Articles by Theo Blackwell
Theo Blackwell is a councillor in the London borough of Camden

Khan’s focus on technology will be a winner for London

Theo Blackwell  |  10 March 2016

Sadiq Khan yesterday did what few Labour politicians have done in recent memory – put a pro-business, pro-technology platform centre-stage of his manifesto. He and his team are right to do so. London is already the tech capital of Europe, and we are closing in on New York and San Francisco. London is home to world-class …

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A big Labour local government idea

Theo Blackwell  |  6 October 2015

George Osborne’s major announcement on business rates – pledging localisation of business rates by 2020 – is not an original Tory government idea. Neither is it a Labour opposition idea – we only promised to give back the proceeds of growth. It is a big Labour local government idea that Labour in Westminster should not …

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Make or break

Theo Blackwell  |  15 February 2015

An estimated 35 per cent of jobs in the United Kingdom are at risk of being automated over the next 20 years. The effects of the digital revolution can already be felt in manufacturing, retail, in public services and the creative industries. Online-only services for government, new services like Uber, streaming content through Spotify or …

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True decentralisation to cities means local taxation reform

Theo Blackwell  |  15 February 2015

In the next few weeks councils up and down the country will be setting their council tax levels for the next year. Council tax is the biggest tax over which local people have a say. It seems obvious that for a healthy democracy to function local people need to see a link between money raised …

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A digital revolution driving reform in public services

Theo Blackwell  |  2 February 2015

Given the potential of technology to drive public service reform, the fear is that there remains limited vision at a local level, even with the new opportunities for real decentralisation, which now exist. The fragmentation of councils across regions, as well as poor or limited experience with technology, poses significant obstacles to progress, especially with …

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Where is Labour on London devolution?

Theo Blackwell  |  27 October 2014

If our aim is to reverse ‘a century of centralisation’, as argued by Ed Miliband in his conference speech, by devolving power to local government then London must be included. Too few powers are devolved to the right level, meaning that there is a yawning gap between the very substantial powers of Whitehall agencies, the …

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Freeing local councils from the SW1 straitjacket

Theo Blackwell  |  20 August 2014

On 1 April 2015 councils up and down the land will announce another round of budgets cuts reflecting the austerity settlement which will last until 2018 at least. The cuts have gone on longer than they had to, because the economy has not grown like it should have.  Of course, this was partly due to …

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A new political settlement for the creative age

Theo Blackwell  |  31 July 2014

The massive advances in technology commonly referred to as the digital revolution have already had a profound impact on communication, distribution and exchange. They promise far more in coming years not least in the sphere of politics, which has been relatively slow to react to this change. As those at @LabourDigital have argued, the digital …

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A digital revolution for public services

Theo Blackwell  |  30 June 2014

By the end of the decade users of public services will expect to access what they want 24/7, by a variety of digital means – phone, TV, computer, console, tablet. Public services will have to meet these higher expectations from taxpayers and service users, as well as developing bold new solutions to social and administrative …

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Championing decentralisation

Theo Blackwell  |  11 February 2014

Last year Jon Cruddas talked of Labour’s new ‘statecraft’ where we ‘push power downwards and build a new kind of state which is based on our values of responsibility, reciprocity and relationships’. If the signs are to be believed, this week Labour could finally be on the verge of breaking the mould of conventional politics, …

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