• Ministers in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones

    16 April 2024

    The letter on councils’ productivity, sent by local government minister Simon Hoare this week, borders on farcical, says Heather Jameson.

  • Councils hit with new productivity demands

    16 April 2024

    Ministers have demanded councils improve their productivity in the same week as the Government quietly published a report revealing Whitehall makes the sector less efficient.

  • Bridging the budget gap

    10 April 2024

    We haven’t even closed down the 2023-24 accounts yet and we are already starting to plan our 2025-26 medium-term financial strategy, says Tracie Langley.

  • The dead hand of centralism holds back productivity

    20 March 2024

    If councils had the tools, most if not all of them could by now have set fees to recover the full cost of a fast-track planning system, argues Ian Miller.

  • Desperately seeking a long-term diagnosis

    11 March 2024

    A successful economy needs to be built around world-class infrastructure  - and skilled, healthy people and public services are essential to the delivery of both, says Iain Murray.

  • Working with Government can deliver real dividends

    15 February 2024

    Collaboration with Government can achieve real results for communities and councils should not be afraid of embracing productivity, says Cllr Kevin Bentley.

  • REVEALED: Productivity plan demands toothless

    13 February 2024

    Councils have been told Whitehall will be unable to force them to submit productivity plans.

  • Productivity planning and commercial efficacy

    13 February 2024

    Through many of its commercial programmes Local Partnerships sees daily how further enhancements can be made to improve both productivity and ultimately financial outcomes in local authorities.

  • Going with the flow

    17 January 2024

    Tracie Langley looks at how a renewed focus on productivity and ‘flow’ methodologies can help make the most of tight resources.

  • It’s crucial to preserve the future of local autonomy

    04 January 2024

    Leader of South Cambridgeshire DC Cllr Bridget Smith sets out why the UK Government should let local councils decide on the four-day week.

  • Can we learn from the authorities who are coping with austerity well?

    04 December 2023

    AI has huge potential to save time in local government if people can be encouraged to use it, says Ben Page. 'As the best leaders in the sector know, people need time to make changes and adapt', he adds.

  • Cracking productivity

    23 October 2023

    The UK’s cities have major untapped potential when it comes to innovation-led prosperity, says Chris Murray. He highlights the possible solutions to help unlock productivity.

  • The only path out of our recruitment and retention crisis is investment in people

    18 October 2023

    Graeme McDonald says the sector's investment in people has a way to travel to get back to the levels those now in leadership roles considered the norm when they began their careers.

  • Growth: the big issue

    03 October 2023

    As we enter election season a national growth plan is needed now, delivered with and by places, says Ben Lucas. He sets out four key opportunities that could be catalysed through a new focus on local growth.

  • Growth battlelines

    03 October 2023

    Rishi Sunak has launched a towns plan, while a new report says bringing UK cities up to the productivity levels of their European peers could deliver a massive dividend. But is there a better way that helps all towns and cities? Heather Jameson reports.

  • Gove pledges to halt council four-day weeks

    02 October 2023

    Michael Gove has pledged to stop local authorities from implementing a four-day week and he said councils could face budget cuts if they adopt one.

  • The Government's review of public sector productivity comes with risks

    26 July 2023

    The Government has ordered a review of public sector productivity. Penna's Roger Russell says that while the exploration of AI and new ways of working could produce benefits, many are dismayed at yet another focus on ‘delivering more for less’.

  • How long is a week?

    24 July 2023

    Despite the potential for negative headlines, councils cannot afford to ignore the potential benefits of moving to a four-day week, says Aidan Rave.

  • The narrow path

    11 July 2023

    At a time when the fiscal climate is so bleak, Labour will need to prioritise and explain how, why and where it plans to invest public money, says Charlotte Alldritt.

  • Ministerial meddling and the four-day working week

    11 July 2023

    For elite politicians, rational, democratic and forward-looking experiments such as the four-day week experiment at South Cambridgeshire DC, pose a threat, says Professor Jonathan Davies.