Dr Jonathan Carr-West
Dr Jonathan Carr-West is chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU)
Lessons still to learn
It looks like Scotland’s Verity House agreement has fallen at the first hurdle, but in England we should not consign it to the dustbin of failed experiments, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.
Shocked… but not surprised
Dr Jonathan Carr-West remains shocked at the state of local government finance, but it is no longer a revelation. The real surprise would be a solution.
It feels like local government is close to breaking point, but it doesn’t have to be this way, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.
An out-of-the-ordinary election
Jonathan Carr-West says successive administrations have weakened local government: starving it of power and resources. With less weight and less agency, it is more exposed to the national political weather.
For the first time polling station staff will be faced with having to turn people away and not letting them vote, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West. We’re likely to have large numbers of very disgruntled non-voters, he adds.
With the rise of AI filtering through to all areas of society, Dr Jonathan Carr-West looks at its potential effect on governance – and says it’s still important to have the human touch.
The political campaign starts now
The looming General Election means we’re unlikely to see radical progress in social care, local government finance or devolution this year – but we might in 2024, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.
Think global, act local on climate change
As the UK’s COP presidency draws to a close, Dr Jonathan Carr-West claims there is too much focus on national and international action on climate change and not enough thought given to local action.
Local response to crisis offers some hope
Dr Jonathan Carr-West says financially vulnerable councils are providing heroic levels of support to communities during the cost of living crisis, and, working in partnership, offering the type of intervention that cannot be run from the centre.
Big ideas, but little substance
As he returns from the party conference season, Dr Jonathan Carr-West says without consistency we cannot deliver. The complex challenges we face are better solved by local institutions rather than central Government.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – our country’s greatest public servant
Dr Jonathan Carr-West says Her Majesty the Queen understood the value of places and embodied everything local government stands for – public service and community.
Getting the measure of wellbeing
Now we are looking at another crisis, we need wellbeing more than ever, but can we retain a focus on it, asks Dr Jonathan Carr West? He looks to New Zealand for inspiration.
Avoiding the edge
As the sector gathers this week for the LGA conference, Dr Jonathan Carr-West says it’s time to speak with a united voice on devolution and levelling up, and to focus on generating value and how we manage financial risk.
Thick document; thin vision
Dr Jonathan Carr-West says it’s not that the measures in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill are bad in and of themselves, but it feels like a missed opportunity to ask bigger questions about the function and form of local government.
Shifting local elections to the spotlight
Dr Jonathan Carr-West says local elections represent a chance for people to express their views about national politics, but they deserve more than being treated solely as a backdrop to the Westminster soap opera.
The great rebuild
With local elections just around the corner, Jonathan Carr-West fears we are in a dangerous moment for democratic engagement and the process of rebuilding trust must start locally.
Honouring the Ukrainian spirit
The events in Ukraine have provided a timely reminder of how important our democracy is and how much we can lose. And, as Dr Jonathan Carr-West explains, councils have a vital role to play both immediately and further beyond back on home territory.
When it comes to its 12 missions, the Levelling Up White Paper does not really enable the multiple, bottom up solutions required to deal with the key challenges we face, says Dr Jonathan Carr-West.
A whole lot of papers
December has been a tale of two White Papers. The one that is and the one that is yet to be, writes Dr Jonathan Carr-West.
Making the right connections
COP26 has raised awareness of the actions climate change requires. Dr Jonathan Carr-West argues that councils are ideally placed to act as a connection between individuals and the state to make transitions accessible to communities.