Choppy Waters for Conservatives in Essex Council Elections?

By Vincent Carroll-Battaglino At first glance, Essex local authorities look solid for the Conservatives, but the after 12 years in government, “Partygate” and the impacts of fuel price hikes, a relatively small protest vote in this part of the country could have significant impacts for local control. The main reason for this is that the…

The countdown is on – the day before the Local Elections

By Pearce Branigan & Vincent Carroll-Battaglino With just over 12 hours to go until local elections ensue in the UK, our local government specialists Pearce Branigan and Vincent Carroll-Battaglino give us their predictions on the ground from both a Conservative and Labour perspective on how next Thursday 5 May might pan out. The view from…

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…