorities take on tougher coronavirus enforcement powers, they should perhaps be prepared for residents who think they’re cleverer than the law.

  • The joke's on Clarke

    28 September 2020

    For a few days at least, it was local government’s favourite joke.

  • The dark side of Clarke

    16 September 2020

    Last week, the sector mourned the sudden departure of local government minister Simon Clarke.

  • Cardwell’s well chilled

    02 September 2020

    Tongues have been wagging among ex-colleagues of Peter Cardwell after he announced he was writing a book on his three-and-a-half-year stint as a special adviser.

  • Trying to switch off

    17 August 2020

    The majority of the sector is currently on its summer holidays after a strenuous few months.

  • No clowning around

    17 August 2020

    As the UK continues to tentatively reopen, we’ve now reached those activities you would least expect to be able to operate in a COVID-secure way.

  • Doorbell diversion

    10 August 2020

    Council chief executives can sometimes struggle to illustrate the practical implications of theoretical scenarios when talking about their jobs.

  • Council search for zombies

    10 August 2020

    News that the walking dead will be descending upon the local area would normally lead the council to at least raise the alarm.

  • I have a joke but

    27 July 2020

    Every now and again a social media phenomenon catches the mood and goes viral.

  • The stamp of the SpAd

    23 July 2020

    Special advisers come and go with the ever-moving merry-go-round of ministers.

  • Language locked down

    10 July 2020

    As George Orwell famously highlighted in his classic book 1984, language has the power in politics to mask the truth and mislead the public.

  • No messing

    06 July 2020

    We’re all used to polite campaigns calling for an end to rubbish excuses for littering and encouraging people to responsibly dispose of their litter.

  • Lockdown locks

    26 June 2020

    Lockdown has meant we’ve either had to rope members of our household into becoming impromptu hairdressers or suffered from the indignity of out-of-control locks.