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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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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

The moment for Universal Basic Income is now, and it’s local

As we look to a post-pandemic future, more and more local authorities are getting behind the idea of a Universal Basic Income. The case is stronger than ever, argues...


By Simon Duffy, Centre for Welfare Reform / UBI Lab Network

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

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

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

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

“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

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

Four ways COVID-19 is changing the relationship between communities and public services

In a new report, we explore how COVID is changing the relationship between public services and communities.


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

9th June, 2020

Now is the moment for councils to share power with their communities

How can deliberative forums be used to engage and mobilise communities?


By Bonnie Hewson, Programme Manager Power to Change

8th June, 2020

Economic confidence might be slumping, but community power is on the rise

Throughout the pandemic central government has worked against the grain of local energy, but hope can be found in our communities and councils, writes Jessica Studdert. Councils’ confidence in...


By Jessica Studdert, Deputy Director, NLGN

28th May, 2020

CONFIDENCE IN THE TIME OF COVID-19: 3 TAKE-AWAYS FROM our LATEST LEADERSHIP INDEX SURVEY

As the COVID-19 crisis unfolded, we asked leaders in local government how their councils are coping with the challenges of this crisis. Here are the three things we’ve learned...


By Pawda Tjoa, Senior Researcher

28th May, 2020

Child protection social work in a pandemic: Turning towards the community?

“Disasters shake things loose. And the things that we regarded as fixed and unchangeable can suddenly be changed” (Solnit, 2020) Rebecca Solnit has become the ‘go to’ writer for...


By Brid Featherstone

12th May, 2020

Councils and COVID-19: The Response Edition #7

04/5/20 – 08/5/20 Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

7th May, 2020

Councils and COVID-19: The Response Edition #6

27/4/20 – 01/5/20 Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

1st May, 2020

Five reasons targets are a terrible way to do government

Under pressure following criticism of his approach to testing for Covid-19, at the start of April Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a new target: the government would be carrying...


By Jessica Studdert, Deputy Director, NLGN

29th April, 2020

The Government doesn’t just need an exit plan, it needs a strategy for recovery – and future resilience

Adam Lent, Director of the New Local Government Network, says we urgently need a post-pandemic recovery strategy for the public as well as the private sector. While the UK...


By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

27th April, 2020

Councils and COVID-19: The Response Edition #5

20/4/20 – 24/4/20 Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

24th April, 2020

New Research: How local gov can mobilise communities

Today, there are more councils than ever who realise that they can’t do it alone. That their best work, and most robust decisions, come from working hand-in-hand with the...


By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN

21st April, 2020

Elinor Ostrom and Community Power in the UK – Presentation

Who was Elinor Ostrom? What were her key arguments? How are they relevant to localism, public services, and politics in the UK? This presentation serves as an introduction to...


By Simon Kaye

20th April, 2020

Councils and COVID-19: The Response Edition #4

Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

17th April, 2020

Feeling Keynes? Why crisis economics needs to look beyond the 40s

After years of enforced slumber, the state is starting to stir. The signs of this were there even before the pandemic hit in full, with Rishi Sunak’s March budget...


By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN

14th April, 2020

Councils and COVID-19: The Response Edition #3

Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

9th April, 2020

Councils and covid-19: The response Edition #2

Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

3rd April, 2020

Councils and covid-19: The response Edition #1

Local authorities are indispensable in our current crisis and are therefore under enormous pressure. They manage the public services that people are increasingly reliant on, support the most vulnerable...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

27th March, 2020

With every part of our lives facing upheaval, the only certainty is uncertainty

It feels like only a cliché will do as a title for this article. Maybe this tells you something about my writing ability – but, maybe, just as love-songs...


By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN

24th March, 2020

Defenders of democracy need to wake up urgently to the threat posed by another crisis

A deep global slowdown is a gift to the authoritarians. Adam Lent argues democrats need to unite around a vision of politically empowered communities to see them off. @adamjlent...


By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

24th March, 2020

The pandemic asks big questions of our economy. Now is the time to answer them.

Adam Lent argues we need to start thinking now about a post-pandemic plan focused on building stronger communities and a resilient economy. As is often the case with a...


By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

20th March, 2020

Activist Voice: Keeping a Wirral Bathhouse Afloat

Built in the 1930s, the Grade II-listed Bryne Avenue Baths had fallen into a state of disrepair when the council made plans to knock the building down. That was...

10th March, 2020

Who cares? Women, work and community power

Women do the vast majority of unpaid care, and are often at the heart of community work. But can community empowerment help create a more egalitarian approach to paid...


