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It was great to see many of you again, both in person and online, at the PSA conference earlier this month. We had four very interesting panels, with some great discussion and healthy attendance, particularly at the session on Devolution, Decentralisation and Democracy. Thanks to all who participated and helped to make it such a successful event.
We also held our annual meeting during the conference, where we discussed a number of issues outlined below. If any of you have thoughts on the following issues, then please get in touch:
- For a number of very understandable reasons, Mercè is stepping down as co-convenor. So I’d be very grateful for any expressions of interest from other members of the group who’d like to fill her shoes – please feel free to email me directly!
- I suggested changing the name of the group to ‘Local Politics and Governance’, to reflect the fact that many (most?) of us look at issues beyond local political parties, councillors and mayors etc, and hopefully to broaden our appeal to those interested in related issues of policymaking, regional development and public administration. Those present at the meeting were largely in favour of this change; if anyone has any thoughts then please get in touch.
- Members of the group were keen to get a better overview of what others are working on, to help facilitate networking, collaboration and the sharing of ideas. This could begin with something as simple as a pdf or Excel file on Google Drive to keep it live and updated, which could be linked to the PSA website and include contact details, research and teaching interests and links to institutional profiles. Other suggestions for inclusion would be very welcome; we can then develop a template for you to complete (entirely voluntary of course!)
- We discussed blogs as a means of communication, with several members of the group keen to use this as a means of getting their thoughts out to a wider audience. However, rather than set up our own blog, there are two outlets that we can make use of. First, the PSA has its own blog, to which they are keen for you to contribute and for which submissions need to be sent to email@example.com directly. Full details on this are available at /sites/default/files/Contributions%20and%20Editorial%20Policy%20%282022%29.pdf. Second, the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of Birmingham has a blog at https://inlogov.com/, which you are also welcome to write for (contact Jason Lowther, firstname.lastname@example.org about this).
- There was support for the idea of a roundtable-type event on Levelling Up, probably in November. This could be online or (probably more likely) a hybrid event. More info in due course.
That’s all for now. Please let me know if you have any thoughts on the above points.
Dr Peter Eckersley
Senior Research Fellow in Public Policy and Management
Nottingham Trent University
Managing Editor, Local Government Studies