Category Archives: The Policy Wonk

What do the Conservatives have in store for local government?


Like previous governing parties the Conservatives have kept their cards close to their chest in regards to the policies on which they will fight the forthcoming general election. It is difficult for governing parties to distinguish between the business of governing and the development of future party policy. Flying political […]

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Liberal Democrats looking ahead to the 2015 General Election


At their October conference the Liberal Democrats will debate and vote on a ‘pre-manifesto’ document. Closely based on existing party policy setting out up to a dozen key policies under the ‘stronger economy, fairer society’ banner it will form the basis of campaigning in the months leading to next May’s […]

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Spending Review 2013


Next Wednesday (26th June) the Chancellor, George Osborne, will announce the outcome of his Spending Review on departmental expenditure for 2015-16.  The Chancellor announced in his 2010 Budget that the deficit would be balanced within four years. Those plans have been blown off course and we are still as far […]

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Labour – the road to 2015


The accusation often levied at opposition parties, past and present, is what would you do? Where are your policies? Observing from outside you would be forgiven to believe that they are policy vacuums until two or three months out from a general election. This is far from the case. Each […]

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What will the Queen have to say on the 8th May?


The Queen’s Speech on 8th May will set out the Government’s legislative programme for the 2013-13 Parliamentary session. So what can we expect? This will be the Coalition Government’s third Queen’s Speech and it is beginning to show. Much of the 2010 Coalition Agreement has found its way onto the […]

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Is it time for the Treasury to take charge of local government funding from DCLG?


Next week the Public Accounts Committee will be taking evidence on the recently published NAO report on local authority funding and financial sustainability (“Financial sustainability of local authorities”). Those hoping for Eric Pickles to be held personally accountable will be disappointed as the convention is that this honour goes to […]

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Open Public Services and the Voluntary Sector


The National Council for Voluntary Organisations together with a number of partner organisations have published a collection of think pieces and case studies sharing the voluntary sector’s experiences of the Open Public Services agenda. It is primarily concerned with the payment by results model and with the sector’s role as […]

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Heseltine Growth Review – a summary


Yesterday, former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine published “No stone unturned in the pursuit of growth”, his personal report on how economic growth can be more effectively encouraged in the UK. Over the 233 pages the report, which was commissioned last March by the Prime Minister, provides a comprehensive plan […]

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From Brussels, with Love


The Communities and Local Government Select Committee concluded in its report on regeneration last November that the Government has “no adequate strategy to address the complex problems faced by England’s most deprived communities” and concludes in its report on the European Regional Development Fund that DCLG “needs to demonstrate greater […]

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Lies, damn lies and transparency


If you were to read between the lines of the Public Accounts Committee’s report on Government transparency (“Implementing the transparency agenda”) you will see a Government which has been chucking out tonnes of data that very few people look at and without a strategy to guide it. But the Government […]

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