In many areas, the UK’s response to the pandemic have been hampered by internal inefficiencies in government. These issues have been exacerbated by scandals and clandestine decision making during the pandemic, reducing public trust in governance in the UK.
Trust and transparency are not the only cause for concern: there has also been an absence of coordination and government systems have lacked the resilience needed to handle systemic challenges. Long-term failures in dealing with inequality and insecurity have also come to a head during the pandemic.
In response, we recommend:
- The government should begin the process of a participatory national conversation on our response to Covid, along the lines of a deliberative assembly.
- The UK government should opt for ‘radical transparency’ wherever possible, taking cues from countries internationally who have adopted similar approaches.
- Measures should further be taken to rein-in lobbying and cronyism, such as tighter restrictions and a lobbying tax, the proceeds of which would go towards enhancing citizen participation in democracy in the UK.
This report highlights six transitions in policy and practice that can help local authorities advance and embed local participatory democracy.