Scrutiny

  • Turn and face the changes

    18 June 2024

    As we head for a General Election, it’s a good time to reflect on what a new government will need to deliver and review how councils may need to change the way things are done, says Mel Stevens.


  • Bear traps 

    25 March 2024

    To escape from a 'bear trap' question in an open question-and-answer session don’t try and come up with the perfect answer or solution, advises Blair Mcpherson.


  • Moving forward after failure

    06 March 2024

    Ed Hammond considers the governance challenges facing members under section 114 and other models of oversight and the implications for member-officer relationships.


  • Section 114: Is it really worth all the drama?

    29 January 2024

    Former leader of Nottingham City Council Cllr Graham Chapman looks at the process of serving a section 114 and asks if the benefit is worth the drama and disruption for staff and residents.


  • Money, money everywhere?

    15 January 2024

    Councils’ reserves are not there to be guarded, says a local government minister. In straitened times, councils argue, the higher the risk, the more reserves you need to mitigate it. Martin Ford reports


  • Curating a good council and government system

    21 November 2023

    Ed Hammond says Oflog has the potential to make Government's actions and interventions more predictable and evidence-based.


  • Don't call it a comeback

    14 November 2023

    Dan Peters talks to Cllr Rowenna Davis and Mayor Jason Perry about Croydon LBC's improvement journey, and how, in spite of positive signs, there is still much work to do.


  • Hammond-eggs

    31 October 2023

    Deputy chief executive of the Centre for Governance and Scrutiny, Ed Hammond’s recent work involved providing specialist improvement support to a range of councils.


  • Bouncing back from rock bottom. Local government reimagined

    18 October 2023

    Much has been written about Birmingham's downfall but what is much less written about is what to do to course-correct and make swift, meaningful, long-lasting and beneficial change, says chief executive of Local Partnerships Adele Gritten.


  • A Bill to drive innovation and local accountability

    12 October 2023

    With the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill going through its final parliamentary stages, Tiffany Cloynes and Rebecca Gilbert look at some of the changes it would bring in.


  • The problem with Best Value

    18 September 2023

    The Government’s new Best Value draft guidance targets the right issues, but in too many areas it suggests a search for quantifiable answers to qualitative questions, says Barry Quirk.


  • Plotting a course for the pensions workforce

    11 September 2023

    Ian Colvin says while there is no one answer to the challenge of recruitment and retention within LGPS teams, ideas are emerging on how to attract and keep the best people.


  • Building control: staying on top of the changes

    23 August 2023

    With the launch of the new building safety regime in October, council chief executives must ensure their organisations are ready for the changes, say Karen Bradford and Lorna Stimpson.


  • Getting on the road to success

    04 July 2023

    The final article in The MJ’s series on improvement looks at the five key ways most leaders avoid failure.


  • A week in the life of a section 151 officer

    04 July 2023

    Tracie Langley has had a technically challenging and fulfilling week, 'but I am feeling the full weight of accountability that comes with the s151 role'.


  • Getting on the road to success

    04 July 2023

    The final article in The MJ’s series on improvement looks at the five key ways most leaders avoid failure.


  • Power through partnership

    04 July 2023

    More than a decade after the Commission on the Future of Local Government, and as we advance towards a General Election, Tom Riordan asks if its core propositions hold good, and he sets out what the sector should want to see in the party manifestos.


  • Doing better next time

    27 June 2023

    The latest in The MJ’s series of articles on avoiding organisational failure looks at eight ways councils could extract more value from the things that go wrong.


  • The trust question

    26 June 2023

    Sir Bob Neill says it’s time to rebuild faith in politics and the ability of the democratic process to do good at all levels – and local government has an especially important role to play.


  • Scotland’s police must account locally

    05 June 2023

    Details of the Strategic Partnership Agreement for Policing recently signed with COSLA are still to be finalised and George Thorley says now is the time to apply lessons from the Casey review of the Met.