By Grace Pollard, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

9th March, 2020

Elinor Ostrom: The Economist who Proved Community Power Works

Simon Kaye explores the legacy of Elinor Ostrom, the first female Noble-prize-winning economist, who proved that communities can successfully take charge of the assets around them. It’s work that...


By Simon Kaye, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

8th March, 2020

“We need to unlock everyone’s disrupting power.” An interview with Kajal Odera

Kajal Odera ran campaigns for Youth Parliament, Crisis and Macmillan before joining Change.org – an online petition website with over 240 million users worldwide. She became the UK Executive...

6th March, 2020

Activist Voice: Many like it HOT: Building hope in Halifax

In the run up to our Stronger Things community power event, we’re interviewing local activists who are leading by example. This week we meet Alison Haskins, who taught sewing...


By An interview with Alison Haskins, HOT

27th February, 2020

How data and tech could unleash community power

As part of their partnership with our Stronger Things event, Tim Pitts from digital technology provider Agilisys explores the potential of technology, data and creative thinking for local government....


By Tim Pitts, Managing Partner, Agilisys

27th February, 2020

Big Society 2.0? What sets our Paradigm apart

In July 2010, during his honeymoon period as Prime Minister, David Cameron unveiled what he called his “great passion” – the Big Society agenda. Built around principles of localism,...


By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher

26th February, 2020

Don’t underestimate communities – support them to take control

Head of Communications Katy Oglethorpe responds to the Centre for Local Economic Strategies’ critique of the Community Paradigm , by arguing that communities – working in partnership with government...


By Katy Oglethorpe

24th February, 2020

‘We can walk along the street and feel a change’: Activist Voice: The Community Builder

In the run up to our Stronger Things community power event, we’re interviewing local activists who are leading by example. We start with Hannah Sloggett, who has revitalised an...

20th February, 2020

A neighbourhood nudge: Four ways behavioural science can create thriving spaces

With the new government committed to building ‘places we want to live in’ by giving communities more say on development, and the upcoming NLGN conference in March looking at...


By Clare Delargy, Senior Advisor, Behavioural Insights Team

18th February, 2020

Growth cannot be inclusive without heeding the environment

The last few years have seen scores of councils publish inclusive growth plans – a radical admission that the economy, as presently constructed, is failing to deliver for millions...


By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher

15th February, 2020

Finding love in a local place: the case for compassionate public services

On 14 February, Camden Council is celebrating Valentine’s Day in a rather disruptive way. 130 people from across the country and from a range of organisations are coming together...


By Becca Dove and Tim Fisher - Camden Council

14th February, 2020

Animation: How Local Government can Create Inclusive Growth

Between 2010 and 2020, the UK experienced something unprecedented in recent history – a decade without a recession. Yet, somehow, this period also saw the lowest levels of wage...


By NLGN Team

12th February, 2020

People, Place & Prosperity: How we’re creating a more inclusive Manchester

Manchester’s significant transformation over the past 25 years is well documented. The city has seen strong economic growth, vast regeneration, and an increasing population. We have a number of...


By Elizabeth Mitchell - Policy and Partnerships Manager, Manchester City Council

11th February, 2020

NLGN’s new framework helps councils cultivate inclusive growth

Is a growing economy something to celebrate when the benefits it brings are out of reach to many? While the economy grew as a whole in the 2017/18 financial...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

11th February, 2020

The DWP is failing ill and disabled people. Could community power be the way forward?

Millions of people in communities across the country find it difficult, or even impossible, to work because of the impact of a disability or long-term health condition. These disabilities...


By Tom Pollard, independent researcher

7th February, 2020

Why its time for the government to get serious about inclusive growth

The realities of the way in which the elecatoral map was redrawn in December mean that Conservative politicians are starting to talk about the economy a little bit differently....


By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN

5th February, 2020

A guide to English devolution

What on earth is devolution, what’s held it back & what might come out of the new government White Paper? This animation accompanies this handy FAQ by New Local...


By NLGN Team

30th January, 2020

A guide to devolution and why it matters

English devolution is back in the spotlight. As the Government prepares to publish a White Paper to set out its “offer for enhanced devolution across England”, we at NLGN...


By Charlotte Morgan, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

24th January, 2020

Why Labour needs to keep talking about community power – vote winner or not

If any main theme has emerged in the Labour Party’s leadership contest so far, it is community empowerment. Almost all the candidates have at least mentioned the importance of...


By Luca Tiratelli and Simon Kaye, NLGN

24th January, 2020

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