Recommended reading for Lib Dem councillors and local campaigners from the last seven days:

Within the Liberal Democrats there’s been a few big stories this week:

There’s a thought-provoking post on Lib Dem Voice from London activist Rob Blackie about his attempts at building a liberal movement along the lines of the movement for change that Barack Obama built in the United States.  He uses a very real example from a current council by-election – Jennifer Blake – and there are other examples of these ‘liberal heroes’ on his blog.

Figures unveiled by the Financial Times shows that the Liberal Democrats are now outperforming the Labour party in donations from private individuals.

In the local government world:

The Communities and Local Government Committee has criticised the government’s proposals for localism and accused them of being incoherent.

A survey by YouGov has found that 40% of councils do not have plans to deal with the squeeze on local councils’ finances.  Something which won’t surprise those Liberal Democrats who have seen the way the other parties have axed frontline services as the ‘easy’ option to dealing with their budget.

In general political news:

Education Minister Lib Dem Sarah Teather MP is asking for the opinions of party members on the Bailey Report that is looking at the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.

David Cameron has outlined some of the changes to the proposed NHS reforms (with more due in the coming week) and there is a fuller briefing on the NHS reforms in a briefing on the ALDC website.

In Scotland, Willie Rennie MSP calls for radical action on alcohol misuse that goes further than minimum pricing.

An article from the Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) calls for the lifting of red tape to help the Big Society become a reality.

On another area for saving money – procurement – the government is looking at centralising procurement across the whole of Whitehall to help save £3 billion.

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