Shifting the Balance: new relationships between councils and communities

The pandemic response transformed relationships between councils and communities. 

In the heat of the crisis, behaviours and mindsets changed dramatically as professionals worked with a clarity of missionnew partnerships were created, and staff worked beyond organisational boundaries to identify and respond to what people needed locally. For a moment, gone were the primacy of job titles and eligibility thresholds – what came to the fore were human qualities of empathy and kindness. 

This research report explores the experience of the initial emergency response and aftermath for local public services and the community sectors in Scotland, Wales and England. It sets out to capture what elements of this shift were positive and could be retained into a post-pandemic future as standard practice. The report will compare the experience between nations and identify barriers to embedding these new ways of working.