Our latest blogs, long-reads, videos and podcasts about all-things community power, local government, public services, and more.

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Solution to Labour’s public services dilemma is just a train ride away

Labour lacks a strategy for a public sector under unprecedented pressure. The solution can be found on the frontline, says Adam Lent.

8th April, 2024

Community power: top questions answered

Adam Lent tackles some of the most common questions about community power in the public sector, from its benefits, to real-life examples, to its why its time has come...

8th April, 2024

Radical Leadership Lessons: Community as well as Institutions

Adam Lent reflects on New Local’s fourth Radical Leadership session with local government leaders.

4th April, 2024

Where We’re At: Reigate and Banstead Edition

Mari Roberts-Wood, Managing Director at Reigate and Banstead Council tells us about what makes the council unique and what you can expect to find along Banstead’s majestic Narnia Trail...

By Mari Roberts-Wood, Managing Director at Reigate and Banstead Council

27th March, 2024

“This is our street”: How community-powered play creates health, happiness and connection

Summer Simpson speaks to Lucy Colbeck, programme manager at Playing Out, about the benefits of street play for local communities, growing support for the movement in local and central...

26th March, 2024

“Everything we do is driven by our communities”: Inside Test Valley’s ground-breaking approach to community engagement

From giving residents a blank sheet to determine the council’s priorities, to making statutory consultation processes interactive and fun, Test Valley Borough Council is pushing the envelope on community...

20th March, 2024

A weaker local government means a weaker Britain

The suffocation of local government leaves Britain profoundly weaker just as the world becomes more hostile, says Adam Lent.

14th March, 2024

Leadership Lucky Draw: Katie Kelly

As Depute Chief Executive of Scotland's East Aryshire council, Katie Kelly was a leading part of some of the most radical power sharing done by any UK council. Now...

14th March, 2024

Making community power business as usual: How to learn by doing

New Local’s senior practice lead Catriona Maclay explains how Barnet Council is supporting staff to embed community power across the borough and shares six lessons from the journey so...

11th March, 2024

Leadership Lucky Draw: Tony Clements

The chief executive of Ealing council takes a chance on our Leadership Lucky Draw, exploring topics from how to get things done, to why Ealing is taking a positive...

7th March, 2024

How We Did It: Building intentionally inclusive community conversations

Jo Fitzpatrick and Jim Leyland explain how Wakefield Council had a Big Conversation with residents, training 100 ‘conversationalists’ to have over 1,300 face-to-face conversations with people across the district...

4th March, 2024

Leadership Lucky Draw: Anthony Okereke

Anthony Okereke is the Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. He took on New Local's leadership lucky draw.

29th February, 2024

Leadership Lucky Draw: Bev Craig, Manchester City Council

The leader of Manchester City Council takes on our Leadership Lucky Draw, answering questions ranging from dream dinner party guests to how her upbringing shaped her.

22nd February, 2024

Brendan Martin and Cormac Russell respond: Public service leadership at a time of ‘permacrisis’

Social entrepreneurs Brendan Martin and Cormac Russell share their take on Adam Lent’s recent blog about radical public service leadership developed with key figures in our network.

By Brendan Martin, founder and MD of Public World, and Cormac Russell, founder and CEO of Nurture Development

20th February, 2024

Radical Leadership: how to lead the public sector in the permacrisis

We're living in a permacrisis. How should public service leaders adapt to this landscape? We sat down with some of them to come up with a plan.

7th February, 2024

Community Power: How to…Start!

New Local's senior practice lead Catriona Maclay explains how Wealden District Council is charting its path to community power using transparent, collaborative self-evaluation.

6th February, 2024

What does design thinking have to do with local authorities?

Eleanor Brown shares three lessons from piloting designing thinking at Enfield Council, and makes the case for problem solving from the outside in.

By Eleanor Brown, Director of Customer & Communications, Enfield Council

1st February, 2024

Government should withdraw council productivity plan demand

The intent behind Michael Gove's announcement was not to improve productivity – and it won’t, writes Adam Lent.

31st January, 2024

“It’s time for Total Place 2.0”: John Denham in conversation with Jessica Studdert

The best policy that almost was? Former Secretary of State John Denham & New Local's Jessica Studdert discuss their new paper calling for a come-back for place-based budgeting as...

31st January, 2024

The art of creating awesome politicians

A tech engineer by training, Omezzine Khelifa left a life in France to work in the Tunisian transition from dictatorship to democracy. Today she is the executive director of...

23rd January, 2024

“The impact is palpable” – How upturning healthcare is serving East Surrey  

Dr Gillian Orrow is a GP and co-founder of Growing Health Together, an East Surrey initiative which helps Primary Care Networks collaborate with community members and local organisations to...

By Dr Gillian Orrow

16th January, 2024

The space-maker: introducing Samira Ben Omar

Our board member, Samira Ben Omar, has dedicated her career to addressing inequalities in health and other spheres. She talks about why the NHS needs to relate differently to...

9th January, 2024

“Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together”: 2023 in review

Adam Lent takes a look back at the ups and downs of 2023, shares his hopes for the year to come (and channels Marilyn Monroe).

19th December, 2023

“Sustained growth is a MacGuffin”: Why councils must find other ways to prosper

Alongside the drive for growth, tapping into the wealth of insight, energy and tangible assets in communities will help us solve our most formidable challenges, writes Adam Lent.

13th December, 2023

Five times communities sowed the seeds of healthier places

Five brilliant examples of what communities can achieve when money and decision-making power are in their hands.

