About the APSE Local Government Commission

The APSE Local Government Commission is conducting an independent inquiry into the future role of local government across the United Kingdom. It will identify and assess the capabilities and capacities of local government, capturing good practice and investigating the powers and responsibilities required for local councils to advance a new municipalism and vision over the next ten years.

 The Commission has taken 2030 as its key date on the horizon, signalling its commitment to meet the challenges of climate change and sustainability, one of the pressing ‘wicked policy issues’ facing local authorities. Indeed, the Commission is seeking to build on the principle of local stewardship, viewing local government as one of the key sites to mitigate climate change.
 
Importantly, the Commission acknowledges the diversity of the formal and informal organisational structures, service responsibilities, and pertinent issues across local government post-devolution. Its recommendations will recognise the multiple, complex and evolving systems that mark the landscape of local government across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

To assist with our evidence gathering process you are asked to answer the following ten questions. You do not need to answer all of the questions but it would be helpful to  provide as much information as possible.

There is an opportunity at the end of the survey to upload a supporting document to expand upon your response or to share any research or strategy papers that you believe may assist the work of the Commission.      
 

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* Roles and Powers: Role of Local Government 
What should be the role of local government? And how can that role be brought about? Does local government require additional powers, and if so, which ones? Should there be further devolution of powers?

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* Roles and Powers: What services should local government deliver, and how?
Which services require local variation, and to what degree? How should services be integrated to better meet local needs in, for example, housing, health and social care, community cohesion, public protection, digitalisation, climate emergency and economic development? What should be the role of local government in terms of early interventions to pro-actively secure community well-being? 

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* Organisational Cultures and Structures: How should local government be organised?
How should local government be organised to address the complex policy issues it will face in, for example, housing, health and social care, community cohesion, public protection, digitalisation, climate emergency and economic development? What needs to change to bring about these new ways of working?

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* Organisational Cultures and Structures: What principles?
What principles should underpin issues of council size and their place in the governance of communities? Which organisational structures can best balance competing requirements for efficiency, effectiveness, and democracy? How far should this be determined locally?

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* Democracy and Governance: Arrangements
What governance arrangements for local authorities best respond to the demands of local government in 2030? What should be the role of the councillor in 2030? How can we make elected members more representative of the diverse communities they serve? How can public interest and local electoral turnout be increased

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* Democracy and Governance: Accountability
How should we ensure the accountability of local service delivery and decision-making across the complex landscape within which local government will be operating in 2030? Should we seek to rationalise this complex landscape of local government structures, and how?

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* Funding
How should local government be sustainably funded, in a way which provides for local accountability? What proportion of local funding should be raised via local taxation, and through what mechanisms? What scope should there be for local variation in the raising of local taxes? How should we address financial inequalities between local authorities?

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* Addressing Inequality and Empowering Communities
How should local government address inequalities across the diverse communities it serves? How should local authorities empower and increase the participation of local communities in decision-making? How should councils engage with under-represented groups?

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* The Local Government Workforce
What should be the skills of the future local government workforce? How should we ensure that the workforce of local government mirrors the diverse communities it serves? What working and organisational cultures are necessary to meet the challenges of 2030?

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* Centre-Local Relations
Should local government have constitutional protection? If so, what should be the nature of this constitutional protection? What future mechanisms or governance arrangements should be in place for effective dialogue and working relations between central departments, national agencies and local government?

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* Do you wish to upload a document in support of your response?

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* We would like to track our respondents and we may need to come back to you to ask for further information about your responses. We will not attribute comments or quotes to any organisation or individual without their express permission we will however name all respondent organisations in our final report. 

  Do we have your permission to contact you about your responses if we need clarification? Would you be willing to provide oral evidence to the Commissioners?  Do we have your permission to name your organisation as a respondent in our final report?  
Yes
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* Please confirm your details below. These will not be published in the report but will be used to contact you. We will also analyse responses to ensure that we have a fair sample of responses across the UK.     

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* Please tell us a little more about your locations

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