Locality, the national network of community-led organisations, has launched a review to assess what is needed to boost local democracy and empower communities.
In association with Power to Change, the Commission on the Future of Localism will make recommendations on what powers, rights and resources are needed to bring about a renaissance in neighbourhood governance.
Chaired by Local Government Association president Lord Kerslake, the Commission brings together politicians, including Labour MP Lisa Nandy, former Conservative MP Laura Sandys and Stevenage Borough Council leader Sharon Taylor with community leaders and policy experts.
The Commission will be hearing evidence at events across the country throughout the year.
Lord Kerslake said policy initiatives to decentralise power from Westminster to communities have so far “missed the mark” in ensuring all communities have a “meaningful stake” in the decisions that affect them.
He said: “As we hear evidence in events across the country, I’m looking forward to hearing the ideas and case studies we uncover. There must be no return to Whitehall knows best; we need local people in the driving seat of their own neighbourhoods.”
Tony Armstrong, Locality chief executive, said: “Devolution in England is not going far enough to empower communities, reshape services and revitalise local economies.
“The EU referendum showed an urgent need to look at the way power is dispersed within this country, and to unlock capacity within neighbourhoods to build better places from the ground up.
“This Commission will harness ideas and innovation from across communities, to develop the solutions needed for a revised localism agenda which can truly put power closer to people.”
Vidhya Alakeson, Power to Change chief executive, said: “We firmly believe that more power should be devolved to communities, so that local people can take the lead in designing and running their own affairs.”
Also sitting on the Commission will be:
- Professor Jane Wills, professor of human geography at Queen Mary University
- Joanna Holmes, chief executive of Barton Hill Settlement
- Neil Johnston, chief executive of Paddington Development Trust
- Alison Haskins, chief executive of Halifax Opportunities Trust