Local democracy

  • Councillor, are you on mute?

    27 May 2020

    Kathy O'Leary is navigating the perils of holding a council meeting online in the midst of the coronavirus crisis

  • Don’t put democracy on lockdown

    27 May 2020

    Claire Fox asks if it is undemocratic for local areas to introduce fundamental shifts in transport policy as ‘settled’ without a proper public discussion?

  • Making decisions in cyberspace

    13 May 2020

    With the advent of virtual decision making in local government, Ian Fytche offers insight into how it is working at North Kesteven DC in challenging times.

  • Lockdown lessons in virtual democracy

    13 May 2020

    Cllr David Renard outlines how Swindon BC got its decision-making functions up and running again after the COVID-19 lockdown.

  • The Planning Inspectorate – Will it win its technology race?

    05 May 2020

    COVID-19 is driving the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) to modernise, says Jasmine Ratta. She hopes it will outline a virtual procedure to ‘ensure the development industry gets back on its feet as quickly as possible’.

  • A united unitary

    21 April 2020

    Buckinghamshire Council leader Cllr Martin Tett talks about the successes of launching the country’s newest unitary council while tackling COVID-19 full-on.

  • Creating the rainbow together

    21 April 2020

    Councils' response to COVID-19 has been phenomenal, says Dr Andrew Larner - and he hopes that Government will respond to the sector as capably as the sector has risen to the challenge of the pandemic.

  • Technology delivers democracy in Waltham Forest during the COVID-19 emergency

    14 April 2020

    Martin Esom outlines how Waltham Forest became the first council to pilot its monthly planning committee meeting virtually - using technology to deliver democracy during the pandemic.

  • Experts seek clarification on virtual meetings regulations

    06 April 2020

    Councils should give five working days’ notice for virtual meetings or use normal urgency procedures while clarification is sought on the new regulations during COVID-19, says guidance.

  • Councils given power to hold meetings remotely

    03 April 2020

    Local authorities will be allowed to hold public meetings remotely by video or telephone under new powers introduced today.

  • Video conferencing first at council meeting

    02 April 2020

    A council used software to help decide key planning applications in what is believed to be the first meeting of its kind in the country.

  • Changes to governance structures are needed in a time of pandemic

    31 March 2020

    Decision making is a pressing concern facing local government lawyers due to the evolving pandemic, but it is not the only one, says Helen McGrath

  • A powerful light at the end of the tunnel

    25 March 2020

    These are the most challenging times most of us have lived through, says Donna Hall – and ‘we can choose to close down or swim towards the light of a new community power at the precious heart of our public services’.

  • How are councils responding the COVID-19 crisis?

    24 March 2020

    CLES is collecting details of local authorities’ innovative and exceptional measures to support people through the COVID-19 crisis, says Neil McInroy.

  • Councils respond to coronavirus outbreak

    16 March 2020

    Councils have closed, events and meetings have been cancelled and some politicians are in self-isolation in a bid to stem the spreading of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Plans drawn up for remote meetings

    16 March 2020

    Plans to let local authorities conduct their council meetings remotely are being considered by the Government.

  • Budget 2020: New West Yorkshire mayor announced

    11 March 2020

    A new directly-elected West Yorkshire mayor has been announced with the Government signing a new £1.8bn devolution deal amid plans to ‘level up’ the UK economy.

  • Building communities for change

    11 March 2020

    In order to deliver sustainable and impactful change we need to take a whole place-based approach that involves deep understanding of what each group within a network contributes, says creative director at FutureGov Robbie Bates.

  • Political control of our councils matters

    10 March 2020

    Paul Wheeler looks ahead to the elections expected in May and the parties' political prospects – and says that on current polling trends this set should be a good one for the Conservatives.

  • 'Voter ID could disenfranchise certain sections of community'

    04 March 2020

    Forcing voter ID could disenfranchise certain sections of the community, a House of Lords select committee has heard.