Is this the golden age of co-operatives?

October 30, 2012

  As we celebrate the end of the first ever United Nations International Year of Cooperatives, there is a sense of the dawning of a ‘golden age’ for co-operatives in the UK. All the main political parties are signed up to co-ops. The buzzword is ‘responsible capitalism’ and there is a realisation that the existing […]

West coast mainline franchise bid had to go – it blew the case for HS2 out of the water

October 4, 2012

The Mandarins in the DfT have egg all over their faces. But some are very relieved. Finally the penny dropped somewhere near the top of the office that they couldn’t be saying both that there was shed loads of unused capacity on the West Coast Mainline (the basis of First Group’s up-till-yesterday successful bid) and […]

Local Government and the Democratic Mandate: An Outdated Model?

September 26, 2012

Local government could never be described as fashionable, yet today there is more talk than ever about the importance of ‘the local’. However, this has converted into less, rather than more, freedom to act locally. Whitehall’s desire to control is strong, as the current freeze on council tax rises demonstrates. Local government hasn’t suffered as […]

My very own floating garden

September 26, 2012

The last few weeks have really brought home to me the vulnerability of subsistence farmers across the world to unpredictable weather. I have had an allotment for thirty years and it is a very useful supplement to family food supplies with plenty of fresh fruit and veg in season. But of course I don’t rely […]

Town Planning an Olympic sport?

September 20, 2012

Like nearly everybody else I know, I have watched more of the Olympics on TV than I expected to. I found it gripping, moving, inspiring, uplifting and a little bit escapist. A couple of times I heard reference to events of Olympics in the past now dropped, including chess, poetry, art, architecture and town planning. An […]