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As we move rapidly towards the next general election, all eyes are on ideas that will emerge to deliver good growth, reform government and public services and help lift standards of living. Our blog explores the most pressing challenges being faced in the public sector today, towards 2015 and beyond.

27 November 2014

Good growth across UK cities – we look back

By John Hawksworth, Nick C Jones and Jonathan Bruce The economic outlook continues to improve, with renewed business confidence evident across all UK regions. But there is some way to go yet before the recovery becomes fully sustainable – and the public finances still need to be repaired. In the...

26 November 2014

Delivering the devolution dividend: making devolution a reality for the Core Cities and beyond

By Ray Mills Devolution is the word on every politician’s lips at the moment, with the main political parties jostling in an attempt to outbid each other to demonstrate their commitment to decentralisation. Over the past ten years we’ve seen, step by step, the attitudes in Westminster change, and an...

24 November 2014

Still under pressure

By Charles Lloyd and Nick C Jones The forthcoming Autumn Statement provides one of the final opportunities in the run up to the next election for the Chancellor to set the tone for the debate on the economy and outline the job still left to be done to put the...

07 November 2014

Aid to trade: how can the EU support trade with developing countries?

By John Tress “It is both hypocritical and self-defeating for the EU to give aid to developing countries while simultaneously blocking their trade." So begins a report released last month by the Overseas Development Institute and Trade Out Of Poverty, a UK parliamentary campaign group, highlighting the need for greater...

06 November 2014

Making markets work for low income consumers

By Tina Hallett How can we make markets for essential goods and services work better for low income consumers? This was the topic of a Joseph Rowntree Foundation conference at which I spoke this week, and a key question in the wider debate on lifting living standards and delivering good...

Where Manchester leads, will others follow? Next steps for decentralisation in England

By Nick C Jones The recent announcement of additional powers over transport, housing and planning for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, under the leadership of a directly elected city wide mayor who will also take over policing, marks a significant step on the road to decentralisation in England. But while...

30 October 2014

The Citizens’ Jury at the political party conferences: connecting the public with politics

By Tina Hallett How do you connect the public with politics? With the next general election around the corner, this is an increasingly topical question. Over the past five years, we have worked with BritainThinks to bring the public voice to the policy agenda. Through our Citizens' Juries, we have...

29 October 2014

Two tier futures: how far can collaboration go?

By Mike Wallace Sitting with a blank sheet in front of them, few would devise the mosaic of districts, counties, unitaries and mets that makes up local government in England today. But it’s that messy reality that’s the starting point as councils search for solutions to deal with their financial...

23 October 2014

The Five Year Forward View: a new era for the NHS?

By Dean Arnold and Tim Wilson Today’s announcement of the NHS Five Year Forward View signals the boldest change to the NHS since 1948. If adopted it will not only fundamentally transform the way care is delivered but also radically change our approach to prevention and wellness. Too often the...

Delivering good jobs: focus on mental health

By Katie Hill and Ben Jones 1 in 6 British workers experience some form of stress, anxiety or depression in any given year. 1 in 6 people reading this blog knows what this means for them, their family, their friends, their colleagues, and their employer. 9 in 10 people who...