In January 2017, the LGiU committed to exploring three core policy questions over the course of the year:
Finance: How should local government be funded?
Democracy: How can we strengthen local democracy?
Services: How do we design public services that are fit for the future?
This series of essays draws on the last year of LGiU research and events to explore some of the answers to these three questions.
In her essay Local Government: in the money?, Jen Glover uses the results of our State of Local Government Finance survey, The Local Vantage, our joint publication with the Institute of Fiscal Studies and PwC, and a series of LGiU events on local government finance to provide an analysis of 100 per cent Business Rate Retention thus far. How did we get to where we are, what are councils’ top concerns and how should we address them?
Andrew Walker investigates Lessons from the Greater Manchester Experiment in his article on what is currently the biggest innovation in local governance in the UK. He draws on: his ongoing PhD study (which LGiU is supporting with Queen Mary, University of London); Beyond Devolution, the report of the LGiU’s Devolution Network of council leaders and chief executives; and our work with the Fawcett Society on women’s representation in local government.
Adult social care has inevitably held an important position in our 2017 programme. Our report with Mears, Paying for It highlighted the human cost of low priced home care and called for a new locally driven national plan for social care. Alongside this we have developed a new app – CoCare – with Kingston Council, to support outcomes-based commissioning. In her essay, A New Settlement for Social Care, Ingrid Koehler uses this research to describe the unfolding crisis in adult social care and outline the crucial steps central government must take to address this challenge.