News and Comment

News

Local communities can provide councils with a way out of a crisis

Thursday November 8 2012

The question raised by Lord Heseltine’s growth report is how much councils can improve their own performance. One answer is staring them in the face: councils need to rethink their concept of resources to encompass their own communities. That isn’t a euphemism for press-ganging volunteers into doing everything. But when councils redesign services, they should take into… Read More

Study into personal budgets finds encouraging results

Tuesday October 23 2012

One of the liveliest debates in social care at the moment concerns how personal budgets benefit different groups of people in different ways. Investigating this issue in Essex, we found that while personal budgets nearly always contribute to a positive experience for all, there was a marked difference in the benefits derived by older people… Read More

Into the patient pathway

Thursday August 2 2012

Assessment and care planning for a healthy life after cancer is urgent. Macmillan Cancer Support with the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative have developed the concept of health and wellbeing clinics in response to this need. The clinics provide information and services for patients making the shift from treatment to life after cancer, enabling them to… Read More

Comment

Spending the 1%: The potential for participatory budgeting on a national scale

Thursday March 26 2015

The label ‘the 1%’ usually carries connotations of elitism and exclusion when mentioned in a political context, conjuring up images of a super-rich elite lording it over what they might refer to as the ‘hoi polloi’. However, a very different 1% was discussed at a recent event organised by the UK Open Government Civil Society… Read More

25th anniversary guest blog series: A digital future for local government must be shaped by the communities we serve

Tuesday March 17 2015

I recently got into a mini spat on Twitter with a Member of Parliament who sits on the Speaker’s Digital Democracy Commission (DDC) before giving evidence at the House of Commons on the changing nature of representation in a digital age. The MP in question had proudly tweeted: ‘Debate on @digidemocracyuk tomorrow! First time public… Read More

Public deliberation in the dock: reflections of a juror

Friday March 6 2015

It was not without a hint of anxiety that I arrived at my local crown court in mid-February having received a stern looking summons two months before requesting my appearance in court. It was my time to carry out the civic duty of sitting for two weeks as a juror. And certainly there was a… Read More