Stand-alone spirit

By John Tizard | 24 February 2015

Attending an MJ lunch and mixing with some rather ‘august’ contributors recently, the guests were invited (or indeed ‘commanded’ by the magazine’s editor, Heather Jameson), to reflect on their thoughts on contemporary local government.

As might be imagined from a group of local authority chief executives, think-tank ‘thinkers’, academics, consultants, an-ex local government minister, an opinion pollster and broader commentators – there was a wide and ‘divergent’ range of opinions and thoughts.

I was pleased (and a little surprised) to note a general air of optimism and what seemed to be shared belief that local government would come through the current period of austerity stronger and refocused. However, I did find myself wondering if there was a sufficient realisation that unless there is a dramatic (and I do mean dramatic) change in national policy, austerity is here for the long-term.

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