Local government needs a 10 year plan for renewal
Jessica Studdert says: 'Whether or not future growth enables overall spending to rise, Treasury calculations should recognise the value of the local safety net as foundational for all other services to function effectively and less reactively.'
As New Local launches a paper proposing place-based pooled budgets across public services, Jessica Studdert argues for the need to revisit Total Place principles.
The challenge of governing isn't just what, but how
Whoever wins the election, by whatever platform, their entry into office will quickly be met with the challenge of how to deliver on their promises in practice, says Jessica Studdert.
Beware the rise of conspiracy theories in our local politics
Conspiracy theories thrive in the absence of transparency and effective communication, says Jessica Studdert. 'Part of the answer must lie in more, not fewer opportunities for public participation in decisions and building buy-in over trade-offs.'
Putting communities in control
How could a serious government address tough challenges head on? A report from New Local and co-authored by a group of Labour council leaders sets out a route towards just that, says Jessica Studdert.
Centralisation is not a cosy cocoon
When Detroit went bust it seemed to prove the riskiness of local self-government, says Jessica Studdert. But Birmingham going into effective bankruptcy 'should end any naive assumptions the Whitehall model provides anything like a safety net'.
Forging consensus around tough transitions must be done locally
With the role of London's ULEZ in the Uxbridge by-election in the spotlight, Jessica Studdert says underfunded councils need 'skills and resource to enable more proactive engagement, deliberation and better forge consensus around trade-offs'.
Total Place is unfinished business
'Total Place logic of joint working to address the causes of problems holistically rather than endlessly grapple with symptoms is as pertinent now as ever,' says Jessica Studdert.
Giving communities more control and influence
Jessica Studdert looks at what could lie ahead for the community power movement, and says the challenge for the next government is whether it will fully realise the potential to transform how the system works for people.
Accountability is not a one-way street
Even if Oflog starts life with a light touch, 'there’s little to guard against mission creep several years down the line, eventually manifesting the Audit Commission 2.0', says Jessica Studdert.
There is real opportunity for big reforms
Jessica Studdert says it can be hard to be optimistic about the national Government machine's ability to govern, but she sets out main three reasons to be cheerful. And she points to a 'wide open' political landscape.
Public service reform is back on the table
Jessica Studdert says public sector reform is back on the agenda and could make room for a more nuanced focus on impact inspired by the approaches of local partners working with communities.
Autumn Statement: The pain has just been deferred
If the Government’s priority was stability, the Autumn Statement failed to deliver, says Jessica Studdert.
Is our governance fit for purpose?
The 2020s have been rocky so far, but Jessica Studdert argues we must not allow our institutions of governance to limp from one crisis to the next
We are entering unchartered territory
A smaller state is part of the Truss Government's plan, says Jessica Studdert. 'But as we know from recent experience, starving public services of resource in the short-term simply builds up demand in the long-term.'
We need to resist the creep of pork barrel politics
The 'creep of increasingly overt pork barrel politics into our winner-takes-all electoral system ultimately benefits no-one', says Jessica Studdert.
A healthy dose of community engagement
The NHS has a lot to learn from local government about community engagement, says Jessica Studdert
So, what happens when the political calculations around levelling up change?
Recent events threaten to disrupt the flagship levelling up agenda we were told would be nothing short of system change for how the country is governed, says Jessica Studdert.
The cost of living crisis needs a strong locally-led response
We need to use more collective imagination to build a more adaptive and empowered local state that can work in new ways with people to respond to current crises, says Jessica Studdert.
Communities need real power and influence over how their health is approached
The question of governance structures has dominated the new healthcare landscape, says Jessica Studdert. 'The focus must be on creating new ways of working that are anchored in places, powered by their assets and with communities themselves at the heart.'