Having the ear of George Ferguson: Bristol, elections and the mayoral model

Thom Oliver

Its election time in Bristol and there is a strange feeling in the air, something has changed and it’s not the colour of the mayor’s trousers. George Ferguson is now the sole power and the culture of politics is perhaps changing in the City.

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In a recent news article BBC Bristol Reporter Robin Markwell stopped short of asking the question ‘whats the point of councillors’ in favour of ‘why bother voting‘? As the ‘no’ campaigners warned in their literature about the dangers of placing all the power of the hands of one person, the election of an Independent mayor in Bristol has got some councillors re-evaluating their role and redoubling their focus. With a third of the council up for election and the Lib Dems with potentially the most to lose the mayoral model is also changing the focus and content of campaigns.

As the second largest group on the council, and not a member of the multi-party cabinet, Labour’s campaigning at first glance seems quite generic. It stresses a national stance against the bedroom tax and champions the NHS, which in the light of national events may strike a chord with many. Their local pledges focus around making Bristol a Living Wage City (something Ferguson has spoken against in the past), a piggy-backing onto the campaign of local non-political activist Daniel Farr against the Fares of FirstBus, along with a desire for more affordable homes and childcare places. The movement to pushing these broader campaigns is unsurprising in the light of the movement to a mayoral model.

Across the city the Liberal Democrats have perhaps grasped the nettle of change more strongly, a campaign leaflet reads:

‘This election won’t decide who runs Bristol, or the country. It’s about the best person to stand up for our local area and fight our corner on the council’.

This focus is not so much a change, but perhaps a re-assertion of the community politics and community champion focus which served the party so well before any conception of the party as one of national government. Yet for a party which until the election of Ferguson was running the council, it’s certainly a re-evaluation.

Elsewhere across the City the Conservatives are hugging the mayor tight in their campaigns and the Green party (contesting all seats) are concentrating their efforts on two wards including the one where they already have one councillor. Independents for Bristol remain a bit of an enigma, and it is difficult to even estimate their electoral chances. Their campaigning led with a leaflet about the Independents for Bristol umbrella group, followed by a ‘Magnificent seven’ leaflet (although they are in fact standing 8 candidates) which again made little of localised campaigns or individuals as candidates, with the final leaflet due to hit letterboxes soon it’s a short time for candidates to assert their independence and individuality, this work is presumably being done on the doorstep.

With party politics a dirty word, Independents for Bristol have focused on the Nolan principles for politicians and appointees as an ideological basis, on the evidence thus far in terms of group organisation, the messaging on campaign literature and the existence of selection panels some are beginning to ask the question: if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck… The challenge for IfB is and will remain in giving independent candidates a competitive platform against better resourced local parties without impinging on the independence of individual candidates. This was highlighted by Helen Mott (IfB Candidate) in her recent blogpost.

As the campaign plays out questions on the composition of Ferguson’s all-party cabinet remain of interest to locals and politicos. Recently the mayor moved with great relief to fill the void left by Labour councillors as both the local party and National NEC vetoed any Labour involvement in George’s new politics. He appointed two Lib Dems and a Conservative to join his skeletal and stretched cabinet of one a Conservative, a Liberal Democrat and a Green. As George and the group leaders look over their coffee cups the morning after the count the spectre of this debate will re-emerge asking questions about George’s new politics and how councillors, independents, parties can promote campaigns, champion their local areas and ultimately get the man in the red trousers to listen.

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Dr Thom Oliver is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes Business School. He completed his PhD, exploring the representative role of councillors on appointed bodies, at INLOGOV in 2011. He currently lives in Bristol and has recently rejoined INLOGOV as an Associate. Follow his Twitter account here, and read his own blog here.

The forgotten last chapters of localism

Ian Briggs

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance”, George Bernard Shaw once wrote – it seems to sum up some extraordinary lessons that the recent winter weather is offering us. What really gets people off their backsides and make representations to local councils are things that affect them immediately. Go for a peaceful evening walk and stand in some dog mess and suddenly you are aware of the all inconsiderate dog owners in your neighbourhood – it snows and you become aware that the grit bin at the end of your road is empty – hit a pot hole in your car and you are immediately aware of poor road surfaces.  You are so wound up you e mail and write letters of complaint, but it is not enough, you actually go and berate your local Town or Parish Council at the next meeting because it is closest to you.

