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Locality, in partnership with Local Trust and Power to Change, are working with four local authorities to show how to create ‘power partnerships’ between local government and communities though an innovative action research project

We are delighted to be working with Cornwall, Southwark, Stevenage and Wigan councils who have a commitment to localism and are ambitious in creating opportunities to build community power.

This is part of an exciting new phase for the Commission on the Future of Localism, chaired by Lord Kerslake, which published its findings in January 2018. The Commission heard about the fundamental power imbalances that are preventing the power of community from coming to life. It also found that policies and behaviour change at a local level can make the biggest impact in creating the environment for localism to flourish.

The Commission focused on the conditions needed for a new ‘power partnership’ to flourish between local government and communities, instead of calling for another blockbuster Localism Bill or Westminster-led process of decentralisation.

From Summer 2018 to Autumn 2019, the new action research project will test our findings from the Localism Commission and put our recommendations into practice in Cornwall, Southwark, Stevenage and Wigan.

Throughout the project Locality, in partnership with Power to Change and Local Trust, are working with community organisations, Big Local areas and council partners to share good practice, seek opportunities to go further, and demonstrate the potential of a strong ‘power partnership’ between councils and communities.

We will launch our findings in Autumn 2019, to support more councils to create the environment for localism to flourish.

If you want to hear more about the Commission on the Future of Localism or the action research project, please contact

Tony Armstrong chief executive of Locality said:

“Our Localism Commission found that we need a transformation in attitudes, relationships and power so that local councils and communities work together to create the environment for people across our neighbourhoods to thrive. We’re delighted to be working in these four areas to show the power of this approach and spread learning on how local authorities can drive forward a radical new localism agenda across England.”

Vidhya Alakeson, chief executive at Power to Change said:

“We know from our work with community businesses that enabling local people to take control can improve their lives and the places where they live. We look forward to using learning from Cornwall, Southwark, Stevenage and Wigan to bring about change nationwide. This is an exciting new phase of the Localism Commission which will help us better understand how by working together, local government and communities can bring about real change on a local level.”

Matt Leach, chief executive at Local Trust said:

Localism cannot just be about the shifting of power between Whitehall and local government. Increasingly, people are recognising the real value that can be realised by the sharing of power, resources and decision making with neighbourhoods and communities – something that is at the heart of the Big Local programme. The Localism Commission pilots are about exploring exciting new ways in which local government and communities can work together, mapping out important new territory for the future.”


Throughout the project Locality will be holding a number of local workshops and other research activities. If you are based in these areas and interested in finding out more about how you can be involved, please get in touch with