Act local

This report from the UK think tank Centre for London looks at empowering London’s neighbourhoods.

There is an increasing sense that the UK’s democratic institutions and processes are too distant from those they represent. Londoners care deeply about the places where they live but too often feel unable to control what is going on around them – only around 35 per cent of Londoners believe they can influence local decisions. This publication explores the history of neighbourhood governance in London and the legacy of recent attempts by the New Labour and Coalition governments to strengthen neighbourhood engagement. It highlights some promising examples of community empowerment but finds that overall the picture is mixed at best. Centre for London highlights areas for action to reboot localism.

The report calls on the government to make it easier for community groups to take over local buildings; to create Community Improvement Districts; and to establish a national endowment to support deprived communities. These policies must be championed by local leaders and councils that are properly resourced to support their residents. This report also brings together expert perspectives on neighbourhood planning, technology, social infrastructure and local governance.

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