It has now been two years since the Transparency Fund was launched and with just over three months of the NALC managed programme left, time is running out for local councils with an annual turnover of less than £25,000 to secure financial help to comply with the government’s Transparency Code.
Last winter the UK experienced several outbreaks of avian influenza - better known as bird flu. This highly contagious disease affects birds including chickens, ducks and geese, and can be fatal to them, devastating farmers’ livelihoods. It is just as much of a risk to those with a few chickens in a back garden as to commercial farmers and anyone who keeps chickens, ducks or geese needs to be aware of the risk and take steps now to address it.
On the 3 August 1914, Britain’s Foreign Minister, Sir Edward Grey, was looking out of his office window. It was dusk, and gaslights were being lit along London’s Mall, leading to Buckingham Palace, when he remarked to a friend, "The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime”. Our country was about to be plunged into the darkness of the First World War, and it would be four long years before Britain and Europe would again experience the light of peace.
There are encouraging signs from the Chancellor on his vision for the future of the economy, devolution and handing more power to local people, however he missed a trick by not going further to boost the Government’s devolution and localist credentials.