Think Tanks


11 Aug 2010 06:39:01

Localis ideas which have been adopted by the Government

Following on from the pieces about the government policies inspired by the Centre for Policy Studies, Policy Exchange, the TaxPayers' Alliance, Direct Democracy and the IEA, here is the response from Localis as to how its ideas have influenced Coalition policy.

Picture 21 Localis has been central to the push for greater local autonomy and the devolution of power to local government, and beyond, since our inception.  Core to Localis’ beliefs and philosophy are the principles that providing services as close to the individual as possible results in better services; that government agencies should be accountable directly to those they serve; and that decentralising decision-making leads to more effective governance.

We are therefore delighted with the commitment the coalition government has shown to a fundamental decentralisation of power and the introduction of genuine localism.  Examples of the coalition's policies which Localis have advocated include:

  • Greater financial incentives and flexibilities for local authorities – See Can Localism Deliver: Lessons from Manchester, The priorities for local government finance reform, The Decline and Fall of Local Democracy, Big Bang Localism, Nothing to lose but your chains and Paying for Local Investment
  • Break-up of the regional tier and the regional planning system, and a framework for its replacement - See The Future of Regional Government, Can Localism Deliver and Across the Border
  • The abolition of the Comprehensive Area Assessment – See For Good Measure: Devolving Accountability for Performance and Assessment to Local Areas
  • Transparency - local government publishing data on financial expenditure and performance – See Information, Information, Information and For Good Measure
  • The introduction of a Social Investment Bank – See More for your Money
  • Reform of social housing tenure – See Principles for Social Housing Reform

9 Nov 2009 14:20:00

A vision for making local government more productive


"The Bottom Line - A vision for local government" (PDF)

Authors: Localis and KPMG

Publication date: 9 November 2009

This joint report from Localis and KPMG contains several recommendations for reforming local government in response to expected budgetary constraints from the centre. The report forecasts that councils will need to reduce their expenditure by 20% on average by 2011. In addition, the report calls for local government to increase its productivity and according to the authors services like libraries and leisure centres should be transferred to private providers in order to make savings.

22 Oct 2009 15:24:00

Localism in local government


"One Tier or Two? - A debate about the right scale for local government" (PDF)

Authors: Tom Shakespeare (Editor), Matthew Groves, Kevin Lavery and Roger Gough

Publication date: 22 October 2009

The authors advocate a localist agenda for local government which allows councils to be free from central government intereference, regulation and funding. The paper supports devolving many functions of central government down to councils and increasingly the accountability of local government.

7 Oct 2009 15:51:00

Delivering a localist agenda


"Can Localism Deliver? Lessons from Manchester" (PDF)

Authors: Susana Forjan, Tom Shakespeare and James Morris (Editor). Foreword by Lord Heseltine.

Publication date: 7 October 2009

This report which was published during the Conservative Party Conference contains several recommendations for advancing a localist agenda. These include the abolition of Regional Development Agencies with their power devolved to local government and re-localising business rates in order to give councils more financial autonomy.

16 Jul 2009 16:35:00

Policies to make local government greener


"Giving the Green Light - Policy Ideas for a Model Environmentally Sustainable Council"(PDF)

Author: Tom Shakespeare

Publication date: 16 July 2009

The report details a series of environmental proposals for councils to adopt. These include investing in green transport, encouraging the development of eco business parks and enshrining eco-budgeting into the council's budgeting process.