Virtual meetings have boosted local democracy, survey finds
Nine in 10 councils believe local democracy has improved as a direct result of online council meetings, a survey has found.
Heseltine: Metro mayors should make more trouble for Boris
Metro mayors should ‘make more trouble for the Prime Minister’ to deliver their plans, former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine told an online seminar on devolution.
Solidarity in a climate of fear
In the aftermath of a recent religious scandal involving a schoolteacher, Claire Fox salutes the binmen who, she believes, have shown up how a climate of fear can make cowards of leaders – and threaten our democratic core values.
Former minister tells government: Stop being so ridiculously tribal
Ex-Treasury minister Lord Jim O’Neill has told the Government to stop being ‘so ridiculously tribal’ as it considers the next stage of its devolution policy.
Bassetlaw Council holds a COVID safe AGM
Bassetlaw DC not only met safely in public for its AGM, it also elected the UK’s youngest chair of a district council, says Cllr Simon Greaves.
Community resilience: preventing the breakdown
Governments must change the post-pandemic narrative to avoid community breakdown, says a public health expert. Ann McGauran reports.
Change is in the air
In anticipation of its forthcoming report on councils and net zero, the National Audit Office asked a round table of local government experts hosted by The MJ what they were doing on climate change – and what they needed from central government.
Virtual judgements v real impact
Councils should have the choice of holding remote meetings, not just during the pandemic but afterwards too, says Sir Bob Neill.
Local elections 2021: Look behind the big story
A closer look at the Super Thursday outcomes reveals a series of more complex stories, and suggests a centrally-driven levelling up agenda would be an error, says Jonathan Carr West.
Local elections 2021: The system creaked in the face of the number of polls
There were a variety of problems both ahead of and during polling day, says Peter Stanyon.
Queen's Speech: Controversial voter ID plans roll forward
Voter ID is expected to be introduced by May 2023 after the Government pledged to introduce legislation to ‘ensure the integrity of elections’.
Local elections 2021: The process demands too much of teams
Ian Miller ponders the impact of Super Thursday on the mental health of electoral teams, and says the demands are excessive, even in a ‘normal’ election.
The end of council virtual meetings. What’s next?
David Kitson of Bevan Brittan says councils should now focus on how they can safely facilitate meetings - and he considers alternatives to the pre-pandemic arrangements.
Forcing councils to physically meet risks ‘democratic deficit’
Councils in England should be ‘trusted to continue to deliver virtual meetings successfully as they are in Wales and Scotland,’ says chair of ADSO John Austin.
Getting the basics right on standards
Joanne Roney says it is ‘high time’ the Government responded to the recommendations in the 2019 Committee for Standards in Public Life’s report on ethical standards in local government.
Elections like no other
Sheila Oxtoby outlines the scale of the preparations for the operation of polling stations and counts to mitigate risk and ensure openness and transparency during 'elections like no other'.
Will Zoom speed up reform?
As the Government plans a new round of public sector reform Michael Burton considers the impact of the Zoom revolution.
ADSO vows to fight on in virtual meeting battle
Election experts have vowed to carry on fighting to give councils the choice to hold meetings virtually despite last week’s legal ruling.
Virtual meeting challenge dismissed by High Court
Councils will not be able to continue to meet virtually after 6 May after High Court judges dismissed a legal challenge by local government.
The case for virtual meetings
Jackie Weaver – star of Handforth Parish Council’s viral meeting – argues the case for stepping out of the dark ages and allowing councils to hold their meetings online.