72 posts categorised "Local government"

02 December 2016

Devolution still firmly on the agenda

By Michael Moore Devolution’s place in the list of government priorities has been questioned openly in recent months, boiled down to one simple point: without George Osborne has the policy lost its political significance? Well, midway through his Autumn Statement to Parliament, the chancellor answered this, and other questions, with...

08 November 2016

Good growth for all across UK cities

By Nick C Jones, Jonathan Bruce and John Hawksworth With a new government has come a renewed focus on supporting growth throughout the country. And while there is some nervousness about the potential economic impact of the UK leaving the EU, most cities are entering this period of uncertainty from...

26 October 2016

Learning to let go in the Midlands: next steps for fiscal devolution

By Richard Vialard As a new dad, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the relationship I want to have with my daughter as she finds her way in the world. Having the faith she will think things through and learn calculated risks herself, with the help of rewards,...

04 October 2016

The Midlands Engine pulls out of the station – but are the public on board?

By Ali Breadon, Midlands Government and Public Sector Lead The West Midlands city region will be sealing its devolution deal with the election of a new Mayor in May 2017. But what do the people of the West Midlands think about the new mayor and what are their priorities? As...

30 September 2016

Power to the people: What do the people of Liverpool want from the new Mayor?

By Martin Heath, Liverpool Office Senior Partner Liverpool City Region will be sealing its devolution deal with the election of a new Mayor in May 2017. It is a ground-breaking process: shifting power, resource and accountability away from Whitehall, with the potential to unlock economic growth, and improve public services....

22 September 2016

An economy for the nation – and the regions

By Tina Hallett If Theresa May is to deliver her vision of both a “country that truly works for everyone” and “all our great cities firing on all cylinders to rebalance the economy”, a new approach will be needed to devolution and to local growth. And with the latest public...

07 September 2016

Cities of opportunity: London leads the way

By Ian Baxter For a second time running, London has topped the chart in our comparative study of 30 global cities. Cities of Opportunity 7 analyses a wide range of indicators to explore what really makes a city tick. And London comes top particularly in terms of its economic clout,...

08 August 2016

Funding or financing? Untangling a policy confusion

By Paul Davies When advising the public sector on projects, I’ve often found my clients can be confused between the meaning of 'financing' and 'funding'. This confusion can lead to lost opportunities to get assets and infrastructure part paid for by the private sector and end users. For instance, it...

02 August 2016

Now is the time to push on with devolution and give back real control

By Stephanie Hyde, PwC Executive Board member and head of regions The seismic shifts in economics and politics continue at pace with a new Prime Minister now in place to set the direction for government as we start the process of disengaging from the EU. But leaving the EU is...

09 June 2016

Beyond the heroic leader: enabling city competitiveness through distributed urban leadership

By Jonathan House Few doubt the importance of good leadership in developing and executing place-based strategies, particularly in major cities. Ask the question about what makes Manchester successful, and it won’t be long before the combined leadership of Sir Howard Bernstein and Sir Richard Leese is mentioned. However, while it...

01 June 2016

An open door for service reform?

By Jonathan House As is often the case, it was the fears of local government’s financial Armageddon that made the headlines from our 2016 annual local government survey. However, against this backdrop of long held anxieties over financial collapse, the survey also pointed to the renewed focus of councils in...

26 May 2016

Is devolution the solution to local government’s financial woes?

By Chris Buttress While local government continues to face real financial challenges, the sector is starting to think differently about its purpose and role. Local government is in an interesting position. On the one hand, given the looming financial challenges, the outlook seems bleak. Indeed, our annual local government survey...

05 May 2016

Topping the Premier League, but can Leicester cash in?

The rise of Leicester to Premier League champions has been a remarkable story. And one filled with romance and a gripping narrative. But how can the local economy benefit? Will it take the brand and identity of Leicester to a different level?

24 March 2016

Ambition for change in local government finance is strong in Wales

By Lynn Pamment It is clear that the status quo in Welsh local government can no longer be maintained. Wales’ increasingly devolved public services and the challenges of ongoing and sustained public sector austerity combine to drive a need for change in the finance model. It is also clear, that...

21 March 2016

Devolution: Budget detail adds to the revolution

By Michael Moore The Budget is almost always about the detail. Twenty years of commenting on these great events taught me one big lesson – the day itself is (usually) the Chancellor’s, but after that things are less predictable as the country comes to terms with all the fine print....

14 March 2016

Beyond council control: harnessing the power of participation

By Ian Evans and Ben Pykett For many years, local authorities have sought to improve outcomes for citizens primarily by managing the delivery of services, by providing strong leadership, taking tough decisions and exerting control over the services provided in their areas. However, the ability of most local authorities to...