This immediacy of awareness can be the cause of backlashes and sweeping generalisations of public service performance.  Whether the gap between public expectation and the reality of delivery can ever be reconciled is a matter of useless speculation, but when faced with the anger of a citizen for what they see as public service failure an incremental level of dissatisfaction can be the result. This seems to be the case in a number of what may appear to be small incidents but taken in the round add up to what is a serious problem. This is often most evident in the thousands of Town and Parish Councils that make up so much of the English democratic infrastructure.

This problem can be illustrated by a story told to me as part of a Masters programme some years ago, it centred around the new CEO of an airline who sought to better understand the customer experience by booking himself on a number of the airlines services in a kind of mystery shopper experience. On one flight he fell into conversation with a regular passenger (in economy) who was concerned that aircraft maintenance was being undertaken in a shoddy and potentially dangerous manner. Somewhat surprised, he enquired as to whether the passenger had professional experience in this matter only to find out he was a furniture salesperson. He had made his striking and knowledgeable conclusion from the fact that this was the third time he had recently flown on an aircraft where there were sticky messy rings left from leaky coffee cups on previous flights. If the airline could not do something as simple as clean up a coffee cup ring on a fold down table then how on earth could they effectively maintain a complex system like a jet aircraft properly?

This came to mind the other night when out doing my bit as a Parish Councillor –  I had a reflective vest on (bought by myself) used a spade (my own) and was spreading some grit over a road junction that is regularly the scene of multiple minor bumps and scrapes when there is snow and ice around. A motorist – not young – hurtled up the lane at a speed that suggests he was not taking account of the conditions and braked suddenly close to where I was doing my bit. The driver’s window opened and a veritable torrent of abuse was directed towards me – assuming that I was a council employee I was accused of wrecking the national economy, luxuriating in a huge public funded pension, ruining his children’s education and future prospects and robbing him blind of his wages through his council tax.

It is not about the factual correctness here – it is about the underpinning belief systems that pervade society. It is the drama around false knowledge – seeing me looking like a council employee, doing what he assumes a council employee does was enough to trigger connections that confirm and  reinforce the underlying belief system.  It is also about the dangerous level of ignorance we have allowed to accumulate in civil society. Most reasonable and rational people can see what goes wrong locally, and on top of this they often know stuff about putting it right but the disconnect between the two remains. If localism is about reversing the top down, parent always knows better in public service delivery do we not have to offer some seed corn to enable the person in the street to engage better with our attempts and actions to make living here better?

The sting in the tail here is that anger at perceived failure is only one aspect of the danger of false knowledge – the phenomenon of the dangers of success is out there too. Although anecdotal, we are capturing the awkward issue of what some are calling ‘need acceleration’ – this occurred to one councillor who recently was pleased to find that after some door knocking and street level engagement a number of residents were saddened by the state that some Victorian iron railings were in around an amenity area. They were rusting and in poor repair. This became the target for spending his small discretionary ward grant – within days the railings were restored to their former glory – rust removed, gleaming black paint and looking very much as they did in the days of the childhood of local residents. However, as much as a few were clearly delighted with the result more residents came forward pressurising the councillor that if they could do something as simple as put right the railings around the small park then why on earth could they not do something about the ghastly, unsightly ‘bomb site’ at the end of the street? A fine example of need acceleration and perhaps a good example of false knowledge.

High expectation coupled with innocent ignorance of the reality of how we link civil society and the state is perhaps a problem that localism will never satisfactorily resolve – the last chapter will perhaps be written on Parish and Town Council letter headed notepaper! Increasingly it seems that is where the buck stops.

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Ian Briggs is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Local Government Studies.  He has research interests in the development and assessment of leadership, performance coaching, organisational development and change, and the establishment of shared service provision.

Councillors: Engage more and engage differently, but not at the expense of the basics

Karin Bottom, Catherine Mangan and Thom Oliver

This month saw the ‘Communities and Local Government Committee’ release its report on the role of the modern councillor. Focusing on  the impact of the Localism Act (and associated  developments in recent years),  Clive Betts MP,  Chair of the Committee,  suggested that local representatives are now spending less time in council and more in the community. As a result, they now shoulder the majority of responsibility for ensuring that  that their local communities have the tools to make the most of the localities in which they live. While the Report’s findings held few surprises, it did suggest that those we elect to be the local democratic voice of our communities must embrace this challenge and meet it head on. This position resonates with early findings from an INLOGOV project concerned with local engagement and the role of the local representative.

