A local crisis? Local authorities and the housing crisis

Miniature red and green houses against a white background.By Alex Addyman

England needs to provide between 200,000 and 250,000 homes each year to meet the current housing shortage. The role of local authorities in meeting this shortfall was recognised in the Autumn Statement and has been progressed through some recent policy initiatives. This blog considers some of these initiatives and questions whether local authorities have the capacity to deliver them. Continue reading

Why local authorities should support community organisations delivering local services

3d Community puzzle

by Stephen Lochore

I recently posted about how local authorities can support their communities, and in particular local community groups, at a time when their ability to directly deliver local services is diminishing.  My post touched on the danger of assuming that local groups will be able to step-in to deliver services.  Research into issues such as community resilience, community development and co-production suggests a number of concerns about the role of voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) in delivering local public services. Continue reading

8 ways local authorities can support community empowerment in an age of austerity

community signby Stephen Lochore

Austerity measures implemented by the UK Government since 2010 have reduced funding for some public services and aspects of welfare.  Although local government has attempted to absorb real-term reductions in funding, for example by sharing corporate functions, the scale of the cuts is reducing direct delivery in some service areas.  Discretionary community-level support services have been disproportionately affected by austerity measures. Continue reading

Over 30 years of UK budget research

by Alex Addyman

At 12.30 today Chancellor George Osbourne will deliver his fifth budget. We’ve rounded up some research and information from our 40 year archive on previous UK budgets.

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Using service design for user-focused, cost-effective public services

business people reviewing plans

by Laura Dobie

Faced with growing demand and reduced budgets, public services are increasingly looking for innovative ways to meet user needs with declining resources. Ahead of this weekend’s Global Service Jam, here’s a quick look at how service design can transform public services. Continue reading