The End of Sustainable Development?

I’ve always been fascinated by the political process.

This is how it seems to work. Someone with no particular qualifications joins a political party and works enthusiastically at making friends by campaigning in no hope seats. Gets selected for safe seat and enters Government. Their grasp of economics is usually somewhere below schoolboy level. Continue reading

Localism and Urban Neighbourhood Councils

It is a source of frustration, though not surprise, to many that the silos of Government have not been broken down in the early stages of the Big Society roll out.

Government is currently hitting communities with new initiatives from all angles. Whether it is GP commissioning, free schools, Green Deal or neighbourhood planning it is the community at a local neighbourhood level that needs to respond. In urban areas the governance structures are mainly missing. The lack of a formal organised neighbourhood level structure that can attract people with the time and energy to help support and deliver these initiatives seems pretty fundamental. Continue reading

Design Standards

Was I the only one that found Grant Shapps’ announcement about design standards this week a bit cryptic? Continue reading

Economically Targeted Investment

It looks like ideas move fast with this government. The Conservative Party conference, just a month ago, was a really stimulating experience. The transformation over 12 months was probably most evidenced by the ResPublica phenomenon. Coming from almost nowhere last year, Philip Blond’s (pictured) think-tank is now one of the most innovative and is central to the Big Society and localism policies pouring out of Government. Continue reading

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