Firmly grounded in the belief that councillors’ responsibilities and remits vary, the current climate suggests they require a more nuanced and responsive skill set than ever.  In this sense, elected representatives must be outward looking, open to new ideas and welcoming of new approaches, but they must take care not to throw out the baby with the bath water.  Instead, our research suggests that what councillors need to do is integrate new learning into their existing repertoire of behaviours, while at the same time being more dynamic and responsive in their increasingly frontline role.[i]

For respondents, one of the main challenges they felt they faced was engagement. Whereas it is natural for all councillors to ‘do engagement’, a variety of approaches were evident in our research and for those who had moved into executive positions, the role shift was accompanied by community activities having to be curtailed. Respondents were very clear that the Localism Act was beginning to have an impact, for example in the mediating role that  has now been allocated to councillors: this meant developing skills as a community organiser and ultimately being on top of a great volume of information while managing a number of resources and contacts. This form of community engagement, though hard, was thought to have clear  rewards: a number saw the benefits of having shared aims and  a deeper understanding of the people they represented,  which in turn provided greater insight into the experience of being on the receiving end of council services; in contrast others thought wider community engagement created opportunities to lead opinion and ultimately change behaviour, for example one councillor worked with environmental groups to shape the ward’s attitude towards refuse collections and recycling.

Our interviews also surfaced information suggesting that that the majority of traditional communication methods continue alongside a slow evolution to greater online engagement and use of social media. While one councillor referred to sending regular email shots and creating a web page to articulate local information, activities and updates,  another described  how Facebook had enabled him to engage with people – often young people – who  generally chose not to participate in politics and local policy conversations. Finally, a number of councillors explained that twitter enabled them to aggregate opinions en mass, engage in debates and learn information they would otherwise be unaware of,  while some with cabinet responsibilities stated that this particular medium was unique in that it enabled them to keep on top of their portfolio while also providing opportunities to build and consolidate relationships they would otherwise not have had time to address..

One factor that was evident in almost every interview was that councillors always needed to be aware of the bigger picture: different methods worked in different situations and knowing a ward’s story or the history behind a particular community group could make the difference between successful and unsuccessful engagement. Just because a particular approach might work in one instance, there is no assurance it will work in another, despite apparent similarities. So, while councillors may see their responsibilities increasing and their community role broadening, it is vital that they maintain depth in their representative activities: if they don’t, potentially successful initiatives run the risk of failing.  

The authors are grateful to the School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham, for providing funds to assist in this research. With thanks also to NLGN for their contribution to this work.  For further information about the research project, contact Karin A. Bottom: k.a.bottom@bham.ac.uk

bottom-karin

Karin Bottom is Lecturer in British Politics and Research Methods at INLOGOV, University of Birmingham.  Her core research areas comprise parties (particularly small and the BNP), party systems and party theory.  She is particularly interested in concepts of relevance and how national level theories can be utilised at the sub-national level.

Portrait of OPM staff member

Catherine Mangan is a Senior Fellow at INLOGOV.  Her interests include public sector re-design, outcomes based commissioning and behaviour change.  Prior to joining INLOGOV she managed the organisational development and change work for a not-for-profit consultancy, specialising in supporting local government; and has also worked for the Local Government Association, and as Deputy Director of the County Councils Network.  She specialises in adult social care, children’s services and partnerships.

thom

Thom Oliver is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes Business School.  He completed his PhD, exploring the representative role of councillors on appointed bodies, at INLOGOV in 2011. He currently lives in Bristol and has recently rejoined INLOGOV as an Associate.  Follow his Twitter account here, and read his own blog here.


[i] Research to date provides initial findings from interviews in three councils (one London Borough and two Metropolitan).  Interviews comprised a broad mix of age, seniority, roles and experience. Approximately equivalent numbers of men and women were interviewed.

Neighbourhood governance: Community empowerment or containment?

