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  • What effect will a “Brexit” have on local government?

    Britain will vote to leave or remain in the European Union on 23rd June. Despite the noise, there remains a lot of uncertainty about what “Brexit” will actually mean for the UK. Like the economy, farming and justice, exiting the EU will have huge ramifications for local government. The difficulty lies in predicting exactly what these will be.

    London 2020 Series – Focus on Westminster

    Councillor Robert Davis MBE, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for the Built Environment for the City of Westminster, joined Portland for the second in our series of London 2020 events, to discuss the development priorities for the borough, & the future of London as a whole. Westminster’s award winning planning team is recognised as being one of the most efficient in the country.

    The gloves are off in Manchester

    Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, has in the last couple of days dramatically ruled himself out of the running to be the first mayor of Greater Manchester. The news comes after months of speculation about who the candidates for the job will be, and Leese was viewed as a potential frontrunner.

    Policy view: outsourcing planning

    While the London Borough of Westminster is often regarded as one of the most efficient planning authorities in the UK, the experience for developers in Westminster is far from the norm, with many local authority planning departments hamstrung by a lack of capacity. This situation has now been recognised by the Government.

    London Mayoral Race: heating up

    With the London mayoral election just around the corner, we’ve been taking a look at what the frontrunners have been saying about housing. Housing has been top of the agenda for British politicians of all stripes for years and the mayoral candidates are looking for a new, compelling offer that cuts through the noise of the starter homes and help to buy policies.

    Two U-turns, plus a devolution revolution

    The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Spending Review package contained two key changes to the direction of policies announced only four months ago. The first, and highest profile, is the reversal of the previous decision to cut the main tax credits, at a cost of £9.4bn over the five years of the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast.

    Frack on

    Today, the Government has announced its decision to centralise decisions on fracking applications. However, in doing so, they may have undermined their own political philosophy, removing local powers from communities, in response to delays and rejections of fracking applications. The announcement bodes well for potential shale developers in the UK.

    Localism 2.0?

    The announcement last week of wide-ranging planning reforms are an acknowledgement that - if Government is to meet its ambitious housing targets – change is needed. The key measures, launched by George Osborne as the centrepiece of the Fixing the Foundations report, include: The introduction of a new zonal system.

    Round the Houses with the Labour Mayoral Candidates

    With rising property prices, shrinking floor space and lack of provision threatening to push ‘ordinary’ people out of the Capital, housing has already been set up as the central issue for next year’s London Mayoral elections. Regardless of who is selected as the candidate it is already clear that Labour believe winning the argument on housing is key to winning back City Hall.

    Race to Replace Boris

    Following a slow start to the Conservative mayoral candidate contest, the last 48 hours have seen ‘celebrity’ contenders Sol Campbell and Zac Goldsmith throw their hats into the ring. Their entry brings glamour to a Tory race in which, up until now, the only entrants were largely unknown to the public. Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh, […]

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