04 March 2016

The ‘devolution revolution’ in an age of disruption

By Michael Moore In this blog, the firm’s recently appointed Senior Adviser on Devolution, Michael Moore, former Secretary of State for Scotland, explains the context for the current developments in devolution across England and the rest of the United Kingdom. If Donald is the answer, what question is America asking...

15 February 2016

66% of UK CEOs agree skills and infrastructure priority for government

By Tina Hallett It’s fascinating to see in this week’s launch of our ‘Government and global CEO’ report that 66% of UK CEOs agree skills and infrastructure are a priority for government. But at a time of change and uncertainty globally, how can government and business work together to deliver...

02 February 2016

Why housing needs to be at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse

By Jane Forbes Today I attended the Parliamentary Launch of ‘Homes for the North’ (H4N), a collaboration of 20 large housing associations from across the North of England committed to putting housing at the heart of the Northern economy and delivering increased numbers of quality homes across the region, maximising...

11 January 2016

Power shift: Placing public service users at the heart of the devolution agenda

By Tina Hallett The devolution revolution looks set to be one of the defining political narratives for 2016. Devolution gathered momentum over the course of 2015, from the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill in the Queen’s Speech through to the Spending Review and the latest round of devo deals....

06 January 2016

A tale of thirteen cities

By Esmond Birnie Almost 160 years after Dicken’s A Tale of Two Cities drew social parallels between London and revolutionary Paris, drawing economic parallels between London and the leading cities of the United Kingdom has become a contemporary tale of thirteen cities. Until recently, considerations of economic growth and performance...

26 November 2015

Will the social care precept be enough for the care sector?

By Andrew McKechnie The Chancellor announced yesterday that local authorities will be allowed to raise council tax by up to 2%, as long as additional funds raised are used to fund adult social care. With the social care sector facing unprecedented financial pressures, are his plans enough to stabilise the...

25 November 2015

Where now for the "devolution revolution"? Local government's Spending Review

By Jonathan House Despite the billing of a "devolution revolution", George Osborne's Spending Review struggled to live up to its claim. There were no new devolution deals announced and no dramatic devolution of large departmental lines. However, the direction of travel remains clear and the shift in local government funding...

18 November 2015

The devolution revolution rolls on: from deals to delivery

By Stephanie Hyde, Head of Regions This week saw two landmark devolution deals, cementing the government’s commitment to empowering local areas to drive their own agendas. The deals announced as part of the Spending Review process are setting out the trajectory up to 2020 and mark a significant shift in...

30 October 2015

Engaging the public in the ‘devolution revolution’

By Tina Hallett Decentralisation may be firmly in the sights of politicians nationally and locally, but is the public aware of the plans for decentralisation and do people understand its implications? Our new polling, with Ipsos Mori North and New Local Government Network, shows that while the public is supportive...

04 October 2015

Building the Northern Powerhouse: time to get on board

By Iwan Griffiths With Conservative Party Conference taking place in Manchester this week, the Northern Powerhouse will be high on the agenda. Having previously worked in London, Seoul and Tokyo, I am delighted to see the strides that Greater Manchester has made in driving forward devolution and ensuring the city...

30 September 2015

How can housing associations build on the Summer Budget?

By Matthew Williams The scale of the challenge laid down for housing associations by the 2015 Summer Budget is significant, but not insurmountable. There will be variation across the housing sector but the emerging rule of thumb seems to be a reduction of around £16 million for every£100 million of...

28 September 2015

Delivering on decentralisation: where will we be in 2020?

By Neil Sherlock One of the best meetings that I have ever attended was with Michael Heseltine, Greg Clark, John Shipley and Andrew Adonis. It was a privilege for me as a special adviser, for Nick Clegg from 2012-13 in the last Government, to discuss and debate decentralisation with such...

21 September 2015

Sticky cities: How can cities and regions attract and retain talent?

By Tina Hallett Another Monday morning and I am back on the train to London. Although born in Wolverhampton and living in Bristol, my week is largely spent working in London. And I am not alone. There is no doubt that London is a major magnet for talent, both globally...

07 September 2015

Public services in beta

By David Padwick What is the potential for digital transformation to reduce costs and reform public services? This was on the agenda of a recent roundtable, as part of a series of discussions being undertaken by the Treasury on the key challenges and opportunities ahead of this autumn’s Spending Review....

04 August 2015

A central government take on ‘decentralisation by design’

By Tina Hallett It’s clear the momentum behind decentralisation in England is growing, with the Summer Budget and productivity plan firmly embedding decentralisation in the government’s strategy for delivering growth and improving productivity. However, while much of the focus has been on whether local government or local enterprise partnerships have...

23 July 2015

Distinctive by design: what does the future hold for housing associations?

