Tony Travers, director, LSE London
This month’s local elections in England and Northern Ireland proved good for smaller and Independent parties and relatively less successful for the major ones. In England, the Conservatives had their worst seats loss since 1995, while Labour also fell back.
Our over-centralised system of government is badly damaged and confidence is waning.
A coherent strategy to enhance skills in disadvantaged areas is vital for meaningful change.
While short-term cash is repeatedly found, difficult decisions are put off again and again.
This week’s parliamentary Brexit drama is merely the latest phase of a revelatory unravelling of the British constitutional arrangements.
This week’s local government finance settlement is the last one determined by the 2015 spending review.
British local government has become global news. The impact of eight years of austerity on councils in Britain has made them interesting to foreign correspondents based in the UK.
The Budget promised local government little. The previously-made commitment to uncap the housing revenue account was confirmed, but otherwise councils were given few signs that, for them, austerity is about to end.
Next week’s Budget is widely seen as of great importance for the country as it faces Brexit and on-going economic difficulties.
“Austerity is over”. The prime minister’s conference speech received broadly positive coverage.