Research Report

The aim of this work was to create a resource to support local councillors  within the changing context of localism and the decentralisation of power towards local communities. Focusing on building relationships between citizens, community based organisations and councillors, to work together to influence local political agendas, the ultimate output is the Councillor Guide – to enable councillors to think about and enact their role in a more effective way.

The findings from the research are gathered together in different sections. Everything contained within these sections comes directly from or reflects the comments and conversations that took place during the research period.

The research itself  consisted of a search through available existing information and a combination of  interviews, focus groups, a drop-in and surveys involving 7 different local authority areas, focusing on the broad localism agenda and its impact on relations with communities – not the entire Localism Act.

Bradford Metropolitan District
(Mayoral elections impending) 7 councillors (labour, conservative, lib-dem) One telephone interview, one focus group. Focus: Taking a community development approach to the role(s) of councillor

Dudley Borough 8 ‘active citizens’ 1 VCS. One focus group. Focus: Active citizens talk about expectations of councillors

Lancashire County 14 councillors 1 VCS Drop-in event & paper survey. Focus: An assets based approach to ‘localism’ and the impact on councillor roles

Solihull Metropolitan Borough
18 councillors  3 VCS 1 council officer. One seminar, one focus group  Focus: Facilitated discussion between VCS and councillors

Shropshire Unitary Authority
3 councillors (conservative, lib-dem)  1 VCS 4 community activists (incl 1 x parish councillor). Three focus groups  Focus: community-led planning

Wiltshire Unitary Authority with no CEO + Swindon Unitary Authority
4 councillors & VCS Board members 1 Town Clerk & VCS board member 1 VCS 3 VCS board members. Three interviews two large group discussions Focus: councillors on VCS boards

Wolverhampton City  
3 councillors (labour, conservative) 3 VCS 3 council officers. One focus group Focus: The Localism Act

Start reading about the detail in the research report

We would like to thank the following for participating in this research. If we have inadvertently missed anyone out we apologise.

Cllr Allport, Mike Ash, David Atkinson, Sam Axtell, Cllr Bailey, David Baker, Phil Bamber, Cllr Barker, Sarah Barnes, Cllr Bell, Cllr Blow, Cllr Brown, Marc Carter, Cllr Case, Trevor Cherritt,  Cllr Courts, Cllr Crompton, Karen Cross, Martha Cummings, Ian Darch, James Dennison, Cllr Doyle, Cllr Eaton, Cllr Evans, Cllr Fraser, Cllr Green, Cllr Greenwood, Alice Grennan, Cllr Hamilton, Cllr Hawkins, Jim Harte, Cllr Holl-Allen, Cllr Hulland, Iftikar Karim, Cllr Kenney, Cllr Kierle, Cllr Dr Lea, Cllr Malpas, Chris   March, Cllr Martin, Cllr Mattock, Cllr Mattu, Cllr Middleton, Greg  Mitten, Michael Mound, Cllr Nicklin, Cllr Parker, Cllr Pask, Richard Pearson, Cllr Penney, Dave Pinwell, Cllr Pittaway, Gill Porter, Lorna Prescott, Cllr Rebeiro, Cllr Richards, Cllr Rose, Rose Seagrief, Cllr Sharratt, Cllr G Slater, Cllr V Slater, Cllr Smith, Cllr Smithies, Ann Tee, Cllr Thirkill, Cllr Thompson, Cllr Thornton, Len Turner, Cllr Welsh, Joe Weston, Cllr Windmill