Austerity has left local government struggling to meet the demands for local services. In this context, this book asks ‘what are the fundamental principles that should guide decision-making by local councillors and officers?’ It seeks to move the agenda from ‘what works?’ to ‘what should local government do?’ and ‘how will its policies impact on social justice and local democracy?'.
Reclaiming local democracy examines the politics of human need and argues that local government should provide a voice for those that lack power. It avoids the dry, familiar debate about what structures and powers local government should have, instead seeking to energise all concerned to re-engage with a political and ethical approach. Written in a persuasive and accessible way, the book examines how local government can develop active citizens and make a difference to the well-being of those in disadvantaged areas – truly 'reclaiming local democracy'.
Combining theory and international practice, it will be relevant for councillors, policy officers and activists in the third sector, as well as academics and students in politics and social policy.
Ines Newman has a background in town planning and local economic development. She was Head of Policy at the Local Government Information Unit (1999-2007) and Principal Research Fellow, Local Government Centre, Warwick Business School (2007-2012). She is currently Visiting Senior Research Associate at De Montfort University. Ines Newman is co-editor of Promoting social cohesion, Policy Press, 2011.
Learning from history;
An ethical framework for local government;
Reclaiming local democracy;
“A timely, widely researched and deeply considered call to arms! With fundamental values, democracy and justice underpinning her argument, Newman offers a compelling ethical and practical lodestar to local government.” Dame Jane Roberts, Chair of the Councillor Commission and Chair of NLGN
“I urge you to pick up a copy of the book and read it” Stuart Wilks-Heeg in Political Quarterly
"Rich with practical examples and proposals, this provocative new text asks 'what should local government do?'. Moving beyond technical fixes, Newman argues that local government has an obligation to promote social justice. The book shows how a more proactive and inclusive local democracy can generate creative responses to meeting social need. A must-read for proactitioners and academics alike." Vivien Lowndes, Professor of Public Policy, University of Nottingham
“A timely and fascinating book … should be read by all those who share a commitment to effective democratic local government” John Tizard, Huffington Post blog
“I very much enjoyed reading this book. It gives councillors a rare opportunity to raise our heads and look beyond the foothills.” Cllr Roger Lawrence, Leader of Wolverhampton City Council
"It is refreshing to find a book that tackles, in both theory and practice, the role of councillors and the principles on which policy-making should be based." Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council