Publications

We have an extensive catalogue of publications - research reports, long read articles, toolkits and best practice guidelines - that stem from our work with our member councils and other collaborations. Most publications are free to read and download as PDFs but you do need to be logged in to the website. Please sign in or set up an account if you don't already have one (this is free of charge). A few publications are for members only.

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An introduction to overview and scrutiny

This guide has been produced for elected members who are involved in the council’s overview and scrutiny process and want to develop their questioning skills. 

England & Wales
Members

Primer: the essentials of local government finance in England

This primer is designed to provide newly-elected councillors with a short, non-technical introduction to the main features of local government finance in England, but should also be useful to others new to local government or wanting to find out more about finance.

England & Wales
Members

Primer: Adult social care

This primer introduces you to some of the main issues in adult social care, especially topics that may be raised by local people seeking advice from their councillor. It is part of a series of primers, covering key local authority subjects, which are aimed particularly at new councillors to help them settle into the role.

England & Wales

A New Settlement: Place and Wellbeing in Local Government

Following the upheaval of the past year, the time is right for a radical restructuring of power, politics and policy around the needs of local places. That’s why we argue in this paper, and in the full report that will be published on Wednesday 16 June, that the UK needs a new “settlement for place”.…

England & Wales
Members

Primer: Cultural services

This primer introduces you to the arts and culture sector and local authority cultural services, covering libraries, museums, theatres, arts services, and leisure services. It is part of a series of primers, covering key local authority topics, which are aimed particularly at new councillors to help them settle into the role.

England & Wales

Bundle: Reforming social care: ideas, delays, history

To no one’s surprise, the Queen’s Speech did not include a plan for reforming adult social care, although the UK  government says it is committed to bringing forward proposals. So are we any nearer fundamental change? This bundle explores the long-standing issues around adult social care and presents recent content on reform ideas.

England & Wales

Ones to Watch: LE2021

Two years’ worth of elections. 143 councils. 13 mayors. What’s at stake and what’s up for grabs in May 2021? This long read looks at the hot elections across England.

England & Wales
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Essential guide to local elections communications 2021

Local elections matter and how we talk about them matters. Effective communications can build enthusiasm for local democracy and this communications guide focuses on some easy steps that councils can take during the election period.

England & Wales