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It’s not all Local Government’s Fault! Why successive national governments must take a lot of the blame!

It’s not all Local Government’s Fault! Why successive national governments must take a lot of the blame! It is not a recent problem, aggravated by the time consuming and damaging complete pre-occupation with Brexit. Since before 2010, when the austerity funding seriously kicked in, national government has shifted responsibilities to local government, passed over issues […]

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A Little Humility is required.

Surrey Children’s Services- a long history of failure. When the Ofsted Inspection of Surrey’s Children’s Services report was published this month, the outcome can have surprised few. Inspectors had been visiting regularly since the last Ofsted failure in 2014, and a whole series of letters and notices was drawing attention to a service which was […]

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Character Matters

Character Matters The painful suffering of Amber Rudd reminds me that we must, at whatever level we are in politics, retain a moral lodestone, which we fail to follow at our peril. Poor Ms Rudd is suffering from her predecessor’s performance at the Home Office. Theresa May allowed the dog whistles of the far right […]

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A Democratic Deficit

A Democratic Deficit Last week I attended Surrey’s Health and Wellbeing Board. This committee contains representatives from patient organisations, Clinical Commissioning Groups, (CCGs), the SCC Cabinet (represented, I have to say, by three councillors who are really effective and know their brief) and Borough and District Councils. Its remit is to take a strategic view […]

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Flayed Alive.

Flayed Alive. The last couple of weeks have been very difficult. Part of the problem is the intense frustration associated with failings of the system I can do little or nothing about. I am extremely upset that the Caterham Hill branch of the Children’s Centre is being evicted to less than ideal premises because the […]

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Beyond Repair?

Beyond Repair? I was at a conference last week for District Councils and heard two stimulating contributions calling for councils to focus on the wellbeing of their residents. What a useful objective for us. The trouble is, despite the invention of Health and Wellbeing Boards, no body has oversight of our health and wellbeing. The […]

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What we Pay for.

What we pay for. The Council Tax Conundrum This is the Council Tax setting season, when we pore over budget lines and projections and try to make sense of them for our residents. The more granular the spreadsheets, the better we can explain. Except we can’t do that for the County Council as they are […]

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