The New Local Government Network has published a collection of essays from local politicians and thinkers from around the world, looking at localist policies and new ideas on community engagement.
The collection brings together think pieces from China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Holland and Malaysia, as well as the UK, to share ideas and experiences on policy making and delivery.
Mayor Ge Honglin of Chengdu in Sichuan Province, China details how public services are bring improved in urban and rural areas in one of the country’s largest cities, whilst Governor Shigefumi Matsuzawa, Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan looks at the innovation of style of Japanese “local manifestos” in his area, which have developed local laws to combat smoking and to promote the use of electric cars at the local level.
Mayor of Wellington, New Zealand, Kerry Prendergast looks at the lessons that other countries can learn from their experience of community engagement, noting how reforms to local government have demanded a high degree of community involvement in decision making and put the onus squarely on councils to encourage the maximum involvement possible. Also, Mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen reviews the success of local decision-making and community engagement activities in his city.
The collection, Local Experiences, Global Perspectives: Local government across the world is edited by NLGN Researcher, Giorgia Iacopini and Daniel Klemm, Manager of International Relations and Trade at Creative Sheffield.
Daniel Klemm commented:
“local government in the UK should strive to learn how comparative overseas authorities, who experience similar problems, best serve their local communities. Instead of finding new approaches in isolation, using approaches from overseas allows us to find effective ways of tackling challenges such as engaging people and businesses in local decision making. The vast array of different approaches used in resolving internationally common problems provides a rich seam of new ideas for British local government.”