Research Seminar

Market Shaping: Councils challenging local economic markets

Kindly supported by:


12.00– 14.30 Wednesday 16th July 2014
Hub Westminster, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, SW1Y 4TE

In recent years, it has become clear that many local consumer and industrial markets are failing to meet social needs. Supply is not always meeting demand, and some private sector markets are leading to damaging outcomes that the state is paying to fix. Whilst economic markets can bring many benefits, it has become clear that we need to take a new look at the role of councils in influencing them.

NLGN are running two research seminars which will bring together leading figures from local government and their partners to explore issues around the role of local government in market shaping. The session is intended to:

  • Identify some of the tools that councils have at their disposal – from regulatory powers such as licensing to the use of market based measures, council assets and spending power, and more ‘soft touch’ tools such as persuasion and ‘nudging’ of businesses and consumers;
  • Discuss possible rationales for the choice of different tools, share good practice, and the challenges confronting councils taking different approaches, and;
  • Consider which levers or discretionary powers councils could be using more effectively or lobbying to gain.

The London presenter:

Cllr James Murray (Executive Member for Housing and Development, Islington Council) will kick-start the session discussing Islington’s work influencing the local housing market and their plans to fine buy-to-let landlords.

Other relevant markets that are likely to be mentioned in discussion include: local energy production; fast food takeaways; and local labour markets and the Living Wage. Policy levers covered are likely to involve: licensing and planning, marketing campaigns and nudges aimed at consumers and businesses, and the use of procurement for social good.