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


This report offers a how-to guide for organisations interested in this process, illustrating a range of potential strategies to build active, networked and powerful communities.

29th July, 2020


Under pressure following criticism of his approach to testing for Covid-19, at the start of April Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced a new target: the government would be carrying out 100,000 tests a day by the end of April....

29th April, 2020


Central Government is inevitably a major factor in a council’s success. Whitehall is home to funds and powers that can either help unlock transformation and impact or stymie ambitious plans for change. Ministers and MPs also play the chief...

1st April, 2020


The last few years have seen scores of councils publish inclusive growth plans – a radical admission that the economy, as presently constructed, is failing to deliver for millions of people. This has been an overwhelmingly positive development, and...

15th February, 2020


Between 2010 and 2020, the UK experienced something unprecedented in recent history – a decade without a recession. Yet, somehow, this period also saw the lowest levels of wage growth for British workers for any ten-year period since the...

12th February, 2020


This report looks at how the concept of inclusive growth is being interpreted by practitioners in the field and work backwards towards understanding, rather than attempting a new theoretical framing.

11th February, 2020


Is a growing economy something to celebrate when the benefits it brings are out of reach to many? While the economy grew as a whole in the 2017/18 financial year, the poorest 20 per cent of the population actually...

11th February, 2020


Many of us in the local government sector are all too well acquainted with you the negative side of the budgeting process. As demand seems to consistently rise, money gets scarcer and less certain.

4th December, 2019


Local authorities experience considerable difficulties as they budget to keep vital services going whilst facing uncertainty about their future finances, and this is exacerbated when they are unsure when a longer-term settlement can be achieved.

4th December, 2019


Exploring experiences of changing organisational cultures in councils.

29th November, 2019


The environment has been skyrocketing up councils’ agendas in recent years, but local government still faces significant challenges in how to respond.

25th November, 2019


This report focuses on learning from international examples to prevent and eradicate rough sleeping. It proposes that the UK and devolved governments work with mid-sized cities and places to trial a series of policies, initiatives and collaborations with a...

25th November, 2019


Inclusive growth is a buzzword in local government these days, but how can it be delivered in practice?

12th November, 2019


Donna Hall CBE discusses leadership, the Wigan Deal, and what drew her towards NLGN and its vision of a world where communities hold the power.

11th November, 2019


This October, I had the pleasure of participating in an NLGN Innovation Exchange for the first time.

6th November, 2019


Since publishing The Community Paradigm in February, a question I get asked more than any other is what community-led services look like in practice. Clearly, there is a hunger out there to understand the mechanics of shifting to a...

10th July, 2019


Two weeks ago, after months of hard work, we opened the doors to a brand-new cultural hub in the centre of Wigan. The hub is situated in one of our shopping centres, spread across six empty shopping units. Thinking...

30th May, 2019


EY is delighted to have sponsored the NLGN’s International Women’s Day speed-mentoring event. 16 inspiring senior women from Local Government and beyond speed mentored over 200 future female leaders about leadership and career progression. At EY we are purpose...

13th March, 2019


Jacobs was delighted to partner with NLGN on its Inclusive Growth Innovation Exchange. Participants from local authorities across the county came together to discuss what inclusive growth means, why it matters, and also to share experiences on how to...

6th March, 2019


When I popped to my local pub on New Year’s Eve, little did I know I would end up starting 2019 defining and defending local government to a group of fellow mid-twenty-year olds. I did not anticipate that, when...

9th January, 2019


This article first appeared on Room 151. As 2018 draws to a close, it has ended in much the same way as it started for partnerships between the public and private sectors. The year began with Carillion’s collapse and...

18th December, 2018


As the local government clans gather in Birmingham this week, let me offer a view counter to the apparent increasing trend for local political leaders to work full-time in their leadership role. I suspect it is an unpopular view....

2nd July, 2018


Factors as varied as employment, transport, housing, and green space all affect people’s health. And over the last four years, councils have undertaken a variety of innovative work with local partners to improve public health outcomes. But challenges around...

5th 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


I know what you’re thinking. Where to start, right? The sector is full of glamour. There’s the high-flying chief executive, at the pinnacle of a local government career – a figurehead of the staff, working closely with politicians, negotiating...

2nd March, 2018


Social value in commissioning and procurement is important because it considers the role of spending on services to improve economic, social, and environmental wellbeing in an area. These often have long-term benefits to local communities but are not widely...

