Let’s see some fair play
A new report makes the case for a radical new approach to secure their future of local sports and leisure services, including a call for longer-term investment, say Paul O’Brien, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson and Debbie Kaye.
The time for team spirit is now
Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson says there has never been a more important time to work together to protect the future of community-based sport and leisure services.
The local government workforce: equal by default
The APSE Commission message is clear: we need a well-trained, properly rewarded workforce to meet local public services’ future challenges, says Heather Wakefield.
'Growing our own' jobs will require investment in local councils
If Government wants to maximise the bang for its buck in levelling up the country, then it must start investing in local councils and allow them to skill up local people from all backgrounds, argues Paul O'Brien.
Commission calls for funding reset
Local government needs a ‘funding floor’ at an agreed percentage of national income, a report on the future of the sector has said.
Reaping the benefits from urban green space need not cost the earth
Urban areas, even those that are densely populated, can still play host to biologically diverse plant and animal life, especially if they are supported to do this by sensitive and intelligent local land management, says Paul O'Brien.
How do we empower and support councillors?
With Super Thursday looming on May 6, Paul O'Brien argues that a radical system reset may be needed; one that supports the role of councillors, values their role and is able to attract people from all walks of life.
Planning for climate power
A new report from APSE Energy looks at the practical ways in which the power of planning can be harnessed to embed climate change ambitions, say Phil Brennan and Paul O’Brien.
Small steps matter on climate change
Tackling climate change is becoming fundamental to everything we do. Knowing how your service can make a contribution to the overarching objective of net zero is a good starting point, says Paul O'Brien.
Councils are key to our climate goals
There is universal agreement that climate change targets can’t be achieved if councils are excluded from the approach, says Paul O’Brien. He looks at what they are calling for if they are to be at the heart of delivering climate goals.
The sector needs to reflect the trust placed in us by the public
The message from the public is loud and clear, says Paul O’Brien. ‘They like, value and trust local neighbourhood level services’. He asks: 'So, will this public trust in councils continue? To use a lawyer’s response "it all rather depends".'
Survey shows public trusts councils more than Government on COVID
The findings of a new opinion poll show the public trusts councils more than Government on the response to COVID, says APSE.
Another false dawn?
Next month’s energy White Paper and a longer-term comprehensive spending review than currently proposed will really tell us whether the PM's 'Green Industrial Revolution' lives up to its billing or is another false dawn, says Paul O'Brien.
Green revolution or missed opportunity?
Local government insiders tell Heather Jameson that the Government’s 10-point action plan for tackling climate change isn’t ambitious enough either in terms of the scale of the vision or about what role councils should play.
Engage some of the pandemic's casualties in a more locally-based recovery
The upcoming comprehensive spending review represents a great opportunity for ministers to show they mean business by putting in place adequate resources for councils, says Paul O'Brien.
Building foundations for community health
A new report calls on the Government to put public health at the heart of housing delivery. Paul O’Brien of APSE and Dr Daniel Slade highlight the main recommendations.
Follow the money
As councils grapple with COVID-19 it is not just the extra expenses incurred but the loss of earned income that must be addressed, says Paul O’ Brien, adding that we cannot bail out businesses and fail to bail out the frontline.
Don't lose the increased recognition due to a failure to fund services
It would be a tragedy for local government if an increased recognition of its role in keeping society functioning in the toughest of circumstances is quickly lost by a failure to properly fund these very services in the future, argues Paul O'Brien.
There’s no quick fix to tackling climate change
If local councils are to capitalise on the zeitgeist of the climate emergency then they need some serious money and new powers – and time is of the essence, argues Paul O’Brien.
The public want to see clear improvements across neighbourhood services
Paul O'Brien says the public will be fairly unforgiving if, having raised their expectations on public spending during the election campaign, they don't start to see evidence of this happening locally..