11th December, 2023

New research: Community-powered investment has positive impact on health

We explore the positive health and wellbeing impact of the Big Local programme - a hyperlocal community-led initiative.

11th December, 2023

Health in Haughton Matters

A vibrant community set around an ancient village on the edge of Darlington, Haughton and Springfield has its challenges. But a wealth of local pride and a strong voluntary...

By Cllr Chris McEwan and Sean O’Connell, Move More Officer, Darlington Borough Council

6th December, 2023

How We Did It: Transforming public services into people power with Good Help

Helen Chicot from Rochdale Council introduces a three-year project which has used Good Help principles to tackle the council’s most pressing challenges, transforming the way the way it works...

24th November, 2023

A better way forward: How community power can save money and reduce demand on public services

Mila Lukic from Bridges Outcomes Partnerships spells out the problem with centralisation and why we need to think about service design and delivery in a very different way.

By Mila Lukic, CEO and Co-Founder, Bridges Outcomes Partnerships

16th November, 2023

How collaboration and community engagement can help create a stronger NHS

How can we tackle the growing crisis in the NHS? TPXimpact’s Iain O’Neil says shifting towards community-led approaches can protect the NHS’s future and improve health for all.

By Iain O’Neil, Managing Partner - Health, TPXimpact

15th November, 2023

Where We’re At: Fife Edition

Fife Council's Mike Enston tells us about the challenge of growing inequalities, the council’s ambitions to redistribute power to the community and why you can’t visit Fife without enjoying...

By Mike Enston, Executive Director, Communities Directorate, Fife Council

9th November, 2023

Community power was on Labour’s fringe but didn’t feel niche

Radical devolution was a key talking point at Labour party conference, but Keir Starmer's speech didn't deliver on the detail, writes Katy Oglethorpe.

23rd October, 2023

How We Did It: Starting a Local Property Partnership

Lorinda Freint from Richmond and Wandsworth Councils and Bex Trevalyan from Platform Places introduce a new process to unlock town centre buildings and explain how they got started in...

17th October, 2023

Keeping the community power conversation going

TPXimpact's Charlotte Obijiaku shares highlights from our recent workshop showcasing six stories of community power, and makes the case for deeper collaboration.

By Charlotte Obijiaku, Deliberative Democracy Officer, TPXimpact

6th October, 2023

Labour’s way forward in office? Community power

Our public finances are in crisis. The next government will need to focus on making better use of existing money if it is to ensure better outcomes for local...

26th September, 2023

“It felt like a levelling out”: How people in poverty are changing the system in Trafford

Built on the power of relationships, this project brought together local residents with lived experience of poverty and key decision makers in the public, private and third sectors to...

13th September, 2023

Councils must work harder to secure support for green schemes

Local government must look beyond conventional consultation approaches to drive forward the environmental agenda that Westminster is so easily abandoning, writes Adam Lent.

13th September, 2023

“This is the best opportunity we’ve had for community power”: Claire Hazelgrove

There are signs that community power could be becoming a political reality. We speak to TPXimpact’s Claire Hazelgrove on the imperative of seizing the moment.

By Claire Hazelgrove, Community & Political Engagement Director, TPXimpact

11th September, 2023

How We Did It: Participatory Action Research

Xia Lin from Toynbee Hall introduces a research method designed to embed resident participation in local change-making.

6th September, 2023

Joint venture: how an NHS physio waiting list was shrunk in just two days

Is it possible to significantly reduce health and social care waiting lists overnight? It may seem like a policymaker’s – or patient’s – pipedream. But a new innovation from...

30th August, 2023

What councils need to unlock place-based prevention

Government action is needed to ensure councils' ambitious and expansive vision for preventative work can be realised, writes Grace Pollard.

7th August, 2023

As Westminster fiddles while the world burns, local politicians must show climate leadership

Adam Lent argues that mayors and councillors need to urgently step into the void left by Westminster climate complacency and start having real, difficult conversations.

25th July, 2023

Nandy: We need politics for people with skin in the game

What is Labour’s vision for community power? Is the party serious about handing over control to local areas, and their people, if they win the next election? How do...

20th July, 2023

Putting communities at the heart of climate action decision making

Climate change and its impacts are already being seen and felt around the world, meaning we need to take action now to mitigate and adapt to its effects. Kelly...

By Kelly McBride, Deliberative Democracy Lead, TPXimpact,

20th July, 2023

Oflog’s approach is delusional

Devoid of a transformational vision, Oflog will fail to improve performance, writes Adam Lent.

13th July, 2023

Bringing community power to life at Stronger Things

Tom Chigbo, Community Engagement & Participation Manager at TPXimpact, shares his experience of and insights from Stronger Things 2023.

By Tom Chigbo, Community Engagement & Participation Manager, TPXimpact

12th July, 2023

In Practice: Communities Tackling Health Inequalities

What can health professionals, councils, charities and communities do when they come together to work on reducing health inequalities? At Stronger Things, changemakers behind some of the most innovative...

5th July, 2023

NHS at 75: why the workforce plan should start with communities

Building a community-powered NHS is urgently needed to overcome the current and future challenges facing the system. On the 75th anniversary of our much-loved health service, Laura Charlesworth delves...

5th July, 2023

Bola Owolabi: A mission to close the health gap

What does it take to bridge health inequalities that have been widening across the UK? We speak to the woman tasked with this formidable task, Prof Bola Owolabi.

4th July, 2023

Evidence unpacked: does community power boost wellbeing?

Giving communities more agency has been linked to improved wellbeing. But to what extent is this backed up by evidence? And how do we help harness the benefits of...

22nd June, 2023

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