Category infrastructure

GET INTO THE GROOVE

Here in BDO’s Management Consulting team, I’ve recently been supporting one of my private sector clients – Cathedral Group PLC – to implement an ambitious regeneration scheme in Hayes, West London. At the heart of this mixed use development is a plan to make Hayes a centre for entrepreneurial activity. We aim to achieve this […]

DON’T SHOOT THE ACCOUNTANT

Over the past few months I’ve been approached by a number of people with the same question.  “[insert your local authority] are desperate for social housing.  We’ve got the site / money / expertise to deliver it, but the authority can’t do it because it would be on their balance sheet. I’ve got a great […]

APARTMENT NO. 9

Ever since I read Lynsey Hanley’s fantastic book “Estates”, I have been fascinated by the policy and political issues surrounding social housing.  As a tenant of a privately owned council flat there is perhaps an element of soul searching here as I question my own right to occupy a space originally intended for those with […]

CYCLING THROUGH THE CITY

As a keen cyclist and local gov enthusiast I am always on the lookout for local authority initiatives to boost cycling numbers and make our streets safer.  I recently had a fantastic experience at the Hampstead Heath ladies ponds where City of London Police registered our bikes and provided us with a plethora of free […]

OUR HOUSE IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR STREET

Last week the UK economy narrowly missed slipping back into a triple dip recession causing the coalition Government to breathe a collective sigh of relief. There is currently a large onus on local authorities to stimulate growth and the Secretary of State for Local Government, Eric Pickles and Planning Minister Nick Boles are seeking to […]

GUEST BLOG: IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN

…but it’s worth it if you want to save money and do your bit for the environment. The public sector could cut 25% from heating and lighting bills with no upfront costs. So why is it doing so little to improve energy efficiency? Our little boy Marcus won’t eat green vegetables. His mother and I […]

COLD COMFORT FROM THE AUTUMN STATEMENT

As may be apt for an autumn statement, the announcements today from the Chancellor show no let up in the freeze on local government funding, and there is an even frostier outlook for the years ahead. If you’ll forgive the terrible metaphor, here are some of the key points from today’s statement. Firstly, in terms of […]

AND I BELIEVE IN A PROMISED LAND

Yesterday I read in my local newspaper that Bradford Council is proposing to bring grounds maintenance services for parks and cemeteries, which have been outsourced for almost 20 years, back in house when the current contract expires next year. The driver for the proposal is not cost, although the Council is expecting a marginal saving, […]

GOING ON THE TOWN NOW LOOKING FOR EASY MONEY

It’s budget time again, and we’re hardly expecting the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement or the Local Government Finance settlement to be putting us in the mood to don the party hats and head out for an early Christmas celebration. There will, no doubt, be even more discussion about the need for radical review of the role […]

WHAT I GO TO SCHOOL FOR

There has been quite a bit of discussion in the press recently about Academy status, and its effectiveness as a tool for improving school performance. Recently questions have been raised about how the Department for Education will cope with the role of monitoring school performance for a huge number of schools as the number converting […]

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