Democracy relies on people taking part, yet local government and citizens don’t always manage to work together effectively. Building on good practice, how can participation be improved at the local level, making it easier for people to be involved in the decisions that affect their lives? This is what we’re exploring through the Public Square project.
Public Square is running a two-year programme of research and action to push forwards participation in local government across the UK. We will be working with councils, communities and citizens across the country to learn what’s needed to take participation further. We’ll be prototyping openly available tools, techniques and approaches to fill these needs – building on what already exists as far as possible.
We know lots of people already work in this area – from those working on digital transformation with local government through to activists and community organisations – and we want to help join up this work, ensure any work we do is informed by existing insights, and help all of us learn from what others are doing.
We want to share what we learn as widely as possible so others can put the learning to good use. We will be creating opportunities to engage with this work and inviting people to join in at events across the UK. The involvement of the wider community will shape what gets learned and developed, and will ensure that any learning and outputs reach those who can put them to use.