The Localism agenda presents an
unprecedented opportunity for local authorities and their partners in civil
society to develop innovative approaches to service delivery and
economic renewal. Empowering local
authorities to meaningfully develop their roles as “civic brokers” and fulcrums
of local or regional economic activity could radically change the relationship
between the state, the citizen and business.
ResPublica will be
conducting a wide-reaching programme of research that will engage practically
with partners in local government and other community intermediaries to map out
the need for further reform to achieve a deeper, more radical localism.
Despite most of the Localism Act now being
in force, it needs to be asked whether its current provisions go far enough in
allowing local authorities to spearhead the revolution towards community and
citizen-led public services. Can more be done in this regard to
promote the role of local authorities as 'civic brokers' and social investors
in their communities.
In answer, ResPublica will over the course
of this project explore a number of themes:
State to Civic State:
Building on the new General Power of Competence, this theme will examine how cities, towns and communities could
be further empowered to spearhead community-led economic and social
A Blueprint for
This research theme will conduct an in-depth
analysis of the newly established community rights to bid, buy, challenge and
build. It will review in particular the rights to challenge and bid, engaging
closely with service providers and their communities to track development and
success – taking into consideration recent ‘social value’ legislation.
This research theme we will examine inventive ways in which the latent
capital locked-up in communities could be tapped to encourage investment –
including local peer-to-peer lending networks, neighbourhood 'Growth Bonds' and
community share issue vehicles.
Infrastructure and Planning:
Building on the successes of our
Financing for Growth report on hybrid-funding models for infrastructure
investment, this theme will explore how both financial and social investment in
local infrastructure can foster meaningful collaboration between local
government, communities and the private sector.
and ‘Hyperlocal’ Democracy:
Giving citizens a greater sense of ownership over
council decisions would make council services more effective and responsive. As
well as reviewing how local authorities can engage with communities, this theme
will examine how intermediaries, such as parish councils and housing
associations, could themselves encourage community participation.
of ResPublica's Models and Partnerships for Social Prosperity workstream, this
project is now open to external engagement from the public, private and
third sectors. We would like to establish a consortium of sponsors who will
feed in to our further research and debate in this area and benefit from
co-branding on publications and events.
more information or to discuss partnership opportunities, please contact Adam Wildman,
Research Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7222 6552.