By Kevin Jarrett The year 2010 will prove to be a watershed moment in the history of the social housing sector, marking, as it seems likely to do, the end of substantive grant to invest in social housing. The direction of travel in terms of government funding policy was confirmed...

13 July 2015

Combining authority: what could mayors mean for policing and crime?

By Andy Key Under the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill, further devolution deals may see directly elected mayors take on the role and responsibilities of the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). This will happen in Greater Manchester and follows a similar model to Greater London. This could give more...

08 July 2015

Firing up the powerhouse: summer budget sets out next steps for decentralisation

By Jonathan House Today’s Summer Budget has further demonstrated that the Government sees strong city regions and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ at the heart of its vision for the national economy. With further devolution of powers outlined for Greater Manchester, devolution deals on the table for Sheffield, Liverpool and West Yorkshire,...

02 July 2015

Decentralisation by design

By Jonathan House Devolution has certainly been in the air this week at the LGA conference, reflecting a growing momentum behind decentralisation. However, to ensure that decentralisation is more than just hot air, places need to keep a clear focus on delivering improved outcomes for people and places through working...

29 June 2015

Housing 2020: What do the next five years hold for housing associations?

By Richard Parker Where is the housing association sector heading? Indeed, is it even possible to describe housing associations as a sector these days? As part of its ongoing commitment to the (r)evolution of the housing association sector, PwC hosted at a roundtable dinner for leaders from across the sector...

26 June 2015

Delivering growth: Where next for Local Enterprise Partnerships?

By Stephanie Hyde & Ray Mills Local Enterprise Partnerships have come a long way since their inception, bringing a strong private sector voice to the table and ensuring the decentralisation drive is rooted in enabling local growth and improving productivity across England. However, as we look to the next five...

28 May 2015

As the momentum behind devolution grows, are local areas ready to deliver?

By Jonathan House Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s Queen’s Speech, tomorrow the interim mayor for Greater Manchester is expected to be appointed. With a powerful trio of ministers in place –architect of the City Deals Greg Clark MP as Secretary of State at the Department for Communities, James...

14 May 2015

Delivering on decentralisation

By Jonathan House With today seeing the Chancellor’s announcement on the City Devolution Bill together with the Core Cities' ‘Devolution Declaration’, it seems that the momentum established behind devolution looks set to continue through this parliament. The appointment of Greg Clark has CLG Secretary of State has largely been met...

22 April 2015

Redefining local government revisited

By Chris Buttress Local authorities are facing challenges on all fronts, with little let up likely over the course of the next parliament. So, how can councils prepare themselves for the road ahead? In 2014, we published ‘Redefining local government’, setting out a six step approach for councils to respond...

14 April 2015

Transforming health and social care in the Midlands: next steps on integration

By Andy Ford & Mike Wallace The devolution of Greater Manchester’s £6bn health and social care budget has re-ignited the debate on integrated care. However, integration alone will not lead to the transformational change that’s needed in our health and care services. We recently hosted chief executives from four local...

13 April 2015

Local State We're In: plugging the digital gap

By Jonathan House Local government increasingly recognises that digital can play a transformative role in reshaping services and redefining the relationship between council and citizen. However, our annual survey, the Local State We're In, highlights a significant gap between digital rhetoric and a reality that councils must work to plug....

07 April 2015

Are local enterprise partnerships ready to deliver?

By Ray Mills With the election fast approaching, I recently chaired a discussion on the future of one of the 2010 government’s delivery vehicles – Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). This was held on the fringes of the LEP annual conference in London. Since their inception, LEPs have emerged as a...

31 March 2015

Local State We’re In: spotlight on Governance

By Claire Halstead The findings of our recent Local State We’re In 2015 survey highlight that local authorities are facing continued pressure and a challenging and uncertain longer term outlook. In our experience, this will have a significant impact on the ability of authorities to maintain control over services and...

25 February 2015

Great expectations for Manchester’s health deal

By Dr Tim Wilson & Jonathan House The expected devolution of Greater Manchester’s £6bn health and social care budget builds on the city-region’s impressive record on collaborative working across the public sector. While the detail is yet to be set out, there is huge potential for Greater Manchester to take...

23 February 2015

Think digital, act local: transforming relationships between services and citizens

By Mike Wallace, Tim Hoban & Stewart Wilson Digitisation can help local government save money, reinvent services and recast the relationship between the citizen and the state. But councils should go further in exploring digital capabilities, potentially in collaboration with each other and other agencies, as highlighted by a new...

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...

06 November 2014

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...

04 November 2014

Where next for the two tier debate?

By Mike Wallace and Simon Parker Councils in two tier authorities need time and space to develop local forms of collaboration. It takes at least three years to deliver savings, costs money and harms performance in the short term, while eating up parliamentary time and burning political capital. No wonder...