A new guide sets out four steps for help local councilors work more closely with their communities. The Local Government Information Unit and Local Trust jointly published the guide to inspire councillors to involve and empower local citizens. As local councillors contend with increased pressures from budget cuts and the potential upheaval of local government funding, and citizens feel the strain as local services are hollowed out, this guide urges decision-making to shift from town halls to local communities. Community collaboration can be a reviving force for local democracy but councilors need to be prepared to take a backseat at times, and to lead with advise and support, the report says. The four steps to community collaboration are: Sow the seeds of activism Councillors can help identify the residents who have ideas for local change, or help mediate between different community groups. What matters most is to get across the … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Clare Goff
Clare Goff is editor of New Start magazine