Edition 9: Councils’ Response to COVID-19

MAY 2020

Councils’ economic confidence plummets but faith in community hits all-time high.

NLGN’s Leadership Index is a quarterly survey sent to all chief executives, council leaders/mayors in the UK. It provides insight into the level of confidence on key issues affecting local government.

The May 2020 survey also asked local government leaders how they are responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Download the press release:
Councils’ economic confidence plummets but faith in community hits all-time high

Key findings include:

  • Council chiefs call for more support from government: Over three quarters (78 per cent) of council chiefs call for more funding, and almost half (43 per cent) call for more PPE to help them and their workforce deal with the challenges of COVID-19 outbreak in their area.
  • Confidence levels in the economy have dropped significantly across all measures to the lowest ever levels since the Index started, with the level of optimism in local business environment falling by over a third since the last quarter. Councils’ confidence in having the adequate powers and resources to boost economic development has also fallen by five per cent.
  • Community cohesion and trust have never been higher, exceeding 70 for the very first time on a scale of 0-100. Over 95 per cent of respondents said the contribution of community groups to their COVID-19 response has been very significant or significant.

NLGN Leadership Index survey comprises 12 recurring questions across three key themes – economy, society and environment – and a series of topical questions which focus on current events affecting local government.

A full report of the results from the May 2020 survey can be downloaded HERE

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