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

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Changing the system not the person: how an asset-based approach can change lives

How do you try to solve a problem like homelessness? By working with Bridges Outcomes Partnerships, Kirklees Council focused on asking people what they wanted to achieve. How a...


By Sarah Cooke, Managing Director, Kirklees Better Outcomes Partnership

15th February, 2021

Four ways to boost local vaccine take-up

As the vaccine rollout widens, how can local services reach eligible people who remain hesitant to make an appointment? In this how-to guide, the experts from the Behavioural Insights...


By Cathy Coleman and Eva Kolker, Behavioural Insights Team

10th February, 2021

New research: Creating cultural communities for young Londoners

Covid-19 has had a severe impact on the social, economic and mental wellbeing of young people. Through a new Listening Project, we'll explore how to build 'cultural communities' for,...

2nd February, 2021

The response to the Covid-19 pandemic: lessons in governance and leadership

The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on how the UK functions: how decisions are made and by whom; the interlocking - or isolated - roles of health care,...


By Prof Sir Chris Ham

1st February, 2021

How councils and communities ‘shifted the balance’ during Covid

Together, councils and communities did extraordinary things during Covid-19. Our Shifting the Balance research explores how practices, cultures and attitudes changed - and how to keep hold of some...

27th January, 2021

“I’ve never felt as close to my community” – Pembrokeshire, the pandemic & me

Neil Prior, Head of Transformation at Pembrokeshire County Council reflects on the transformation that the Covid-19 pandemic fuelled in his council - particularly in forging a closer relationship between...

27th January, 2021

The lockdown strikes back, but local lessons give hope

Covid-19 has brought unimaginable hardship to local communites, but it has also sparked a shift in mindset, culture and practice that helped many get through the pandemic and will...

13th January, 2021

How our new network will build hopeful, hostility-free towns

From the start of 2021, HOPE not hate Charitable Trust are starting to build a Towns Leadership Network, to improve community cohesion. The initiative is a central part of...


By Chris Clarke, Policy Researcher, HOPE not hate.

11th January, 2021

Overheard during Covid: What the pandemic has taught us

Over six months, Pippa Coutts and her colleagues at Carnegie Trust talked to communities across the UK to gather their experience of the Covid pandemic. The resulting ‘Listening Project’...


By Pippa Coutts

9th December, 2020

Community Power and Me: Katie Kelly, East Ayrshire

A vlog from Katie Kelly, Depute Chief Executive - Safer Communities, at East Ayshire Council in Scotland. In 2013, Katie helped set up the council's Vibrant Communities Service -...

7th December, 2020

Why only community-led devolution will give us the skills we need

Even before the Covid pandemic, UK skills were falling behind other countries in terms of participation and spending. With huge employment and economic challenges on the horizon, Charlotte Morgan...

26th November, 2020

Local Actions for Global Problems: Climate change, communities and changing mindsets

Most of us recognise that climate change will soon overshadow every crisis that came before. But our approaches to tackling it are too often marred by denial, evasion and...

19th November, 2020

Health is made at home, hospitals are for repairs

Health care is so much more about what happens in hospitals, writes the former Chief Executive of the English NHS. Instead, it can thrive with the help of 'health...


By Lord Nigel Crisp, former Chief Executive of the English NHS

13th November, 2020

From Covid to communities – the future of social care

The crises facing care homes meant social care became part of the news during Covid-19. But how can we look beyond it to building a better system for future...


By Kathryn Smith, Chief Executive, Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

10th November, 2020

Commmunity Rights and Spending Cuts

The wave of spending cuts about to hit councils is yet another Westminster slap in the face to local communities. Adam Lent argues that we can only stop central...


By Adam Lent, Chief Executive, New Local

2nd November, 2020

Podcast: This Isn’t Working

In this podcast, we discuss why the DWP report is ill-equipped to support people out of long-term unemployment. And we look at at the community approach that could replace...

27th October, 2020

The Greater Manchester decision reveals our communities are poor because they are powerless

The decision to impose Covid restrictions on Greater Manchester is about far more than a political spat, says Adam Lent, it is an extreme example of our rulers' centralist...


By Adam Lent

21st October, 2020

Three reasons why Elinor Ostrom is the thinker for right now

Elinor Ostrom was a Nobel Prize-winning thinker and godmother of the community power movement. Here are three vital lessons her work has for the UK today.


By Dr Simon Kaye

21st October, 2020

Communities are being failed. It’s time to enshrine their rights.

The Government’s centralised response and lethal failures on Covid mean it's time to acknowledge that local communities have rights that should be enshrined in law.


By Adam Lent

15th October, 2020

We urgently need a fresh approach to devolution

Amid doubts about the government's plans for a devolution white paper, Adam Lent outlines three principles to guide a new approach to reform.


By Adam Lent

9th October, 2020

Missing links? How Covid-19 exposed goverment’s connection problem

The pandemic showed how much central government tightens its grip in a crisis. But it's the connection with local goverrment, not just power that's the problem.


By Jessica Studdert

6th October, 2020

How community power could save the high street

The decline of the high street was only sped up by Covid-19 – but could commununity ownership help reverse this trend? With inspiring examples from across the UK, Ailbhe...


By Ailbhe McNabola, Head of Research and Policy, Power to Change

1st October, 2020

‘Devolve to Resolve’ the jobs and skills challenge

“We need to be creative, brave and try things that no government has ever done before.” This is how, in a recent tweet, chancellor Rishi Sunak proposed that he...

1st October, 2020

A second wave for mutual aid?

The rise of Mutual Aid groups was a rare positive to come out of the pandemic, seeing thousands of people coming together to help their neighbours through hardship and...


