Kruger report calls for new era of community power to level up the UK post-Covid
The UK needs “a new era of community power”, according to a report published yesterday by Danny Kruger, the Conservative MP and former “civil society tsar”.
The report was commissioned by the UK prime minister Boris Johnson in June, with the aim of examining how the country could “sustain the community spirit we saw during lockdown”.
Flagging the report’s publication on Twitter, Kruger posted: “In a nutshell, we need a new era of COMMUNITY POWER to replace the era of large public and private bureaucracies.”
In echoes of former UK prime minister David Cameron’s Big Society agenda, he added that his proposals added up to what he called a “social covenant”, “namely the mutual commitment by citizens, civil society, businesses and the state each to fulfil their discrete responsibilities and work together for the common good of all”.
Levelling Up Our Communities: Proposals for a New Social Covenant contains proposals including the following:
- A ‘Community Power Act’ to give local people power over the design and delivery of public services
- A new £500m Community Recovery Fund to help civil society during the current crisis, financed through the defunct National Fund
- A new £2bn endowment, the Levelling Up Communities Fund, for investment in long-term, community-led transformation in left-behind areas, financed through dormant insurance accounts
A section of the report on social investment called for more money to flow into “left behind places” and called for the government to launch a Treasury-led commission to work in partnership with investors to unlock different sources of finance.
At the same time, Johnson launched a new framework for public procurement by central government, aiming to “level the playing field” for small business and social enterprises to win more government contracts.
In a letter in response to the report, Johnson said that he had asked digital, culture, media and sport secretary, Oliver Dowden, who is responsible for the government’s civil society agenda, to update Kruger on progress “in due course”.
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Header image: Clean energy cooperative Egni Coop develops rooftop solar energy in Wales, funded by community shares. The Kruger report argues that community-led schemes can achieve greater value for money and more direct accountability to local people than the big players (credit: Phillip Griffiths/Egni Coop)
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