Category Archives: Local government

The comic genius of ‘Eric Pickles’

There surely must come a point when everyone realises that Eric Pickles is a master satirist. He’s pulled off the routine for far longer than anyone else might have managed – Morris, Baron-Cohen, even Sellers, they could keep up a character for ages, but none ever managed anything close to the length that the ‘Pickles’ […]

Councillor Camp 2013 (#cllrcamp)

I spent yesterday in London at the first ever Councillor Camp. This wasn’t a group of local government people hanging around in tents and/or pretending to be Kenneth Williams, but a version of BarCamp especially for councillors who wanted to look at ways we could use social media to better carry out our roles. It […]

Getting the source right

I’ve seen a few people talking this morning about how ‘Westminster Council’ are planning to strip benefits from obese people who don’t exercise. Now, that’s a very silly idea – and Stavvers points out the reasons for that in this post – but the key point that people have missed is that these proposals don’t […]

Another strange tale of Eric Pickles

The trouble with writing a blog post about Eric Pickles is that just when you think he’s dug down to a whole new unbeatable low, he finds himself a better shovel and heads down deeper. So today we have the news of the latest round of local government cuts which are about as awful as […]

Eric Pickles’ bin fetish

For what sins committed in a previous life have we found ourselves inflicted with Eric Pickles in this one? I’ve written many times about the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, each time sure that he’s reached a new nadir, that he can go no lower, and then every time he confounds expectations […]

Some notes on planning

I thought it might be useful if I wrote a post to explain some of the ways in which planning and development control work – at least, how they do in Colchester – in an effort to give people a bit more insight into the way the system works, and the role councillors like me […]

The effectiveness of elected mayors

Reading Stephen Tall’s Lib Dem Voice post on police commissioners this morning, I found myself thinking about elected mayors and how some of the claims that are made for them and their potential effects. One thought that occurred to me is that while there’s been lots written on elected mayors and the arguments for and […]

Does Eric Pickles understand local government at all?

I apologise for returning to the subject of Eric Pickles once again, but the man just keeps generating material. This time, it’s because he believes Council spending is responsible for the deficit: In comments that will further inflame council leaders from all parties, Pickles told Society Guardian: “Local government is a massive part of public […]

Does Eric Pickles actually possess a brain?

Would I be breaking some sort of coalition rule by calling Eric Pickles an idiot? I’m just wondering, because I’m sure that being the Cabinet minister responsible for a Localism Bill, yet only speaking about things in bizarrely anti-localist terms are the actions of either a satirical genius or an idiot. And as I don’t […]

An elected Mayor for Colchester? No thanks

About a year ago, I wrote a post about how Councils were having to choose between two new structures for organising themselves, both of which required a huge concentration of power into the hands of one individual – either a ‘strong leader’ or an elected Mayor. However, after the General Election and with the Labour […]