Democracy, devolution and governance

Making sure that citizens have a voice through strong and vibrant local institutions.


Deferred Mayoral Elections

May 7th would have been the day that several English city-regions voted for a mayor; a choice that would have been based on both promises of candidates’ actions in office and a judgement of the incumbent mayor’s record in office – which would have been a milestone for a new model of governance in the…

England & Wales, Global Blog Post Blog
Members & Followers

Democracy Deferred? To elect or not to elect in the time of Covid-19

The May 2020 elections were postponed in the UK, but other polls in other places have carried on. We cannot afford to postpone democracy forever, what should an election look like in the time of coronavirus?

Australia, England & Wales, Global, Ireland, Scotland Publication

With no elections what are electoral workers doing now?

With all polls currently postponed until 6 May 2021, just what are electoral administrators up to during this pandemic? Peter Stanyon, Chief Executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators, tells what they’re doing now and what they need to do to prepare for the next set of elections.

England & Wales, Global Blog Post Blog

Photo voter ID in the UK? Should it be challenged?

After pilot studies, the UK Government is planning to make voting conditional on the production of photographic identification at polling stations in UK parliamentary elections and in local elections in England. We review and comment on the issues raised by reports on the pilots. The briefing was written before Covid-19.

England & Wales, Scotland Briefing

What lessons can local government learn from Canada’s community-driven immigration programmes?

In recent years, Canada has developed an immigration policy seeing millions arrive, including in rural locations. This is the work of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP), a partnership and program between federal and local government incentivising more remote and isolated communities to accept migrants. This briefing outlines the role of Canadian municipalities in…

England & Wales, Global, Ireland, Scotland Briefing

Freeports consultation – levelling up or levelling down?

The UK government launched its Freeports consultation in February. The consultation has been extended to July 2020. This briefing outlines the content of the consultation, considers wider evidence on the benefits and challenges of freeports, and suggests considerations for local authorities and other place-based partners inclined to make a response.

England & Wales, Global, Scotland Briefing

Covid-19: What next for the new normal?

How is it that we will begin to emerge from weeks of lockdown? There is no tried and tested method but trust and transparency in how decisions are made and acted upon are key to their success, writes Janet Sillett.

England & Wales, Global, Scotland Blog Post Blog
Members & Followers

Oireachtas Emergency Response to Covid-19

The Health (Preservation and Protection and other Emergency Measures in the Public Interest) Bill was signed into law on the evening of the 20th March as part of the Government’s response to the pandemic. The bill amends the Health Act 1947 to provide emergency powers, and amends the Social Welfare Acts to adjust unemployment and…

Ireland Briefing
Members & Followers

Managing from the eye of the storm – the municipal response to Covid-19 in Madrid and Barcelona

Spain is currently one of the countries most seriously affected by the Covid-19 epidemic. This short briefing will follow the cases of Madrid and Barcelona city councils to contextualise some of the measures adopted by Spanish local authorities during the crisis. These measures may be of interest to councils in areas where the pandemic is…

Global Briefing