Local democracy

  • Supporting more democratic, responsive urban planning and design

    02 July 2020

    In one of a series of essays on how the wisdom of citizens could support councils in managing cities after COVID-19, Peter Baeck and Sophie Reynolds look at the urban planning  and design process - and share inspiring examples from across the world.


  • Will coronavirus kill democratic local government?

    01 July 2020

    The Government might welcome an end to elected local government, say Jonathan Davies and Dr Arianna Giovannini. But they argue this outcome would be ‘dangerously short-sighted’.


  • Fighting for everyone’s rights

    01 July 2020

    Cllr Gavin Harding MBE became the first person with a learning disability to be employed by NHS England. He says councils could do more to employ learning-disabled people in ‘serious roles’. Ann McGauran reports.


  • Toppling statues is the easy part

    01 July 2020

    Claire Fox asks: ‘Will black lives today be improved if local government becomes preoccupied by a war against inanimate objects and historical wrongs?’


  • Six lessons for devolution from COVID-19

    24 June 2020

    A localised and nimble response to the coronavirus outbreak is important, say Colin Copus and Steve Leach, who highlight six broad lessons to inform devolution.


  • Jarvis lays stake to COVID recovery funds

    23 June 2020

    Mayors should be handed control over COVID recovery funds and be given a seat at the Cobra emergency committee, Sheffield city region mayor Dan Jarvis said today.


  • Hand health powers to elected mayors, says report

    23 June 2020

    Health powers should be handed to elected mayors as part of a ‘rejuvenated and fortified wave of devolution,’ a think-tank report has suggested.


  • Local government can look for powerful allies

    15 June 2020

    Winston Churchill famously remarked ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’. Paul Wheeler says we should use this current one to rebuild a local government that is properly funded, ambitious and a strong advocate for localities.


  • Jenrick appeal for shovel-ready schemes

    15 June 2020

    Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has urged local areas to submit ideas for ‘shovel-ready’ schemes that could be boosted by government funding.


  • New review to look at regulation of political finance

    08 June 2020

    The Committee on Standards in Public Life is reviewing electoral regulation and wishes to hear from anyone with experience or views on the regulation of party finance, says Lord Jonathan Evans.


  • We have an opportunity to radically reinvent ourselves

    02 June 2020

    Our new coronavirus-shaped world has changed beyond recognition, says Gill Kneller - and If we’re going to thrive, recovery will be key, 'but we simultaneously need to reinvent ourselves'.


  • Councillor, are you on mute?

    27 May 2020

    Kathy O'Leary is navigating the perils of holding a council meeting online in the midst of the coronavirus crisis


  • Don’t put democracy on lockdown

    27 May 2020

    Claire Fox asks if it is undemocratic for local areas to introduce fundamental shifts in transport policy as ‘settled’ without a proper public discussion?


  • Making decisions in cyberspace

    13 May 2020

    With the advent of virtual decision making in local government, Ian Fytche offers insight into how it is working at North Kesteven DC in challenging times.


  • Lockdown lessons in virtual democracy

    13 May 2020

    Cllr David Renard outlines how Swindon BC got its decision-making functions up and running again after the COVID-19 lockdown.


  • The Planning Inspectorate – Will it win its technology race?

    05 May 2020

    COVID-19 is driving the Planning Inspectorate (PINS) to modernise, says Jasmine Ratta. She hopes it will outline a virtual procedure to ‘ensure the development industry gets back on its feet as quickly as possible’.


  • A united unitary

    21 April 2020

    Buckinghamshire Council leader Cllr Martin Tett talks about the successes of launching the country’s newest unitary council while tackling COVID-19 full-on.


  • Creating the rainbow together

    21 April 2020

    Councils' response to COVID-19 has been phenomenal, says Dr Andrew Larner - and he hopes that Government will respond to the sector as capably as the sector has risen to the challenge of the pandemic.


  • Technology delivers democracy in Waltham Forest during the COVID-19 emergency

    14 April 2020

    Martin Esom outlines how Waltham Forest became the first council to pilot its monthly planning committee meeting virtually - using technology to deliver democracy during the pandemic.


  • Experts seek clarification on virtual meetings regulations

    06 April 2020

    Councils should give five working days’ notice for virtual meetings or use normal urgency procedures while clarification is sought on the new regulations during COVID-19, says guidance.