Section four – What gets in the way?

Why we have included this section?

This section reports the many challenges and blocks to councillors putting localism into practice. The perspectives of councillors, community activists and voluntary organisations are included here.

What is it about?

Localism is often used as a shorthand for various ideas – some of which are very different from each other and may be pulling in different directions

For localism to be beneficial and if councillors are to encourage and support communities so that they can seize the opportunities offered, the challenges and blocks will need to be addressed; these relate specifically to councillors, community and voluntary groups and organisations, the council and wider structures and processes.

A recurring concern in the research is the need to protect communities from the “ravages of the market”; the implications of not using a community led approach around the new Community Rights raises issues around continued strategic delivery of services and the possibility of private sector service delivery that does not actually meet real needs.

There seems a general confusion about what ‘local’ means in interpretation and practice, and the implications for service delivery.

Now see issues around communities