Innovation and Efficiency

Oxfordshire councils branded ‘fickle’ for U-turn over unitary reform plans

07.02.17: Oxfordshire County Council’s pursuit of a single unitary authority for the region is looking more likely after two district councils which previously opposed the idea have made a U-turn, coming out in support of the proposal. Last mon...

Dorset councils agree to proceed with unitary reforms

01.02.17: Dorset councils have obtained a mandate to go ahead with their proposals to change the county’s local government structure. The plans, which would see Dorset’s current nine councils replaced with two new unitary authorities, hav...

Unlocking smart capabilities for local authorities

04.01.17: Matthew Evans, executive director of techUK’s SmarterUK programme, discusses the need for the government to deliver a coherent digital strategy that demonstrates the importance of smart cities that local government and the technology indus...

Social action as an organising principle for public services

28.12.16: Carrie Deacon, programme manager in Nesta’s Innovation Lab, explains how commissioners can move people power from the periphery to the heart of service design. Many are now convinced that the public services we inherited from our gran...

Wandsworth and Richmond pension fund merger authorised

22.12.16: The government has confirmed that it will lay regulations to enable Wandsworth and Richmond Upon Thames councils’ proposal to merge their pension funds as part of a cost-saving measure. The two London boroughs announced in January 201...

Putting innovation at the heart of public procurement

22.12.16: Malcolm Harbour CBE, who wrote Parliament’s first report on innovation in public procurement in 2008 and now chairs the LGA Task and Finish Group on this issue, outlines how public bodies can embed innovation in spite of tight budgets. ...

Connected cities mission to India

22.12.16: Niraj Saraf, Connected Cities Mission lead for Innovate UK, explains how learning from the UK is helping other countries, including India, develop their smart city programmes. The global need for radical solutions to city challenges is beco...

Cornwall councils launch collaborative CCTV project

20.12.16: Eight West Cornwall town councils are working together with the region’s rescue and police services to launch a ‘groundbreaking’ CCTV project to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. The brainchild of Hayle Town Council...

Smart cities: At a crossroads

20.12.16: Professor Simon Joss FRSA is co-director of the International Eco-Cities Initiative at the University of Westminster, which provides research and consultancy on urban innovation. He explains why smart cities are at a crossroads between technolog...

Government to invest £2.6bn on ‘fit for the future’ local transport

25.11.16: The government will be spending an extra £2.6bn on tackling congestion and ensuring that the UK’s transport networks are fit for the future, the chancellor Phillip Hammond announced in yesterday’s Autumn Statement. The mon...

LGA: Broadband funding boost welcome, but must not neglect rural areas

24.11.16: The government has committed to investing over £1bn by 2021 in rolling out full-fibre connections and building on future 5G communications, Phillip Hammond announced in this week’s Autumn Statement. The chancellor declared that...

Greener buses expected to deliver  £248m social benefit savings by 2020

10.11.16: A new generation of low emission buses is already saving 55,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per year and saving £8m from health and environmental budgets, a new report has found.  A Green Bus for Every Journey, ...

Design first, act later

26.08.16: Stephen Miller, research and evaluation manager at the Design Council, talks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the main barriers to embedding smart service design in local authority projects, and how to overcome them. At a time of financial...

Peer-to-peer learning needed for local public sector reform – IfG

02.08.16: Allowing local government organisations to learn from each other is more effective than top-down government initiatives in improving services, the Institute for Government (IfG) has said. IfG researchers spoke to those working in central go...

Encouraging and delivering active travel locally

14.06.16: Paul Hilton, senior project officer, infrastructure development at Sustrans, explains how the second round of the Sustainable Transport Delivery Excellence Programme is aiming to support sustainable transport solutions that enable increased leve...

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LGA: New homes data positive, but still failing to meet growing housing need

24/02/2017LGA: New homes data positive, but still failing to meet growing housing need

New figures released by the government have shown that the number of new build homes has continued to rise to its highest level since 2007, but c... more >
Lancashire still pushing for devo deal despite two councils withdrawing support

24/02/2017Lancashire still pushing for devo deal despite two councils withdrawing support

Plans put forward for a devolution deal to join together 15 councils in Lancashire in a combined authority will still go ahead, despite two counc... more >
Councils divided as HS2 Bill is given Royal Assent

23/02/2017Councils divided as HS2 Bill is given Royal Assent

HS2 will be the “catalyst” in driving economic growth in the West Midlands as the eagerly anticipated high-speed rail link was given ... more >

editor's comment

21/02/2017Untapped potential

As PSE went to press, the government had just released its Industrial Strategy green paper, which has an ambitious aim to “improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country”.  Overall, the strategy was welcomed across the public sector. However, as you&rsqu... read more >

last word

Some libraries are better than others

Some libraries are better than others

Helen Milner, chief executive of Good Things Foundation, formerly the Tinder Foundation, expands on the organisation’s recent claims that protecting libraries at all costs could be hol... more > more last word articles >
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And justice for all

23/02/2017And justice for all

Nothing less than a ‘whole-place’ pooling of public service budgets and devolution of criminal justice system powers to local level can create the conditions for community transformation, argue former communities secretary Hazel Blears and Lord Patel, chairman of the Mental Health Act Commission. Reform of the Criminal Justice... more >
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Shaping the future of local government through districts

23/02/2017Shaping the future of local government through districts

Mark Pawsey (pictured), the MP for Rugby and the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for District Councils, explains why he hopes t... more >
Bristol: the booming smart city

23/02/2017Bristol: the booming smart city

Barney Smith, CEO at Bristol Is Open, explains how the innovative project can help make cities more liveable and sustainable. Bristol is the... more >
Where next for devolution?

23/02/2017Where next for devolution?

Andrew Walker, policy expert on devolution at the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), explains why devolution in England needs a shot in th... more >
Introducing learning analytics

23/02/2017Introducing learning analytics

Learning analytics make use of the data generated as we learn and teach in order to improve learning and teaching. Rebecca Ferguson, a senior lec... more >


McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

20/12/2016McMahon: I worry that the public are not part of the devolution conversation

Jim McMahon, Labour’s shadow minister for local government and devolution, talks to PSE’s David Stevenson about the need to radically... more >
Solace president mandate: Champion diversity and celebrate great public services

20/12/2016Solace president mandate: Champion diversity and celebrate great public services

Jo Miller, the recently-elected president of Solace, talks to PSE about the need for championing great public services and ensuring inclusion at ... more >
The secret to the success of one public estate

19/08/2016The secret to the success of one public estate

Central government has faced strong criticism of its many estate schemes in recent years, but one in particular seems to steer clear of the backl... more >
Joint ventures: Are we better together?

19/04/2016Joint ventures: Are we better together?

Vivien Holland, local government advisory director at Grant Thornton UK LLP, examines the potential of Joint Ventures for local authorities going... more >

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