By Luca Tiratelli , Senior Policy Researcher

1st October, 2020

Together, big state and big business ruined our Covid response. Local communities can take it from here.

A ‘marriage from hell’ between big state and big business birthed a litany of failures during Covid-19. Meanwhile, councils and communities have proved themselves far more equipped to cope....


By Jessica Studdert, Deputy Director, New Local Government Network

25th September, 2020

Has councils’ Covid response boosted – or blighted – the case for devolution?

While devolution might be set back by the government’s centralising instincts, which have been laid bare during the pandemic, this is counterbalanced by the support councils have won through...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN, 16 September, 2020

16th September, 2020

Pillars of Strength: How can we build a ‘Resilient Britain’

From the perspective of international comparisons, Britain’s performance during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a chastening experience. Both in terms of economics and in terms of public health, we...


By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN

15th September, 2020

‘Nice White Parents’ and the Corruption of Democracy

A new podcast series from the New York Times makes a simple observation – that the single most powerful force in American public schools are concerned white people. Over...


By Luca Tiratelli, Senior Policy Researcher

3rd September, 2020

A (New) Design for Learning: Doing skills devolution differently

When we talk about devolution, as we will do increasingly when the UK Government’s Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper is published this Autumn, we should remember that it...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

1st September, 2020

Staff Choose: Summer Community Power Reads

This might not be your traditional summer for kicking back and relaxing with the latest page-turner, so why not try out something a bit more… powerful? Our NLGN team...


By NLGN Team

7th August, 2020

Future plans: a community-powered approach to housing?

A new Government White Paper envisages radical reform for planning. But, while it hints at a community-led approach, it also sets rules and targets to be imposed by national...


By John Myers, Co-founder, YIMBY Alliance,

6th August, 2020

Key findings: How to Mobilise Communities

Communities have the power to do extraordinary things. The evidence for this is all around us at the moment. However, for this potential to be unleashed, work needs to...


By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN

29th July, 2020

Behavioural insights after Covid: three changes to keep

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) turn their attention to what life might look like after lockdown, and the opportunities for change this might bring.


By by Hazel Wright, Senior Advisor, Behavioural Insights Team

29th July, 2020

Have you shifted the balance? New research on a post-Covid future

The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as producing huge hardship and challenges, was also a time that saw incredible innovation, resilience and compassion. NLGN's new report 'Shifting the Balance', aims...


By Simon Kaye, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

26th July, 2020

Time for a national conversation on resilience

Kicking off a new conversation about Resilient Britain, chief executive of Local Trust, Matt Leach, and director of NLGN, Adam Lent, set out their plan to bring together a...


By Matt Leach, Chief Executive - Big Local, and Adam Lent, Director - NLGN

24th July, 2020

PREPARING FOR A RESURGENCE OF COVID-19: 3 TAKE-AWAYS FROM NLGN’S LATEST LEADERSHIP INDEX SURVEY

As councils prepare for recovery from COVID-19, we asked leaders in local government how their councils are preparing for a potential second wave


By Pawda Tjoa, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

23rd July, 2020

Councils vs Covid: 3 Things We Learned From Local Gov’s Pandemic Response

What have we learned from monitoring innovative local responses to COVID-19?


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher

16th July, 2020

Podcast: The Rise of Mutual Aid

Have a Listen: The public response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a source of much-needed hope. Thousands of spontaneous, voluntary Mutual Aid groups have emerged to support the...

13th July, 2020

Mutual Aid kept 1000s afloat during Covid. Here’s how to sustain it.

Across the country, thousands of Mutual Aid groups have emerged, taking on vital work and supporting the most vulnerable people in their communities through this unprecedented disaster. The flourishing...


By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN

13th July, 2020

“After Covid, it will be hard for any government to say radical climate action is not possible.”

We're talking to people leading change in local government about their work, their place, and the pandemic.


By Hannah Jameson, Lambeth Council

10th July, 2020

Councils and COVID-19: Their Response – Final edition

Local authorities are indispensable in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. What are they doing to meet the challenge?


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

3rd July, 2020

As the former deputy mayor of Leicester, I’m aghast at the Government’s lockdown approach

Rory Palmer, former deputy mayor of Leicester, tracks the governments over-centralised approach to lockdown.


By Rory Palmer

1st July, 2020

Michael Gove’s Reform Plans Reinforce the Elitism he Claims to Despise

Michael Gove's agenda-setting speech fails to reckon with power.


By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

29th June, 2020

Councils and COVID-19: Their Response – Edition #14

Local authorities are indispensable to our COVID response. How are they going about meeting the challenge?


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

26th June, 2020

“This has been the single biggest time I’ve felt I’ve made a difference” – Michelle McGinty

We're talking to people leading change in local government about their work, their place, and the pandemic.


By Michelle McGinty, Coventry City Council

23rd June, 2020

After Covid, only a collaborative approach will save social care – and protect those depending on it

Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus, argues that we need to see a rapid shift from the ‘command and control’ leadership style which arguably saved the NHS a...


By Alex Fox, CEO, Shared Lives Plus

22nd June, 2020

We faced Covid-19 with kindness, compassion & love. Now we’re preparing for our biggest challenge yet

There have been smiles and tears, exhilaration and complete exhaustion. The past months seem like a year and the normality of the time before the pandemic seems a lifetime...


By Alison McKenzie-Folan, Chief Executive, Wigan Council

22nd June, 2020

Putting the community at the heart of children’s services: A Call for Best Practice

A growing number of councils are adopting new approaches to children's services which tap into the capacity and experiences of local people.


By Pawda Tjoa, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

18th June, 2020

Councils and COVID-19: The Response Edition #13

Local authorities are indispensable to our response to the pandemic. So how are they stepping up to the challenge?


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

18th June, 2020

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