Local democracy

  • No by-elections before May, ministers confirm

    14 September 2020

    Ministers have confirmed that no by-elections or neighbourhood planning referendums will take place in England before May.

  • Community power – a step forwards?

    09 September 2020

    A recent virtual round table debate hosted by The MJ discussed the recent trend towards councils empowering local communities. Is it a real or just a cynical way of driving down costs, and will it require a significant cultural shift to work? Heather Jameson reports.

  • A question of equality

    08 September 2020

    Councils should ‘be consciously biased against those who refuse to see us as individuals beyond our skin colour’, argues Claire Fox.

  • Warning 2021 polls will be 'most challenging' in a generation

    07 September 2020

    Returning officers have been warned they face the ‘most challenging elections to administer in our lifetimes’ next year.

  • Tackling inequalities is everyone’s business in Birmingham

    07 September 2020

    Tomorrow’s report to Birmingham City Council’s Cabinet makes it clear that tackling inequalities is everyone’s battle and everyone’s business, says Cllr John Cotton.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dems raise reorganisation concerns

    01 September 2020

    Lib Dem council leaders have raised ‘serious concerns’ with local government secretary Robert Jenrick about this autumn’s devolution and local recovery White Paper.

  • Power to the people

    17 August 2020

    Waltham Forest launched its first Citizens’ Assembly on how to stop hate. Rhona Cadenhead explains what she learned from the process – and what she would have done differently.

  • In defence of councillors

    17 August 2020

    Councillors are an endangered species, says Professor Colin Copus - and with the charge toward unitarisation, they are likely to be decimated.

  • Ex-ministers unite in health devolution call

    13 August 2020

    Five former ministers from all three main parties have called for health and social care to be devolved and integrated within a single budget.

  • Government reaffirms support for LEPs

    10 August 2020

    The Government has reaffirmed its support for local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) ahead of this autumn’s local recovery and devolution White Paper.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dem leadership candidates in reorganisation warning

    06 August 2020

    The Lib Dem leadership candidates have both warned against the Government’s plans to force through reorganisation without proper consideration.

  • CCN steps back from backing 'radical' shake-up

    04 August 2020

    The County Councils’ Network (CCN) will hold back from calling for historic boundaries to determine the entire local government map in the coming reorganisation shake-up, The MJ understands.

  • Ministers to receive Somerset unitary business case

    31 July 2020

    A business case for a single Somerset unitary has been sent to communities secretary Robert Jenrick and local government minister Simon Clarke.

  • Is it time for elective surgery?

    28 July 2020

    A move to an increasingly or even completely postal-based vote is one possible solution to the problem of a COVID-19 local election, argues leader of South Tyneside MBC Cllr Iain Malcolm.

  • Pause, reflect and do better

    28 July 2020

    Dr Arianna Giovannini says there is a real risk that this new rhetoric of ‘empowering the local state’ could turn out to be a strategy to shift accountability and responsibility onto local government and away from Westminster.

  • Williams: I'll accept whatever it takes to get a county unitary

    28 July 2020

    The leader of Hertfordshire CC has conceded he would accept a directly-elected mayor as the figurehead for a county unitary in order to secure reorganisation.

  • A review to learn lessons not lay blame

    27 July 2020

    Swift and focused reviews of local decision-making in response to the pandemic should be democratically-led by the overview and scrutiny function, says Sir Bob Kerslake.

  • Moving to warp speed on transformation in Walsall

    21 July 2020

    Walsall MBC’s chief executive and leader talk to Heather Jameson about how the borough’s transformation programme is ‘moving on faster than ever’ due to the pandemic.

  • Trust in the public realm really matters

    21 July 2020

    Trust in public institutions cannot be rebuilt if different levels of government are seeking to divert blame on to each other, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.

  • Using collective intelligence to address climate change

    16 July 2020

    In the last in an essay series, Peter Baeck and Sophie Reynolds of Nesta consider how to use the wisdom of citizens to mitigate and adapt to the impact of climate change in cities.