We find ourselves at the dawn of a new decade, greeting a new government. So it does seem apposite to think about what has happened over the last ten years and what needs to happen over the decade to come.
Local government finds itself in crisis. Deep cuts have left it struggling to keep basic statutory services going and largely (though, remarkably, not entirely) denuded of the time, energy and creativity it needs to innovate successfully. Sustainable reform of local government finance – a live issue back in 2010, remains as distant as ever.
Many of the acute service challenges local government faces: adult social care, children’s services and housing for example, have been growing in scale and intensity over the last ten years. Big global issues such as climate change, technology and economic disruption continue to make themselves felt at local level in unpredictable ways and many of the underlying questions, around localism, democracy, place and power are the same issues we were discussing at the beginning of the decade.
We lay out these ideas for the next ten years and the newly elected UK Government in Unfinished Business (free registration required). We will be developing these ideas for the 2020s in a series of essays in the new year.
We also round up our General Election coverage in our GE bundle.