Local authority austerity and place-based working: a qualitative exploration of a pilot policy implementation in a market town

Mel Steer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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English local authorities manage services including education, refuse, libraries, social services, housing and social care. Central government grants provide most of the income for these services and grants have been cut due to austerity measures. Attracting increased interest since austerity measures were implemented in 2010, place-based working aims to streamline services to reduce expenditure, improve effectiveness and value for money.

This article adds to the literature on austerity, local government and place-based working. It examines the perspectives of fifteen staff who were involved with a local authority’s place-based working pilot initiative that was implemented in a market town serving a rural area in northern England. Findings suggest that place-based connections may influence engagement with, and attitudes towards, place-based working. These connections may be enhanced in small towns and rural areas. This article extends considerations of place-based working beyond discussions of place leadership, away from institutions towards the personal, embedded connections of people and the relational dynamics existing at the interface between people, place and policy implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-52
Number of pages16
JournalPeople, Policy and Place
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2023

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