Decentralising power through localism and devolution gives local people a greater say and helps local initiatives to thrive. This was a core belief of our network long before it become a flagship government policy.
The contact with other organisations and potential to influence nationally remain the strongest reasons to be a member.

When communities work together they can have a powerful and inspirational impact. But we are not making it easy for communities, and there are many more cases where this extraordinary potential lies latent, untapped, or simply ignored.

The Localism Act (2011)

It’s time for local leaders and decision makers to change things – strengthening community institutions so that people can get involved, giving up financial control by giving people more of a direct say in setting local budgets, and boosting the community ownership of important buildings and spaces rather than selling them off to private developers.

We lobbied for the Localism Act 2011 and the Community Rights, and helped communities to take up the new opportunities. While there were many success stories, there are still too many barriers for communities seeking a greater stake in their local area, particularly in some of the most deprived parts of the country.

That’s why we continue to campaign for a transformational shift in power to local communities.

Being a member of the Locality club is a no-brainer" - it's a "business risk" not to be a member.

Reinvigorating the localism agenda – the Localism Commission

We set up the Commission on the Future of Localism in 2017, in association with Power to Change, to reinvigorate the localism agenda.

The Commission was chaired by Lord Kerslake – former Head of the Civil Service and President of the Local Government Association. We gathered feedback from community organisations, parliamentarians, local government and policy experts.

Our Commission heard how too often communities are unable to affect the change they know their neighbourhood needs because ‘real power resides elsewhere’.

Attempts by successive governments to decentralise have not addressed this gulf between the governed and those that govern.


of people feel they have little or no control over decisions that affect their country


The People Power Report

Our research found that 80 per cent of people feel they have little or no control over decisions that affect their country and 71 per cent feel they have little or no control over local decisions.

Our People Power report calls for radical action to:

  • Strengthen our local institutions
  • Devolve tangible power resources and control to communities
  • Ensure equality in community participation
  • Deliver change in local government behaviour and practice to enable local initiatives to thrive.

We need a localism agenda which makes the case that power starts with people. It lies in our communities. The task of the political system and our local leaders is to harness this power.

Read the People Power report and find out how you can get involved:

New phase for Localism Commission – action research with four councils.

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

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.

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

Learn more about the action research