The decision to impose Covid restrictions on Greater Manchester is about far more than a political spat, says Adam Lent, it is an extreme example of our rulers' centralist mentalities. A mentality that keeps people powerless and hence keeps...

21st October, 2020


Central Government is inevitably a major factor in a council’s success. Whitehall is home to funds and powers that can either help unlock transformation and impact or stymie ambitious plans for change. Ministers and MPs also play the chief...

1st April, 2020


Participative approaches are popular - but they often fail to be truly inclusive Alex Fox OBE, who leads the revolutionary Shared Lives community carer scheme, shares his two lessons for making sure people with disabilities and other excluded groups...

30th October, 2019


So, Her Majesty told us yesterday that her counsellors will be launching another round of devolution. It won’t happen of course unless Boris Johnson marches back into Downing Street with something like a workable majority. But it shows that...

16th October, 2019


In May’s local elections, 10 areas took part in a trial requiring people to show some form of identification before casting their vote. The downside of this, we now know, was that some 750 people were denied their chance...

6th August, 2019


Article originally published in HSG.co.uk The Chernobyl TV series is a powerful reminder of what happens when competition, persecution and dread rule. Donna Hall celebrates an organisation with a more positive culture. Over recent weeks, so many of us...

5th July, 2019


Happy local election day! In the unique way of our quirky local democratic traditions, a complicated collection of nearly all English metropolitan boroughs, most district councils and some unitaries are holding elections today. Across the country, pavements have been...

2nd May, 2019


Nationalise or privatise? That has been a classic dividing line for politicians ever since Margaret Thatcher made the latter a core part of her platform in the 1980s. And even though the big privatisations of state-owned assets are long...

27th March, 2019


Combining policy analysis and insights from leading edge practice, The Community Paradigm sets out a new vision and policy agenda for the future of public services. It forms the foundation that shapes NLGN’s ongoing research programme and network practice...

17th March, 2019


This month, three councils in the North East came together to create a Combined Authority and start the next phase of our devolution journey. Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland are, from scratch, putting together what I hope will be...

7th December, 2018


Theresa May is not the only potential casualty of this election. The social care issue has taken a pretty severe political beating as well. After May promised not to “duck the issue”, many in local government had hoped that...

9th June, 2017


After years in the offing, the election of the first wave of new metro-mayors means this once theoretical tier of governance has now become a group of six actual human beings. Their coming into being has not been without...

5th May, 2017


One entirely unforeseen consequence of last year’s referendum was the brakes being put on the devolution locomotive. Despite Government protestations to the contrary, May and Hammond have shown little of the true-believer enthusiasm exhibited by Cameron and Osborne. As...

19th April, 2017


Like it or not this will be the Brexit Election: a strange sort of quasi-referendum on the decision made in a previous referendum and everything that has happened since. But if that’s all this election ends up being about,...

18th April, 2017


I know someone who’s renowned for his scepticism. The only problem is, he’s now so sceptical that he doesn’t feel able to trust anything. People who post videos on YouTube seem to have as much, or little, credibility as...

15th March, 2017