Madeleine Pill

In the UK, the deprived neighbourhood has long been a site and scale for intervention and action, giving rise to a variety of forms of neighbourhood governance to achieve a range of purposes.  The four predominant rationales for neighbourhood governance are defined by Lowndes and Sullivan (2008): the empowerment of citizens and communities (the civic rationale); partnership to take a holistic approach to an area (social); government through new forms of representation and participation (political); and management in terms of more effective local service delivery (economic).

The relative emphasis upon these rationales changes over time due to policy shifts, exacerbated given central government’s hand in the instigation and operation of neighbourhood-targeted initiatives.  Initiatives have increasingly stressed the civic rationale in terms of encouraging neighbourhood-level ownership of problems and of attempts to resolve these. This, paired with the need for deficit reduction, is demonstrated in ‘Big Society’ policy rhetoric. Its amorphous bundling of approaches seeks the transfer of responsibilities for services to local communities and third sector agencies. Its promotion of social enterprise models contrasts with the neighbourhood management approach of influencing other service providers rather than engaging in direct service provision.

The associated shift to ‘small government’ heralds the end of central government-led initiatives targeting deprived neighbourhoods which have left a heritage of varying types of neighbourhood governance infrastructure. How is this infrastructure affected by changes in its governance context?

An evaluation of neighbourhood management in the City of Westminster, delivered through a third sector organisation, the Paddington Development Trust, enabled exploration of these issues.  The findings show that the Trust was recognised as delivering an effective form of neighbourhood management which emphasised community involvement and the civic rationale of neighbourhood governance, but which absorbed large amounts of officer time and was resource intensive.  The Westminster approach to neighbourhood management was a product of New Labour strategy and of a genuine desire to tackle the problems of the most deprived wards in an otherwise affluent local authority.

While funding was provided, the City Council sustained a strong commitment. But the approach was contingent on the prevailing ethos and funding regimes and remained relatively detached from mainstream services.  It proved easy to decouple the deprived neighbourhood infrastructure from ‘normal’, mainstream service delivery with the advent of the coalition government in 2010.  As neighbourhood initiatives have been largely instigated by central government, it is unsurprising that the principal purposes of neighbourhood governance have been imposed, with additional funding offered as an incentive. In reality, once funding ends, the ability of neighbourhood governance to be sustained, despite the rhetoric about ‘capacity building’ towards neighbourhood empowerment, is very much in doubt.

Herein lies the paradox of the centralised approach to neighbourhood initiatives in the UK: commitments to localism, devolution and community empowerment are largely dependent on central government resource provision. While community empowerment is an important part of the policy rhetoric, in practice a ‘strategy of containment’ operates whereby residents in deprived neighbourhoods have relatively little control.

A full account of this research is available in my recent article with Nick Bailey: ‘Community Empowerment or a Strategy of Containment? Evaluating Neighbourhood Governance in the City of Westminster.  Local Government Studies. 38 (6), 731-51.

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Madeleine Pill is a Research Fellow at the Cardiff School of Planning and Geography. Her research focuses on critical governance studies exploring the scope for and limits to community action at neighbourhood level and she teaches on the MSc Regeneration Studies.

Bring Me the Head of George Ferguson: Is Bristol the Last Stand for Elected Mayors?

Thom Oliver

The ultimate Zombie Idea of Local Government lives on in the West of England but will budgetary and party political challenges spell an end for the directly elected mayoral model?

Proposals for an elected mayor model first emerged in a Department of the Environment consultation paper in 1991 as part of another comprehensive review of local government. It was part of that same review that led to the replacement of the ‘community charge’ with the council tax and the creation of the Local Government Commission.  Whilst given little attention at the time ‘The Internal Management of Local Authorities in England’ consultation gave us the first mentions of cabinets in local government, council managers and directly-elected mayors. Since then the idea of directly elected mayors has been dealt near fatal blows but still emerges as one of the battery of central government medications to cure the ills of local government.

