Offer to provide Practical Action for Localism
From: Cllr Colin Barrow (Conservative), Leader, Westminster City Council
Cllr Steve Reed (Labour), Leader, Lambeth Council
Cllr Richard Kemp, Leader, LGA Liberal Democrat Group
To: The Government
National Political Parties
- We welcome the fact that all three political parties now strongly express a localist agenda.
- We realise that the practical application of that agenda will involve elected representatives and officers of central and local government acting and working in a different way through different mechanisms and sometimes different structures.
- We also realise that time would be wasted on trying to define ‘Big Society’; ‘Community Politics’; or ‘Neighbourhood Development’ and that the biggest fault lines lie between those who want to empower and devolve within their traditions and those who do not.
We offer to work together to:
- Promote good practice in devolution, empowerment and engagement;
- Engage with local government to help deal with the practical, legal and cultural changes of devolving, empowering and engaging;
- Engage with central government to help deal with the practical, legal and cultural changes of devolving, empowering and engaging;
- Review the relationships required between civic society and elected governance at all levels;
- Suggest that the questions attached should be asked by any organisation seeking to devolve, empower and engage on a fundamental level.
Key Questions for Introducing Localism
- What capacity and support do communities need to participate in shaping, commissioning or running services?
- How does the model improve service quality and outcomes?
- Can we quantify value in terms of value for money gains but also social value?
- What mechanisms do we need to ensure accountability?
- How do we ensure services remain open to all who need them and are not captured by sectional interests?
- What attitude do we need towards risk so we can allow space for innovation?
- What incentives or models of reciprocity will encourage citizens to participate?
- What culture and competencies do we need in public sector organisations to support community empowerment?
- What reserve powers are required to intervene if services fail?
- What are the major legal hurdles we need removed to enable this model to work (e.g. procurement)?