Skip to Main Content


17 Feb 2020

This podcast discusses how Big Local areas are levelling the scales of local power

In this podcast, we host a round table discussion of David Boyle’s essay Counterweight, centring around the question at the heart of the essay: how can participative democracy work alongside representative democracy? The group explore the tensions and opportunities of a functioning local democracy and the culture shifts that are required to achieve a healthy power balance between local authorities and communities on a national scale. Also discussed is how residents can confidently find their voice within local democracy and feel empowered as a community to achieve change that lasts beyond the Big Local programme.

Chaired by James Goodman from Local Trust with contribution from Jayne Nicholl and Brenda Lines from DY10 Big Local, Noelle Blackman and Michel Siewniak from Wormley and Turnford Big Local, Jess Wenban-Smith from Local Trust, Adam Lent from the New Local Government Network, Jonathan Shaw from Policy Connect, Graham Atkins from The Institute for Government and the author of ‘Counterweight’, David Boyle.

Read the essay

Weaving together remarkable stories from Big Local areas, David Boyle paints a picture of what healthy local democracy can look like.

Find out more