The decision to impose Covid restrictions on Greater Manchester is about far more than a political spat, says Adam Lent, it is an extreme example of our rulers' centralist mentalities. A mentality that keeps people powerless and hence keeps...

21st October, 2020


Amid doubts about the government's plans for a devolution white paper, Adam Lent outlines three principles to guide a new approach to reform.

9th October, 2020


The pandemic showed how much central government tightens its grip in a crisis. But it's the connection with local goverrment, not just power that's the problem.

6th October, 2020


How giving local areas the chance to manage their own skills development could transform post-16 education and local employment.

6th October, 2020


While devolution might be set back by the government’s centralising instincts, which have been laid bare during the pandemic, this is counterbalanced by the support councils have won through their competent response, writes senior policy researcher Charlotte Morgan. The...

16th September, 2020


When we talk about devolution, as we will do increasingly when the UK Government’s Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper is published this Autumn, we should remember that it is the enabling arm of subsidiarity. This principle holds that...

1st September, 2020


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 researcher Charlotte Morgan: http://www.nlgn.org.uk/public/2020/un…

30th January, 2020


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 have put together some FAQs to give you the devo-lowdown...

24th January, 2020


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 with something like a workable majority. But it shows that...

16th October, 2019


What is the point of public service inspectorates like Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission? The standard line is that they are there to make sure public sector bodies offer the very best to the communities they serve. But...

9th July, 2019


Combining policy analysis and insights from leading edge practice, The Community Paradigm sets out a new vision and policy agenda for the future of public services. It forms the foundation that shapes NLGN’s ongoing research programme and network practice...

17th March, 2019


This month, three councils in the North East came together to create a Combined Authority and start the next phase of our devolution journey. Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland are, from scratch, putting together what I hope will be...

7th December, 2018


Blink and you might have missed it. Amid the fireworks of last week’s Budget, we had some positive devolution news. On Friday 2nd November, the North of Tyne devolution deal was formally signed off. This development must be seen...

7th November, 2018


There is nothing new about English devolution being couched in economic terms, particularly as the UK Government has pinned the devolution agenda in England firmly to the spatial framework of city regions. What is remarkable is that, under May’s...

19th June, 2018


NLGN has been commissioned by the Key Cities Group to undertake research into how mid-sized cities can contribute to resolving the big national challenges that the UK currently faces. The first report, ‘Key Cities: Ready to Meet the UK’s...

5th June, 2018


Increasingly councils are recognising that it is organisational culture not structure that drives impact. But what is the culture of local government? Why is changing it important? And how can such an intangible thing be transformed? In this essay...

18th April, 2018


The prospect of “taking back control” motivated many who voted to Leave in the EU Referendum. Whether it was the institutions of Brussels, the policies of the EU or the wider impact of globalisation, a balance of people in...

11th November, 2017


The local elections earlier this month saw several city regions elect first time Metro Mayors. The turnout in places like Manchester (29%), where Andy Burnham was elected, was pretty good for a plebiscite on a newly devolved role. In...

30th May, 2017


After months of worry, devolution’s loved ones finally got some news from Dr May. The patient, it turns out, isn’t terminal, but sadly there will be no return to the old, vibrant ways. Devolution has suffered ‘life-changing injuries’. The...

21st May, 2017


We need to talk about fiscal devolution. Fiscal devolution is an issue that national politicians won’t touch even with someone else’s bargepole. So scared are they of the electorate getting a whiff of the prospect of a tax increase,...

28th April, 2017


One entirely unforeseen consequence of last year’s referendum was the brakes being put on the devolution locomotive. Despite Government protestations to the contrary, May and Hammond have shown little of the true-believer enthusiasm exhibited by Cameron and Osborne. As...

19th April, 2017


Like it or not this will be the Brexit Election: a strange sort of quasi-referendum on the decision made in a previous referendum and everything that has happened since. But if that’s all this election ends up being about,...

18th April, 2017


The letter has been sent. The deed is done. But today is really just the beginning. Whether you are watching today’s events begrudging, jubilantly, with denial, or even boredom it is impossible to ignore the forceful eruption of a...

29th March, 2017


Local government officials and to a degree local politicians are often praised for their realism. For example, in the light of sustained spending cuts local government since 2010 local government it is claimed has kept things going. Its key...

24th January, 2017


Central Government need to be much clearer about what they want from devolution and much more willing to create the conditions to achieve it. This is the key finding from a new research report from NLGN supported by PwC....

13th July, 2016


This research shows that the spectre of unitary status is still holding back the potential for local collaboration, as local partners focus on the potential for nationally imposed reorganisation instead of focusing on the challenging business of working together.

29th October, 2014


The future of two tier local government is one of most vexed questions facing the sector as a whole. It is quite clear that the current division of labour between counties and districts is unsustainable for some parts of...

2nd July, 2014


This collection brings together four essays on the history of local government. Bermondsey, Birmingham, Liverpool and London provide the stage and politicians from each of the major political parties take leading roles.

3rd July, 2013


We invited a selection of NLGN members to contribute their thinking. Deliberately we chose a question to focus the mind. To zero in on a single alteration that one could make to effect change. So this year, we’ve asked...

2nd July, 2013


NLGN has launched Delivering Distinctiveness a new essay collection edited by Daniel Goodwin, Chief Executive of St Albans City and District Council. The publication explores the future for district authorities and scopes out the potential challenges they might face....

14th December, 2011


A new report, published today, is calling on councils to be given new powers to charge for local services. The report, from the New Local Government Network think tank, follows Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s demands for new freedoms...

31st January, 2011


A new report by localism think tank NLGN has set out a vision for more sustainable local public services beyond the current financial settlement and the aims of the government’s Localism Bill. Next Localism: Five trends for the future...

26th January, 2011


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 have put together some FAQs to give you the devo-lowdown...

1st January, 1970