One of the things that’s become increasingly clear from our work to help ‘unlock the capacity’ of local places is that councils have to drastically rethink their roles in order to provide a different kind of support to local communities. Marshalling the energy that exists in a place does not mean the council just ‘getting out of the way’. In fact, unlocking capacity demands action, not retraction, on the part of councils – it’s just that the size and shape of that action may be radically different to what they (and the community) are used to. For instance: local people will need help, advice, training and access to expertise if they’re going to play a more active role in where they live. They will also need some license to try things out, to be part of more exploratory conversations (not just showpiece ‘consultations’) – and that means councils accepting that … (To read the full article, subscribe below)
Rob Francis is a fellow at the Office for Public Management (OPM). He is the author of OPM’s Unlocking Local Capacity report.
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