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Strictly embargoed until: 00:01 Monday 14 November, 2016
LGiU says we must dare to imagine our future local
New report outlines local governing models required post Brexit
The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU), today, launches a new report calling for a more independent local government with clear powers, clear vision and a clear role in driving prosperity and ambition locally.
Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 23 November it has been widely reported that the future of the planned devolution of powers to English towns and cities is in the balance, despite recent progress. Theresa May’s Government has also been described as ‘wobbling’ over the Northern Powerhouse project. Some see the EU referendum result as signalling a need to rethink all governance and strengthen local powers.
As such Future Local: Seven possibilities for a local government story sketches out the parameters of new local governing models in a collection of essays from LGiU experts. Themes include: sovereignty (making the case for a more muscular municipalism); creative destruction (the need for a better narrative around democratic renewal); a written constitution (a constitutional settlement in a post-European age); the financial future of local government (a more solid fiscal base and new forms of taxation); local leadership (the potential for more impressive and diverse local leadership); a centre of local economic life (a more aggressive and innovative role for local government in promoting local growth); and global participation (an international role for British towns and cities apart from the national government).
The publication will launch at the LGiU / Mile End Institute debate on Monday evening (November 14) Where next for devolution? with Lord Bob Kerslake (former Head of the Civil Service and President of the Local Government Association). The debate will bring key thinkers and practitioners together to discuss the path devolution may take in the future.
The LGiU has also launched a new monthly snapshot of local government’s confidence in extraordinary times. We will publish a numerical confidence figure each month on our website and with our partners, Think Tank Review. For further details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGiU said: “Amidst the tidal flow of recent major global political challenges it can seem perverse to focus on the local. But that is where politics always begins.
At LGiU, we have long argued for the benefits of localism and our new Future Local series calls for an independent local government with clear powers, clear vision and a clear role in driving prosperity and ambition locally.
If people don’t feel they can control what happens in their neighbourhood they will never feel that they have any agency in the world and we make it all too easy for people to look inwards and backwards rather than forwards and outwards.
While this is a moment of crisis, it is also a moment of opportunity: a juncture at which we are confronted with an inescapable demand to rethink the nature of our body politic and to redefine the ways in which we work together. If we can only start to do that, then this is the moment at which we can, must, dare to imagine our Future Local.”
The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) is a think tank and membership body with 200 councils and other organisations subscribing to our networks. We work to strengthen local democracy and put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services. For more information, visit www.lgiu.org.uk.
Future Local sits alongside the work of Andrew Walker (LGiU Policy Researcher) who is currently pursuing a PHD undertaking analysis of the devolution of powers to Greater Manchester. This partnership between LGiU and the Mile End Institute, funded by the ESRC, examines the impact on local decision making in this region. Final recommendations are expected at the end of 2018. More information can be found here.
More detail on the Future Local series can be found here.
Mile End Institute
The Mile End Institute is a major new policy centre established at Queen Mary University of London, building on the foundations of our predecessor organisation, the Mile End Group. The Institute connects research, policy-making and public debate to deepen and challenge the understanding of British politics, governance and public policy. For more information, visit http://mei.qmul.ac.uk/.
LGiU and the Mile End Institute are bringing key thinkers and practitioners to discuss the path devolution may take in the future.
What next for English devolution? Discussion event with Lord Bob Kerslake
Date: Monday 14th November
Time: 5.00-6.30pm followed by drinks
Venue: St Matthew’s, Westminster, 20 Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2BU
Speakers will include:
Lord Bob Kerslake, former Head of the Civil Service, President of the Local Government Association
Professor Jane Wills, QMUL School of Geography, author of Locating Localism
Cllr Colin Noble, Leader of Suffolk County Council
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive of LGiU (Chair)