How is COVID-19 changing the relationship between communities and public services?

June 9, 2020  |  By Charlotte Morgan & Luca Tiratelli

How has the relationship between communities and public services changed during this pandemic? And how do we ensure progress continues in the future?

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The pandemic has shown that communities are often best placed to confront crises at a local level through their deep knowledge of local needs, and existing relationships and networks. As a result, many have been called on by public services to support aid efforts. Local Trust asked NLGN to guest-host a discussion which considered what we can learn from the developments during COVID-19 to inform policy and practice in the future. The session explored how community responses to COVID-19 might disrupt the current relationship between communities and public services and how they could begin to shape a different dynamic in which residents have more power and control over what happens in their area.

Key points:

  • In local pandemic responses, the partnership between public services and communities has become stronger.
  • Digital technology is bringing public services and communities closer together.
  • Sector lines have become blurred, with local businesses stepping up to help public services and fellow members of the community.
  • Community activism has gone viral. It presents a real opportunity for public services and communities to unlock community power

With thanks to:

  • Maddy Pritchard – Chair, Big Warsop
  • Jon Alexander – Director of the New Citizenship Project
  • Amanda Askham – Director of Business Improvement and Development, Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Helen Buckingham – Director of Strategy and Operations, Nuffield Trust