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The Blog

The new planners

21 September 2021

The Arts Council cannot ignore its responsibility for the fiasco surrounding the English Touring Opera The English Touring Opera’s recent decision to, in effect, sack half its orchestra in favour of ‘prioritised increased diversity’ has rightly been condemned. What this entailed was not renewing the contracts of 14 white musicians, many of whom have been… [Read More]


Civitas, Chief Executive Officer

8 July 2021

WE’RE HIRING! We have a vacancy for Chief Executive Officer. Click here for the job description + details on how to apply.


Tim Ambler: How Government Housing Plans Can Succeed

22 June 2021

A guest post by Tim Ambler Views may differ on how many additional houses we need, and where they should be, but almost everyone agrees that the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) should make its mind up and get on with it, and that planning should be streamlined and speeded up. The… [Read More]


A Proper Level-Up

16 May 2021

40 YEARS OF POSITIVE CHANGE IN TYNE AND WEAR: A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE AND INVEST – BUT A “LEVEL UP” STILL REQUIRED Much has changed in Tyne and Wear in the last 40 years. The region had been badly affected by the collapse of the coal, shipbuilding and iron and steel/heavy industries which had… [Read More]


Tim Ambler: What is Parliament for?

16 April 2021

A guest post by Tim Ambler Parliament passes and revises legislation, of course, but it also should give teeth to democracy by holding government to account. Ministers make decisions but they are shielded from the public by their civil servants. Anyone who has written to a government minister, and been lucky enough to get a… [Read More]


President Biden and Identity Politics

29 January 2021

President Biden’s inaugural address used the word unity a dozen times but his first actions as President did not match the rhetoric. Among the batch of Executive Orders he signed that day, one was inspired by the exact opposite of national unity. It signalled that he is a fully-signed up member of the divisive identity-politics… [Read More]


Tim Ambler: Providing Affordable Homes

27 October 2020

A guest post by Tim Ambler . . . Consultation on the planning White Paper concludes on October 29th.[i] Its central tenet, namely that the currently cumbersome planning system should be streamlined, must be right.  One could argue that it does not go far enough: ridding us of the contrary and bureaucratic Planning Inspectorate would help.… [Read More]


Tim Ambler: Are the Magistrates’ Courts Fair?

17 July 2020

A guest post by Tim Ambler . . . Magistrates’ courts, as the anonymous “Secret Barrister”[i] and others so clearly describe, are not fair to victims and witnesses. Delays, slow justice being no justice, imbalance and police reliability cause the problems but primary culpability lies with parliament, not the police nor the courts. The government… [Read More]


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