Move over sofa, I am going to the Cinema

By Clotilde Gros I cannot remember the last time I went to a cinema, but I do miss it. For many people, the need to go to the cinema is directly associated with the need to escape, and escapism is what we all need right now – hitting the pause button, phones off, feeling completely…

You Get What You Vote For

By Perry Miller The average turnout in English council elections is a derisory 35%. Hold a general election on the same day and you can push that up to 65%. The glamour of national politics still holds its grip on our imagination. I’ve never really understood this: when it comes to impact on our daily…

Meet the developer: your local council

By Scott Harker A local authority acquires land, proposes to build over 2,000 homes on it, submits a planning application, processes that same application before approving it at its own planning committee. Doesn’t sound like a recipe for transparency, does it? Last week saw the first reading in Parliament of a Bill that could put…

Hartlepool, Labour hopes left hanging?

By Christine Quigley This morning, armchair psephologists across the nation woke to a shock Survation poll predicting a 17-point lead for the Conservative candidate in Thursday’s Hartlepool by-election. While the limited sample size and the challenges of accurate constituency-level polling are being dissected over social media, the poll itself will have worried both Labour and…

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

By Andrew Adie As Hartlepool braces itself for crowds of media and political analysts, the rest of the UK’s 7,723 miles of coast are preparing for a different influx, another bout of travel restricted staycationers. I’ve been fortunate, post lockdown easing, to have several beach trips. A holiday to Cornwall and day trips to beaches…

Purpose on Payday

By Andrew Adie April can be summarised in one word: ‘scrutiny’. Boris Johnson has felt the full force of governance scrutiny around the refurbishment of the flat above No 11 Downing Street, igniting a political storm that may or may not have much cut-through on doorsteps in the run up to May’s local elections and…

100 Days of President Biden

100 Days into the new administration, Nick Jessup examines how Joe Biden is doing as president. Since the transformative days of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, American presidents have been judged by the first 100 days of their presidency. In some ways, this is an unfair benchmark, as the size and complexity of both the…

Back to the Future for English Councils?

By Pearce Branigan Occasions of warfare, strife and catastrophe have been reliable catalysts for societal, political and technological advancement since the dawn of humanity. The horror of the Black Death led to the beauty of the Renaissance. The domestic experiences of the First World War propelled Universal Suffrage movements across the globe. The restrictions on…

Green sticks and green carrots emerge in race to decarbonise the UK

By Andrew Adie Every day brings further pressure on all sectors of the economy to accelerate their commitments, and publish their plans, for being more sustainable.  The UK government’s determination to be a leader in the new global green economy means that businesses are facing mounting pressure to commit to being net zero by 2050….