What is the point of a council?

This post first appeared on the Local Government Association blog. What do you say to someone who wants to be a councillor? After agreeing to meet someone through the LGA’s ‘Be a councillor’ campaign, I needed an answer. There are, of course, the platitudes: you can make a difference, improve your area, maybe get that […]

Tweeting not twitching in Wandsworth

It’s received precious little coverage but we are coming towards the end of Neighbourhood Watch week. Most of the coverage there has been seems to have centred on the “tweeting not twitching” soundbite (probably more because of the reference to Twitter than Neighbourhood Watch), indeed, if you are listening to the radio this afternoon you […]

Reinventing Government

In a bid to check whether there really are no new ideas I’ve started re-reading David Osborne and Ted Gaebler’s Reinventing Government. It’s probably not that well-known a book today, but it was the first ‘fad’ book I remember – and having seen other titles like Nudge come to prominence (only to hear it dismissed […]

Big Society: giving it permission

In an email the other day I commented that the two big pillars of the Big Society were re-branding and permission. I don’t think this is anything particularly profound (if it is, I’m probably unknowingly plagiarising something I’ve read somewhere) and have even remarked on the re-branding aspect myself. The fact is that Big Society […]