2022 has been (another) one of those years that seems to go very fast while simultaneously feeling like a very long time indeed.
We began the year emerging tentatively from the pandemic (whose physical, psychological, economic and political effects continue to reverberate), only to be hit by a seemingly unending series of crises: war in Ukraine, an energy crisis, inflation, rising interest rates and pressures on the cost of living. And we’ve seen the impacts of climate change gathering pace in both Northern and Southern hemispheres with fires, floods and record-high temperatures.
These crises have played out differently in parts of the world, but wherever you look, councils are right in the thick of it as they seek to support the communities they serve through these troubled times.
At LGIU, we believe in localism: both as a democratic ideal and because complex challenges are often best met by local innovation. We believe in local government as the institutional form that facilitates and legitimises localism.
But we believe in connected localism; connected across geographies, across service areas and across different parts of the public realm and we believe that many of the issues with which local government is concerned have a global dimension. Around the world we see councils driving forward real leadership of place, often far outstripping national governments in this regard.
At LGIU we’ll continue to make that case and we will continue to support local government more directly.
Over the course of 2022 our Daily News, in-depth briefings and policy and legislative round-ups have helped our members to navigate this fast-moving landscape, while our research centre has been generating new thinking about the issues that matter most for the future: climate action, tackling poverty and sustainable finance.
Our Global Local newsletter brings together the most interesting and innovative practice in local government wherever in the world it may be on topics ranging from museums to modern slavery.
Our executive panels bring together senior professionals and politicians from around the world to work through complex challenges together on a monthly basis.
As a global organisation with more than 280 council members across the world, we are uniquely placed to bring together fresh perspectives, new ideas and innovative practice from across the world.
Local government faces some profound challenges, but it is also a sector full of ideas and of energy: its direct link to local communities is itself a profound and ever-evolving resource.
That gives us ground for hope, despite all the difficulties. Local government is at its best when it is engaged, informed and connected. At LGIU we’re pleased to play our part in this and we look forward to sharing with our local authority members the challenges, opportunities and, no doubt, surprises that 2023 will bring.