As evidence from neighbourhood planning forums show, civic localism in the UK is uneven and flawed. But can devolution and municipal localism fare better? Susan Downer finds out Politicians need us. Even those who call us bigoted, joke about shooting us and insist there is no such thing as society. They need us to vote, to work, to respect the rule of law and, increasingly, to get involved in our local communities. As localism rises up the agenda, communities are becoming the places where complex social issues are solved, and citizens are being recruited to solve them. Liam Booth-Smith, chief executive of think tank Localis, says: ‘Across the political spectrum for the last 15 years localism has been treated as the answer to a problem that politicians cannot understand: Why is economic development so uneven? Why do cycles of deprivation persist? Really complex stuff has been pushed down to a … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

Susan Downer
Susan Downer is a freelance journalist