Recommended reading for Lib Dem councillors and local campaigners from the last seven days:
The big political news this week has been the changes to the NHS reforms. A full briefing and campaign artwork is available on the ALDC website and Huddle, but for two different sides of the story there’s the praise for Nick Clegg’s role in amending the reforms and Alan Milburn’s attack on the lack of reforms. For further political balance, it’s worth reading a report done by the London School of Economics on the impact of Labour’s policies on the NHS.
This week’s changes to the NHS reforms have led to a few articles assessing the Liberal Democrat performance in the coalition, and that of Nick Clegg in particular. Inevitably, the left-wing press sees the Lib Dems as having sold out and the right-wing press sees the Lib Dems as having too much power. From a positive perspective though, some of the best articles include one from the Huddersfield Examiner saying Nick Clegg needs to be given credit for tempering the Tories and Solution Focused Politics brings together praise for the Lib Dems in the coalition and praise for Nick Clegg as Deputy Prime Minister.
In local government, there are two big stories this week:
Firstly, the news that local government workers are likely to go on strike on 30th June over changes to pension schemes.
Also, Eric Pickles confirmed that councils won’t need to reinstate weekly bin collections where these have already been scrapped:
The arrest of a blogger for filming a meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council has provoked a debate on freedom of speech and openness of local democracy, as well as an amusing spoof news story about the incident.
Finally, this week saw the 40th anniversary of Bob Russell’s time in politics from being elected as a Colchester Borough Councillor in 1971 to his time as the local MP since 1997. The BBC reports here on the celebrations.