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Localis Logo High resolution small.jpg
Formation2001; 18 years ago (2001)
Founded atLondon, United Kingdom
TypeThink tank
PurposeLocalism and devolution
HeadquartersLower Grosvenor Place
London, SW1
Chief Executive
Jonathan Werran

Localis is an independent think tank that promotes neo-localist ideas. It was founded in 2001 and is currently based in Westminster, United Kingdom.[1] Its research programme is guided by the concept of neo-localism which it describes as giving places and people more control over the effects of globalisation.[2]

Localis publish papers on a variety of public policy areas, including reshaping the economy; culture, tradition and beauty; reforming public services; and improving family life. Past publications have argued for greater financial autonomy for local authorities,[3] the creation of a national infrastructure bank[4] and that the Right to Buy should be extended into equity slivers. The think tank has also published reports on topics including health and social integration,[5] Local Enterprise Partnerships [6] and municipal enterprise.[7]

Current members of the board include Sir Merrick Cockell (who is also chairman), Sir Edward Lister, Councillor Paul Carter, Councillor Paul Bettison, Councillor Louise Goldsmith and Councillor David Renard.[8] Former chief executives include James Morris, elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in May 2010.[9]

On 25 July 2016, Liam Booth-Smith took over the role of Chief Executive, replacing the outgoing Alex Thomson.[10]

Notable publications[edit]

Can Localism Deliver? Lessons from Manchester[edit]

In 2009, Localis published a report entitled Can Localism Deliver? Lessons from Manchester.[11] It series of recommendations to devolve powers to local government was highly influential in the establishment of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.[12]

The report included a foreword by Michael Heseltine who was influential in the 2010-15 coalition government’s attempts to promote the advancement of devolution, especially through the Northern Powerhouse.[13] Heseltine mentioned in the report that “we need mechanisms that drive communities together, embracing academia, the private sector, the voluntary sector and others with a stake in our society to seek solutions designed in the circumstances on the ground and not forged as a national ‘one solution fits all’ diktat from London.”[14]

The Rate Escape: Freeing Local Government to Drive Economic Growth[edit]

In 2011, the think tank also published a report which argued that local government must be given greater local financial autonomy through being allowed to retain business rates.[15] The report attracted support from a range of prominent figures. Bob Neill said that the report “underlines the real importance of Government's drive to end councils' dependence on the whims of Whitehall grants” whilst Miles Templeman called it a “powerful model for business rate reform”.[16] In 2015, George Osborne announced that English councils would be able to keep all of the proceedings from business rates, calling it “the biggest transfer of power” in recent history.[17]

Current members of the board[edit]

  • Councillor Merrick Cockell, Chairman
  • Sir Edward Lister
  • Councillor Paul Carter
  • Councillor Paul Bettison
  • Councillor Louise Goldsmith
  • Councillor David Renard

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (subscription required) Staff (3 October 2001). "New Think Tank Launched to Champion Local Decision Making". Local Government Chronicle. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  2. ^ “About Localis”. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  3. ^ (subscription required) "Plan to Devolve Business Rates to Councils". Financial Times.
  4. ^ Osborne, Alistair (5 March 2012). "Let QE Fund a New Infrastructure Bank – The Government Should Use Some of the Money Created from Quantitative Easing to Create and Part Fund a £30bn National Infrastructure Bank, a New Report Suggests Today. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  5. ^ http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/559894/Hospitals-paid-elderly-prisoners
  6. ^ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9858b5a2-be85-11e4-a341-00144feab7de.html
  7. ^ http://www.themj.co.uk/Municipal-enterprise/200288
  8. ^ “Board – Localis”. Retrieved on 25 July 2016.
  9. ^ (subscription required) Staff (13 May 2010). "Morris Standing Down at Localis". Local Government Chronicle.
  10. ^ “Localis Appoints New Chief Executive”. “Local Government Chronicle”.
  11. ^ “Can Localism Deliver? Lessons from Manchester”. Retrieved on 25 July 2016
  12. ^ “Can Localism Deliver”. Retrieved on 25 July 2016
  13. ^ “Chancellor on the pathway to a Northern Powerhouse. Retrieved on 25 July 2016
  14. ^ Can Localism Deliver? Lessons from Manchester (PDF). Localis. 2009. p. 4.
  15. ^ “The Rate Escape: Freeing Local Government to Drive Economic Growth”. Retrieved on 26 July 2016
  16. ^ “Press Release”. Retrieved on 26 July 2016
  17. ^ “George Osborne: Councils to keep £26bn in business rates”. Retrieved on 26 July 2016

External links[edit]