27 May 2022

Levelling Up – Regeneration, Sustainability and Connectivity in local public services (Guest blog by Socitm)

Guest blog by David Ogden, Director of Engagement at Socitm

As we consider the detail and hear arguments from all sides, each with their own agendas, one thing is for certain. Local government’s role in delivering Levelling Up is crucial, if we are to see successful thriving communities develop, providing all citizens across the UK with an equal chance of positive life outcomes.

As we emerge from the pandemic, Socitm is developing a set of resources in support of Regeneration, Sustainability and Connectivity. We are proud to be championing this on behalf of our 2,600 members throughout the UK.

These resources will be co-designed with our members to enable them to play their part in delivering the 12 missions set out for Levelling Up, building on local, place-based capability and capacity, and harnessing data to:

  1. better understand the distribution and root causes of inequalities;
  2. target resources and know-how to address these causes (level-up); and
  3. deliver a sustainable reduction in regional variation in healthcare and wellbeing of people and communities.

Debate will continue around what will be achieved and celebrated by politicians in media soundbites across Levelling Up’s ’12 missions’. However, local authorities have already rolled up their sleeves and demonstrated that regeneration, sustainability and connectivity are high on their agendas.

Local public service leaders are constantly asked to re-think the ‘art of the possible’ in relation to whether and how they should use technologies and data.

Socitm’s research and thinking

Socitm has developed several resources and briefings which capture the response that has unfolded since the pandemic gripped the nation two years ago.

Our Planting the flag – a new local normalCovid-19 digital impact survey and Our digital jump into the future report together give detailed insights into the impact and response of local government organisations during the pandemic.

Our wider work around  key policy themesethical practiceleadership development, emerging digital trends and the application of concepts such as doughnut economics(opens in new tab) inspiring healthy and well communities are all shaping our understanding of ethical, digital placemaking.

An accompanying Championing place-based recovery infographic brings these resources together and, drawing on more than 200 local authority recovery and regeneration strategies,  maps out how local authorities are seeking to move from front-line response, via local post-covid recovery, towards community-focused regeneration.

Alongside this, our place-based recovery prospectus goes further by highlighting how a variety of approaches are supporting wider community regeneration and ethical change, issues that assume even greater relevance in preparation for the societal and environmental challenges that lie ahead.

Continuing collaboration

On collaboration, we have much to learn from the recent example of the vaccine roll out. Strong leadership from local government to really understand the people in their patch allowed local authorities to be the interface with the community, while the NHS brought the scale of delivery.

While the words may have changed, the required actions have not. Levelling Up will require a keen focus by local authorities, enabled by authentic, place-based leadership that brings citizens in early on the long road to recovery. Socitm plans to deliver resources and to engage with its members to enable them to play an active part in the practical delivery of Levelling Up and its outcomes.

David Ogden, Director of Engagement at Socitm

 Local Public Services Innovation: Creating a catalyst for change



techUK, in collaboration with its Local Public Services Committee, has published a new report making the case for enhanced digital innovation adoption across the UK’s local public services to improve citizens’ lives. The report, ‘Local Public Services Innovation: Creating a catalyst for change




techUK – Building Stronger Local Economies

techUK champions the tech sector throughout the UK. We work with local authorities, devolved government, and local and national policy makers to advocate for the tech sector in strengthening economic growth and resilience. We provide opportunities for our members and local stakeholders to meet, build relationships, and collaborate to drive forward local projects. For more information or to get in touch, please visit our Nations and Regions Hub and click 'contact us'.