Last chance to get free copy of city devolution report

Public Service Intelligence has been offering new subscribers to Council News Monitor a free copy of Devo-City, our report on city devolution, which costs £10 separately. The report, which has history, analysis and a wide range of data on existing and future city regions, has been featured in the Independent on Sunday, local publications and several BBC local radio stations since it came out in December.

We’re closing the offer in the next few days, so now is particularly good time to subscribe to Council News Monitor. For £2 a month, you get an email first thing every morning with news and announcements from every UK nation and English region. There’s a taster of some of today’s stories on The Information Daily (which also today has my latest column for the site, on clearing the deficit).

If you would like to stay in touch with Public Service Intelligence but don’t want to give us any money (for the time being), you can also join what will soon be our regular mailing list below for free. Continue reading “Last chance to get free copy of city devolution report”

Report on city devolution, articles on Goonhilly & social media

Public Service Intelligence, the market intelligence firm where I’m a director, has just published a new report on city devolution. Devo-City: a short guide to Britain’s devolving city regions in words and data costs £10, and as well as providing the background has data on 17 UK regions that already have city devolution, look likely to ask for it, or could benefit from it.

Let us tell you what Devo-Manc is; which councils would be in an M4 City Region; and discover the 16 Lost Cities of Devolution. More information here. And, if you sign up for Council News Monitor, you can have a copy of Devo-City for free. Continue reading “Report on city devolution, articles on Goonhilly & social media”

To monitor news on councils, you need Council News Monitor

Any chunk of text that includes ‘delighted’ or ‘excited’ in the first sentence looks like a dull press release. So how about this: I am chuffed to announce the commercial launch of the first service from Public Service Intelligence Limited, a joint-venture between myself and Boilerhouse Media, a marketing communications consultancy.

The service in question, Council News Monitor, is an email sent first thing each workday with news on local authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and every region of England in every edition. For the last few weeks, we have been sending it on a free trial basis.

But now, we are opening Council News Monitor to subscriptions, at just £2 a month (£24 a year… I understand it’s compulsory for all prices to have the word ‘just’ in front of them). There’s more information here, on our stylish new website with its extraordinarily short domain name. You can also follow @CouncilNewsUK for a selection of stories every day. Continue reading “To monitor news on councils, you need Council News Monitor”

If you want to monitor local authorities, we’ll ask the locals for you

Local authorities matter. They provide many of the most basic public services: schools, roads, refuse collections and recycling, social services, planning and benefits administration. They are the part of government you would notice first, if they stopped working. In many areas of Britain, a council is the largest employer, and with their elected members, local authorities are arguably the most democratic type of public sector organisation.

But they are tricky to follow. Journalists trying to cover councils nationally suffer from being based mainly in one place, London, from lack of resources and from the sheer number of authorities.

The exceptions are journalists who work for locally-focused publishers. Despite falling advertising and circulation income, it is still local and regional newspapers, broadcasters and online publishers that produce the best coverage of local authorities.

As a result, while it is easy to keep tabs on your own council, if you want to track local authorities nationwide – as a councillor or official keen to learn from your peers, or a supplier seeking new opportunities – you would need to monitor many hundreds of sources.

So let Council News Monitor do the job for you. It’s a new email service, sent first thing every weekday morning, with articles and press releases from councils in all nine English regions, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland – or, as the four nations can safely be called again, the United Kingdom. Continue reading “If you want to monitor local authorities, we’ll ask the locals for you”

Britain and Greater Manchester – both torn apart by Margaret Thatcher?

My latest two articles on Beacon have a theme: things torn apart by Margaret Thatcher.

The first is Britain itself, and obviously that has not happened – yet. But if Scotland votes for independence in September, Mrs Thatcher’s decision to test the poll tax in Scotland first will have played a part. Continue reading “Britain and Greater Manchester – both torn apart by Margaret Thatcher?”