Devolution – Join the Conversation, Birmingham 29 September »

Devolution – Join the Conversation, Birmingham 29 September

Scotland chooses between Independence and Devolution – shouldn’t the latter option be available to voters in England too? ‘Rolling down’ decision making, so that choices about public services and government are made closer to the people, is a popular promise… rarely delivered. After 70 years of centralising the State, the mood in England seems now […]

Liveable Cities; Connected Cities? »

Liveable Cities; Connected Cities?

What makes a city ‘liveable’?   The global affairs magazine, Monocle, sets out a top ten of liveable cities from around the globe based on its annual survey of quality of life. Their 2014 top ten is: 1. Copenhagen 2. Tokyo 3. Melbourne 4. Stockholm 5. Helsinki 6. Vienna 7. Zurich 8. Munich 9. Kyoto […]

Fixing the Seal »

Fixing the Seal

Councils need new, flexible and imaginative approaches to engaging with local civil society – and they shouldn’t be afraid to give radical ideas a try.  Chamberlain Forum’s report on Ward Committees in Birmingham – Fixing the Seal – sets the scene for the future: – town, ward and neighbourhood meetings that bridge local civic and […]

A case for Local Political Unions? »

A case for Local Political Unions?

Today the votes are being counted for the by-election of a Police Commissioner for the West Midlands.  The indications are that only about 1 in ten people cast the vote to which they were entitled.  It is an extreme case – a by-election for a job the previous incumbent, Bob Jones – whose tragic death […]

Story of a Strategy »

Story of a Strategy

The story of a city’s approach to making better places to live and a resource for citizens – that’s the aim of the Transforming Place website published this week by Chamberlain Forum. It takes its name from the neighbourhood strategy produced by Birmingham City Council earlier this year and provides summaries and access to original documents related to it. Transforming Place also traces some the story of how the strategy came about and the context to it: past approaches to neighbourhood improvement in Birmingham.

Ward Committees – Fit For Purpose? »

Ward Committees – Fit For Purpose?

In cities like Birmingham, Bristol, Leicester and Newcastle; and in many London boroughs, ward or neighbourhood committees are now an established feature in local government.  Typically made up by councillors elected to represent the ward, they play a part in devolved decision-making and act as a forum for citizens and elected members in places where […]

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