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The boy who cried wolf

Created on 03 January 2015. Posted in Our blog

...  2014 was, in many ways, the year in which the penny dropped about local authority finances. Despite Kris Hopkins’ brave defence of Government spending cuts – which basically consisted of bad maths ...

Writing about writing

Created on 16 December 2014. Posted in Our blog

... you just need to get it down in print as quickly as possible so it will work itself out. Over the past year or so I’ve not found the time to open myself up enough to either approach. Actually that’s ...

The Comms2point0 Unawards are coming...

Created on 10 November 2014. Posted in Our blog

... 12.   If you or your team have done something good in 2014 then enter.   If you want to end the year on a prize-winning high then enter.   If you fancy doing something that is Not London then ...

FOI in five words

Created on 19 August 2014. Posted in Our blog

... crafting the request, remembering the countless frivolous, vague or overly complicated ones I received over the years and made it as succinct and easy to understand as possible. I chose six local authorities ...

Tattoos are a choice you will need to live with

Created on 18 August 2014. Posted in Our blog

... of my neck. None of these are visible when I’ve got a shirt on, which was a very deliberate choice I made when these were all done several years ago. I didn’t work in local government at the time, nor ...

Speed Dating and Magic Beans: Social Care in 2014.

Created on 11 August 2014. Posted in Our blog

... people free care, then a cap on care, then a policy that means the typical homeowner has to live for 4 years after death to quality for state assistance isn’t entirely transparent Let’s dispense with ...

The worst is yet to come

Created on 28 July 2014. Posted in Our blog

Over the last few years I think I have become partially immune to stories about the cuts that local authorities are still required to make. In part this is because the cuts have been such a part of our ...

Showing our working out

Created on 22 July 2014. Posted in Our blog

... do, and we’re great, so act like us.” I paraphrase, but effectively that is all they ended up saying. There was no thought to the years of preparation that went into all of it, the discussions, the arguments, ...

talkSPORT and the centralised country

Created on 16 July 2014. Posted in Our blog

... blog has, for many years, debated the peculiarly centralised British state, and argued that we need far more devolution to local councils and local people. This hasn’t really happened so far and despite ...

LGA Conference 2014

Created on 11 July 2014. Posted in Our blog

... is why I’ve found it so difficult to immediately write about the LGA conference this year, which I was lucky enough to be able to attend for the second of its three day stint. Held this year in Bournemouth, ...

Can contract management be sexy?

Created on 28 June 2014. Posted in Our blog

About five years ago I went to a talk about local government procurement. As a fairly new local government officer with a slightly over-egged sense of my own understanding of the inner workings of the ...

Reflections on LocalGovCamp 2014

Created on 23 June 2014. Posted in Our blog

... the best of local government. Over the years it’s become something of a tradition to record a few of my own take-away thoughts from camp events, so in no particular order here are my own recollections ...

8 things I learnt whilst on paternity leave

Created on 16 June 2014. Posted in Our blog

... she said I looked five years younger. If it is really true that a change is as good as a rest I really hope the change has reset me a little. 8) Changing tables in the Gents toilets are hard to find ...

The local government brain drain

Created on 16 June 2014. Posted in Our blog

... can’t shake its hierarchical nature. I may have told this story before but I once knew a 23 year old who left local government to join a consultancy firm. With the first six weeks she was receiving direct ...

Are our heads in the digital sand?

Created on 16 June 2014. Posted in Our blog

... numbers; how many people hit the site and is this more or less than this time last year. No thought is given as to why they visited, and the only tracking of satisfaction is the few people who click on ...

First day at my new school

Created on 10 June 2014. Posted in Our blog

"Are you nervous, Daddy?" That was the question I got asked over breakfast this morning by my nine year old daughter, as her brothers and sister loudly chomped their way through bowls of weetabix and plates ...

Ten things I know about Local Government

Created on 29 May 2014. Posted in Our blog

... projects for local government (more on that in due course), but of course in doing so I become ‘them’ rather than ‘us’. This gives me the chance to reflect on the past eight and a half years and all ...

Sort-of-goodbye

Created on 09 May 2014. Posted in Our blog

... in over eight years be outside of the public sector, though I will be working very closely with Councils to look at their digital needs and then to bring some top technical minds to the table to meet those ...

‘First past the post' - National Planning Practice Guidance

Created on 31 March 2014. Posted in Our blog

1st April 2014 Over the years there has been one area of local government where we have struggled to adequately cover the topic; that of planning. Planning is probably the single most controversial part ...