Simon Parker

Simon Parker

Simon Parker is director of local government think tank the New Local Government Network
  • Post-COVID’s time for transformation

    29 April 2020

    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

    30 January 2019

    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

    10 January 2017

    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

    31 August 2016

    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

    27 July 2016

    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

    21 June 2016

    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

    11 May 2016

    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

    12 April 2016

    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

    08 March 2016

    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

    28 January 2016

    Authorities need to be free to set local rules in partnership with their citizens, argues Simon Parker

  • A piece of cake

    03 December 2015

    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

    06 October 2015

    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

    10 September 2015

    Britain’s approach to welfare is starting to change, writes Simon Parker.

  • Don't leave democracy out of devolution

    14 July 2015

    Simon Parker considers the democratic shortfall as we rush towards devolution

  • A new deal for the local government workforce

    09 June 2015

    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

    13 May 2015

    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

    21 April 2015

    Director of the New Local Government Network think tank, Simon Parker, asks what the future holds for local government.

  • Reviving the election lottery

    14 April 2015

    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?

    17 March 2015

    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

    23 February 2015

    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.