To 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.
Cllr Patrick Diamond, London Borough of Southwark, foresees that by 2043 the myth that top-down, central government is the most effective way to govern will be bust.
The council of 2043 will be exercising much greater political power, as politicians in Whitehall came to recognise the imperative of passing back power to communities in order to solve pressing challenges, from ensuring an increasingly ageing population receives adequate social care, through to advancing opportunities for young people from the most disadvantaged communities. The myth this could be achieved through top-down, central government policy-making finally imploded, and councils had much greater freedoms to innovate, raise resources, borrow on the capital markets, and work with multi-agency partners. The council of the future is part of an emerging ‘sharing economy’ where there is no longer a passive, one way relationship between citizens and providers, but instead a web of reciprocity, co-creation and mutuality leading to very different kinds of service provision at local level in every sphere from housing to services for looked after children. Increasingly, councils are focusing on how to understand and adopt workable ideas tried and tested by others, both from within the UK and from further afield.