Paul Wheeler

Paul Wheeler

Paul Wheeler is director of the Political Skills Forum and writes on local politics
  • Local government can look for powerful allies

    15 June 2020

    Winston Churchill famously remarked ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’. Paul Wheeler says we should use this current one to rebuild a local government that is properly funded, ambitious and a strong advocate for localities.


  • Our national state and its agencies are incapable of responding to a crisis

    09 June 2020

    We need a slimmer, more strategic central state and one that relies on local initiative and capacity, argues Paul Wheeler - and 'hopefully we can get that right before the autumn and a possible second wave of the pandemic'.


  • Local government has earned its place at the debate table

    29 April 2020

    Local government’s heroic efforts over the last few months have earned it its place in the public debate on what we have learned from this pandemic - and on what sort of society we want in the future, says Paul Wheeler.


  • Political control of our councils matters

    10 March 2020

    Paul Wheeler looks ahead to the elections expected in May and the parties' political prospects – and says that on current polling trends this set should be a good one for the Conservatives.


  • Government must now connect with the 'just about managing'

    05 February 2020

    This government has made many commitments, especially to the new Tory heartlands of the Midlands and the North, says Paul Wheeler. These will need a determination and sense of purpose that has been lacking in previous administrations, he adds.


  • Support right across the political divide

    04 December 2019

    In the middle of a ‘brutal’ General Election campaign, Paul Wheeler pays tribute to the Local Government Association’s 20 years of cross-party political leadership programmes and peer reviews


  • More diversity among recent US election candidates bodes well

    04 December 2019

    Attempts to increase the range and diversity of election candidates in the US build on the work of the Local Government Association (LGA) Be a Councillor campaign, says Paul Wheeler.


  • 'If you want to see my achievements look around you'

    23 October 2019

    It is the four political offices at the LGA who have ensured consistent political support and the effective ‘hidden wiring’ to identify the local talent among their councillors and provide the vital follow-up and mentoring, says Paul Wheeler.


  • Lessons from the collapse of Bury FC

    11 September 2019

    The sad demise of Bury FC will hopefully provoke a long overdue debate on how English football is governed, says Paul Wheeler.


  • Time to wake up

    20 August 2019

    Paul Wheeler says the ‘slow death of capable local political leadership’ is hopefully a wake-up call to parties to invest in and support local politics.


  • 'Mean, nasty, brutish and short'

    24 July 2019

    A recent reunion of the original cast of the late Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) has led Paul Wheeler to ponder the 'barriers and pitfalls that have been erected in the path of future progress'.


  • A searchlight is shone on the shoddy treatment of leaseholders

    12 June 2019

    Paul Wheeler says the 'whole sorry saga' of the removal of potentially lethal cladding has shone a long overdue searchlight on the appalling treatment of leaseholders by the major housebuilders.


  • This 'false debate' could weaken growth of city regions

    30 April 2019

    The current 'false debate' stating that the sad plight of many northern towns is a direct result of the success of nearby cities could weaken the growth of vibrant city regions at a vital time, says Paul Wheeler.


  • A four-point plan for social housing

    27 March 2019

    Tens of thousands of families are desperately worried about their continuing ability to pay high rents, says Paul Wheeler. Here, he outlines a four-point plan for creating homes for social rent.


  • Union power games in Birmingham will not help create jobs

    20 March 2019

    Paul Wheeler is sure the cause of the Birmingham bin dispute has its roots in a struggle over equal pay for equal work. What cannot have helped is a 'noisy inter-union dispute'.


  • The Berlin perspective

    06 February 2019

    Perhaps we should all be asking the Germans how they get their priorities in order before rushing to the European exit, says Paul Wheeler.


  • Councils are coming out of the shadows

    12 December 2018

    While we can do without friendly fire from a failing Government, councils do need to address issues of performance and leadership locally, says Paul Wheeler.


  • The North needs help with supporting asylum seekers

    13 November 2018

    Unlike Germany, the UK has outsourced the challenge of supporting asylum seekers to the poorest communities in the North - and when they ask for help they are treated with contempt by journalists, writes Paul Wheeler.


  • soapbox

    17 October 2018

    Paul Wheeler is 'taking a break from Brexit Britain' to spend a year in the German capital while returning to university The attraction of a country which teaches in English and charges no tuition fees 'proved irresistible'


  • Local politicians breaking through

    19 September 2018

    The pending party conference season is likely to be a savage one, with a summer of simmering discontent in the major parties and an anger among the Lib Dems about their disappearance from political debate. Northern Ireland is regressing to the politics of past hatreds. Even the normal hegemonic SNP is not immune, with major ructions between past and present leaders. Expect some angry scenes on the conference floor.