22 June 2022

Dear members of the Local Politics Specialist Group,

Some of you will have seen an email from the PSA yesterday with details of the conference programme next month. If you happened to click on the link to the programme, you may have discovered that three of our panels were scheduled to take place at the same time, which was obviously a concern! Also, some of the papers had dropped out of the programme for some unexplained reason.

Anyway, I got in touch with the PSA last night and they have re-scheduled some panels to avoid any clashes. Attached is the revised version of the full programme, but to summarise, our four panels will be as follows. I’ve also inserted names of those panel chairs who had agreed to do this, though the PSA has not (yet) added these to the programme:

PANEL 1: Executive Power, Evidence And Scrutiny In Local Decision-Making

09.30, Monday 11 April, venue PL005 on the programme

Chair: Camille Barras

  • Mark Sandford, Sarah Ayres and Andrew Barnfield: “Using devolved executive power to progress ‘orphan policies’: frontline views from English localities”
  • Adam Payler: “Illuminating the dynamics of the politics-administration nexus within special purpose governments structures: Examining the case of English police governance”
  • Jason Lowther: “When happens to evidence when authorities combine?”
  • Catherine Farrell, Dave McKenna and Matt Wall: “‘You’re on Mute’: Have virtual meetings improved the governance quality of local government committees?”
  • Max Stafford: “From tea-drinkers to ‘master builders’: Extending agency in local government.”

PANEL 2: Devolution, Decentralisation and Democracy

14.45, Monday 11 April, venue SLB001

Chair: Arianna Giovannini

  • Lorraine Johnston and John Fenwick: “Local Leaders and Local Places: a Role for Elected Mayors?”
  • Camille Barras: “Decentralisation in hybrid contexts: opportunity or pitfall? Evidence from Ukraine”
  • Maria Antónia Pires de Almeida: “Innovations in the Portuguese local government: independent lists and citizen participation”
  • Roger Lawrence: “Geopolitics of English Devolution: uneven decentralisation and political confusion”

PANEL 3: Re-imagining local leadership in times of change

09.30, Tuesday 12 April, venue SLB108.

Chair: Herwig Reynaert

  • Tom Verhelst and Klaartje Peters: „The Determinants of Effective Council Control: a Multilevel Analysis from Local Councils in The Netherlands”
  • Niels Karsten, Sara Stronks and Simone van de Wetering: “ Valuing the “scum of the earth”. Mayoral statements in response to the COVID-19 anti-curfew riots in the Netherlands”
  • Ivan Kopric and Mihovil Škarica: “Has direct election of mayors delivered on its promises? Evaluation of a decade-long experience from Croatian local government”

PANEL 4: Challenge and change in local governance

15.15, Tuesday 12 April, venue SLB108

Chair: Peter Eckersley

  • Deivi Norberg: “The crisis of affordable workspace in London – an unavoidable outcome or strategic choice of London’s local governance?”
  • Janice Morphet: “Incremental Innovation in English Local Government”
  • Iolanda Bianchi: “The commonification of public institutions under new municipalism: commons-state institutions in Naples and Barcelona”
  • Neil Barnett & Janice Morphet: “Local Government in the UK- revolving themes, continuing strength”
  • Neil Barnett & Jim Chandler: “Liberal Democracy and local government in crisis: can both be linked and resolved?”

If you had submitted an abstract but have since either withdrawn the paper or not registered for the conference, your paper has been removed from the programme. Please let the PSA know directly if you still want to present (by emailing conference@psa.ac.uk).

Also, please note that we will hold our specialist group meeting at lunchtime on Wednesday 13 April. Lunch will be available!

Looking forward to the conference,


Dr Peter Eckersley

Senior Research Fellow in Public Policy and Management

Nottingham Trent University

Managing Editor, Local Government Studies or, Local Government Studies