The Prime Minister has welcomed the report – but has yet to commit to acting on it.
To truly level up the country and help our recovery from the pandemic, the government cannot rely on the levers of Whitehall. Instead, it must embrace a radical community power agenda and provide the investment and support required to unlock its potential.
It’s heartening to see Danny Kruger’s report to the Prime Minister advocate so clearly for this vision. This crisis has shown time and again the incredible resource and power we have within our communities, contrasted with the repeated failures of centralisation.
There is much in the report to get behind – including many ideas Locality have been championing:
- the need to expand the Community Ownership Fund and establish a Community Right to Buy;
- the £500m Community Recovery Fund leading to a longer-term Community Wealth Fund;
- Keeping it Local and making social value the overarching aim of public services rather than value for money.
The Prime Minister has welcomed the report – but has yet to commit to acting on it. The government mustn’t let the ideas and recommendations in this report drift, nor the need to work with civil society to scrutinise and implement them.
Recent years have seen a merry-go-round of national reports that have called for change that have led nowhere
Recent years have seen a merry-go-round of national reports that have called for change that have led nowhere – the Civil Society Strategy circa 2018, the Communities Framework published only last year. All have called for essential reform – in commissioning, for greater localism, for community ownership – but none have so far delivered.
We cannot afford to wait until the pandemic is over to take the urgent action our communities need. As we head into winter and all that that might bring, many of our communities and the essential organisations that support them face an incredible challenge to continue their vital work in hugely difficult circumstances.
The Government has real, practical opportunities to act now to strengthen our social infrastructure, bolster our community’s resilience, and embed community power for decades to come.
Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of Locality