Keep it Local: To Create Collaborative Public Services that Unlock Community Power

Posted 10.11.2020

Locality, Lloyds Foundation and Power to Change (National Lottery Community Fund) have released their latest ‘Keep it Local’ report.

The report outlines new findings from the experience of community businesses of commissioning and contracting in two places – Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Bristol City Council, finding an appetite and ambition for even closer collaboration in public services. The Covid-19 crisis has re-emphasised the importance of community-led provision, particularly in health and social care, and in many cases driven closer partnership between the statutory and community sectors. In particular it calls for local government to support and enable community organisations to tackle the jobs crisis, which programmes like Building Better Opportunities (BBO) aims to do by working with those furthest from the labour market.

Focussing on Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Bristol City Council, the report offers important learning for other councils about how they can unlock the power of community in the coronavirus recovery. The report makes 10 recommendations for local authorities.

To create collaborative public services that unlock community power, councils should:

  1. Accelerate the integration of services and budget
    2. Pilot and embed neighbourhood-based approaches to service delivery, especially in adult social care
    3. Embed the rapid cultural and procedural change in procurement seen during the crisis
    4. Follow central government’s lead on social value measurement

To support a community-powered economic recovery, councils should:

  1. Enable community organisations to tackle the jobs crisis
    6. Develop an integrated community and inclusive economy approach to recovery and change
    7. Review and refresh Community Asset Transfer policies
    8. Take a proactive, strategic role in high-street reimagination

To help turn community spirit into community power, councils should:

  1. Gain an understanding of your local assets through data collection
    10. Support organisations which provide pathways into sustained community involvement

Building Better Opportunities is a community led employment and skills programme working with those furthest away from the labour market.  The BBO programme in D2N2 is run by a collective of voluntary and community sector organisations that are helping to tackle the jobs crisis.


BBO is having a significant impact on individual lives, supporting people to increase their confidence, independence and achieve their employment aspirations.

See what our participants have to say in these case studies …

Subscribe to our e-bulletin to get the latest news and information