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LGC View - It could truly have been a year of crisis

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As we approach the end of 2012, it is worth considering how the year might have panned out.

At one point in early 2011, David Parsons (Ind) was the front-runner for election as the next chairman of the LGA. Energetically firing out news releases about his latest endorsements, throwing his weight around over the appointment of the organisation’s next chief executive and strongly placed to win the backing of the all-important Conservative county council leaders - Cllr Parsons’ election was a distinct possibility.

Had that come to pass, 2012 would have been the year in which local government suffered a shattering blow to its credibility.

The stories of Cllr Parsons’ investigation for expenses misuse, his censure and ultimate expulsion from his party have been a constant throughout the year.

Had the stories been about the chairman of the LGA rather than the leader of Leicestershire CC, this would truly have been a year of crisis for the sector.

As it is, the LGA has performed well in 2012. The organisation has plenty of challenges ahead, but under the leadership of Sir Merrick Cockell (Con) and Carolyn Downs it has been punchy and relevant.

So what of 2013? Well, the spending review for 2015-16 scheduled to take place in the first half of the year will obviously be the main set-piece event. But for local government, the way that the sector builds on the work of the whole-place community budget pilots - and how the government responds to that - will be the most crucial theme of the year.

Dan Drillsma-Milgrom, acting editor,



  • LGC View - It could truly have been a year of crisis

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