This poster represents one of the themes that emerged from a research project on democratising governance in local authorities.
The collaborative project focused on two cities: Glasgow and Sheffield. Our starting point was that we understood the deep democratic deficit of the local state and its governance, and how our local democracy is being captured or undercut by privatisation and commercialisation. Yet we also recognised that local authorities are also important sites of campaigning and community activism.
We wanted to identify shared demands for democratising local governance, as well as strategies campaigners and community groups use to advance these. We also explored possibilities for more collectivised action. For this, we spoke to grassroots community and campaign groups in Glasgow and Sheffield between November 2022 and January 2023.
This poster represents “Care”. As guardians of public funds, a primary function of councils is to care for their residents. They often fail to do so for reasons of incompetence, lack of resources or political will. Communities step up to provide solidarity and shelter.
This poster is part of a series that represents four of the core themes that arose in six co-learning conversations. They are based on local groups’ experiences and tactics and created by Reece Thompson. The other posters are:
The project was a collaboration between Research for Action as well as Ruth Hubbard, co-founder of It’s Our City! and Solidarity Against Neoliberal Extremism (Glasgow). We will continue this work and publish more findings in due course.
Thank you also to all the community groups & campaigners in Sheffield and Glasgow who shared their experiences with us, Lankelly Chase for funding and Reece Thompson for the artwork.