NALC’s ongoing campaign to strengthen local democracy has been supported by the new important book Locating Localism by Professor Jane Wills published last month.
The book takes a thorough look at the history and geography of the British state, its internal divisions of political power and the emergence of localism as a new form of statecraft. In the aftermath of the EU referendum and the rapid appointment of Theresa May as Prime Minister Wills explains why now more than ever the localism debate needs to be brought to the fore.
Prof Jane Wills says: “I report on research conducted into four different forms of localism (neighbourhood community budgets, a cooperative council, neighbourhood planning and community organising). Unexpectedly, all of them exposed the need to have a fully representative neighbourhood forum that was able to reflect local opinion, to mediate with local power-brokers (the state and corporate interests) and to mount any necessary challenges to the status quo.
“As such, the research endorses the campaign being developed by the National Association for Local Councils (NALC, 2015) and it echoes earlier calls made by Michael Young and others, to set up meaningful community councils in un-parished urban areas in England (Baker and Young, 1971).”
Cllr Ken Browse, chair of NALC, said: “It is brilliant news that our ongoing campaigns about the need to strengthen local democracy has been recognised and supported by such an influential voice as Prof Wills. We would urge all to read this book regardless of who you are.”