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for Local Government: Slick (for central government) website
that brings together press releases, legal information and publications
from all the relevant departments. Essential reading for anyone affected
by changes in local government policy, info4localgov also provides an
email alert that you can tailor to your interests.
Local Government Association: A goldmine that combines policy research, commentary, a what's on diary and internal information from what is effectively local government's own trade union. It may not be a very attractive site, but it should be your first port of call for authoritative information on the central government decisions that affect your work.
Improvement and Development Agency: Provides a wide range of practical advice for councils on succesfully dealing with new government initiatives and generally improving service standards. Includes the agency's latest publications on best value and e-government, as well as a massive database of local council reviews. The IDeA is constantly expanding and updating this impressive web offering.
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities: Scotland's national council association offers similar services to its English counterpart, including a good range of policy briefings and information about the country's devolved parliament. It also includes plenty of detail on Cosla's internal business and policies.
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions: Departmental website that bears the motherlode of government information for local councils, as well as offering details of policy on transport, regionalism and regeneration. Largely provides raw government documents with little or no analysis, so be prepared for some heavy going.
Best Value Inspection Service: An adjunct to the Audit Commission website that is supposed to contain every best value inspection report and press release so far published. Although frequently out of date, it remains an invaluable resource.
Best Value Performance Plans: The best value inspectors at the Audit Commission offer advice on how to put your performance plan together. This site also gives you the chance to take a look at what other councils have produced, and learn from their mistakes and successes.
Employers' Organisation: Website of the organisation that represents local government management at the national level. Contains information about council pay negotiations, scales and structures alongside a wealth of research on issues ranging from racial equality to employee sickness.
Routes into Local Government: Careers site that provides the basics for those interested in becoming a council officer. Offers little for those already working in the sector, but will give the uninitiated plenty of information on what local government does and why they should apply for a job in it.
England & Wales