I get knocked down but I get up again

The policy ideal of elected mayors has been advocated by a range of politicians of different hues, each of whom have championed the idea only to find themselves confronted with new setbacks. First up, of all the responses to the 1991 consultation from county councils, district councils, London and metropolitan boroughs not one was in favour of elected mayors. Labour under Blair grabbed hold of the idea and in government legislated for elected mayors through the Local Government Act 2000. However when offered the option of a move away from committee based structures, few opted for a directly elected mayor and cabinet model with the majority choosing the leader and cabinet model. Whilst the Act succeeded in moving councils away from the committee system, very few referendums were held to move to elected mayors. As the tide ebbed back to committees, plans for directly elected mayors were seemingly left high and dry.

That was until the Localism Act 2011 and the mandated referendums of May 2012 when directly elected mayors became the solution again. The voters of Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Wakefield, Coventry, Leeds and Bradford all kicked the idea to the long grass. However the policy ideal lives on, and eyes are on Bristol and its newly elected independent mayor. But what are the prospects for success for both the man and the idea, and just how has this idea survived such a tumultuous ride in the face of significant and regular challenges to its worthiness and legitimacy?

The challenge for the newly elected mayor of Bristol

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George Ferguson, architect, entrepreneur and purveyor of red trousers, is the man tasked with carrying forward the brow beaten ideal of directly elected mayors and championing a cause in the face of numerous challenges.

Whilst there are hopes of an independents revolution as argued by Martin Stott following George’s cannibalism of votes from the Lib Dems, Conservatives and Labour, party politics seemingly lives on and has surfaced abruptly as he tries to form his Rainbow cabinet. Surprising some by offering a composition based on vote proportions in the mayoral vote all parties were offered a place at the table (3 for Labour whose candidate Marvin Rees had come in a solid second place, 1 Liberal Democrat, 1 Conservative and 1 Green). George invoked a game of party political unpluralist ping pong. The Greens, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats moved to embrace the ‘new mood’ but Labours decisions were more protracted. First the local party voted against their councillors sitting on the cabinet, next up the council group voted by a small margin that they would join George only to be denied later through being overruled by Labours National Executive Committee. A flurry of press releases, resignations and regretful declines of cabinet offers later, George has been left with a cabinet of three and three empty seats, the vacant cabinet posts being taken on by Ferguson himself.

At first look it would seem a politically expedient option for Labour to not sit at George’s table as he makes a prospective £36million worth of cuts. However some have stressed they have misread the mood of the city. The pre-Ferguson Lib Dem administration through star chambers and cross party working had steered through over £55million worth of cuts impressively without drawing protests onto the streets of the city. Labour has seemingly chosen to sit back in ‘constructive opposition’ remaining untainted by Ferguson’s budget and potentially riding back in as white knights to join George once the budget has been passed.

It remains to be seen whether Ferguson will ask other parties to fill the Labour gaps or whether he will issue a now or never ultimatum for them to join now or remain out of the cabinet for the considerable future.

Killing the zombie?

The challenge for George as an Independent in the party political world is hard but if he fails would that be the end of the line for the idea of elected mayors? All eyes will be on Bristol. The yes to mayor vote in Bristol and the election of George Ferguson showed there was an appetite for something different, if not for elected mayors.

The idea of directly elected mayors has survived this long as the model hasn’t proved itself but it hasn’t been disproved. A recent guardian piece posited much hope for George in Bristol but if George and his rainbow cabinet in Bristol don’t succeed, it may be the final straw in killing the Zombie.

… Or perhaps Michael Heseltine will re-awaken the zombie idea of British Local Government:

I was disappointed that more cities did not choose to opt for a mayor. It confirmed my fear that relatively few would vote and that party loyalties would determine the outcomes. I believe this issue needs to be revisited to give our cities the influence and leadership commonly found in similar economies.

thom

Dr Thom Oliver is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes Business School.  He completed his PhD, exploring the representative role of councillors on appointed bodies, at INLOGOV in 2011. He currently lives in Bristol and has recently rejoined INLOGOV as an Associate.  Follow his Twitter account here, and read his own blog here.

Elected Mayors: The Wrong Solution to the Wrong Problem

Catherine Durose

Only one eligible voter in every three participated in the local elections in May 2012, the lowest turnout since 2000 and despite a context of austerity and swingeing public spending cuts. The recent elections for Police and Crime Commissioners saw turnout slump to a record low for a national poll, averaging at 15%. To quote a Guardian editorial, ‘lack of engagement is the most eloquent of all the political messages…. and one that the parties need to take most seriously. Voters are fed up, not fired up’. Collapsing turnout is perceived as part of a wider decline in traditional forms of political participation, this trend has been labelled as a ‘democratic deficit’ and it is this ‘problem’ that elected mayors are seen as offering a fix to by as simplifying local democratic accountability and offering greater visibility for citizens.

