Resources, Capacities and Power Relations: An Overview of Local Government Responses to Covid-19 in the UK

Authors: Tony Gore*, Sheffield Hallam University
Topics: Political Geography, Europe
Keywords: Covid-19, Local government, Central-local power relations, Financial resourcing, Local capacities and capabilities, Economic recovery, Homelessness, Public spaces, Active travel.
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM
Room: Virtual 11
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper presents summary findings from a thematic scoping review of the actions and activities of local government bodies pandemic across the United Kingdom (UK) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The research explored the key aspects associated with and the issues arising from these initiatives, highlighting in particular impacts from previous austerity-based approaches on local capacities and capabilities and the evolution of central-local relations from initial lack of dialogue to negotiated collaboration. Following a summary of local authorities’ general overall response four important policy areas are briefly examined: measures and strategies to foster economic recovery; homelessness and housing affordability; public open spaces, health and wellbeing; and active travel and road space reallocation. For each area we identify key areas of response, quote any examples of apparently effective or innovative intervention, highlight any problems of implementation and how these have been addressed, and finally formulate questions for future research.

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