Latest Public Sector News


Councils advised to take decision-making out of town hall

A guide released today by the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) and Local Trust has outlined how councillors can promote and better define collaboration with residents in the community.

The report’s findings use eight case studies in England to identify how councillors can better support resident-led projects by facilitating conversations and use their network and influence within the local community.

At a time when devolution is hot on the local government agenda, the report argues that due to increased pressure on council services, authorities needed to take decision-making out of town halls and into the communities.

It goes on to say that to do this effectively, councillors need to take a “backseat” in projects and offer advice and support rather than strong leadership.

The report authors also outlined how community collaboration could act as a reviving force for local democracy and civic engagement, suggesting that residents are the experts in their communities who hold the key to solving local problems.

One example the report picks out is in Luton Arches in Kent, which is one of 150 local areas with £1m long-term funding for a programme of training and support to help residents identify what issues matter the most to them, and then take action to solve them.

“An essential component of local democracy is building strong connections between citizens and the institutions that represent them,” said Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the LGiU. “By including residents in the conversations that affect their lives, local government builds trust and mutual respect.

“This has never been more important. At a time when trust in public institutions is at a low ebb, councils have a vital role to play in restating and rebuilding the social contract between citizens and their governments.”

And Matt Leach, chief executive of the Local Trust, said: “Our experience of running Big Local, the largest current place-based investment programme in England, means that it’s a conversation we’re passionate about.

“We see this report as being a key tool for Big Local areas and local authorities looking to collaborate positively to deliver great outcomes for their communities.”

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Support for councils following Grenfell

04/09/2017Support for councils following Grenfell

Ian Moore, CEO of the Fire Industry Association (FIA), discusses the wider ... more >
A quiet revolution

04/09/2017A quiet revolution

Dermot Ryan, programme director at NHS Digital for the Health and Social Ca... more >


‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

30/06/2017‘The HSCN is the realisation of industry best practice’

Keith Smith, public sector business development manager at Virgin Media Bus... more >

the raven's daily blog

Tower Hamlets taking steps to reverse the decline of LGBT+ venues

16/10/2017Tower Hamlets taking steps to reverse the decline of LGBT+ venues

Tower Hamlets council has recently confirmed that the former site of a popular gay bar, the Joiners Arms, must include an LGBT+ club for the next 25 years. Many people wi... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

14/08/2017Time for reflection

A lot has happened since the last edition of PSE was published. In particular, the snap general election delivered an astounding result that many of the pollsters and political experts could not have predicted when Theresa May initially called for it back in April. Chris Painter, Professor Emeritus at Birmingham City University, provides a fascinating analysis of the campaign, and assesses the aftermath of the election on pages 26-28. It is a must-read article.  During the... read more >