Think Tank Round-up

The Think Tank Round-Up is a short summary of recent reports of interest to local government and the wider public sector, put together by members of the policy team at Oxfordshire County Council.

This edition covers the first four months of 2016, and includes:

* The Institute for Government on "Making Devolution Deals Work"
* The LGA on behavioural insights in health, and digital transformation
* Policy Exchange on "Smart Devolution"
* The NLGN Commission on Place-Based Health
* The RSA on localism and devolution, including the Wiltshire experience
* Nesta on "Connected Councils"

...and many more, as they say.

Do drop me a line if you see (or indeed produce) other reports you think it would be worth summarising and circulating.

John Courouble

April 2016


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Demos (Autumn 2014)

A series of recommendations to assist the government in preventing "health tourism" abuse of the NHS, while ensuring that vulnerable people get the help they need (and do not pose a danger to wider public health).

Reform / Deloitte (Autumn 2009)

The third edition of this annual report summarises a significant amount of government accounts and other publicly available data, together with interviews with public sector executives to conclude that the government is making good progress with its deficit reduction plan.

Resolution Foundation (October 2014)

Released on October 1st, the day the National Minimum Wage (NMW) increased from £6.30 to £6.51 per hour, this report outlines the evolution of the NMW since its introduction in 1999 and looks at its relative value since them, in relation to purchasing power and relationship with median pay.

Centre Forum (November 2014)

A series of recommendations intended to reform the UK asylum system so that it adapts to current, comparatively modest, numbers of people claiming refuge and tackles the persistent problems of backlogs, paperwork errors and successful appeals against deportation.

Policy Exchange (October 2014)

In the run-up to the general election, this report is highly critical of the Electoral Commission, suggesting that there has been a sharp decline in the quality of UK electoral registers.

Centre for Cities, September 2014

A proposal for 'London style powers' (and then some) to be given to the UK's nine biggest cities.

County Councils Network, September 2014

"The Government must champion County Council Network Councils as the most appropriate lead on public service transformation in county areas" - another call for decentralisation and a financial settlement for local government that matches the five year span of the Spending Review period.

IPPR, September 2014

Arguing that a centralised state is no longer fit for purpose, the authors outline the key arguments against increasing local powers (lack of competency and capacity at local level, the risk of creating a postcode lottery, complexity and ultimately a disinterested public) and then set about dismantling these objections.

PwC (registration required)

A continuation of the 'Decentralisation Decade' work of the IPPR, this is a short summary of survey results after a decade of decentralisation of powers (to Scotland, Wales, the Mayor of London, Police and Crime Commissioners etc.) and provides very similar results to their 2009 survey which asked much the same questions.

Localis, September 2014

Again a report which calls for longer term funding settlements from central government, this time to allow for councils to budget more effectively and to dispose of public land for maximum value rather than cheaply for a quick sale to plug a gap in finances.

New Local Government Network, September 2014

A self-professed 'depressing' report, which provides a summary of views of (anonymous) senior council officials on how their authorities will manage the upcoming cuts and what local government will then look like.

New Local Government Network, September 2014

Resulting from surveys and a workshop held with local government leaders, this report outlines a handful of business models that could be adopted by local authorities for use in structuring their partnership working.

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