Paul O'Brien

Paul O'Brien

Paul O'Brien is chief executive of APSE
  • What an opportunity for a housing minister to be radical and bold

    06 August 2019

    Paul O'Brien says there needs to be a wider recognition at a central and local level of the linkages between place-making and the delivery of homes in terms of health and wellbeing, life chances and local economies.


  • The time to act is now

    12 June 2019

    The volume is going to continuously increase on the climate change public policy agenda, according to Paul O'Brien - and local government could and should lead the way.


  • Mr Benn and the rise of the super directorate

    16 April 2019

    It is clear the role of chief officer is rapidly being reframed - and they often find themselves in a Mr Benn-like world, according to Paul O'Brien.


  • It's time to talk about tax

    19 February 2019

    Paul O'Brien argues It’s time for an honest conversation about tax in the UK - and the 'smoke and mirrors' approach to the funding of public services needs to stop.


  • Risk and commercialisation: Why scrutiny matters

    01 February 2019

    Early engagement and streamlining of scrutiny into commercialisation decisions will provide scrutiny councillors with the knowledge and understanding to bring added value to the commercialisation journey, say Paul O'Brien and Ed Hammond


  • Sometimes the simplest questions are the hardest to answer

    05 December 2018

    Asked what he thought the impact of Brexit would be on local government frontline services, Paul O'Brien was able to give an answer which sounded akin to the famous Donald Rumsfeld response about ‘known knowns and unknown unknowns'.


  • pluggedin

    10 October 2018

    Paul O'Brien ponders the new programme to tackle childhood obesity, and can't help wondering if any joined-up policy thinking is taking place on domestic matters while the shadow of Brexit looms large.


  • Beyond social care

    11 September 2018

    When it comes to the question of what the public want their tax money spent on, social care is, of course, top of the list, but it’s time for a new funding plan that also provides for other, highly valued neighbourhood services, says Paul O’Brien.


  • Another week, another warning

    20 June 2018

    Will politicians, civil servants and policy-makers show the insight and bravery to think in generational terms or will short-termism continue to triumph, asks Paul O'Brien.


  • It is time for a new municipalism

    27 February 2018

    Recent events in Northamptonshire hammered home the fact local government has reached a financial tipping point. Anyone who thinks the problems faced at the council are unique is in for a rude awakening, writes Paul O'Brien.


  • Local solutions are best

    24 January 2018

    Paul O’Brien reflects on the collapse of Carillion and urges local government to plan for the long-term.


  • Parks and recreation: why we need to invest

    05 December 2017

    Public spaces and parks are vital to the prevention agenda. Surely that's worth investing in, writes Paul O'Brien.


  • Hidden in plain sight: the frontline answer to devolution woes

    15 September 2017

    Paul O’Brien and Victoria Bettany discuss the findings of their new report, which explores the possibilities for a more cohesive and locally led approach to devolution.


  • Councils are plugging the gap

    12 July 2017

    There are some who criticise local government for being bureaucratic and lacking in creativity. In reality, local councils are innovative in plugging the income gaps left by austerity says Paul O'Brien


  • Whoever is elected must offer sensible housing policies

    24 May 2017

    With the General Election debate starting to heat up, it’s pleasing to see the housing crisis is featuring quite prominently in the major political parties’ manifestos and, more importantly, local government’s role as part of the solution.


  • Door knocking on neighbourhoods

    28 April 2017

    The cuts meted out to neighbourhood services are shortsighted, damaging to communities, and grossly unfair on local government, write Paul O’Brien and Dr Peter Kenway.


  • Malnourished things grow very slowly

    05 April 2017

    Paul O'Brien says we must not starve out places of the things that make them desirable and habitable.


  • Learning the lessons of history on housing

    14 February 2017

    By imposing Right to Buy restrictions on local authority housing companies, John O'Brien argues the Government is in danger of choking off a sensible, entrepreneurial and innovative approach to housebuilding.


  • You are the industrial strategy drivers

    13 December 2016

    Local government should be critical to a localised industrial strategy agenda in the midst of an uncertain political climate, writes Paul O'Brien.


  • The right response to commercialism

    26 October 2016

    Councils are taking very different approaches to commercialism but success can be ensured with one important response, says Paul O'Brien