England & Wales, Global HR, workforce and communications, Personal and organisational development

LGIU@40: Research Symposium


This session is open exclusively to LGIU members. Not a member but interested in the symposium? Reach out to us to explore how we can work with your organisation!

With sincere apologies, due to the recent announcement about the train strikes that will be taking place w/c 4 December (with significant impact on Wednesday 6 December), we have made the decision to host our first annual LGIU@40 Research Symposium virtually via Zoom. While in the past, these strikes have been called off at the last minute, we want to eliminate any uncertainty for our LGIU community at this very busy time of the year.

The session will now run from 10:00 – 13:00 via Zoom only. 

We hope that this will ensure the least disruption possible for you, our speakers and other guests that are due to join us for this vital discussion.

Join the LGIU’s Local Democracy Research Centre for our 2023 research symposium.

At the symposium, we will be bringing together senior leaders from across local government to learn from each other and about the research we’ve carried out this year. Most importantly, we’ll be looking for your input and ideas into our research programme for 2024. Alongside this, we will be launching our LGIU@40 manifesto to empower local government to face the future (moving from aspiration to practical action) ahead of the next general election.

Wednesday 6 December | 10:00-13:00. Guest speakers include Professor Patrick DiamondDr Madeleine Pill, Professor Liz Richards, Professor Richard Eccleston, Dr Peter Eckersley, Dr Hannah Bunting, Theo Blackwell MBE, Chief Digital Officer, Mayor of London and Keiran Pedley, Research Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos – full programme to follow.

Spaces are available for this complimentary event for senior officers and councillors from LGIU member councils exclusively on a first come, first served basis.

As we set our research agenda for our 2024/25 research programme – don’t miss out on the opportunity to use your insight and experience to create the optimum research base from which we can develop and deliver effective local government policy together.

If you are able to attend, please RSVP here. If you have a colleague you would like to attend in your place, include their details here. Please contact Jen Pufky with any further questions.


Session 1: Local government is at a crisis point – challenges and lessons

Cllr Michael Payne – Deputy Leader, Gedling Borough Council and Chair, LGIU – introduction of symposium

Professor Patrick Diamond – Professor of Public Policy and Director, Mile End Institute, Queen Mary, University of London

Crisis in local/ central government relations – challenges and lessons

Dr Peter Eckersley – Associate Professor of Public Policy and Management, Nottingham Trent University and Managing Editor, Local Government Studies

Crisis in local government finances – challenges and lessons

Dr Hannah Bunting – Lecturer in Quantitative British Politics, University of Exeter

Declining trust and participation – challenges and lessons

Keiran Pedley – Research Director, Public Affairs, Ipsos

UK attitudes the work of councillors and role of local government – challenges and lessons ahead of a general election

Discussion and Q&A

Session 2: How can we save local government, so local government can save us all? – solutions for the future of local government

Michael Payne (Chair) – introduction of next topic

Dr Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, Local Government Information Unit (LGIU)

Launch: The call for a New Covenant and LGIU’s 2024 research plans

Dr Madeleine Pill FHEA – Senior Lecturer Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield

Response to the Covenant and the solutions for local government participation

Liz Richardson – Professor of Public Administration at the University of Manchester

Response to the Covenant and the solutions for local government participation

Professor Richard Eccleston – Director, Tasmanian Policy Exchange, University of Tasmania

Solutions for local government finances from Tasmania

Theo Blackwell MBE – Chief Digital Officer, Mayor of London

Response to the Covenant and solutions for a digital future for local government

Discussion and Q&A