The Government’s centralised response and lethal failures on Covid mean it's time to acknowledge that local communities have rights that should be enshrined in law.

15th October, 2020


Michael Gove's agenda-setting speech fails to reckon with power.

29th June, 2020


Who was Elinor Ostrom? What were her key arguments? How are they relevant to localism, public services, and politics in the UK? This presentation serves as an introduction to our online symposium on Elinor Ostrom. It provides an overview...

20th April, 2020


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 government and communities.

27th November, 2019


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

11th November, 2019


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.

31st October, 2019


There is no need for another blog to articulate the complete chaos that the British politics system finds itself in at the present time. As of today, the government teeters on through a newly reconvened, non-prorogued Parliament, careering headlong...

26th September, 2019


Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings have got MPs exactly where they want them: defending Parliament. They may cast this right now as a battle between an executive that wants to deliver on the referendum result and a legislature that...

28th August, 2019


Article originally published in HSG.co.uk The Chernobyl TV series is a powerful reminder of what happens when competition, persecution and dread rule. Donna Hall celebrates an organisation with a more positive culture. Over recent weeks, so many of us...

5th July, 2019


Happy local election day! In the unique way of our quirky local democratic traditions, a complicated collection of nearly all English metropolitan boroughs, most district councils and some unitaries are holding elections today. Across the country, pavements have been...

2nd May, 2019


As millions of citizens across Latin America are seeing their countries become subject to authoritarian rule, the continent appears an unlikely source of inspiration for political innovation. From Nicolás Maduro’s illegitimate dictatorship of Venezuela to Daniel Ortega’s campaign of...

12th March, 2019


This article first appeared in the LGC on 05 February 2019. Never in the field of political conflict were so many wartime references uttered by so few to be endured by so many. Whether it is Mark Francois MP...

6th February, 2019


This article was first published in the LGC on the 15th of January. The current Westminster conniptions are so often presented as a debate about the long-term future of the United Kingdom that it is easy to forget that...

16th January, 2019


One of the quieter Brexit-related announcements made by the Government this week concerned a ‘reshuffle’ of its Cabinet Committees. The European Union Exit and Trade (Domestic Preparedness, Legislation and Devolution) sub-Committee, which oversaw domestic policy preparation for Brexit, has...

11th January, 2019


The Chancellor was clearly feeling the hand of history on his shoulder. A new chapter and a turning point were declared as Phillip Hammond informed the House that austerity was now ending just like the PM said it would....

30th October, 2018


In 2008, Alistair Darling’s Autumn Statement as Chancellor of the Exchequer contained two bombshells. The first being that he was spending £200bn to keep the economy afloat following the financial crash of a few weeks earlier. The second was...

24th October, 2018


As its annual conference closes, and a flurry of new policy announcements add to last year’s manifesto, Labour’s agenda continues to take shape. While Brexit negotiations still dominate these unpredictable political times, how far is it possible to identify...

26th September, 2018


As Brexit rows continues to dominate the news, feminism may not be high on the agenda of the current Prime Minister, Theresa May. There are many competing interests the PM needs to satisfy, such as keeping the Cabinet balanced...

27th July, 2018


This article first appeared on the Local Government Chronicle on 11th May 2018 Dear James, welcome to the strangest job in Whitehall. You are now leading a sector that is consumed by four big issues over which your department...

14th May, 2018


Reading the Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future, published this morning, was no mean feat. From tackling the ageing population to transforming cities, its breadth is admirable. Yet, despite its length, it seems to leave no...

27th November, 2017


This was first published in the MJ This was the moment a British government finally got serious about the most pressing social problem facing the UK: our dysfunctional housing market. It is an issue on which a long line...

22nd November, 2017


This article was first published in Civil Service World. The Budget was a mixed bag for local government. Councils face financial uncertainty after 2020, with grant funding still reducing, the definition of “fair funding” still pending and the prospect...

22nd November, 2017


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


Last night he was shouting obscenities up at the bedroom window. Now, after a cold night on the doorstep, he’s saying he loves us and is begging for forgiveness through the letterbox. Many in local government will be impressed...

14th July, 2017


Having first assumed his role as communities secretary and local government last year as the aftershocks of the Brexit vote reverberated, Sajid Javid’s reappointment last week came at no less a turbulent time at Westminster. Without a working majority...

