Majority Feel They Lack Control Over Decisions That Affect Their Local Community

“71% feel they lack control over decisions that affect their local community” according to #FutureofLocalism report

Published by the Independent Commission on the Future of Localism, the #FutureofLocalism report from Power to Change in partnership with Locality, reveals that Britons feel they lack control over decisions which affect their lives.

Locality established the Commission on the Future of Localism in 2017, in partnership with Power to Change, and Chaired by Lord Kerslake to consider how to reinvigorate localism and unlock the power of community. The ambition behind the Localism Act is in danger of waning, and the fundamental shift in power from Westminster to communities has not yet been achieved.

They have gathered evidence and ideas from policy-makers, local leaders, organisations and communities across the country through evidence events, focus groups, calls for written evidence and survey responses.

They found that we need radical action to strengthen our local institutions; devolve tangible power resources and control to communities; ensure equality in community participation; and deliver change in local government behaviour and practice to enable local initiatives to thrive.

Vidhya Alakeson of Power to Change said “The report concluded that the fundamental shift in power promised by the 2011 legislation has not been achieved and called for localism to be reinvigorated to give greater voice, choice and control to Britain’s left-behind communities.”

“While the commission called for action from all levels of government, local authorities were in the spotlight. The commission called for stronger partnerships between local authorities and local communities, greater support for community institutions and an environment where local initiatives were more likely to thrive.”

“What is clear from the work of the commission is that localism is far more significant for the future of our country than a simple reorientation in the role of local government. It is about nothing less than the future of our democracy and reconnecting citizens with those who govern them.”

“Our system of representative democracy has lost its connection to the people it seeks to represent, as demonstrated vividly in polling conducted by YouGov for the commission. Eighty per cent of those polled felt they currently have little or no say over the decisions that affect the country and 71% felt the same about decisions that affect their neighbourhood.”

“Despite the slogans surrounding Brexit, 70% felt that it would give them no more, or even less, control over local decisions. Asked where power should reside for local decisions, 57% agreed that local people should have the greatest say, while only 3% felt they currently did.”

Download the People Power – summary report 

Download the People Power – full final report 

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