Mind the Gap: Connectivity wins over affordability

By Drew Aspinwall One of my London-based colleagues told me that the Northern Line extension (NLE) to Battersea Power Station had opened on Monday. Not living in the city myself, the interesting part of this piece of transport news was that the extension had been financed in part by the private sector, including the developers…

Movin’ on Up – with or without local government?

By Laura Griffiths Amidst all the reshuffle news from Number 10 last week, we also saw a rebrand from Ministry to Department. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is no more and has transformed into the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). Severed is the formal link between local and national…

There is power in a region

By Douglas Johnson Regional government made a rare appearance in the national media on Sunday, as Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick MP hinted at the potential agreement of a new wave of devolution deals. These could include new combined authority mayoralties for North Yorkshire, the East Riding of Yorkshire and Cumbria, as well county deals for…

Local government reorganisation in Cumbria: fast, furious and utterly complex

By Beth Park, Account Director Robert Jenrick’s recent announcement on local government reorganisation consisted of a promise of “strong accountable leadership”, often lacking where county councils and multiple districts compete for power and resource. It was supposed to be an exciting follow up to the PM’s ‘levelling up’ speech, putting those (many, many) words into…

With a rebel yell, they cried ‘Less, Less, Less’

By Aimée Howard, Account Manager Last month’s by-election in Chesham and Amersham saw the Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Green pave her way to victory with a focus on the Conservatives’ planning reforms. Liberal Democrat leaflets took the unusual approach of quoting Conservative Party grandees, Theresa May and Ian Duncan Smith, in condemning the plans as…

If I Had a Photograph of You….

By Phil Briscoe, Managing Director In the 38 years since A Flock of Seagulls penned those lyrics in their hit track Wishing, we’ve all become accustomed to having more photographs to carry round and usually they are of ourselves. I would challenge you all to look in your purse / wallet / phone case and see…

The future of local government

By Drew Aspinwall, Account Director For as long as I can remember the narrative around local authorities and the future operating models and funding streams for councils has been a topic of much discussion. Having worked for and with local authorities for the past two decades, I have witnessed the constant and forever changing fortunes…

Robert’s Radical Retreat

By David Scane, Associate Director In these times of polarised debate, it is rare to find any common ground between political parties. One issue, however that every side seems to agree on is the principle that the planning system needs reforming. Building more homes, unlocking the planning system, and increasing participation in the process is…

Dial ‘M’ for Mayor

By Laura Griffiths, Senior Executive Last week’s Levelling Up speech by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, saw a glimmer into the future as to how local government and decision making could work at devolved levels. Although a more fleeting comment than a clearly defined legislative change, the Prime Minister is looking to create mayors at a…

I need a cash-injection, stat! The fight against long COVID

By Pearce Branigan As the UK awaits the end to enforceable COVID-19 restrictions on 19 July after the longest period of peacetime restrictions on civil liberties since 1689, the signs from government indicate that we have seen the worst of the virus. Similarly, looking at the dramatic fall in hospitalisations, from the 39,254 patients hospitalised…