Revolution for Welsh local democracy
The Welsh Government’s Local Government and Elections Bill is not a technical and legalistic charter, says Welsh local government minister Julie James. Rather, it will ‘positively transform the experience of democratic engagement and empowerment’
Proportional votes to come to Wales
Proportional voting will be introduced to Welsh council elections for the first time as the franchise is extended to 16- and 17-year olds and foreigners.
Councils are the counterbalance
Priorities seem to have ‘become skewed by COVID-related policy-making on all sides of politics’, argues Claire Fox. This should mean that councils have an even more crucial role as a democratic counterbalance, she adds.
Local government does a brilliant job in elections
Ben Page 'cannot ever recall a UK election 'like the one Americans are currently fighting over'. He says it is 'sometimes worth remembering just how efficient and effective British local government is'.
We’ve made strategic errors on UK elections
Election counts need more speed and spectacle for democracy to survive the Trump effect, argues Mike Bennett. We need to ‘put purpose before process’.
EXCLUSIVE: Cabinet Office rules out elections delay
The Cabinet Office has ruled out any further delays to local elections despite the complexity of going to the polls amid a pandemic.
EXCLUSIVE: Shevlin suggests reorganisation alternative as rival bids threaten his council's future
A former chair of the District Councils’ Network chief executives’ group has suggested a radical alternative to reorganisation as battle lines are drawn around him.
Making Counties Count: Don’t they Already?
Steve Leach and Colin Copus argue a move to county-based unitaries would ‘draw local government away from recognisable communities and increase the drift to meaningless conglomerates’.
Tax increases more likely than austerity, says Flanders
A top economist has predicted that tax increases are more likely than another bout of austerity.
Labour would adopt 'local by default' approach
A Labour government would strike a ‘new settlement between citizens and the state’ and adopt a ‘local by default’ approach, shadow communities secretary Steve Reed has pledged.
Jenrick dashes county reorganisation hopes
Local government secretary Robert Jenrick has torpedoed plans for widespread reorganisation beyond the three areas he has invited to submit unitary proposals.
The LGA ‘can and should do better’ on standards
The Local Government Association’s draft member code of conduct does not include an independent mechanism for holding councillors to account, says Donald Graham.
Any further loosening of planning laws would be a disaster for towns and cities
Cllr Faisal Rana of Rochdale MBC argues that the government's planning White Paper will have a devastating impact on all Greater Manchester’s local communities.
Planning proposals will 'disempower' councils
The Lib Dems have used their autumn conference to warn that the Government’s planning proposals will ‘disempower’ councils.
Five ways to be ahead of the curve
Ruth Morgan and Sean Anstee put forward five recommendations to consider when putting together proposals for local government reform. ‘Let’s grab the opportunity to secure lasting change for our communities’, they add.
No by-elections before May, ministers confirm
Ministers have confirmed that no by-elections or neighbourhood planning referendums will take place in England before May.
Community power – a step forwards?
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
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
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
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.