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We are a cross-party, member-led network, providing a single voice for our member councils

Bigger is not better: the evidenced case for keeping ‘local’ government

Published: 14 October 2020

Bigger is not better: the evidenced case for keeping ‘local’ government


Given the scale of the challenge ahead of us, the acute need for effective and rapid local support in our communities, and the critical importance of strong and effective local government for the long-term wellbeing of people and places, it is imperative to use robust independent academic work when considering the future shape of local government.

That is the purpose of this independent  report from Professor Colin Copus, Professor Steve Leach, and Associate Professor Alistair Jones at De Monfort University.

The report provides a rigorous assessment of over 300 pieces of independent research from around the world and is conclusive that:

  • Larger councils lead to falling public trust, falling engagement, and a reduced sense of belonging to their local area and council.
  • Size of councils does not make a difference in quality or efficiency of services

The report follows a recent DCN report, Power in Place, devolution and districts delivering the recovery, which demonstrated that now was the time focus on recovery not reorganisation.”

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