Recommended reading for Lib Dem councillors and local campaigners from the last seven days:
This week there have been a few stories in the local government world that Lib Dems should know about. Firstly, there’s the good news that the proposal for ‘shadow mayors’ for the 12 biggest cities in England has been scrapped, although plans for referendums next year will still go ahead. The Local Government Chronicle has produced a report that looks at how social enterprises will change the way public services are provided in the future. Michael Gove has set out new targets for GCSE results and pledged that under-performing primary schools should become academies. On Lib Dem Voice an anonymous local government officer writes about the changes the government is making to the planning system. In Wales, discussion continues on whether the country should go down from 22 councils to just seven.
In Liberal Democrat news, Cllr Iain Roberts writes about the party’s new data management system in ‘Thank you EARS, but the VAN is coming’. There is also more in the latest edition of ALDC’s Campaigner magazine. In Cornwall there was good news as a senior Conservative councillor joined the Liberal Democrats, whilst in Christchurch in Dorset, one of our councillors went in the other direction.
In a quick run down of news from Liberal Democrats around the country. The BBC looks at how Lib Dem run Burnley has improved since the riots of ten years ago, including a visit from Vince Cable! Lib Dems in Hampshire have hit out at plans by the Conservative county council to cut Sure Start centres whilst employing a ‘broadband tsar’ on an £85,000 salary. In Malvern Hills, the Lib Dems have condemned the Conservative council’s decision to not involve councillors in their new development framework before it is published.
Finally, we will have more news and photos from last weekend’s Local Government Conference on our website soon. But to whet your appetite, over at Freedom Central you can read the speech given by the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams AM, at the Local Government Dinner on the Friday night.