Local Democracy Update – July 2017

Welcome to the July edition of the local democracy policy update, writes Andrew Walker. This month: devolution and local democracy post-election; an upcoming meeting on leadership; democracy from the ground up; and an advance call for open data.

Post-election devolution?

What are the prospects for devolution and democracy following the outcome of June 8th? LGiU’s Jonathan Carr-West discusses whether the results could signal a shift in the relationship between central and local government, arguing that councils should take this opportunity to flex their collective muscle: “If ever there was a time for the sector to come together with a clear set of demands for how to move forward, it is surely now.”

Meanwhile Lauren Lucas, also of LGiU, argues that local government needs clarity in uncertain times. Many important questions around the future of devolution, social care and local finance remain front and centre.

Meanwhile: In the Public Sector Executive (£), Paul Winyard of NCVO discusses how the voluntary sector will be an essential component of successful devolution; the House of Commons Library has gathered some useful and interesting data on the metro-mayor elections that took place in May; a deal may still be on the cards for the Sheffield City Region, while Chesterfield and Bassetlaw councils have pulled out of their membership bids; and the government has been urged to conclude a devolution deal for West Yorkshire as soon as possible, but will it be known as the Leeds City Region?

Devolution Network – Leadership

LGiU will be in Manchester on 20 July for the final meeting of the Devolution Network, looking at the future of local democracy. The discussion will focus on local leadership, and we will be joined by Andrew Lightfoot, from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, who will give an introductory presentation. Please get in touch if you’d like to be involved in the network.

Local Democracy from the Ground Up

LGiU was in Huddersfield last week for the launch of the final report from the Kirklees Democracy Commission. Throughout the last year the all-party Commission has been hearing evidence from citizens, charities, community organisations across Kirklees and around the country, in order to design a framework and practical activities to strengthen local democracy from the ground up.

We’d love to talk to you about similar activities in your area, so please get in touch if this is something you’re interested in investigating!

Open data at next year’s locals

It may seem like a long way off but……we are starting an early call for participants and supporters in our drive for open data at the 2018 local elections. We’ve been pushing for better and more accessible data on local democracy for the past few years and we’d really like you to help us, so please get in touch ASAP.

Andrew Walker is an LGiU Policy Researcher.

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