Today, we are delighted to announce the arrival of four new councils to the Keep it Local Network. This brings our total number to 17 as we support the movement to continue growing with new guidance. 

The new Keep it Local councils are:

  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • City of York Council
  • East Sussex County Council
  • Malvern Hills District Council

They join 13 other trailblazer councils: Bradford, Bristol, Calderdale, Hackney, Kirklees, Leeds, Lewisham, Newcastle, Oldham, Rotherham, South Gloucestershire, Wakefield, and Wirral. East Sussex represents our first county council to join the network, while Malvern Hills is our first district council.

All have committed to unlocking the power of community by moving away from bureaucratic commissioning and big outsourcing contracts. Instead, they’re focus is on building strong local partnerships, sharing, and maximising local strengths. By Keeping it Local, they seek to:

  • Create more responsive services that transform lives
  • Reduce long-term pressure on the public sector
  • Ensure precious public resources invest in the local area.

New report and guidance

Alongside this exciting announcement, we have produced two new publications to help strengthen and grow the Keep it Local Network further.

The first is Principles into Practice: lessons and examples from the Keep it Local Network. This review of the last four years of the initiative, supported by Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, highlights the key lessons for making Keep it Local a success. It also provides practical guidance and examples for councils to bring the Keep it Local principles to life.

Part 1, ‘What we’ve learned about Keep it Local’, breaks down the lessons across five key categories; ‘Building the foundations’, ‘Putting principles into practice’, ‘Going further to embed transformation’, ‘Overcoming external challenges’, and ‘Lessons for community organisations’.

Part 2, ‘How to Keep it Local’, takes each principle in turn. It provides real life context for each, with a total of 16 case studies demonstrating how the Keep it Local councils have put them into practice.

The second publication is our new Keep it Local Commissioning Guide: 10 ways to Keep it Local. This draws on our many years of supporting councils to implement the Keep it Local approach in commissioning and procurement. It provides guidance, tips, and examples for commissioners to co-design services with the local community to maximise the benefits mentioned above.

If you work for a community organisation or local authority and are interested in what Keep it Local could do for your area, please contact

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