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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 – 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 NLGN policy...

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

Community Power and the Triple Crisis of the New Decade – Part 1:
The Climate

Adam Lent argues that our intensifying climate crisis requires a political, economic and cultural revolution rooted in the empowerment of communities. @adamjlent We enter this new decade in the...

By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

20th January, 2020

Rural areas are England’s ‘land of opportunity’

The North-South divide is the trope most commonly used by policy-makers to highlight the problems of regional inequality in England, but it is by no means the country’s only...

15th January, 2020

Australia is burning: so is it time for a new environmental politics?

So, the new decade begins with Australia literally on fire. Unsurprisingly, many of us are feeling the moral imperative for climate action more strongly than ever, and yet a...

By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN

6th January, 2020

The low paid need power as well as money

The PM may have given minimum wage earners a cash boost but Adam Lent argues only bringing the low paid into the heart of power will make a long-term...

By Adam Lent, Director

31st December, 2019

No bread for councillors as many reject Brussels: Christmas poll results revealed

Dining dividing lines continue to eat up councils as they fail to agree on what to have for Christmas lunch. We asked council leaders, chief executives and Mayors what...

By Katy Oglethorpe, Head of Communications

24th December, 2019

The Conservatives are victorious – but their blindness to reform may undo them

In theory, a Conservative government with a very strong mandate should prove a tasty prospect for the local government sector. The party’s manifesto commits the government to a devolution...

By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

13th December, 2019

Can budgeting be a transformation tool? Three Tips from our Innovation Exchange

Many of us in the local government sector are all too well acquainted with you the negative side of the budgeting process. As demand seems to consistently rise, money...

By Rich Nelmes, Head of Network and Events, NLGN

4th December, 2019

With budgeting, the only certainty is that nothing is certain

Local authorities experience considerable difficulties as they budget to keep vital services going whilst facing uncertainty about their future finances, and this is exacerbated when they are unsure when...

By Martin Forbes, Strategic Director (Local Government), Local Partnerships

4th December, 2019

Manifesto analysis: what do they say about local power?

With this Community Paradigm front and centre in our minds, here’s our take on the highlights from each party’s manifesto and what these say about their vision for local...

By Grace Pollard, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

27th November, 2019

Our Response: Community Power Act is Unavoidable if We Really Want to Shift the System

In response to the debate about a Community Power Act, Adam Lent argues that culture change is vital but alone it is not enough to transform a highly centralised,...

By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

26th November, 2019

How councils can think bigger about climate change

The environment has been skyrocketing up councils’ agendas in recent years, but local government still faces significant challenges in how to respond.

By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN.

25th November, 2019

An uncommon revolutionary: Why Elinor Ostrom holds the answers for our times

NLGN is working to empower communities in this bid to take back control with our overarching Community Paradigm agenda, and our latest project is an investigation into the research...

By Simon Kaye, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

15th November, 2019

Delivering Local Inclusive Growth – What We’ve Learned

Inclusive growth is a buzzword in local government these days, but how can it be delivered in practice?

By Luca Tiratelli, Policy Researcher, NLGN

12th November, 2019

Speaking with Donna Hall CBE – the force behind the Wigan Deal

Donna Hall CBE discusses leadership, the Wigan Deal, and what drew her towards NLGN and its vision of a world where communities hold the power.

By NLGN Team

11th November, 2019

Why we urgently need a Community Power Act – and what should be in it

NLGN's Director makes the case for a new law that would shift power from public institutions and into the hands of citizens.

By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

11th November, 2019

How can councils transform their cultures?

This October, I had the pleasure of participating in an NLGN Innovation Exchange for the first time.

By Angie Ridgwell, Chief Executive, Lancashire County Council

6th November, 2019

How economic optimism is declining amid Brexit

This month’s NLGN Leadership Index report reveals that councils are even less hopeful about the impact of Brexit on their local economy than they were two years ago.

By Pawda Tjoa, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

31st October, 2019

The Impact of Brexit Uncertainty on Councils: Three take-aways from NLGN’s latest Leadership Index Survey

Uncertainty is bad for the economy. Yet the events of recent days and weeks have revealed even greater lack of clarity for local government when it comes to Britain’s...

By Pawda Tjoa, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

29th October, 2019

Not enough revolution in government’s devolution plans

So, Her Majesty told us yesterday that her counsellors will be launching another round of devolution. It won’t happen of course unless Boris Johnson marches back into Downing Street...

By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

16th October, 2019

The missing piece of the children’s services puzzle

The number of children in care has never been so high, rising by 4% over the last year alone and by 2025, the funding gap for children’s services is...

By Pawda Tjoa, Senior Policy Researcher, NLGN

11th September, 2019


The number of looked after children has reached a thirty-year high, with spending in this area accounting for over half of spending on children’s services in 2018-19. Despite the...

By Pawda Tjoa, Senior Researcher

9th September, 2019

Why the narrative on children’s services need to change

Last week’s Spending Review announcement provided something of a proverbial crutch for children’s services, but offered few reassurances for the medium to long-term sustainability of what many see as...

By Olly Swann, Director, IMPOWER

9th September, 2019

We need to talk about violent youth offending

Levels of violent youth crime on our streets have never been so high. Over the last four years, the number of these offences has increased by 34%. This is...

By Pawda Tjoa, Senior Researcher, NLGN

21st August, 2019


With violent youth crime firmly in the public eye, our latest NLGN Leadership Index focusses on how the issue is affecting local government and how the sector is responding...

20th August, 2019

A call to join the Community Wealth Fund

Support the community commissioning agenda and transform the way local authorities interact with communities For almost a decade, local authorities have struggled to manage increasing demand for public services...

By Rob Day, Policy Intern, Local Trust

13th August, 2019

Four Ways for Councils to Give Power away

Since publishing The Community Paradigm in February, a question I get asked more than any other is what community-led services look like in practice. Clearly, there is a hunger...

By Adam Lent, Director, NLGN

10th July, 2019

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