28th February, 2018


The Public Services (Social Value) Act was designed to encourage those commissioning public services to think beyond short-term financial costs, to how they could use their contracts to drive more value for local communities. Five years on from its...

29th January, 2018


This report explores the dividing lines that drove 2016’s decision to Leave. This report reveals the Brexit vote was a visible expression of the diverse economic trajectories, experiences and identities in England. This report, carried out by the University...

23rd January, 2018


It’s interesting finding out what others think of your workplace. I searched for “Croydon” to try to get a sense of an outsider’s perspective. Recently, it was about how hard it is to get to Croydon – while it...

11th January, 2018


This week, Richard Nelmes joined the NLGN team as Head of Network, following almost a decade at the United Nations Association. The United Nations is a global body of 193 countries that was created with the express purpose of...

20th June, 2017


The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 requires commissioners in public authorities to have regard to economic, social and environmental well-being when buying public services. Public bodies are now encouraged to make social value a consideration and look for...

8th May, 2017


To help councils build the hundreds of thousands of new homes that are needed, NLGN has published a practical guide, Building Homes, Growing Communities, to help ensure that the houses built lead to high quality communities that prioritise design,...

23rd March, 2017


“Too many areas of policy covered by local government are male dominated – infrastructure, highways, planning… the most important thing is to put women in positions of responsibility in those areas, leading by example, reflecting the needs of their...

14th March, 2017


Cities are largely designed by men, and for men. There is nothing unusual in this – we instinctively design, plan and make policy that reflects our own experiences and biases. However, this has led to places that don’t work...

10th March, 2017


At a time when councils are facing unprecedented financial pressures, the development of new robotics technology has the potential to help, according to participants in a roundtable debate convened by the NLGN and business process outsourcing firm Arvato. The...

28th February, 2017


Disruptive, cognitive technology will be a major driver of change in our economy over the next decade, as Artificial Intelligence becomes more accessible to UK organisations, very quickly. This has wide-ranging ramifications for the productivity of the UK workforce...

28th February, 2017


If solving the housing crisis was a simple case of fixing legislation or introducing incentives for builders, the housing crisis would have been fixed ages ago, or never reached this magnitude at all.

10th February, 2017


Councils are changing. Prompted by the funding cuts of the last decade, they have had to transform. No longer just seen as service deliverers, they are becoming collaborators, place leaders, commissioning councils, commercial councils and cooperative councils. But ambitious...

1st February, 2017


Councils are changing. No longer just seen as service deliverers, they are collaborators and place leaders, commissioning councils, commercial councils and co-operative councils. But while the purpose and priorities of a local authority have transformed, the structure of councils,...

18th January, 2017


Local government needs to engage its current and future workforce to make sure they are ready to take on the challenges of tomorrow’s council. This report uses original research and examples from around the world to explore and outline...

8th December, 2016


As our economy becomes increasingly globalised, our public policy response needs to become more localised. To ensure places are not buffeted by outside forces and are able to create relevant solutions, strong place-leadership is needed to forge adaptation and...

15th November, 2016


Many cities offer people tangible opportunities for discovering economic security for themselves and their families. And some of the world’s largest cities offer the greatest opportunities if they are to produce the correct blend of economic advantage, diversity and inclusion....

14th September, 2016


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


In spring of 2016, NLGN and Veredus held two discussion events on the theme of collaborative leadership. The participants were council chief executives: the first event representing some northern local authorities and the second, London boroughs. This paper...

10th May, 2016


Local authority funding for the arts and culture has fallen by 19 per cent* in the last 3 years and organisations around the country are feeling the effects. Local authorities must consider alternative ways of sustaining local culture, NLGN...

24th July, 2014


Digital technology provides local authorities with huge opportunities to transform the services that they provide and the way they interact with communities. In a time when councils have to do much more with fewer resources, digital can provide a...

19th March, 2014


Local Government Minister Bob Neill MP, writing in a new essay collection from NLGN, states that government will be looking to local leaders to help deliver its decentralisation agenda. The publication, entitled The Next Question: The future of local...

12th September, 2011


Some may remember when the phrase ‘commissioning’ entered the local government lexicon. It meant something different to almost everyone; yet it evolved into a way of working rather than a process. Perhaps the same can now be said of...

1st January, 1970