“For planning, the Big Society has come to be defined by “Localism”, a new word with – at present – no firm meaning except that planning decisions will originate from local rather than national policy”

- localism-agenda.com

Localism act The localism agenda underpins the new Government’s plans to create a ‘Big Society’ and devolve greater power to local communities. Women’s Resource Centre is extremely concerned about the effect that decentralisation will have on gender equality. Whilst localism as a concept seeks to empower local communities, without a focus on equality it may perpetuate female disadvantage.

These resources will be useful if you are interested in what the key drivers for local government policy are, and how you can use them. Please note that some of this policy is currently undergoing changes under the new Coalition Government. 

WRC has developed a presentation and workshop for women’s groups on engaging with local agendas which we are happy to come and deliver.

Please contact policy@wrc.org.uk or telephone 0207 324 3030 for more information.

Localism act WRC has created a ‘How to’ guide and other resources to help you to engage with the localism agenda.

‘How to’ guide on engaging with the localism agenda

The National Coalition for Independent Action’s paper  on how localism may damage independent voluntary action

New legislation such as the Localism Act is designed to give more freedom to local authorities and grant communities more ways to be involved in local decision-making, however it may actually be a way to increase privatisation.

WRC’s briefing on the Localism Bill (before it became an Act)

Find out what privatisation means for charities and community groups

Localism actBelow are links to a range of easy-to-read factsheets about some of the key local government policies and mechanisms women’s organisations need to know about.

LSPs are a partnership of local government, business and VCS which determine what issues are important locally and what services should be prioritised and, therefore, funded. Local Strategic Partnerships are currently under review but do remain an important forum for women’s voices locally in many areas.

Find out more about LSPs and how to ensure women’s involvement in them below.

Local strategic partnerships

Participatory budgeting (PB) directly involves local people in making decisions on the spending and priorities of local budgets. All local authority areas should be doing this by 2012.

Participatory budgeting

This is a guide on local action for community groups. Localism means that it is even more vital that women’s organisations build relationships with their local representatives to ensure that they are involved in decision-making.

Working with councillors

Useful places to get updates on government policy