The biggest English cities outside London will soon choose whether or not to adopt powerful elected mayors. A look back at previous mayoral elections suggests we can expect to see a boost in the status of local politics, city leaders with a national profile and more independent candidates getting elected.
Proposals today by Defra to create an Animal Health and Welfare Board represent a fascinating move to open out policy making. But they need to be managed carefully if they are not to lead to the interests of producers coming before those of the public.
Today's political headlines are dominated by a group of Lib Dem peers who want to delay national roll out of elected police commissioners until they have been piloted. This may be an attempt to derail Coalition policy. But it is an odd reflection on our process of policy making that we regard moving straight to full scale implementation as the norm.
According to one senior civil servant, "if we built aeroplanes the way we build policy, none would ever fly". We' d like you to nominate policies with wings - and those that collapse at the end of the runway.
Community Budget pilots present an opportunity to demonstrate the much heralded decentralisation agenda in action. To do so, pilot areas and central government will need to be brave and truly experiment with new ways of working.