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Decreasing Whitehall’s dominance

Lord Porter makes an impassioned case for devolution, arguing local and central government cannot deliver more than the sum of their parts without urgent reform.

Local government has failed to offer a stirring vision of the future

Imagination is needed more than ever in local government, writes Ed Cox.

Authorities must renew focus on scrutiny and risk assessment

The challenge for local authorities is to ensure they can continue to be enterprising, outward-facing, process-light organisations without ever losing that important focus on strong governance and risk awareness, says Michael Burton.

Is it time for a rethink?

Pete Moore says the General Election result and the Queen’s Speech have created an even more uncertain landscape for local government finance. Is it time for a rethink?

Javid’s low blow over Grenfell does not reflect us all

When the public has lost confidence in their council, a democratic mandate is sometimes not enough. However, central government is in no position to do any better, argues Heather Jameson.

Lessons of leadership

Andrew Muter says there has been much food for thought for those who reflect on lessons of leadership.

From the archive

Phone hacking and widening the net of transparency

Paul Wheeler wonders if calls for scrutiny and transparency should be widened in the wake of the News International hacking scandal.

Directors need humility, compassion and understanding

Association of Directors of Children’s Services president Alan Wood faced criticism that he himself was not even a qualified social worker.

Are our reserves good enough if the cuts kick-off?

Forget all the publicity over the John Lewis advert heralding the run-up to Christmas – November is way too early for that. The real countdown to the festive season follows the utterly misnamed Autumn Statement, writes Heather Jameson.