Local democracy

  • Ministers to receive Somerset unitary business case

    31 July 2020

    A business case for a single Somerset unitary has been sent to communities secretary Robert Jenrick and local government minister Simon Clarke.

  • Is it time for elective surgery?

    28 July 2020

    A move to an increasingly or even completely postal-based vote is one possible solution to the problem of a COVID-19 local election, argues leader of South Tyneside MBC Cllr Iain Malcolm.

  • Pause, reflect and do better

    28 July 2020

    Dr Arianna Giovannini says there is a real risk that this new rhetoric of ‘empowering the local state’ could turn out to be a strategy to shift accountability and responsibility onto local government and away from Westminster.

  • Williams: I'll accept whatever it takes to get a county unitary

    28 July 2020

    The leader of Hertfordshire CC has conceded he would accept a directly-elected mayor as the figurehead for a county unitary in order to secure reorganisation.

  • A review to learn lessons not lay blame

    27 July 2020

    Swift and focused reviews of local decision-making in response to the pandemic should be democratically-led by the overview and scrutiny function, says Sir Bob Kerslake.

  • Moving to warp speed on transformation in Walsall

    21 July 2020

    Walsall MBC’s chief executive and leader talk to Heather Jameson about how the borough’s transformation programme is ‘moving on faster than ever’ due to the pandemic.

  • Trust in the public realm really matters

    21 July 2020

    Trust in public institutions cannot be rebuilt if different levels of government are seeking to divert blame on to each other, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.

  • Using collective intelligence to address climate change

    16 July 2020

    In the last in an essay series, Peter Baeck and Sophie Reynolds of Nesta consider how to use the wisdom of citizens to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change in cities.

  • Clarke: Unitarisation vital first step in mayoral talks

    15 July 2020

    Unitarisation of councils will be a ‘vital first step’ for negotiating a series of new mayors within the next decade, local government minister Simon Clarke has said.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Legal advice increases doubts over council meeting resumption

    14 July 2020

    Confidential legal advice obtained by the Local Government Association (LGA) has highlighted major issues that could prevent councils from resuming physical and hybrid public meetings, The MJ understands.

  • Leicester mayor criticises business support U-turn

    10 July 2020

    Leicester City Council’s mayor has criticised an apparent government U-turn over the provision of extra financial support to businesses during its extended coronavirus lockdown.

  • North-east mayor back on agenda

    10 July 2020

    Gateshead MBC’s leader has revived hopes of a north-east devolution deal by accepting that an elected mayor for the entire north-east region may be necessary.

  • Supporting more democratic, responsive urban planning and design

    02 July 2020

    In one of a series of essays on how the wisdom of citizens could support councils in managing cities after COVID-19, Peter Baeck and Sophie Reynolds look at the urban planning  and design process - and share inspiring examples from across the world.

  • Will coronavirus kill democratic local government?

    01 July 2020

    The Government might welcome an end to elected local government, say Jonathan Davies and Dr Arianna Giovannini. But they argue this outcome would be ‘dangerously short-sighted’.

  • Fighting for everyone’s rights

    01 July 2020

    Cllr Gavin Harding MBE became the first person with a learning disability to be employed by NHS England. He says councils could do more to employ learning-disabled people in ‘serious roles’. Ann McGauran reports.

  • Toppling statues is the easy part

    01 July 2020

    Claire Fox asks: ‘Will black lives today be improved if local government becomes preoccupied by a war against inanimate objects and historical wrongs?’

  • Six lessons for devolution from COVID-19

    24 June 2020

    A localised and nimble response to the coronavirus outbreak is important, say Colin Copus and Steve Leach, who highlight six broad lessons to inform devolution.

  • Jarvis lays stake to COVID recovery funds

    23 June 2020

    Mayors should be handed control over COVID recovery funds and be given a seat at the Cobra emergency committee, Sheffield city region mayor Dan Jarvis said today.

  • Hand health powers to elected mayors, says report

    23 June 2020

    Health powers should be handed to elected mayors as part of a ‘rejuvenated and fortified wave of devolution,’ a think-tank report has suggested.

  • Local government can look for powerful allies

    15 June 2020

    Winston Churchill famously remarked ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’. Paul Wheeler says we should use this current one to rebuild a local government that is properly funded, ambitious and a strong advocate for localities.