Outgoing Localis chief executive Liam Booth-Smith has been appointed special adviser to housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire.
LGC understands Mr Booth-Smith is due to start in the role on Monday.
Mr Booth-Smith had been expected to become director of policy and development at Policy Exchange, but LGC understands that role is now open to other candidates again.
Mr Booth-Smith is a regular contributor to LGC. Below are a selection of his latest columns and some key quotes from them.
A Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government spokesman said: “We can confirm that Liam Booth-Smith, Peter Cardwell and Lee Scott have been appointed as special advisors at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.”
Liam Booth-Smith in his own words
Key quote: “The business lobby, and Localis, has argued for an expansion of the planned freedom to passport 10% of an organisation’s levy account down a supply chain. Businesses should be free to pass all of their levy to whoever they wish – so long as it’s spent on training and development. Why shouldn’t a council be allowed to pool their funds with other local public sector partners and key businesses, and target the spending at key skills priorities, including apprenticeships?”
Key quote: “I want local government to have its seat at the Brexit negotiating table and I want it to have its seat on the plane taking UK plc to new markets. If we want the latter we have to start thinking about how local government can help make Brexit a success (or if you prefer, help mitigate the disaster.)”
Key quote: “The more I reflect, the more I think this Budget was one of the safest we’ve seen in years. Everyone got a little bit of what they wanted. Just enough to ensure a chorus of cautious welcomes. In the short-term this will get the government through a major fiscal event relatively scratch-free, but few long-term challenges were abated. For example, social care was ignored, prompting a collective press-released ‘it’s behind you’.”
Key quote: “If, like me, you believe the rest of the country could benefit from devolution, you must hold a view as to whom power should be devolved. Localis’s view is these authorities should track the old met counties and existing shires. This is not because such boundaries are perfect; but because they already exist, are recognisable to the state, residents and businesses, and offer minimal barriers to getting on with actually doing something. I’m not pro-county; just anti-inertia.”
Key quote: “There are two competing demands on public figures at a time of crisis; competence and empathy. To fail either is a mortal sin. Yet, if I was a public servant and pushed to choose, which of the two is the one I must have? I plump for competence. Why? Because this is the means by which I am most able to provide material help to those in need.”