My review of ‘Devolution and Localism in England’ by David M. Smith and Enid Wistrich for LSE Review of Books (5 November 2014). The book traces the development of decentralisation policies through regional policies up to and including the 2010 General Election and the radical shift away from regionalism to localism thereafter. Despite some flaws the…
My post for Democratic Audit (11 September 2014) on the rise of parish councils in English cities. Although this is not yet a widespread phenomenon, recent events in London, Birmingham, Bradford and elsewhere suggest it may become one, and help make local government truly local.
I took part in a live Q&A for The Guardian (May 2014), alongside and a range of other experts in the democracy field, discussing how to increase turnout in local elections. The Guardian’s Sarah Marsh picked out the best of the suggestions made.
My article for Open Democracy (16 April 2014), about my research into the low levels of participation in NHS Foundation Trust elections. I recommended radical ways to improve democratic legitimacy.
My post for Democratic Audit (3 April 2014) on NHS democracy. The first Foundation Trusts were launched ten years ago this week, in April 2004. The model may have succeeded in making trusts autonomous but it has failed to make them democratically accountable to local communities.
My article for Parking Review magazine (26 September 2013) about recent rhetoric heard from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government about councils’ parking policies. I argue that criticism of councils is an attempt to divert attention from wider issues concerning the economy and public finances.
My article for LSE British Politics and Policy (4 September 2013), discussing the impact of parking provision on high street performance. The government has been attacking councils for pricing motorists out of high streets, but the evidence used to back this claim is disingenuous.
My article for LSE British Politics and Policy (30 July 2013) responding to Newham Council’s legal defeat after an attempt to block a new betting shop. I argued this left councils with few powers to prevent betting shops opening, even where they believe this will harm the local economy.
My article for Modest Proposals (2 September 2013) on local authorities’ lack of powers to control the spread of betting shops on high streets. I argued for a reform to the planning system to ensure bookmakers must acquire planning permission for each new betting shop they propose to open.
The New Local Government Network has mooted a possible rebrand for local authorities. In an article for Modest Proposals (29 September 2012) I considered what impact a name change might have.