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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City Growth Commission, July 2014

The new report from the City Growth Commission calls for a raft of changes to infrastructure finance and regional governance to connect 'lots of mid-sized cities and create a metro area comparable in size to London'.


Spanning the cases of Lancashire, Suffolk, Buckinghamshire, Blaby, and Warwickshire, this topical collection of essays explores the future of two tier local government.


A report which summarises the results of a Policy Summit of local authority chief executives held in November 2013, where they were asked to develop a high level plan concerning the fictional "Newtown" and how services could be reformed to deliver budget reductions.


The document opens with a broadly negative view of immigration, stating that it may 'be disruptive and undermine social cohesion, with negative implications for national identity and democratic governance'.

Policy Exchange

Tech companies, tech jobs and the prosperity they bring, are highly concentrated in London, the South East, and Cambridgeshire.

Carnegie UK Trust

The final report in the Enabling State series outlines eight steps "that government should take to build a society which gives citizens and communities the opportunity to take control without disadvantaging those who cannot or do not want more control".

LGiU, July 2014

A short collection of case studies of examples of local authorities using technology to deliver what the report calls 'the three pathways to improve services to local people'; Efficiency, Engagement and Empowerment.

House of Commons Transport Select Committee, July 2014

This report examines the extent to which the needs of different groups of passengers -especially the young, the elderly, the unemployed and disabled people - are taken into account when making decisions about transport provision to isolated areas.

Solace, June 2014

A readable 17 pages, containing recommendations from local authority chief executives. The key message is that LAs need to reclaim children's services from central government and regulators.

County APPG, June 2014

The County APPG's first inquiry has reported on "Ambitious Growth Deals for Counties", and used it to call for Government to change the way it views economic growth and develop appropriate models for all of England, not one built around core cities and then rolled out elsewhere.

NLGN, June 2014

"Service integration is the most exciting game in town for local public services" so begins this report which has used surveys of local government to develop a list of proposals for local and central government to allow for reform of delivery models at a local level to reduce costs and improve outcomes.

NLGN, June 2014

At just 26 pages this is a short but interesting collection of essays about the experiences of combined authorities to date and consideration of how they might evolve in the coming years.

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