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|Purpose||Local government reform|
|Headquarters||The Rain Cloud, 76 Vincent Square, London SW1P 2PD|
The New Local Government Network (NLGN) is an independent think tank focused on local government reform. It was founded in 1996, and is currently based in Victoria, London. Its research and thought leadership programme seeks both practical impact for local government and partners, and to influence national policy priorities as they relate to places and public services.
Its current director is Adam Lent, previously the Director of the RSA Action and Research Centre, Head of Economics and Social Affairs at the Trades Union Congress and Director of Research and Innovation at Ashoka.
The core focus of NLGN's research is on changemaking, a vision for local government to generate and sustain impact in the future. This is based on the increasingly pressurised operating context for local government, characterised by resource constraints, demand pressures and demographic shifts.
The core aspects to the changemaking vision for local government are:
The second changemaking publication set out evidence of the role of culture for organisational impact, and a framework for understanding cultures in local government
In 2017 NLGN published Reaching Out: Influencing the wider determinants of health, which calls for public health to be more fully recognised as contributing to the UK's growth potential. The 2017 Industrial Strategy White Paper recognised the role of people as a key driver of productivity, but largely ignored the role of public health, which was a missed opportunity to press for a workforce fit for the future.
In 2016 NLGN published All Together Now: Whole systems commissioning for councils and the voluntary sector, which concludes that raising the scoring for social value in the commissioning process could have a profound effect on how local government work with its partners and on the outcomes it is able to deliver for citizens.
In 2016 NLGN published Get Well Soon: Reimagining place-based health, which demonstrates that the health service in its then-current form was not sustainable, and sets out a new plan for shifting the system to focus on preventing illness, shorten stays in hospital and help people live independently for longer.
In 2018 NLGN published Place-based Policymaking After Brexit: In search of the missing link?, which reveals political outlook varies greatly by place - particularly regarding immigration and attitudes to the past. It concludes that sensitive political and policy responses are needed to meet the policy demands of post-Brexit Britain; the 'one-size-fits-all' philosophy that dominates political circles today should be revised.
In 2017 NLGN published Building Homes, Growing Communities, which provides a practical guide for councils to help ensure that all new homes built to meet the country's housing needs lead to high quality communities that prioritise design, safety and quality of life. By building better places, there is an opportunity to realise a wider set of benefits that can mitigate NIMBYist concerns, and turn a development into a valuable asset.
In 2016 NLGN published Smarter, Not Harder: How devolution can make places more productive, which argues that cities across the UK must be given control over a third of corporation tax to help them fix the country's under-performance on productivity by providing a financial stake in improving the local economy.
In 2017 NLGN published Tomorrow's Places: How councils can harness smart capabilities, which calls for councils to become more creative in their use of technology, and more collaborative with both their citizens and other organisations, in order to plan for future problems.
The New Local Government Network fears most Local Authorities will not be able to provide more than the bare minimum of services five years after 2018. The NLGN wrote,
A full list of members is available on the NLGN website.
Former directors include Simon Parker and Chris Leslie, former Labour MP for Shipley, between 2005 and his re-election to Parliament for Nottingham East in the general election of 2010.