Our gift to you to celebrate 2022!

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2022 has been quite a year but before we put it behind us, we want to take this opportunity to reflect on some of our LGIU briefing highlights over the last twelve months – in particular, ones that showcase how local government all over the world have been working tirelessly to improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of their communities.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be showcasing our favourite briefings by each quarter of the year – all of which have been picked because of their connection to the following four uplifting themes:

Q1: Health and happiness

Q2: Connection and community

Q3: Progress and prosperity

Q4: Self-care and balance

It’s also a time of year to give back, which is why at LGIU, we are opening the access level of these selected briefings to follower level for December-only – which means anyone who is registered on the website for FREE and not part of a member organisation can now read these briefings. We’ll also be giving you a small taste of our very popular member-only Daily News Service, so register as a follower today to not miss out!

…Of course, you could also look at becoming an LGIU member to gain access to these high-quality briefings, Daily News (and all the other huge LGIU benefits) all year round!

Happy holidays everyone! Enjoy your well-deserved break.

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Quarter One: Health and Happiness

Our theme of this first quarter is health and happiness – a sentiment that we not only wish to all our LGIU members and followers but also feel is core to the mission of local government.

At LGIU, we have a privileged front-row seat to all the hard work local government does every day to make a positive impact on the health and happiness of their communities. We believe these spotlighted briefings below showcase some great examples of this mission in action. Happy reading!

Based on personal reflections from the author’s time in four Nordic cities, this insightful briefing takes a ‘street level’ view and provides practical case study examples of the ways these cities have been designed for various aspects of everyday mobility to help Nordic society retain a year-round outdoor culture. These places support having fun, for both children and adults, and without a doubt, there is much to be gained from the provisions and practices in these places, especially when it comes to keeping morale high during extreme climate conditions. Read here.

As an affiliated member country to the World Health Organization’s global Age-Friendly network, Ireland has been working to develop age-friendly towns through a concentrated multi-stakeholder focus on local areas. These towns support active ageing and facilitate older adults to take part in their communities, focusing not just on the built environment but also on transport, access to services, safety, and cultural and recreational opportunities. Read here.

Supporting and funding sexual health services is important for numerous reasons, however, in many countries services are underfunded and struggle to reach all communities. As a result, councils are seeking new ways to diversify care and improve access. Case study examples are explored in this briefing which deep dives into both the challenges and possible solutions to strengthen services at a local level. Read here.

Quarter Two: Connection and Community

The theme for this quarter is connection and community – a critical need for every single one of us and a core philosophy of local government, which are without a doubt, one of the biggest facilitators of connecting people and communities together.

The role councils play in providing a sense of place and belonging comes in many different forms and contributes greatly to the wider picture of unity. The following briefings not only offer some fantastic reading but also explore some great examples of ways that communities can become better connected and stronger. Happy reading!

Millions of people are digitally excluded due to poor internet connections or a lack of IT skills. Councils play a vital role in reducing digital exclusion, however, they are dependent on partners to ensure that more people can get online and use digital technology. This briefing explores what is happening to achieve this around the UK with some fantastic case study examples that have practical guidance for a global audience. Read here.

This briefing is the first of a four-part series from Australia which explores opportunities for local government to grow local productivity and place-based wellbeing by intentionally adopting anchor approaches. In this overview, you’ll get a firm understanding of the key concepts and an insight into the ongoing discussion about how anchor approaches can benefit local areas. Read here.

Community wealth building has five pillars that are used as a framework for exploring key thinking for local government, wider public sector and community sectors to work together towards significant local whole-systems change. This briefing explores some concrete actions that public and community sectors can pursue together for local and more equitable, generative sustainable development. The context is the need for a suitable post-pandemic recovery and the urgency that this social-ecological crisis now demands. Read here.

Quarter Three: Progress and Prosperity

The theme for this quarter is progress and prosperity. The end of every year offers a natural moment of reflection as we look back at the progress made, whether that be personal, professional, national or worldwide. It’s also equally important to strive forward into the new year with new plans and aspirations to drive prosperity.

We’ve selected the following briefings for Q3 because we think they demonstrate some brilliant examples of the ways local government can improve prosperity in their communities and make progressive leaps forward. Happy reading!

The long-awaited UK government food strategy released this year aimed to deliver on ambitions for a prosperous UK agri-food sector – in turn contributing to levelling up; greater food security in an unpredictable world; and healthier, affordable and more sustainable diets for all. Local government is expected to play an important role in delivering on these priorities, so this briefing asks what the strategy may look like in practice at a local level. Read here.

This briefing from our Australia team lays out the five broad, interconnected benefits of successful placemaking efforts – as supported by reports and research from around the world – to provide a clear understanding of how they can directly contribute towards areas like urban planning, economic development and sustainability on a local level. Read here.

This international briefing reports on where we’re at in the global shift to micromobility, exploring some of the benefits and problems arising through the experiences of the last few years. By utilising global case studies and research, a series of tips are provided on how to address common issues while making the most of potential co-benefits. Read here.

Quarter Four: Self-care and Balance

Lastly, we’re showcasing some of our favourite picks from Quarter Four: October, November and December. The theme for this quarter is self-care and balance. Even though the hustle, bustle, passion and drive of local government doesn’t stop over the holidays, we’re here to insist that you must.

It’s important for us all to strike a balance between work and personal life, and remember to reset and refresh. We want you to come back sharper than ever and ready to tackle a new year of local governance – with LGIU right by your side! Our Q4 briefings are a reminder of the value each of you brings to local government and why you must take care of yourself to take care of local democracy.

Hybrid working is operating successfully in local governments across the UK and the wider world since the Covid-19 pandemic and research has found that it has become increasingly popular among staff. Some councils are now going further and introducing home working contracts or trialling four-day weeks. In this case study briefing, we ask, what does this mean for traditional office or desk-based working and is there a new balance to be found? Read here.

This briefing from Australia summarises the country’s wellbeing framework in a global context and discusses the implications of applying a national wellbeing framework for local government, including its direct role in fostering a wellbeing economy on a local scale. Read here.

Our brand-new briefing highlights examples of community and workforce mental health support in Ireland and Australia. Also looking at how the psychological model of compassion can help local government leaders lessen the impact of mental ill health on staff. Read here.