New Commission launched to give communities more control

This week Locality, the national network of ambitious and enterprising community-led organisations, in association with Power to Change, has launched a new independent Commission on the Future of Localism to uncover what is needed to reinvigorate local democracy and empower communities.

Chaired by Lord Kerslake – the President of the Local Government Association and former Head of the Civil Service – the Commission brings together politicians, including Labour MP Lisa Nandy, former Conservative MP Laura Sandys and Sharon Taylor, the leader of Stevenage Borough Council, along with community leaders and policy experts.

The Commission will review the current opportunities of the Localism agenda in the continuing story of English Devolution, and will make recommendations on what powers, rights and resources are needed to bring about a renaissance in neighbourhood governance.

The Commission will be hearing evidence at events across the country throughout the year. To find out more on the themes of the Commission, the full panel of Commissioners and the process for submitting evidence please visit our website.

Lord Kerslake, Chair of the Localism Commission said:

I am very pleased to be chairing this new Commission on the Future of Localism. Whilst successive policy initiatives have sought to decentralise power from Westminster to communities, we are still missing the mark in ensuring that all communities have a meaningful stake in the decisions that affect them.

As we hear evidence in events across the country, I’m looking forward to hearing the ideas and case studies we uncover. There must be no return to Whitehall knows best; we need local people in the driving seat of their own neighbourhoods‘.

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Locality said:

We’re excited to be launching the Commission on the Future of Localism. Devolution in England is not going far enough to empower communities, reshape services and revitalise local economies. The EU referendum showed an urgent need to look at the way power is dispersed within this country, and to unlock capacity within neighbourhoods to build better places from the ground up.

This Commission will harness ideas and innovation from across communities, to develop the solutions needed for a revised localism agenda which can truly put power closer to people.’

 Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive of Power to Change, said:

This is such an important venture. We firmly believe that more power should be devolved to communities, so that local people can take the lead in designing and running their own affairs.

We are delighted to support the Commission’.

The full list of Commissioners includes:

  • Lord Kerslake (Chair)
  • Professor Jane Wills, Professor of Human Geography at Queen Mary University of London
  • Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan
  • Laura Sandys, former MP for South Thanet
  • Joanna Holmes, Chief Executive of Barton Hill Settlement
  • Neil Johnston, Chief Executive of Paddington Development Trust
  • Alison Haskins, Chief Executive of Halifax Opportunities Trust
  • Councillor Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council.