Changing local economies to work for people who feel excluded

Posted 1 CommentPosted in City council, Co-operatives, Democracy, Economy, Local economies, Localism, Procurement

A link has been received to a Guardian report about the ‘Preston model’ – for background information see Clifford Singer’s interesting article on the Next System Project’s website. Councillor Matthew Brown, Preston city council cabinet member for social justice, inclusion and community engagement, devised this model. 12 of the city’s key employers were helped to reorganise their supply chains and […]

Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Books and articles, Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Education, Employment, Government, Health, Local economies, Local government, Localisation, Localism, People power, Planning, Politics, Regional economies, Tax, Transition

A notable omission from Localise West Midlands’ extensive range of articles about, or with references to localism, is a review of a book by Simon Jenkins: Big Bang Localism: a rescue plan for British democracy. In this book he attributes the decline in British voter interest and participation to the over-centralisation of power in Whitehall, ‘one of the most centralised governments in […]

Will beneficial alternatives emerge from the Greek crisis?

Posted Posted in Import substitution, Local economies, Localism, Planning, Regional economies, Transition

Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation thinks so, commenting: “While disaster reveals a society’s economic and social weaknesses, it also reveals where true resilience and real value can be found – in the ability of people to cooperate at the local level to meet a community’s needs”. Localise West Midlands’ Localising Prosperity programme suggests that approaches to economic development […]

Is a quiet political revolution getting under way?

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Economy, Energy, Finance, Globalisation, Government, Local economies, Localisation, Localism, Low carbon, Microfinance, Planning, Politics, Regional economies, Renewable energy, Transition

As the old order with its class and gender hierarchies gave way, George Monbiot points out that the void filled with junk could have been occupied by a better society, built on mutual support and connectedness, without the stifling stratification of the old order. ‘The feast to which we were invited is only for the few’ Instead, as the developed […]

Is the term ‘localism’ used by government to promote outcomes that contradict its original meaning?

Posted Posted in Council, Government, Local economies, Local government, Localism, Planning, Politics, Regional economies

A thoughtful appraisal of localism by Ekklesia’s staff writers was brought to our attention by James Robertson’s December newsletter. To read it in full click on this link. A new research project, Localism Watch, examines the impact of the coalition government’s ‘localism’ initiatives, which they say have helped to privatise local services, weaken local government and force voluntary groups to […]

True devolution? Has localism merely meant passing power to unelected micro-quangos?

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Democracy, Devolution, Government, Local government, Localism, Planning, Politics, Transition

Professor Richard Batley, University of Birmingham (School of Government and Society) writes in the FT: “Constitutional devolution, convincingly argued, could be attractive in England, as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland . . . Westminster seems not to appreciate that irritation at the centralisation of power and wealth in London is not confined to the Scots”. A historical perspective […]

Continuing the good work on mainstreaming stronger & more inclusive local economies

Posted Posted in Economics, Economy, Local economies, Localisation, Localism, Regional economies, Social Enterprise

I’m pleased to report that Localise WM has secured funding from the Barrow Cadbury Trust for 2013-14 to progress our work on Mainstreaming Community Economic Development. You may be aware of our previous Mainstreaming CED project, which amassed a remarkable body of evidence around the social and economic benefits of localised economies (see our literature review or its summary) and […]

Is ‘disintegrated localism’ part of a hidden agenda?

Posted Posted in Democracy, Devolution, Economics, Government, Localism, Planning, Politics, Transition

Alister Scott, Professor of Spatial Planning and Governance at Birmingham City University, asks:   In the Birmingham Post, Scott examined the localism ‘tablet’ , looking critically at Eric Pickles’ rhetoric, commenting: “there is something politically attractive in giving people the right to determine their future and shape the kinds of places they want”. Lying behind the rhetoric he perceives an […]

A new social revolution – an emerging trend “a million miles away from the fantasy localism agenda espoused by David Cameron”?

Posted Posted in Banks, Co-operatives, Democracy, Economics, Economy, Energy, Finance, Localism, Low carbon, Mutuals, Planning, Social Enterprise, Transition, Transport

David Thorpe, news Editor at Energy and Environmental Management (EAEM) writes about “An emerging trend that, if allowed to develop its potential, could transform society for the better by increasing democracy and individual responsibility”. Its roots: “(A)nger with the banks and corporate greed (last month, vitriol was directed at water companies and the month before, energy companies; this week it’s […]

Now let’s have a proper dialogue on our cities’ governance

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Council, Devolution, Government, Local government, Localisation, Localism

OK, so we – and all other places except Bristol – voted not to switch to an elected mayor. According to some Yes campaigners – whether through naivety or pique is I’m not sure – we will never have another chance to change. Even leaving aside the fact that governments like to fiddle with local governance on a fairly regular […]