Bigger may not be better
In their new book Steve Leach and Colin Copus conclude there is no consistent or conclusive evidence that increases in council size improve performance.
The size conspiracy
The journey towards implementing the recommendations in the Redcliffe-Maud report is based on the fundamentally flawed idea that bigger local government is always better than its smaller counter-parts, argues Colin Copus.
Keeping local government local
As delegates gather for the District Councils’ Network Annual Conference in Hertfordshire, Colin Copus says a new report launched at the event contains hammer blows to the unitisers.
The case for the defence
Colin Copus says councillors have long been the target for negative and unfair views about the job they do. He hopes his book will help foster more insight and understanding about their important role.
Damaging democracy through codes of conduct
Colin Copus makes the case for codes of conduct for councillors to be localised rather than nationalised, and says only voters should be able to remove members from office.
A letter to Santa from local government in England
It feels as if local government is on everyone’s ‘naughty list’ at present, says Colin Copus. Here, he writes to Santa with a long list of things all councils would like for Christmas.
Preparing reorganisation is a pointless distraction
Only Somerset, North Yorkshire and Cumbria have been asked to submit unitary proposals. Steve Leach and Colin Copus say local authorities should reflect ‘real places, not artificial constructs, with which people have no affinity’.
Six lessons for devolution from COVID-19
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.
Developing local politicians, not elected officers
Member development must focus on the wider world with which councillors must engage, not just the needs of the council – says Colin Copus.
Putting the Power into the Northern Powerhouse
The Queen’s Speech pledged a White Paper to unleash regional potential. But Colin Copus and Steve Leach say the ‘democratic shortcomings’ of the Northern Powerhouse will worsen if the call for more radical devolution to the North is answered.
Let’s talk about tax
Colin Copus and Steve Leach ask how we should approach the problem of how to finance English local government and examine how comparable nations use their local taxation powers
Setting standards for democracy
Proposals to suspend councillors for their misdemeanours may cause more problems than they solve, argues Colin Copus. Instead, the public should have the right of recall
The dead hand of centralism
Central Government must give up its ‘iron grip’ on local government finances and free councils up to make genuine local choices, say Steve Leach and Colin Copus.
Giving councillors a voice
Local government must organise itself to support its councillors in their interactions with external agencies, write Professor Colin Copus and Rachel Wall.
The true voice of the councillor
Rachel Wall and Colin Copus summarise the findings of a large-scale study of the challenges and ever-evolving tasks facing councillors today.rachel
A manifesto for local government
Professor Colin Copus thrashes out his own ‘manifesto for local government’ after seeing the low key focus on the sector given by the big political parties in their election statements.
Local government should be out and proud
Professor Colin Copus argues why local government would benefit from a 'Leave' vote in Thursday's EU referendum
Commission for councillors
Policy-makers, the media and the general public all require a clearer picture of what councillors can and cannot do. Professor Colin Copus explains how the newly-launched Councillor Commission for England will adddress this issue
Credit where it’s due
Councillors may be part of their local community but familiarity seems to breed contempt. Professor Colin Copus argues that the detailed work they do is often overlooked when it should be applauded.
Elected mayors ideal to top combined authorities
Professor of local politics at De Montfort University, Colin Copus, admits that directly-elected mayors have hardly caught the world of local politics aflame but he believes they are the future.