LGiU council of 2043: Neil McInroy

30birthdayTo mark the LGiU’s 30th anniversary we invited 30 contributors to gaze in to a crystal ball and tell us how councils will be different in 2043.

Neil McInroy, CLES Chief Executive, calls for a society where local wealth generation is captured locally and shared fairly.

We must aim for a good society in 2043 – where poverty is banished and there are opportunities for all.   In 2043, the environment is nurtured not exploited, and local wealth generation is captured locally and shared more fairly. In 2043, voluntary action, is not the cheap service option, but an integral, respected and grant supported part of local place success. In 2043, unions and business, glued by mutual love of a good local society, work together for the benefit of the economy and the people.  In 2043, sentiments such ‘private good, public bad’, are seen as silly, in a time when both are interdependent and good.

Local government are the curators of this ideal, nurturing the conditions for ongoing economic and social progress.  Key to this is deep collaborative working with the commercial and social sectors.  This interdependency is wedded into local consciousness and behaviours and embedded through local social contracts  into the DNA of public service delivery.  Local government has a key representative democratic role, but there is a ‘new democratic deal’ with participative forms, co-creating services with citizenry.  Public services provide what the market can’t do efficiently or effectively, and are proactive in preventing expensive need by capturing issues upstream, before they become critical and expensive. The actions of business and social sectors support this reduction in demand.

Finally, all Local Government will be unitary and equal in powers.  All will have more direct control over their own finances.  In 2043, a new relationship with Central Government has arrived. Having undergone a 30 year of painful transformation, Whitehall activity has been redistributed across the nation.  From its small – but redistributively powerful -coordination hub in Walsall, central government will finally embrace Local government as co directors of the nation.