Hi all,

Spring is advancing fast and we at Research for Action have another newsletter full of news to tell you…


Submission to Local Government Finance and the 2019 Spending Review inquiry

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee is inviting submissions to an inquiry on local government finance. It promises to “consider how effective the existing funding set-up for local government is in providing resources to meet need and demand for local services both now and in the future”. We made a submission (not public on the website yet) based on our reports Debt and Democracy on LOBO loans and Cuts and Contempt on residents’ perception of austerity.

Local Government Elections

On 2 May, 270 councils in England and 11 in Northern Ireland are holding local elections. Also six directly elected mayors arel be elected. Many of these councils have LOBO loans. If you live in a council that has newly elected members and would like to raise issues about the management of funds in the public interest and lack of accountability regarding LOBO loans, please get in touch!


CTRLshift: An Emergency Summit for Change
8-10 May 2019, Stoke-on-Trent

We are very excited to say we are partners for the second CTRLshift summit. It seeks to catalyse a network of change-making organisations, networks and independent practitioners, creating a movement for positive social, economic and environmental change. We are developing a shared agenda to shift power over our democracy, economy and environment to people and communities across Britain. Check out the programme here – registrations are still open.


Should We Abolish Household Debt? Book launch
2 May 2019, London

Dr. Johnna Montgomerie’s new book “Should We Abolish Household Debts?” argues that abolishing household debt will create economic renewal by ending the zombie economy created by debt-driven austerity. It will be launched on Thursday 2 May with a conversation between the author and other critical economists Steve Keen, Ann Pettifor and Joe Spooner. Register here.

Second edition of Ian Fraser’s Shredded

Journalist Ian Fraser’s best-selling book ‘Shredded: Inside RBS, the bank that broke Britain’ was first published five years ago. Now he has updated the book to include four new chapters and an epilogue covering the scandals that have come to light since 2014.

The new edition is out on 9 May. You can pre-order here and register to the Edinburgh 15 May launch event here. CommonSpace has reviewed it, and we also recommend the book highly – although we are yet to read the updated version, which the rumour has it mentions LOBO loans too!

Report on care debt by ODG

Barcelona-based Observatory for Debt and Globalisation has published a report ‘Care debt: patriarchy and capital on the offensive, feminist economics as a proposal’. It explores the concept of “care debt”: the time and work women devote to domestic and care tasks, sustaining the impact of the current crisis and making the functioning of the capitalist and patriarchal system viable. Must read for anyone interested in feminist economics!

Municipal elections in the Spanish state

In municipal elections four years ago, citizen platforms rose to power across the Spanish state, most famously in Barcelona where housing activist Ada Colau was elected the city’s first female mayor. Since, groups have been working on bringing progressive change and people power into local governments in hundreds of cities and towns, and inspired a global network of Fearless Cities. On 26 May, people are casting their votes in the next local elections. We will be following with great interest the future of the leading municipalist projects and wishing best of luck to all those working to bring democracy back into local government!

Follow Barcelona En Comú Global on twitter for updates from Barcelona in English, and read more about the politics of change in Spanish in Atlas del Cambio.

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