Bob Neill is former local government minister
Be bold with Boris
As a former mayor of London, Boris Johnson understands devolution. Bob Neill urges the sector not to waste the opportunity of a local government-savvy Prime Minister
Banging on the Treasury’s door
The whole sector needs to get behind MHCLG to ensure it punches above its weight and ‘has the clout to bring home the goods’ from the Spending Review. And that means a few things, according to Bob Neill
Not enough is being done to prevent a system that sets people up to fail as soon as they are released from prison, says Bob Neill. It’s time for a holistic, multi-agency approach, done with local government involvement.
Candidates – don’t forget the local
Voters in local elections are seeking tangible action on the ground, argues Bob Neill, and local candidates recognising this reality will be rewarded for it at the ballot box
Tackling knife crime must top to-do list
A holistic, whole-systems approach focusing on early, effective intervention is vital if we are to halt knife crime. This can only be done by working together and making use of the sector’s know-how, as Bob Neill argues
Councils caught in the middle
Bob Neill says nailing down a robust framework to strengthen scrutiny is an essential part of the management and delivery of academies – and we still haven’t adequately filled the guardian role local authorities carry out for maintained schools
Grenfell’s unresolved conundrum
Nineteen months on from the fire at Grenfell Tower and we are no closer to addressing the question of who should foot the bill for the remedial work necessary for privately-owned buildings with equally dangerous cladding. Bob Neill explains
We’re not beggars and we can be choosers
With the amount of collective resources and brainpower going into the national housebuilding programme, we shouldn’t be faced with a choice between quantity and quality, argues Bob Neill
Thinking our way out of a problem
Slightly lost in the shuffle among the sector’s wide list of recent initiatives is the issue of illegal traveller encampents. Bob Neill says new thinking and firm action is required stem the problem.
In defence of voter ID
The subject of voter ID has divided many people, but Bob Neill calls for those sceptical about reform to catch up with the rest of the modern world.
Cash injection for the NHS
Bob Neill celebrates the NHS budget rise of £20.5bn by 2023/24
Magistrates can make a difference
Bob Neill asks why more local authorities are not making more use of the valuable skills and perspectives a magistrate within their workforce can provide.
Are there too many tiers?
The multi-tiered nature of local government is holding the sector back, argues Bob Neill.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
The chancellor’s Spring Statement was to the point. The UK economy has reached calmer waters, but Bob Neill points out there was scant help for local authorities and the existing state of affairs cannot continue beyond the short-term
Un-breaking local news
The decline of readily-available quality local news continues, but with the Government’s recent review announcement Bob Neill feels there is hope for the future – and now is the time to join in.
We must recycle more
Local authorities must be more proactive when it comes to guidance on recycling ,writes Bob Neill.
Art not just for art's sake
Bob Neill argues the importance of art and culture not just in stimulating local economies and giving communities unique identities, but in helping people with mental health issues and social care needs.
Bob Neill: Get Britain building now
Bob Neill urges the Government to restore public trust and tackle the housing crisis by giving local authorities the tools they need to ensure the planning system facilitates housebuilding.
Bob Neill looks at the major procurement choices facing the public sector in the wake of Brexit.
‘There is more that unites us than divides us’
Echoing the words of the late Jo Cox MP, Bob Neill argues a cross-party, cross-government approach in Whitehall and town halls can help solve some of the country’s most complex challenges.