John O’Brien is chief executive of London Councils
The sector has a key role in reforming the Apprenticeship Levy
It's two years since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, and John O'Brien feels like it is time for employers including councils to be able to use it more flexibly.
Don't allow this strange summer lull to dilute our focus
There will come a time when a new administration will need a new domestic policy agenda, says John O'Brien. We have to make sure we continue to show how councils should be a vital part of that future, he adds.
Keep making the investment case for prevention
John O'Brien says that whether we end up with a one year Spending Review or a longer one, it's important to make the wider investment case for preventative services programmes such as Troubled Families.
We continue harnessing new possibilities for local places
London Councils are helping to drive forward the agenda for a smart, 21st century city, says John O'Brien. The role that councils have historically played in the context of place is an enduring one.
Let's move away from these short-term patches to funding
The decision in the provisional local government finance settlement to allocate the social care support grant solely according to the adult care needs formula is a curious one, says John O'Brien
Councils need more clarity around Brexit
To provide effective help to local communities grappling with Brexit changes, councils will need Government to provide information, clarity and some recognition of the potential resource inherent in that task, says John O'Brien
Addressing the root causes of knife crime
Urgent action is required to tackle knife crime now, but the current levels of violence are the symptoms of complex and multi-faceted issues that need to be tackled by addressing their root causes, writes John O'Brien.
We need a concerted effort to tackle homelessness
Enabling councils to build more social housing, welfare policy and reform in the private rented sector are just some of the solutions to the complex issue of increasing homelessness. John O'Brien explains.
We must not be passive spectators of Brexit negotiations
The 'B' word will never be far from our lips in 2018. John O'Brien calls on the sector to take these opportunities to shape and influence the future.
John O'Brien: Tough times can loosen the bonds of partnership
John O'Brien writes ahead of the Autumn Budget and tomorrow's official signing of the next stage of health and care devolution in London
Government has to recognise the extraordinary challenges councils face
John O'Brien looks ahead to the Autumn Budget, warning the pressures feel extraordinary.
Securing the robust and diverse leaders of tomorrow
While the London boroughs are making some small strides on gender equality, progress on ethnic diversity is much slower, writes John O'Brien.
To cut the arts or not to cut the arts? There is no question
Arts, culture and heritage are often among the first services to be scrapped, but John O'Brien highlights their importance not just for residents and visitors but for budgets, too.
Partnerships are pivotal in the aftermath of a terror attack
John O'Brien says the investment councils put in to building partnerships to make communities safer and more cohesive are tested during and after events like the Westminster terror attack in March.
A new season for London's devolution
John O'Brien says it is too early to tell whether London's latest devolution development has any wider significance for the Government’s approach to the agenda.
Chanelling local expertise into the school system
Ahead of the consultation on a new National Funding Formula for schools, John O'Brien says the sector must argue the value of local knowledge and expertise in the schools system.
A new social care challenge
Local government has made a strong case for adult social care funding but greater attention is needed on children's services, says John O'Brien
Public health comes home
Councils have shown they can deliver successful work on public health and London's efforts to combat HIV is a case in point, says John O'Brien
Locking out council expertise from schools?
John O'Brien says local government must ensure improvement in education, no matter who is responsible for driving change.
London's mayoral quandary
John O'Brien says the result of London's mayoral election will be hugely significant for the relationship between town halls and City Hall