Simon Parker is director of local government think tank the New Local Government Network
Post-COVID’s time for transformation
COVID-19 has generated a ‘powerful sense of egalitarian togetherness as communities pull together to support the vulnerable’, says Simon Parker. The key question is whether we can create a lasting legacy of social action.
Making a case for smaller Government
Simon Parker says it’s time for smaller, reformed central Government departments – and fewer of them – and a thorough debate about whether the nation can afford such large Government when frontline services are being slashed.
Transformation is dead
Transformation is the word on everyone’s lips, but Simon Parker argues the big wins are not in the technology, but in the human relationships it enables.
Let’s equip ourselves for change
In his final column before switching to Redbridge LBC, the NLGN’s Simon Parker highlights the importance of local authorities adopting – and making the most of – a digital way of working
Restoring balance on spending
Brexit means Britain must rethink its approach to regional spending and business rates retention must be handled carefully to benefit the whole country, says Simon Parker.
Restoring trust in politics
Following a lengthy EU referendum campaign, Britain faces a tough task of rebuilding public trust in politics. Simon Parker says devolution could be a step towards ending national disappointment about those in power
Lines in the sand
Simon Parker argues that a Brexit would require a huge devolution of power to local government and a new federal system to mend community fault lines.
A devolution disaster
From disputed devo deals to MPs moaning over metro mayors, Simon Parker asks what is going wrong with the Government’s ‘devolution revolution’?
Time for a re-think
Simon Parker warns chief executives are now facing an increasingly divided role, left running both a council and ‘a place’
We’ve got to break free
Authorities need to be free to set local rules in partnership with their citizens, argues Simon Parker
A piece of cake
Simon Parker questions whether Osborne's push to 'grow the cake' will result in a good deal for local government
Devolution in the 'new politics' era
Devolution is an assault on local democracy, or so we were told last week by Labour’s new communities spokesman, Jon Trickett.
Time to disrupt welfare
Britain’s approach to welfare is starting to change, writes Simon Parker.
Don't leave democracy out of devolution
Simon Parker considers the democratic shortfall as we rush towards devolution
A new deal for the local government workforce
The bargain that councils have with their workforces is starting to come apart at the seams, writes Simon Parker, and the answer is to give staff more control and responsibility.
Surviving the Cameron decade
The first five years of David Cameron laid the foundations for a project that local government now has to learn to embrace, writes Simon Parker.
National politicians have few new answers
Director of the New Local Government Network think tank, Simon Parker, asks what the future holds for local government.
Reviving the election lottery
Simon Parker argues for the random selection of councillors and peers from the citizenry as a means of reducing the grip of vested interests and to force politicians to justify their plans in detail to thier peers.
Fit for tomorrow's world?
If the Local Government Association (LGA) didn’t exist, we would have to invent it. The question is, asks Simon Parker, would we invent what is there today?
Joining the 35% club
Spending reductions implied by the chancellor would mean shifting from the post-war welfare model to an Australian approach, spelling likely political pain and less cash for health, benefits and education expenditure, writes Simon Parker.