At the end of one of the most challenging years for the UK, five commentators sum up the year for communities, local government, economic development, devolution and activism and offer their views on the way forward. Let there be hope by David Robinson The ‘strange death’ and re-birth of local government by Piali DasGupta Building the new mainstream by Neil McInroy and Matthew Jackson English devolution: revolution or chaos? by Arianna Giovannini Social activists should find common cause in 2017 by John Tizard Let there be hope By David Robinson Community Links ‘So this is Christmas, what have we done?’ We entered 2016 with business leaders predicting economic recovery but with austerity still pounding through the public realm, with local authorities particularly in our most hard pressed areas confronting impossible choices and anticipating imminent crises for social care and other essential services, with further deep cuts in the voluntary sector, … (To read the full article, subscribe below)