Local government

Shoppers walk through the streets of Rotherham, South Yorkshire. Image: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

To understand the causes of child abuse we need to look at its perpetrators’ backgrounds

27 August 2014 18:19

Day two of the Rotherham scandal—or rather the fallout from the latest report on it—and there’s a marked, obvious change in the coverage of it from the last time the subject… Continue reading

An aerial view of housing in London. Image: Getty

Labour’s action on housing doesn’t match its rhetoric

18 August 2014 12:58

On the face of it, it’s a simple equation. In the north-London borough of Islington, there are almost 9,000 people on the housing waiting list. The area needs more homes.… Continue reading

Nigel Farage in Manchester Town Hall. Image: Getty

Why Ukip might not want power, even if it can win it

31 May 2014 10:00

It is ironic that Ukip – a party obsessed with a supranational institution – is mostly likely to gain its first taste of power in local government. Following last week’s… Continue reading

The Conservative Party Annual Conference

View from 22 Special: Grant Shapps interview

19 April 2014 10:00

listen to ‘Podcast special: Grant Shapps interview’ on Audioboo Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps is never off-message, knowingly or otherwise. He gave an interview to The Spectator earlier this week… Continue reading

Mr S could have been an Ukrainian egg decorator, but he didn't have the minimum PTTLS. (DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/GettyImages)

Eggcellent openings in Westminster

2 April 2014 11:45

Westminster City Council is advertising the role (offered by the Westminster Adult Education Service) of tutor in ‘Ukrainian egg decoration’ – at £25 an hour. Anyone who thinks that the job… Continue reading

The New Term Begins For Students At Oxford University

How local government is threatening Oxford University’s competitiveness

25 March 2014 10:30

The press love a bit of Oxbridge competition, but Oxford is embroiled in a far older and more ruthless rivalry: town vs. gown. It was in a dispute between the… Continue reading

Cyclists in London are at the mercy of local government authorities' confused plans.

Has local government in London left cycling in the wrong lane?

19 November 2013 10:42

A couple of months ago I wrote to the Crown Estate about its bike-unfriendly redevelopment of London’s Haymarket area, and was rather surprised when their London team offered to meet… Continue reading

The mosaic bees in Manchester's Town Hall that symbolise hard work and co-operation.

The clever councils keeping localism in vogue

4 October 2013 11:20

One of the problems with localism is that it sounds very grand and clever in opposition, and then turns out to be a nightmare to implement in reality. A minister… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Councils need to reform, not bemoan their lack of money

26 June 2013 15:05

We know that local government is looking at a 10% reduction in today’s Spending Review. So the traditional game played by some councils of bemoaning the lack of money is… Continue reading

Eric Pickles. Illustration: Ian Tovey.

If Eric Pickles is cutting the town hall rich list, here are the Tories to talk to

10 May 2013 17:36

Eric Pickles is a driven man on a mission to slash spending and waste in local government. As the latest round of budget cuts just enacted highlights, Pickles has managed… Continue reading

south shields count

Local elections 2013: in numbers

3 May 2013 18:53

335: total councillors lost by the Tories 291: seats gained by Labour 124: losses sustained by the Lib Dems 139: seats gained by UKIP 147 UKIP council seats after today’s results 10… Continue reading


6 steps to out-fox local government’s Sir Humphreys

3 April 2013 14:32

Shortly after the 2010 general election I attended an event where mandarins complained of ‘swingeing cuts’. Then one NHS boss admitted that he had so much cash sloshing around he… Continue reading

Community centre Botton village.

Council tax increases, but might councils spend more wisely?

1 April 2013 11:27

One development that IDS and George Osborne did not dwell upon in their Telegraph piece mentioned earlier was council tax, which, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, is due to… Continue reading

Nigel Farage made the case for leaving the EU. Image: Getty

Can you justify Rotherham Council?

24 November 2012 19:42

Remarkable story in today’s Daily Telegraph. A couple from Rotherham who fostered children have had the kids taken away from them by social workers – because they were members of… Continue reading

Peers have defeated the government on an amendment to the Local Government Finance Bill. Picture: Getty

Government defeated on ‘poll tax mark two’

22 October 2012 18:45

The government suffered an awkward defeat in the House of Lords this afternoon on its changes to council tax benefit. Rebels on an amendment to the Local Government Finance Bill… Continue reading

Star (pictured) wears a dickie bow and waddles alongside his owner Barrie Hayman raising money for sick youngsters Photo: SWNS

Life in Modern Britain: Charity Duck Edition - Spectator Blogs

27 September 2012 11:37

A typical tale of nitwittery from modern Britain. And this, of course, is one of the problems with localism: it means giving more power to local councillors. That’s still, on… Continue reading

Policy Exchange recommended selling expensive council homes to build new homes. In Southwark, the council is already doing this to raise money for refurbishment. Picture: Getty.

Why a Labour council is selling expensive housing stock

22 August 2012 13:00

The Policy Exchange report Ending Expensive Social Tenancies has predictably provoked a renewed debate about council housing and the value of genuinely mixed communities. It was welcomed by the right… Continue reading

British Education Secretary Michael Gove, Getty Images

Why I’m backing my local free school

17 July 2012 9:30

Last night I attended a public meeting to discuss the successful bid by parents in north London to set up a free school in East Finchley. The Archer Academy is… Continue reading

Conservative Party Conference Focuses On The Economy

Helping troubled families

11 June 2012 19:15

Earlier today, the government, in the form of Eric Pickles, announced that it was launching new incentives to encourage local councils to improve the lives of 120,000 families, identified as ‘troubled families’… Continue reading


Gove takes on private school dominance and trade union opposition

10 May 2012 17:59

The Education Secretary gave a very pugnacious speech this morning on the need to improve the country’s state schools. ‘It is remarkable,’ Michael Gove said at independent school Brighton College, ‘how… Continue reading


Cameron’s Municipal Failure: All Hat and No Cattle

4 May 2012 11:59

The first-time visitor to Manchester cannot fail to be struck by the grandeur of its Victorian civic buildings. The Town Hall, pictured above, is a mighty declaration of municipal pride… Continue reading


The contests that really matter today

3 May 2012 13:36

For the long-term future of Britain, perhaps, the most important contests today are the mayoral referendums in 11 of Britain’s biggest cities. For elected mayors offer the best chance of… Continue reading


The resistance to elected mayors shows how badly they’re needed

12 April 2012 16:15

The old political establishment in the cities is fighting back against the idea of city mayors. They know that a directly elected mayor threatens their traditional power base. As Jill… Continue reading


Byrne for Birmingham?

29 March 2012 18:14

Ed Miliband’s shadow cabinet could soon lack a Liam Byrne. The shadow work and pensions secretary is expected to announce his intention to run for the position of Mayor of… Continue reading


Gove versus the ‘enemies of promise’

4 January 2012 11:20

Michael Gove has never been timid in confronting the education bureaucracy, but his attack on them today is particularly — and noteworthily — unforgiving. Referring to those truculent local authorities… Continue reading