In the referenda held in May 2012, the rejection of elected mayors was near unanimous. The average turnout was low at 32% with over 60% of those who participated, voting for the status quo. The turnout can be, in part, explained by the uncertainty and confusion amongst the electorate about what they were being asked to vote on (the powers which elected mayors would have was, and remains, unclear). But, the size of the ‘no’ vote suggests, at the least, a lack of enthusiasm about electing more politicians. Indeed, voters in Hartlepool have now decided to scrap the position of a directly elected mayor after three terms of office.

Bristol is an exception, by a narrow margin of 7%, it was the only one of the ten cities to vote in favour of an elected mayor. Yet, the Bristol mayoral election, held on 15 November 2012, only received a turnout of 27.92%. Of the fifteen candidates who contested the elections, only one was female and one was non-white. The newly elected mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, whilst depicting himself as an independent, has previously sat as a Liberal councillor and contested a seat at two General Elections for the Liberal Democrats.

In thinking about why citizens are ‘fed up’ with local democracy and why the idea of elected mayors was a turn-off, perhaps we should take a look at those contesting and winning these elections. As in Bristol, mayors do not represent a radical departure from the professionalised political class or indeed the mainstream political parties which citizens are increasingly dis-engaged from: Boris Johnson in London, Ian Stewart in Salford and Peter Soulsby in Leicester, are all former MPs; Joe Anderson in Liverpool is a former Leader of the council.

I would argue that elected mayors are the wrong solution to the wrong problem. The currently proposed fixes in the constitutional reform agenda, including elected mayors, to deal with the ‘democratic deficit’, are clearly not producing changes which citizens are interested in engaging with. Perhaps this is because the assumption that underpins such fixes – that citizens are apathetic about politics – is incorrect. If we challenge this thinking, then many of the proposed fixes seem like the wrong solution to the wrong problem. If we instead recognise that many people feel that representative politics doesn’t represent them or indeed engage with the important issues that affect their everyday lives, then a different problem with a potentially different solution emerges.

One means of responding to a decline in traditional forms of political participation is to offer different opportunities to engage democratically. Broadening the range of democratic engagement fits with re-thinking what citizenship means: it’s less a ‘status’ which people possess and more a ‘practice’ that people participate in. Looking at data on levels of different forms of civic activity in the UK suggests there is a healthy base of existing participation and an appetite for more. The Hansard Audit of Political Engagement suggested that 14% of people are already active, but 51% felt that getting involved could make a difference; 14% of these were considered as ‘willing localists’, people who were not actively involved but were willing and likely to do so locally.

But how can we tap into this latent demand? First, local authorities and other public bodies need to stop ‘second-guessing’ citizens.  Recent research highlighted that whilst two thirds of local councils felt that the community would be unmotivated to participate more locally, less than 20% of them had formally assessed communities’ interest.  Second, we need to acknowledge that a lot of current opportunities for ‘participation’ replicate some of the problems of local representative democracy by acting as ‘mini town halls’ offering only tokenistic consultation of citizens, failing to recognise Sherry Arnstein’s seminal observation that “there is a critical difference between going through the empty ritual of participation and having the real power needed to affect the outcome of the process”. Third, to look for alternative ways to mobilise citizens and communities. I recently attended Locality’s annual convention – the organisation now recruiting and training 500 senior community organisers, along with a further 4,500 part-time voluntary organisers, over four years spent working with community host organisations. For Locality, this initiative is about ‘building a movement’. Speaking to organisers, they see their challenge as mobilising social action and generating a sense that change is possible. I have seen the impact of organising first-hand in Chicago, and it was inspiring to hear the impact the programme is already making there. If an elected mayor is to make a difference to local democracy, it won’t be as a visible manifestation of Politics, it will be about embracing and supporting these new social movements.

Catherine Durose is Senior Lecturer and Director of Research in the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham.  Catherine’s research focuses on the changing relationships between the state, communities and citizens.