News and Comment


We need to do a better job at identifying the process of radicalisation and intervening when it is not too late

Tuesday June 4 2013

There was a significant amount of speculation in the immediate aftermath of the Woolwich attack that the perpetrators were self-starting ‘lone wolves’ who emerged practically out of the blue. The fear is that these types of individuals can become radicalised very quickly with little external influence making their attacks almost impossible to predict and stop…. Read More

Commissioning: the secrets of success

Monday June 3 2013

Good commissioning can transform public services, create savings and develop sustainable and more local provision. So how can organisations make this happen? A couple of years ago I feared that the progress made with good commissioning would be lost, and replaced by short-termism and knee jerk cuts.  There has been some of that, of course,… Read More

Are community budgets really anything new?

Tuesday May 28 2013

‘Partnerships’, ‘collaboration’, ‘focusing on citizens not services’ – all familiar in the world of public service redesign, and all central to the government’s recent community budget pilots. But before we all conclude that this is more of the same, it’s worth looking at what the pilot sites have to say about it. For many of… Read More


Asking the right questions for local government commissioning

Thursday September 23 2010

While much is uncertain about the coalition government’s policies there is undoubtedly a window of opportunity for local government to take the lead relatively unfettered by central and regional government. The coalition government’s spending review framework published in June invites decision makers in local government to ask the following nine questions: Is the activity essential… Read More

Big Society and community cohesion – Ideas from Europe

Tuesday September 21 2010

The Council of Europe asked me to speak recently in Ohrid, Macedonia about inter-cultural dialogue at their 2010 Exchange on the religious dimension of intercultural dialogue. Based in Strasbourg, France and with 47 member countries, the Council of Europe aims ‘to develop throughout Europe common and democratic principles based on the European Convention on Human… Read More

Saving what works from Prevent

Friday September 3 2010

Aligning successful Prevent projects to the Big Society and integration agenda There is no certainty over the future of the Prevent agenda. There is a fair amount of agreement that the Prevent strategy will be radically revised and that for some areas, funding will be reduced. It is critical that local authorities, who have received… Read More