Political cowardice stops government acting

Last year, English councils spent about £45bn. More than £25bn of that was spent on adult social care and children’s social care – about 56% of total spending. Councils received about £26bn from council tax and £18bn from a combination of local business rates (NNDR) and government grants. Local fees and charges made up theContinue reading “Political cowardice stops government acting”

What have the Tories got against wildlife?

Two weeks ago, the Conservative government announced that it was ‘rolling out’ its badger cull to parts of Cornwall, Herefordshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset. It isn’t surprising that the government didn’t want to disclose the facts and figures whilst Parliament was sitting. Cowardly Conservative Ministers waited until the Parliamentary recess before announcing its plansContinue reading “What have the Tories got against wildlife?”

Time to go forward, not backward

When George Osborne announced that he intended to pursue some devolution initiatives – headlined by the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ branding – to support economic regeneration outside London and the south-east, I gave the proposals by broad backing. I have been a consistent supporter of devolution. The Labour government got its fingers burned in a referendum onContinue reading “Time to go forward, not backward”

Poor service simply won’t do

Since 2010, the government has increasingly outsourced a range of public services. It is difficult to know whether the poor performance delivered by many of these contractors is due to inadequate specification, non-existent monitoring or ministerial indifference. Sometimes it appears to be all three. Of course, some of those failings have been front page news.Continue reading “Poor service simply won’t do”