local democracy

Be brave when times are tough

This article originally appeared in the Municipal Journal, where our Chief Executive, Sarah Longlands, writes a regular viewpoint column.

Inflation may have eased, but there are tough times ahead. Sarah Longlands urges local authorities to step outside their comfort zone and reimagine economic growth

Early in my career, I worked as an economic development officer at Barnard Castle, with the objective of marketing the town to visitors in order to support local businesses and jobs. Little did we know at the time that all we needed to put this vibrant historic town back on the map was a certain person’s eye test.

Lay the foundations of social, economic and climate justice

This article originally appeared in the LGC.

In recognition of today’s Global Climate Strike and Fridays for Future’s demand for intersectional climate justice, CLES’s Ellie Radcliffe explores the role of local authorities in the UK in delivering a future where people and planet are jointly prioritized.

Since the autumn of 2018 – when Bristol City Council became the first – no less than 319 of the UK’s local authorities have declared a climate emergency. However, while committing to tackling the climate crisis is an important step, ultimately actions speak louder than words.

Re-think power to build inclusive local economies

This article originally appeared in the LGC.

Today CLES announces a new programme of work, exploring the powerful resonance between the international movement to “feminise” politics and the work we are doing to create more just local economies. Frances Jones and Eleanor Radcliffe explain the journey so far.

Thirteen years ago, the global financial crisis prompted human suffering across the world. In the wake of this, community wealth building emerged as an alternative approach to local economic development. In community wealth building, local authorities along with other public sector anchor institutions and social and private sector partners, work to disrupt the structures which enabled the crisis, building in their place local economies where people have far greater levels of control and ownership of wealth. At the same time, activists responding to the same inequality and suffering on their doorsteps, began to reshape the political landscape in their cities and communities, this time animated by feminist principles. Their work to “feminise politics” has become a global movement.