Research Report launch……


This report describes the findings from an action research project in Sheffield and Glasgow, which examined the relationships between local governance and local activism.  The project explored the insights and experiences of local campaigners and community groups in Sheffield and Glasgow, and their work as integral to local democracy and for improvements to local governance.  

This collaborative project involved three partners.   Firstly, Research for Action who are a worker co-op undertaking research to support social, economic and environmental justice.  In Glasgow the project partner was SANE (Solidarity Against Neoliberal Extremism).  In Sheffield Ruth Hubbard, co-founder of It’s Our City! and now a co-convenor of SOS (Sheffield Oversight and Scrutiny) was the project partner.  Together, we spoke to local campaigners and community groups in Sheffield and Glasgow between November 2022 and January 2023.  We also worked together with artist Reece Thompson to produce a series of posters representing some of the project findings.  The main project page at Research for Action (where you can also find the posters) is here:

Participants from both Sheffield and Glasgow – working on a diverse range of issues – identified common experiences, themes, and demands for a more democratic local governance, as well as the prospects for more collectivised action.  We heard widely shared concerns.  These included wide-ranging issues of access to local democracy and governance, the multiplier effect of cuts, challenges for campaigners having meaningful voice and influence, and the de-prioritisation of the public interest in the fact of private and corporate capture.

Please take a look at the full report, or the summary report.

This is a crucial moment for improving our democracy; there is widespread democratic disengagement and polarisation, and a loss of public trust.  This is true on all levels (and widely evidenced), but we chose to look at local government because it is closest to people’s everyday lives, but often overlooked.  We wanted to amplify the work and perspectives of local campaigners whose contribution and importance for local democracy and local governance often goes unrecognised.

Thank you to all the campaigners and community activists who spoke to us!

The project received some funding from Lankelly Chase Foundation.