19th June, 2017


Many of us knew little about the DUP until Friday morning, but now it looks as if they will be instrumental in forming a functioning government. Now is a timely opportunity to examine what the DUP’s manifesto means for...

13th June, 2017


Whatever their party allegiance, I suspect councillors and officers everywhere will be scratching their heads about what this unexpected outcome means for local government. On one hand, this result spells uncertainty for many issues that councils were hoping might...

9th June, 2017


Theresa May is not the only potential casualty of this election. The social care issue has taken a pretty severe political beating as well. After May promised not to “duck the issue”, many in local government had hoped that...

9th June, 2017


What do all the party’s election manifestos say for local government? We’ve picked out all the relevant issues in the posts below: what does Labours manifesto mean for local government?what does Liberal Democrat’s manifesto mean for local government?what does...

7th June, 2017


UKIP support has grown out of local opposition to the effects of a globalised economy, channelled through its anti-EU stance. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, following the public vote to Brexit last June, the party have struggled to set out a...

30th May, 2017


Like the Green or Women’s Equality Parties, the Cooperative Party Manifesto was written with an explicit desire for its policies to be adopted by another party. But unlike them, this manifesto represents the priorities of a number of MPs...

24th May, 2017


The likelihood of this manifesto being enacted is probably about the same as aliens invading Britain the same day you’re struck by lightning and win the lottery jackpot. As we’ve seen with intention of the Women’s Equality Party manifesto,...

22nd 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


First the good news. We’re having a vibrant debate about social care funding slap bang in the middle of an election campaign. Now the bad news: the policy that has prompted the debate is a stinker. Theresa May and...

19th May, 2017


Manifestos are always launched with a certain amount of excitement, but none more so than the Conservative Manifesto this morning. While the Lib Dem’s manifesto explicitly positioned them as the party of opposition, the Tory manifesto would reveal what...

18th May, 2017


Reading the Labour manifesto was a bit like watching a magician determined to show you every trick they have ever learned as quickly as possible moving from disappearing an elephant to finding a coin behind your ear and back...

17th May, 2017


The issues crying out for solutions in this election remain woefully unaddressed. For years the UK has struggled with a rapidly ageing population, an unbalanced economy and a mess of a housing market. Politicians of every party have promised...

16th May, 2017


The Women’s Equality Party manifesto was published late on Friday, and unlike other party manifestos, has been expressly drafted with the intention for other parties to adopt its policies. While the manifesto focuses on their core aims with no...

16th May, 2017


Since Theresa May took over as Prime Minister, local councils have increasingly understood that their future now resides in their own hands. The devolution agenda, once driven by the former Chancellor, has severely lost energy. Instead, the new Government...

24th April, 2017


I know someone who’s renowned for his scepticism. The only problem is, he’s now so sceptical that he doesn’t feel able to trust anything. People who post videos on YouTube seem to have as much, or little, credibility as...

15th March, 2017


The Chancellor’s first Budget, and the first following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, needed to shore up the domestic economy, particularly against structural challenges of weak productivity and our ageing population. So how do the announcements affect...

8th March, 2017


What happens to council leaders after they leave their leadership role? How do they adjust? Do they stay in politics? What employment do they find? I suspect that you have little idea other than the anecdotal. Few do given...

10th February, 2017


This was not a housing white paper that would see the chancellor in a hard hat being gleefully greeted by a happy major house builder. The narrative is markedly different to that of previous governments, and lays responsibility for...

8th February, 2017


For many years national politicians have avoided the question of ‘British Identity’ as connected to a set of values or principles. Instead, ‘we’ have known ourselves through economic terms, comparative to other nations, on the basis of our financial...

1st February, 2017


It’s a chilly January day, and the government has just broken with its previous laissez-faire approach and announced a bold, interventionist plan to boost the UK’s economy at a time of great uncertainty. But instead of it being Theresa...

24th January, 2017


In January 2015, NLGN held a discussion event in partnership with Zurich Municipal to look at the future of local political leadership. With the role of councils rapidly changing and developing, how will the Leaders and Chief Executives of...

29th April, 2015


NLGN hosted two roundtable discussions in December 2014 and January 2015 centred on the Conservative and Labour parties’ approaches to health and social care in the run-up to the General Election in May 2015. This paper details the outcomes...

6th April, 2015


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 grip of a triple crises: of...

1st January, 1970