Local government commission urges councils to do more to support charities improving communities

Joe Irvin, chief executive of Navca, says charities and community groups provide many of the best civic entrepreneurs

Joe Irvin
Joe Irvin

An independent commission studying local government has said that local authorities must do more to support "civic entrepreneurs", including charities, that are improving their communities.

The Commission on the Future of Local Government – a group of council leaders, academics, and organisations that work closely with local authorities – published a report yesterday that outlines "civic enterprise" as one of five key propositions for local authorities.

The report says local authorities should do more to support third sector and private sector organisations that are improving their communities, and should make sure that they do not prevent those organisations from achieving their goals.

The report says councils needed to abandon a "managerialist, formulaic and hierarchical partnership approach that too often produces meetings and policy papers rather than action that improves people’s lives".

Several charities have committed to provide future support to the commission, including Navca, which has said it will help "identify and champion great examples of civic enterprise and civic entrepreneurs from the third sector".

Joe Irvin, chief executive of Navca, said charities and community groups provided many of the best examples of civic entrepreneurs.

"People set up and run local charities and community groups because they are motivated to improve their communities," he said. "We want evidence of how local councils help these people – and how they, sometimes inadvertently, stop them achieving more."

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